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  • Where we stand with the Feb 2020 Microsoft patches

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Where we stand with the Feb 2020 Microsoft patches

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      • #2171471 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        I’ve lost hope that we’ll see a fix for the “lost profile” bug in the Win10 version 1903 and 1909 February patch, but other details seem on track. Let
        [See the full post at: Where we stand with the Feb 2020 Microsoft patches]

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171514 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I have five installations of Windows 10 Pro Version 1909 (OS Build 18363.657). I dual boot both my desktop and laptop where I am a Seeker/cannon-fodder on both sides of the dual boot, and I let my NAS wait for the push from Microsoft.

        On my desktop, the A side installation is modified in a Microsoft-supported configuration, with every User subfolder that has a Location tab relocated to a partition on an SSD separate from the OS SSD, and I also have another Program Files partition on a third SSD where the majority of my programs and apps are installed. The A side of my laptop is configured similarly, but there are no separate SSD’s, just separate partitions. The partition size for each of these System folders is 100GB.

        The B side of my desktop, on the other hand, is modified in a non-Microsoft-supported configuration. The entire Users folder is completely moved to a partition on a separate SSD with all the registry editing that entails, and I have a Program Files folder and ProgramData folder on a third SSD which is the default installation location for all programs/apps that are not hard-coded for C:\Program Files, again with all the requisite registry editing. Those that are not installed in a Microsoft or Windows subfolder in C:\Program Files get moved to that other SSD. These partition sizes are also 100GB.

        The B side of my laptop and my NAS both have standard vanilla Windows installations. The NAS has a mSATA SSD for the OS, and a RAID 10 array that is initiated and supported by the motherboard in UEFI. All five installations have only driver updates blocked via Group Policy and stay fully updated/upgraded with everything Microsoft has to offer.

        I have not been affected by the “lost profile” bug. Nor have I been affected by any other “bug” reported since Windows 10 Pro Version 1507. Needless to say, I’m not in need of a fix for any bug. This relates to “Patch Lady – not every side effect is widespread”. Some are affected, but how many are not? There are a number of posts and replies here on AskWoody from folks who, like me, are unaffected.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2171528 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          Some are affected, but how many are not?

          Very good question – which I raise (but don’t solve!) in the soon-to-be-published Computerworld article.

        • #2171582 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          This issue is likely some sort of race condition, which explains why most people don’t encounter it. People with certain types of hardware and software may be more likely to run into it.

          For example, a couple of months ago I ran into an issue where my start menu shortcuts appeared to disappear after an update. But the rest of my profile was there and the shortcuts reappeared after a reboot. Loading a profile after an update must’ve already been racey in some manner, but I didn’t run into any issues with the Feb 2020 update.

          If software has a race condition that causes a major issue occasionally, but still works 99.9% or 99.99% of the time, that is still bad software that has not been engineered carefully enough.

          Imagine if gmail lost your emails 0.01% of the time someone logged in, and you had to have technical knowledge to get them back.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2171597 Reply
            woody
            Da Boss

            Yep, highly likely it’s a race condition, but with two very unusual characteristics:

            • Whatever other program is involved in the race condition does it replicably. Many admins report that they roll back the patch, everything works, then install again and the phantom profile appears.
            • Uninstalling the patch seems to cure the problem. That seems odd to me for a race condition with an installer.

            And if MS has identified the program(s) involved in the two-to-tango problem, they haven’t told anybody. Best I can tell anyway.

      • #2171527 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I’m on 1809 Home and not much in that way of options for following DEFCON but I do keep a Windows 10 recovery USB and a Windows 10(7 style) System Image Backup handy that will be made of the previous month’s stable install. So, as I have discovered, a full system restore from a system image backup is actually been faster in my experience than that one Windows 10 system restore point that I did to try to repair some file permissions that I messed up.

        I’m not very happy with not being able to easily stop any Known bad KBs but that’s because Home Edition end users have so little options. And I’ve never had a simple restore point ever take that long under Windows 7. I just hope that the Windows 7 style system image backup is not totally removed from 10 even if that subsystem is no longer being updated and has been declared as depreciated, tho it still works fine currently for me on 1809.

         

        • #2171598 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          Fortunately, the solution’s easy! Upgrade to 1903 or 1909 and use Pause updates.

      • #2171547 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        A workaround for the “lost profile” problem has been posted by a Microsoft MVP. See Cumulative updates – February 11th 2020:

        “Update 02/22/2020:

        Additional Information for users hitting temporary profile issue on 21/02/2020:

        Microsoft is aware of some customers logging into temporary profile after installing KB4532693, on both versions 1903 and 1909.

