News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Want to fix that black Stretched wallpaper in Windows 7? Buy Extended Security Updates

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Want to fix that black Stretched wallpaper in Windows 7? Buy Extended Security Updates

    Viewing 15 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2100307 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        Microsoft has acknowledged the bug we’ve been talking about for several days: After installing KB4534310, your desktop wallpaper might display as blac
        [See the full post at: Want to fix that black Stretched wallpaper in Windows 7? Buy Extended Security Updates]

        9 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2100318 Reply
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        One of the people commenting on the BleepingComputer page asks if this bug may have been done on purpose. As a way to “deliver” a final insult to Windows 7 users, I wouldn’t put it past them.

        Whether it was done intentionally or simply out of incompetence, one thing that this demonstrates is the advantage of the pre-rollup model of Windows patching. Had Windows patches still been coming in as separate updates, customers could uninstall the one patch associated with the problem and still enjoy the protections offered by the rest of that month’s Windows updates. Under the new patch delivery model, you have to take either everything, bugs and all, or nothing at all.

        Anyway, for me personally I might well have never noticed if this bug affected me: most of my computers have completely black wallpaper to begin with! I find designs and “stuff” in the background to be at best distracting, and sometimes an actual hindrance as they can make it hard to find the desktop icon I’m looking for. Plus, I really like what in the TV industry they call the “infinite background”.

         

        9 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2100346 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Probably not deliberate but through not fixing their mistake, they leave it open to conjecture and we know which way conspiracy theorist will think.

          You can be sure the marketing department would be saying, “we need to fix this”. Not heeding that advice would manage to alienate more people than they have already and indicate a significant failure of senior management.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2100419 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            Should have added, repairing the issue after support ended may result in a some kudos from those of us who are sticking with ‘ancient’ hardware as long as it lasts or Windows 7 for whatever personal reasons.

      • #2100321 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        For Windows 7:
        BEFORE you install January Updates
        , be sure your desktop background in NOT set to “Stretch.”
        Right click on the desktop and choose “Personalize.” On the lower left, click on “Desktop Background.”

        Screen-Shot-2020-01-23-at-6.30.49-PM

        On the lower left, under “Picture positioin,” on the pulldown, choose anything but NOT “Stretch” then click on “Save changes.”

        Screen-Shot-2020-01-23-at-6.30.15-PM

         

        15 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2100514 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Hi PKCano,  I have W7 starter, will my desktop background stay the same? I don’t want it to go black!  Unfortunately you can’t personalize the wallpaper in the same way as you can in regular W7.

          • #2101417 Reply
            PKCano
            Da Boss

            Good question.
            On most of my Win7 machines (an assortment of Pro and Ultimate) I use the default background that came with Win7. The degault picture position seems to be “Fill.”

            I don’t have any Starter Edition to compare. I will venture a guess that MS uses “Fill” as a default, which means you would be OK. But I have no way to verify that.

            • #2123583 Reply
              anonymous
              Guest

              Hi PKCano, anonymous here again,  i have now installed all the January patches (group A) and my Windows 7 starter desktop has indeed turned black. The thing is though, i kind of like it! It really makes the desktop icons standout on a small netbook and as i couldn’t change the wallpaper anyway, I’m appreciating the difference!

        • #2109998 Reply
          Charlie
          AskWoody Plus

          The way I understand this “MS Stretch Goofup” is that what you’ve shown will not correct the problem, but only prevent one from getting a black screen after updating with Jan. updates.  You still won’t be able to go back and use the Stretch setting without getting the black screen.

          And it only affects Win 7.  That’s real cool!  C’mon MS who do you think you’re fooling.

          Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

          • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Charlie.
          • #2110006 Reply
            PKCano
            Da Boss

            That’s correct. What I’m showing PREVENTS the problem when you install the Jan update. It does NOT CORRECT MS’s goofup. The update is still broke.

      • #2100327 Reply
        zero2dash
        AskWoody Lounger

        Having built testing VM’s and deciding not to waste product keys on them….
        If you have an unlicensed copy, it also eventually defaults to a blank black wallpaper (and nags you about being unlicensed).
        Coincidence? I’ll let you be the judge.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2100335 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Maybe they have changed/broken the authentication routine to accommodate the ESU authentication.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2100354 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Other than for the purpose of verifying that the last-ever January patches are being delivered to legitimate copies, legitimately installed, of Windows 7, is this a situation that shall never be repeated again, or a situation that shall keep on repeating for the indefinite future? Even when Win 7 is now, officially, no longer supported by MS and, as its natural corollary, its presence on a PC should no longer be anybody’s business other than of the users that decide to keep it for whatever purposes, particularly if they are mostly doing it offline and using other systems (macOS, Linux) for their online work?

