alert banner

ISSUE 19.12.1 • 2022-03-22
MS-DEFCON 4: March madness? Mostly quiet


By Susan Bradley

For the majority of computer users, it’s time to get the updates rolled out.

I’m tracking some issues this month, but not so many as for a typical March. Thus I’m lowering the MS-DEFCON level to 4.

An unusual occurrence is a problem with a Windows 8.1 update.

Reader Mitchell Murray reports:

I used Windows Update on my Windows 8.1 computer. The update installed the following update: 2022-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB5011564). After the update, I could no longer access my USB SCSI hard drive. Today, I removed the update, and I can now access my USB SCSI drive.

Normally, Windows 8.1 updating is so trouble-free that I hardly ever write about side effects. USB-connected SCSI drives are rare, but not so unusual that one would expect problems. Microsoft has not yet acknowledged the issue, so we’ll have to see whether it’s fixed in the April updates. The underlying driver was a Microsoft driver, not third-party, so Mitchell was stuck without a solution or any workaround. I’ll be keeping an eye on this issue and report back.

I urge you to update your Macintosh devices, because Apple has released updates that include security updates as well as new features (more on that later). For Windows machines, it’s been mostly quiet — but I’m still tracking some issues that I call “corner cases.”

Consumer and home users

For those with Apple computers: Apple released MacOS 12.3 with several security fixes, along with some beta features. One such feature is “Universal Control.” It includes the following capabilities:

  • You can use a single mouse and keyboard across iPad and Mac;
  • Text can be typed on either Mac or iPad; and
  • You can drag and drop files between Mac and iPad.

This feature set is not enabled by default. To turn it on, launch System Preferences from your Mac’s Dock, then select Displays in the preferences panel. Click on Universal Control, then check the boxes next to the settings you would like to try (see Figure 1).

Universal Control in Apple system preferences
Figure 1. Universal Control in Apple System Preferences

I’ve not noticed any side effects with the Apple releases, and I recommend installing them.

For Windows users, I recommend installing the March updates on all other platforms. You should check for problems with USB external drives in Windows 8.1, but so far we have only the reports about USB SCSI drives.

Business users

For business users, I’m tracking more issues, some with more impact than others.

First, for those with Windows Server 2022 (and only that version), IT administrators are recommending reinstallation of the Remote Desktop gateway role that is removed when the March update KB5011497 is installed on Server 2022. Note that this is not being seen on any other server release, just Server 2022. Server 2022 seems to be gaining a “Windows 11” reputation — not quite ready for production use. If you are using Server 2022, you’ll have to decide to either redeploy the RD gateway role or uninstall KB5011497.

Office update KB5002160 is causing issues with certain Access and SQL implementations. As noted in the Azure feedback forum for the SQL database, “Multiple SQL Server linked servers connecting to MS Access database .MDB files (32bit) fail to connect using the ACE.OLEDB16.0 (64bit) provider with error code 7303.” There is no workaround yet other than blocking the patch from installing.

While neither of these issues is widespread, both are serious if they affect you — they can potentially have a huge impact on your business. Hopefully Microsoft will get to the root of these issues soon.

I’m not tracking any other major issues with the March updates. I recommend installing them at this time.



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.