• MS-DEFCON 2: Keep the May 2019 patches off your machine for now

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    Tomorrow’s Patch Tuesday and, if it’s like other Patch Tuesdays for the past year or two, it’ll be accompanied by howls of pain. Don’t be an unpaid be
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    • #1609548

      Here is a short story about why everyone should heed Woody’s Defcon system about not updating, unless you have a really pressing need to do so…

      I have Win7 Pro on my computers. I was brave and installed the Jan through March 2019 security only updates in mid March, after having held at December 2019. Everything seemed to be okay on my Win7 machines. In April, I held off on the April security only update due to all of the AV issues. Yet towards late April, I decided to disable Hibernate on my Win7 computers, and I then decided to let Windows manage the size of pagefile.sys instead of using a fixed size. The latter is a really simple change, yet it didn’t go so well on my laptop. Whatever does that crashed, so I tried again, apparently successfully, yet obviously not successfully.

      This particular laptop sits around and is mostly used to play music through my stereo. I checked on the laptop only once a week. I noticed that my AV program wasn’t running, and wouldn’t work unless I rebooted the laptop. I did that a few times over the next several days, trying to resolve the issue. The real issue is that, when I tried to simply tell Win7 to manage the size of pagefile.sys and whatever does that crashed, both pagefile.sys and all of my restore points got wiped out without my knowledge. I read online that if some sort of security check for these files gets corrupted, then Windows merrily wipes out these files. Thus no pagefile.sys and no restore points when the computer is rebooted! I am back to using a fixed size for pagefile.sys on all of my Win7 computers.

      I had success on my main desktop computer in telling Win7 to manage the size of pagefile.sys. Yet here is the thing. When my desktop sleeps, occasionally one of two things now occurs. Either the computer doesn’t successfully wake from sleep (has to do a full boot) or ntdll.dll itself causes an unseen BSOD when I command the computer to sleep.

      A few days ago, I installed the April 2019 security only update in hopes to resolve the above issues. I have told my desktop computer to sleep only a couple of times since installing the April update. So far, all good. Yet like I said above, the sleep issues were occurring randomly.

      The April security only update made things worse in another completely different way. Now a couple of my much older programs randomly crash with Exception code: 0xc0000005. That would be the race condition which some multi-threaded program code can cause in ntdll.dll, and which Microsoft fixed way back in 2011! Well, it seems to be back. I guess the either MS programmers don’t do a very good job of documenting their code, or that newer programmers ignore such documentation, assuming that the program vendors long ago would have patched their code to prevent race conditions in ntdll.dll.

      I am curious if anyone else has started having issues with commanding their Win7 computers to sleep, or when their computers come out of sleep mode. I am also curious if any Win7 users lately have suddenly lost their restore points and virtual memory (pagefile.sys) settings.

      • #1618403

        … sort of not on topic for these patches but, is there any other reason to not use a static pagefile than freeing disk space?

        Because I find that even with Windows 10, the predictability of having a fixed (large enough) pagefile is worth the space… especially as there apparently are recurring bugs related to the automanagement.

    • #1611609

      I just updated to Window 10 Pro and suffered the “network problem” that forced me to call Microsoft.  The rep was very apologetic and said he will fix it in 15 minutes.  It actually only took 12.  But now I find that my update freeze is different than online reports indicate.  What I have is a choice of the number of days to freeze updates.  Right now the feature semiannual update is delayed 90 days, but the quality update can only be delayed 30 days max.  Am I in trouble?

    • #1617641

      Long time lurker here, only just registered

      The Boomtown Rats wrote a song about Mondays, perhaps one should be penned about Patch Tuesdays.

      Woody and Co, many thanks for what you people do, without this site I’m not sure what kind of mess my laptop would be in. Windows Update is now shackled down.

      Keep up the sterling work and advice 🙂

      illegitimi Non Carborundum
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1619405

      Given the fact that a fresh Windows version gets released by the end of this month, updating Windows doesn’t make any sense at all. In fact, it’s time to prepare for the new Windows version and get things ready. While there are still a few annoyances not yet fixed in Windows 10, the upcoming version is the most stable Windows 10 version since Windows 10 was announced. Finally, Microsoft got performance issues sorted out and, for the first time, Windows 10 is at least as fast as Windows 8.1; and it took Microsoft just about 5 years to get there.

    • #1661213

      I should have waited… An hour after updating my dell 7840 laptop’s win 10 1809 with the May patche, my MS wireless mouse stopped working and then it blue-screened.

      /* Begin rant

      I have several linux machines at home. They are wonderful to use and maintain. When there is a problem, i can usually find out the cause. I’ve been working with MS computers since 1984 and I have never been so frustrated.

      End rant */

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