            If MS insisted in validating for ever the Win 7 version installed in one’s PC, but one is keeping it more or less permanently offline, will it, eventually, wilt and die, because MS can no longer reach and tickle it constantly to OK it and let it live?

            Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #2100347 Reply
          nazzy
          AskWoody Lounger

          Having built testing VM’s and deciding not to waste product keys on them….
          If you have an unlicensed copy, it also eventually defaults to a blank black wallpaper (and nags you about being unlicensed).
          Coincidence? I’ll let you be the judge.

          Don’t unlicensed copies do that anyway?  Regardless if you apply patches or not?

           

          • #2100378 Reply
            zero2dash
            AskWoody Lounger

            Correct – was just posting that for those that don’t know.
            (I’m in the “they did this on purpose” court, even despite being a fan of 10 and MS generally speaking.)

      • #2100361 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        The only thing that I’m patching on 7 for Jan 2020 is the IE11 KB and before I do that I’ll still have to apply the Dec 2019 SSU. Any other patches are not really going to be applied if the SO patches for 7 contain nagware/telemetry.

        Since it’s DEFCON3 I’ll feel that is OK as far as IE11’s Jan 2020 cumulative update and I see no reason to apply January’s SSU for 7 as there are not going to be any Feb 2020 patches available on consumer machines running W7.

        So for W7 consumer PC/Laptop that’s all that will be available and 7’s EOL for real now.

      • #2100379 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        7 is done for on consumer machines and only those machines licensed for 8/8.1 on the consumer side can look forward to security updates until 2023. And that’s if still wanting to avoid 10 until 2023. I have been running Windows 7 Pro on a Windows 8 Pro licensed laptop so that’s what that will get and the other laptops can remain offline and maybe have Linux Mint installed.

        But un-patched  7 online after Feb’s vulnerabilities are announced will progressively become more of a risk so at least sanitize the PC/Laptop that is still running 7 after Feb 2020 by removing all personal information that you do not want hacked and keep a sanitized system image backup ready to re-image if the need arises.  That should be safe for any non security essential online browsing where no login is required.

      • #2100395 Reply
        b
        AskWoody Plus

        MS offers a workaround that’s identical to the one presented by Lawrence Abrams in BleepingComputer a few days ago.

        Not identical: BleepingComputer’s workaround involves taking a screenshot (which is not very practical due to having to hide desktop icons, taskbar etc.).

        As Stretch is the only setting that distorts a wallpaper image, Microsoft did everyone a favor IMHO.

         

        But un-patched  7 online after Feb’s vulnerabilities are announced will progressively become more of a risk so at least sanitize the PC/Laptop that is still running 7 after Feb 2020 by removing all personal information that you do not want hacked

        Nah, Woody says it’ll be fine:

        No, running Win7 after Jan. 14 doesn’t “put [your] company and staff data at risk, as well as that of suppliers, partners, and customers, because security patches will no longer be available.”

        No, your Win7 computer won’t be pwned by the bad guys any time soon, if you exercise even a modicum of common sense.

        Windows 7 end of support: Separating the bull from the horns

      • #2100408 Reply
        cyberSAR
        AskWoody Plus

        I get that the stretched wallpaper issue isn’t a “big” deal but I say it’s BS that MS goofs and then wants to only fix it for people who pay for ESU.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2100411 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          cyberSAR: “I get that the stretched wallpaper issue isn’t a “big” deal, but …”

          Oh, but it could be. Please, see the last part of my earlier post here #2100354  and tell me if I am wrong and how.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • #2100438 Reply
            Cybertooth
            AskWoody Plus

            @oscarcp, I’m not cyberSAR  🙂  but I do want to comment on what you referenced in your post above:

            If MS insisted in validating for ever the Win 7 version installed in one’s PC, but one is keeping it more or less permanently offline, will it, eventually, wilt and die, because MS can no longer reach and tickle it constantly to OK it and let it live?

            If, if if. I believe in crossing bridges when we get to them. Microsoft could have put all sorts of nasty stuff that we don’t know about in their final Windows 7 patches (which the company’s apologists will no doubt rationalize because EULA and so on and so forth). Only time will tell (if ever) what happens to Win7 installations going forward.

            The only facts we have to form a judgment from is what’s happened to previous versions of Windows after they went EOS. I still have a Windows 98 installation that’s running just fine. (No, it’s rarely used and seldom goes on the Internet.) I also have a couple of machines with XP on it that Microsoft hasn’t wiped out. And I have Vista systems that are humming along; the most recent one was installed just last summer and Microsoft merely asked me to dial in the license key on my phone.