        Rebooting into Safe Mode* and then starting back in normal Mode should resolve this issue for most customers.
        You may uninstall any secure banking software or anti-virus in the temporary profile which may resolve this if the above steps do not help.
        *To boot into Safe mode, Click Shift+Restart button on the login screen, select Advanced options>Startup Settings>Select 1 for the booting to safe mode. Restarting the computer should start the computer in normal mode. For booting into Safe mode, you would be asked for a password instead of a PIN if you have set.”

        --Joe

      • #2171546 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest
        Do you recommend that KB4497165,  which changes
        the Intel CPU micro code, be installed?
        I have two computers and windows update wants
        this update installed on both which are running 1903.
        However, only one computer has the CPU that this update
        addresses.  I understand that once installed it can’t
        be removed.
        • #2171577 Reply
          EP
          AskWoody_MVP

          what CPUs do your computers use, mr anonymous?
          run CPU-Z on all of them

          if your PCs use any of the affected Intel CPUs listed by KB4497165 you may install that update (and this update CAN be uninstalled if you change your mind later). otherwise you can skip & hide the update

          Before Feb. 25, KB4497165 was only available thru the MS Update Catalog but recently MS has decided to push it thru WU to affected Intel CPUs

          • This reply was modified 1 month ago by EP.
          • #2171595 Reply
            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            what CPUs do your computers use, mr anonymous?
            run CPU-Z on all of them

            if your PCs use any of the affected Intel CPUs listed by KB4497165 you may install that update (and this update CAN be uninstalled if you change your mind later). otherwise you can skip & hide the update

            So why did Microsoft with all the harvested data it has pushed KB4497165 to none effected Intel CPUs ?

      • #2171587 Reply
        misuser8
        AskWoody Lounger

        No single word about Windows 8.1 🙁

        • #2171599 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          I cover it tangentially in the article. What do you want to know?

        • #2171603 Reply
          Microfix
          Da Boss

          no problems with feb 2020 patches here on three Win8.1 devices, up-to-date and working as expected/intended (minus some telemetry patches)
          W81updates

          Win7 Pro x86/x64 | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 |
          Attachments:
          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2171749 Reply
          abbodi86
          AskWoody_MVP

          Windows 8.1 being the least popular Windows is a gift and a curse 🙂

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2171843 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            I recall that Woody, at some point in time, remarked that Windows 8.1 had the most stable patching scheme, back when Windows 7 and 10 were going up in flames. I’m surprised that Microsoft seems to stir up a lot of trouble when patching their widely-used operating systems, but pull it off quietly with less popular ones (I don’t think Vista had any catastrophic patching failures up until Wannacry hit, but do correct me if I’m wrong).

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171616 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Hi, Mr. Anonymous here.  I have a Lenovo i7-7500U (for which the Windows Update would be pertinent) and an old HP Pavilion i3 380 U (which doesn’t seem to be relevant to the update).  I did hide the update for both of them before posting my question on this site.  I read on another site that once installed, the update could not be removed.  I am not advanced enough to know whether the update has the potential to ruin the system which is working just fine.

      • #2171655 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Hi, Mr. Anonymous again.  I found the reference on Askwoody about not being able to uninstall KB4497165.  PK Cano on July 29, 2019 said:  “+ The installed updates are the same with the exception of the later CU and SSU. Notice that it installed the Intel microcode patch KB4497165. This patch cannot be uninstalled. I had previously avoided the microcode patches. ”  So, I really am very cautious about making the change unless you guru’s advise differently.  Thanks for any advice …..

        • #2171677 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          There are no Meltdown/Spectre vulns in the wild that I know of yet. You can always install it later (whenever you hear of one).

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2171746 Reply
        Cameochi
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve lost hope that we’ll see a fix for the “lost profile” bug in the Win10 version 1903 and 1909 February patch, but other details seem on track. Let
        [See the full post at: Where we stand with the Feb 2020 Microsoft patches]

        I decided to take the plunge and installed the February updates. However, I no longer allow Microsoft to install anything automatically. Automatic updates are blocked. Back in November, Microsoft automatically installed the server version of the security update instead of the one for Windows 10 Pro. I had no choice but to do a soft reset but some of the issues persisted well beyond as drivers were a mess. Fortunately, sfc /scannow fixed them. Then I went into device manager and manually updated those that needed it – and several did. My Dell 8930 is finally running smoothly again.  These days I use the Microsoft Update Catalog to install updates and so far it seems to be working. I beta tested Windows 7 and never worried. Now, sadly, after over 50 years in computers, my trust in Microsoft is gone.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2172136 Reply
        Geo
        AskWoody Lounger

        Besides inferior MS patches you can also download 0patch micro patches.

      • #2172229 Reply
        EP
        AskWoody_MVP

        MS has just released the KB4535996 cumulative update for v1903 & v1909, today 2/27 after 2PM Pacific local time

        as usual KB4535996 does not list any fix for “lost profile” problems so I would not expect this new patch to fix them

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