alert banner

ISSUE 19.18.1 • 2022-05-05

MS-DEFCON 2: 2004 is out of support


By Susan Bradley

Check your Windows version, then update accordingly.

I regularly come across PCs that are running old, out-of-support versions of Windows because they aren’t on the Web long enough to be “serviced” by Windows Update. For example, there are two Surface laptops in my office that are used by people on cellular connections. As a result of sporadic use, they never get a feature update.

Just the other day, I realized they were running Windows 10 2004 and thus no longer were getting security updates, a serious matter.

Don’t let that happen to you. Click on Start, Settings, System, and then About. Scroll down to the bottom and find the installed feature release version. If you have anything but 21H2, now is the time — upgrade to 21H2. If you aren’t on 21H2 because your machine is more off than on, it’s a simple matter to leave your computer on, plugged in (if it’s a laptop), and connected to the Internet (wired or Wi-Fi). It can be a long process; even Microsoft noted that it would take several hours to install updates.

When I say, “now is the time,” I mean between now and next Monday. As long as you’re not using an Enterprise edition of Windows, leave your computer on to get those feature releases. I know I’m telling you to do this at the same time I’m raising the MS-DEFCON level to 2, but getting off unsupported Windows versions is a necessary security task.

If a PC is still not getting the update, jump-start the process. Browse to the Windows 10 ISO page and click on Update now. The file Windows10Upgrade9252.exe will download. Double-click it to launch the executable, and then follow the prompts. Remember, once you’ve got the file in hand, 2004 to 21H2 is a quick update.

Consumer and home users

Consumer and home users can use a variety of resources to defer updates.

There is the “metered” connection trick, where you set the Wi-Fi settings to metered, which makes the system think you are on cellular and thus does not download updates. As usual, I recommend using such deferral tools as WUMgr — or merely setting the date in the future to defer updates in your Windows 10 or 11 machine.

Always check the Master Patch Listing page for the latest in issues when I recommend that you un-pause updates. Keep in mind that I always focus on issues that I’ve verified and consider a true bug or a side effect with the security patch, not something that is a corner-case issue and probably won’t be seen by the our readership.

Business users

I am still tracking an issue with Windows Server 2022 and the Remote Desktop Connection Broker Service that is “damaged” by the installation of the March and April security updates. Although you can restore the Remote Desktop Services roles after they are removed/impacted by the security update, patches shouldn’t remove functions on a running server. The good news? With the help of an impacted customer, we were able to alert Microsoft to the problem, and it is now in the process of investigating the problem.

I initially tried to open a Microsoft support case and go through what I thought were normal channels. However, the support staff was not very helpful. They attempted to DISM on the August Servicing Stack Update and claimed that helped the server. But then they said that in order to understand the bug, we needed to open a Premier support contract to qualify for a “root cause investigation.” Premier support contracts are extremely expensive and are affordable only by Enterprise and large customers.

Fortunately, I have other ways to get bugs looked at. But it concerns me that Microsoft appears to want to deal only with bugs reported by its larger business customers. This is one of the reasons I recommend holding back and mimicking the patching processes of larger enterprises — so that they are the guinea pigs for patch testing, and not us.

Needless to say, it was a bit concerning that the Microsoft support personnel didn’t understand that Windows 11 and Server 2022 now include the Servicing Stack Update (SSU) with the Cumulative update and thus there is no longer any need to separately install the SSU on these platforms. Here’s hoping they will understand this better the next time they work on a Server 2022 case.

I’m hoping this bug gets fixed in May, so stay tuned!



Talk Bubbles Join the conversation! Your questions, comments, and feedback
about this topic are always welcome in our forums!

Susan Bradley is the publisher of the AskWoody newsletters.

The AskWoody Newsletters are published by AskWoody Tech LLC, Fresno, CA USA.

Your subscription:

Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. AskWoody,, Windows Secrets Newsletter,, WinFind, Windows Gizmos, Security Baseline, Perimeter Scan, Wacky Web Week, the Windows Secrets Logo Design (W, S or road, and Star), and the slogan Everything Microsoft Forgot to Mention all are trademarks and service marks of AskWoody Tech LLC. All other marks are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Copyright ©2022 AskWoody Tech LLC. All rights reserved.