Daily Archives: December 28, 2021

  • MS-DEFCON 4: Closing out the year of patching

    AskWoody Plus Alert Logo
    ISSUE 18.50.1 • 2021-12-28


    By Susan Bradley

    The end of 2021 brings the final updates for Windows 10 2004. Meanwhile, most of us are planning not to install the new Windows 11.

    The December patching month has been relatively uneventful for Windows Home Edition users. The only major patching side effect I’ve seen came when an Office update prevented multiple users of Access from opening a database on the network. As noted in a Microsoft support page, the Microsoft 365 click-to-run versions listed below have been fixed. If you use Access, close and reopen Office to trigger it to download a new version. The fixed versions are:

    If you have Office 2016, the fix is in KB4484211. You must manually download the patch and install it. We’re still waiting on the fix for Office 2013.

    Consumer and home users

    Now is the time to upgrade Windows 10 2004 to 21H2. If you have not already been offered 21H2, I recommend a visit to the Windows 10 ISO page; click on the Update now button. Of course, be sure you have a backup of your computer first. Also, uninstall any VPN software you use — it’s a bit of overkill, but I have seen cases of VPN software interfering with the update process. Reinstall it after the upgrade is complete.

    If you have any side effects, please visit the forums so we can follow up on any lingering issues. The good news for Windows 10 is that it’s moving to a once-a-year feature-release cadence. Given that Microsoft will be focusing on Windows 11, I anticipate that Windows 10 updates will turn into a nice, boring release process for most of us.

    Business users

    Unless you are running Enterprise versions, I also recommend that businesses move to Windows 10 21H2. The version has been stable in my office. I always make sure that I have all workstations on the same version of Windows 10, to make my life easier.

    Many of us are still trying to chase down the patching we need to do for the Log4j2 vulnerability. It may take time to follow up with all the vendors in your clients’ networks, so be prepared to get updates from vendors as they discover what is and is not vulnerable. For example, I’ve found that my Ricoh printers are not vulnerable in my own network. Going through this listing takes time, and you’ll probably need to work together with each client. Don’t expect to know immediately what is vulnerable.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Alert 18.50.1 (2021-12-28).