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  • Patch Lady – Servicing Stack Updates

    Posted on March 6th, 2018 at 00:48 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Patch Lady Susan here:  This will be a post whereby I don’t answer a question, but rather bring up many more questions. Firstly here are some OLD background posts on what is going on with the component based servicing process which is the underlying engine that does the installing and updating on a Windows machine since the Vista era.

    First read part one on Windows servicing from the Joscon blog.

    Then read part two on Windows servicing from the Joscon blog.

    And here another one to read as background material.

    Read all of those first.  It gives you a bit of background in how vastly Windows has changed in updating since the Windows XP era.

    For all of the times I track issues with patching, there is one truth in how we deploy now — assuming a healthy machine and a large enough hard drive, one can go from newly installed to fully patched in a much much shorter time frame than we ever could in Windows 7 era.  With a minimum of rebooting I can get a machine fully operational  – and even better – installed from scratch in less than an hour if the machine is peppy and has a ssd hard drive.

    Now that you have that background (and probably a bit of headache reading all that) I’ve noticed something recently with Windows 10 releases.  We are getting a servicing stack update about each time we get a patch for the platform.  Take today’s release to fix the USB issue in the form of KB4091913.  Concurrently with that release was a servicing stack update in the form of KB4091914.

    The increasing use of servicing stack updates just leads me to have more questions and not a lot of good answers.  Historically such updates were rare, not every release.  They are usually not uninstall-able, and help windows update do a better job.

    My concern is that once upon a time Microsoft mandated that every update could be uninstalled to allow you to roll back from any issue.  There have been some historical scattered reports of issues that occur after a servicing stack update has been installed. Conversely there have been times – especially on Windows 7 – where a servicing stack update has done wonders to speed up the install of updates.

    I’ll see if I can dig into why we’re getting these more often. In the meantime, keep an eye out for this and I’ll let you know if I see any side effects.