            Of course, past is not necessarily prologue, but honestly I wouldn’t give the matter one more second’s thought. Que sera, sera. Should some hidden time bomb in Windows 7 suddenly invalidate our licenses, that will be the signal to send Microsoft to the dust bin and go full Linux.

            And if it’s simply a matter of letting the Windows 7 system go online once in a while for a validation check, then I say just let it. We don’t need to open a browser for that or otherwise deliberately go on the ‘Net. It’s not like there will be hordes of hackers licking their chops at the entrance to the MS validation server to catch your PC when it launches the silent validation check (assuming that there even is such a check).

             

            3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2100442 Reply
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Cybertooth: “Que será, será? Unquestionably. Fatalism is always a good attitude to have, in moderation, because it prevents one from despairing and, or going crazy. So: indeed, I am definitely going to wait and see, but I also think that the potential for continuing problems has been mooted by this black screen one and deserves some further investigation, so I am bringing it to the attention of everyone who cares to read what I write about this. I have for wallpaper a copy of Giotto’s “The Birth of Venus” (love at first sight, when I came across it in Florence) in my three computers, and would be very sorry to have it turn solid black in the Windows 7 PC, where it has graced the desktop for more than eight years. And possibly, adding insult to injury, also to be bugged by MS every time I poke my head into the Web with said PC, for the indefinite future. Something I am not planning to do except under some very special circumstances. But I cannot rule out that there will be such circumstances.

              But, be all that as it may:

              Qué será, será
              Lo que tenga que ser será
              El futuro no es nuestro para que podamos ver
              Qué será, será
              Lo que tenga que ser, será.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2100457 Reply
        abbodi86
        AskWoody_MVP

        Good one

        i think eventialy they will deliver small non-ESU update to fix it

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2100461 Reply
        James Bond 007
        AskWoody Lounger

        You don’t mention it here, but an article on Softpedia says that both KB4534310 and KB4534314 are affected by this issue.

        So, is the corresponding security-only update KB4534314 affected by this issue or not?

        If it is, I am, and will be, staying on the November 2019 patch level and won’t install the last 2 months’ updates (except perhaps the IE and .Net security-only updates). Who knows what other bugs there are in these last updates?

        Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

        • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by James Bond 007. Reason: Correction
        • #2100466 Reply
          EP
          AskWoody_MVP

          please read guenni’s comments about KB4534314 here, James Bond 007:

          https://borncity.com/win/2020/01/22/windows-7-update-kb4534310-causes-a-black-desktop/#comment-7436

          • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by EP.
          • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by EP.
          • #2105444 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            The poster asking messed up the KB number. They said KB4534313.

            I downloaded KB4534314 (on the off chance I might avoid the bug), and it did trigger. I don’t get a black screen when I enable stretch, though. It just keeps my wallpaper the same as it was before I picked stretch. However, I suspect that, after a reboot, it would be black.

            Fortunately, I don’t use stretch–I don’t like skewing my images. And, for those that do, it would be trivial to write our own software that would handle it–it would just have to make a stretched copy and then set that as the background. Or, if they want to get fancy, just completely take over the display of wallpaper altogether–Windows allows that.

          • #2110135 Reply
            James Bond 007
            AskWoody Lounger

            please read guenni’s comments about KB4534314 here, James Bond 007:

            https://borncity.com/win/2020/01/22/windows-7-update-kb4534310-causes-a-black-desktop/#comment-7436

            • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by EP.
            • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by EP.

            That person said he/she was not affected by KB4534314, but in a reddit link provided another person said he/she was affected by KB4534314. Inconclusive at best.

            So I think I need to do some tests myself to see if KB4534314 has this problem.

            In the meantime, having been aware of this potential bug (and Microsoft’s apparent refusal to fix it except for ESU customers), I will stand by my previous decision, which is to avoid the December 2019 and January 2020 Windows 7 patches (except maybe the IE and .NET security-only patches).

            Microsoft introduced the bug in the last patch before ending support and then apparently only promised to fix it for ESU customers. To me that is unacceptable and shows the incompetence (intention?) of Microsoft. The product didn’t have that problem to begin with. To me whether that feature is useful or not is irrelevant. If you introduced a new problem in an update before support ends, I believe you should fix it for all users regardless of whether the bug affected many users or not.

            Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

          • #2110175 Reply
            James Bond 007
            AskWoody Lounger

            I have tested both KB4534310 and KB4534314 using a Windows 7 image in VMware Workstation, and my conclusion is that both the Rollup and Security-only update are affected by this issue.

            After installing either of them and rebooting, Windows 7 will replace the wallpaper with a solid color background (blue in my case) if the wallpaper was set to use “Stretch”. If I then set the wallpaper setting back to “Stretch”, the effect is just the same as “Fill”, showing that the Stretch option does not work. Before I can clearly see the difference between Fill and Stretch.

            Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

      • #2109947 Reply
        Geo
        AskWoody Lounger

        I took everything.  Nothing happened.  My e machines blue background stayed the same.   W7x64, home premium, AMD.

      • #2109969 Reply
        plodr
        AskWoody Plus

        We have four Windows 7 computers. None of them use the “stretch” option. I wanted to test this so on one computer (32 bit Pro version), I selected stretch before I installed the Jan. Security only update, 4534314.

        After I installed the update and rebooted, the desktop was black with all the icons and taskbar appearing. I then right clicked, selected personalize, wallpaper and changed from stretch to fill. The wallpaper immediately appeared.

        If you want to avoid the headaches, replace stretch will fill.

        Got coffee?

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110093 Reply
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Bleeping Computer reports follow-up here:
        https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/microsoft-to-fix-windows-7-black-wallpaper-bug-for-esu-customers/

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win7Pro SP1 x64 Storage
        online▸ Win10Pro 1909.18363.959 x64 i5-9400 RAM8GB HDD Firefox79.0b7 Windows{Image/Defender/Firewall}
        • #2110095 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          geekdom: Thanks for the update. Now it looks that  those of us who are not purchasing the ESU and are not Enterprise users, are also out of luck with getting any patches MS might release for this nuisance of a bug they themselves have created. Well, that I imagine is how MS wants to be remembered by us non-Enterprise users and Win 7 remainers. Way to go, MS! You guys really know how to win friends, influence people and keep customers happy and willing to keep coming back to buy your products!

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2110137 Reply
            b
            AskWoody Plus

            Yep, if you really want a distorted image on your desktop and can’t work out how to resize an image so that it distorts to match your screen resolution, then you really need to upgrade to Windows 10. Perhaps it’s the push you’ve been waiting for? 😲

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2110170 Reply
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              There is a simple workaround “to get around the problem” by choosing a setting different from “stretch”in the Display characteristics. And there is the patch meant to get utterly rid of the bug and of the need for any workarounds.

              The difference between, on the one hand,  forcing some users to make what seems — for the moment, at least — like an effective workaround, and giving them a patch that will fix the problem as if it had never happened, on the other, might be small in practical terms.  But in moral terms, MS refusing to provide the fix for a problem caused by themselves in one of their products when it was still being supported, and then — no matter what color of PR and legalistic lipstick is used on this pig — demanding to be paid again by their users to do this, the difference is huge. And by not taking care of a bug they have created and that has consequences that, if relatively minor, are nevertheless so spectacular as to be unforgettable, they have marked in the memory of their disgruntled customers, for a long time to come, this as not one of their company’s greatest moments.

              In my invariably most humble opinion.

              Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

              2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2110330 Reply
              Charlie
              AskWoody Plus

              The “Fit” setting does the same thing as Stretch for me, and doesn’t degrade the wallpaper.

              Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

              3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2110174 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        And by not taking care of a bug they have created

        All the bugs in Windows 7 (and other versions) were created by Microsoft, so this bug, and future bugs found in Windows 7, is no different.

        • #2110184 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          The bugs shall always be with us, but the “not taking care of” part is new. And also different.

          In my invariably most humble opinion.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2110497 Reply
        Julia
        AskWoody Plus
        FYI:
        Seems that Microsoft changed their mind and will release a fix for everyone…Below support article got updated on Jan 27, 2020…

        It now says

        We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release, which will be released to all customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
        https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4534310/windows-7-update-kb4534310 

        • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Julia.
        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2110500 Reply
          abbodi86
          AskWoody_MVP

          I expected that 🙂

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2110578 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          So the next question is…. HOW?

          Will the fix coming in a February Monthly Rollup? There’s no Monthly Rollup Preview. Yet.

      • #2110515 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Julia’s comment ( #2110497 ) applies to the January S&Q Rollup.

        It is a little different with the January Security Only patch, where there is still something of an open question:

        According to MS, the Security Only patch has no known problems that may need fixing:

        January 14, 2020–KB4534314 (Security-only update)

        Known issues in this update

        Microsoft is not currently aware of any issues with this update.

        https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4534314/windows-7-update-kb4534314

        But at The Register, they beg to differ:

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/01/21/windows_7_black_wallpaper/

        So at least this is very clear now: when it comes to the January SO patch, the situation is not clear. At least going by these two contradictory articles. Right now, I am somewhat inclined to think that the one from The Register is correct, but I’ll continue to wait and see before deciding what to do about the SO patch (being Group  B).

        Well… I was more or less expecting that.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 15 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Want to fix that black Stretched wallpaper in Windows 7? Buy Extended Security Updates

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.