Newsletter Archives

  • KB 3150513 on the loose again

    Seems like hardly a day passes now when we don’t have a new version of KB 3150513 — the “figure out if this machine will work with Win10 Creators Update” patch.

    This one’s a bit different, though, because of reports that it breaks some systems.

    Have you hit a problem? Let me know in the comments….

  • Yet another release of KB 3150513

    The Microsoft Update Catalog lists a June 8 version of our old friend, KB 3150513, for Win 7, 8, 8.1, Win10 1511 and 1607.

    Looks like Jonathan Handler nailed it a couple of days ago:

    I continue to believe that KB 3150513 is for assessing readiness for Creators’ Update (1703).

    Greasing the upgrade skids.


  • “2017-05 Update for Windows 10 version 1607” KB 3150513 appears over and over again

    UPDATE: InfoWorld Woody on Windows

    I’m seeing it on my main production machine, too. It shows up on the list of installed updates (installed 2 May), but also appeared this morning on the list of updates ready to install.

    Poster Neil Hobbs on the Microsoft Answers forum says:

    If you have a look at the update in the Microsoft Update Catalog at the following URL, you’ll notice that it has been updated – the name and the KB reference has been updated;

    Therefore the reinstall is due to this.

    Sure enough, the Microsoft Update Catalog shows it was last modified on May 4. If you go to the usual Update Catalog URL, you can see three different versions of the update, for 32-bit and 64-bit Win10 1607, and one for Server 2016 64-bit.

    On April 24, I wrote in InfoWorld about the new version of 3150513 being pushed onto all versions of Windows.

    Then on May 2 I talked about Günter Born’s discovery that there was a re-issue of KB 3150513 for 1607 only. A look at the KB page turned up key files dated April 27.

    Now, when I look at the KB page, I see that the key files were updated again, this time on May 3.

    The weird terminology — starting with “2017-05 Update …” throws off alphabetized lists of patches, as noted by NetDef yesterday.

    Günter Born has a rundown of more problems with KB 3150513 and KB 4015219 (the Win10 1511 cumulative update). According to the Update Catalog, both were re-issued on May 4. The last official cumulative update for 1511 appeared on April 11. This new one’s undocumented, as best I can tell.

    It would be interesting to know if this latest cumulative update for 1511, dated May 4, increments the build number above 10586.873 (which is the official build number for the release on April 11). If the number has been incremented, I don’t see any reference to it, anywhere, official or unofficial. If the number has NOT been incremented, somebody is playing fast and loose with the build numbering system.

    Sounds to me like somebody screwed this one up big-time.

  • Does KB 3150513 trigger “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook”?

    You may recall KB 3150513, the “upgrade enabling” patch that nobody seems to want. It was last re-released on April 23.

    I just got an interesting message from reader TB:

    Writing a quick thank you note for your article titled “Mystery update KB 3150513 makes yet another reappearance”.

    It started yesterday afternoon when I couldn’t open Outlook 2016. After looking around a bit today on both my computer and the web, I noticed a new update that downloaded yesterday morning. Googling for help about the error that was showing on my system, “Cannot start microsoft outlook. Cannot open the outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened”, found no relief. But then, I came upon your aforementioned article, put two and two together, saw that I didn’t want this update on my computer and quickly uninstalled the update and voila! Outlook works. YaY!

    So, I’m writing this for two reasons: 1st to say thank you for your article and blog that, unbeknownst to you until now, pointed me in the right direction to be able to once again use outlook and 2nd – in case you see others having this same issue, perhaps this bit of information from my experience will help them too before experiencing too much frustration.

    Thanks again for doing what you do and the information you share!

    Anybody else having that problem?

  • Was there a bug in last week’s KB 3150513 “upgrade enabling” patch?

    Sure looks like it to me.

    Günter Born reports that KB 3150513 was re-issued on May 1, for Win10 1607 Anniversary Update only.

    You may recall that it was last re-(re-re-…) issued on April 23. I talked about it in InfoWorld.

    Looking at the file lists on the KB page, sure enough, the Win10 1607 list shows Appraiser.sdb and Appraiser_data.ini with file dates of April 27.

    Like Günter, I haven’t seen KB 3150513 on my Win10 1607 production machine. The KB article was updated yesterday. I manually downloaded the patch from the Update Catalog, tried to install it, and was informed that it was already installed. What the ?

  • The hated patch that wouldn’t die: KB 3150513 appears again

    Details in InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

    In honor of the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s demise:


    What, has this thing appear’d again to-night?


    I have seen nothing.


    Horatio says ’tis but our fantasy,
    And will not let belief take hold of him
    Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
    Therefore I have entreated him along
    With us to watch the minutes of this night;
    That if again this apparition come,
    He may approve our eyes and speak to it.


    Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.

    Actually, KB 3150513 has appeared many times. Has anything changed since the last run a month ago? I certainly don’t see any redeeming social value.

  • Microsoft’s month of badly botched patches

    They just keep rolling in.

    See InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • What we know about KB 3150513

    UPDATE: More info in this InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

    On March 15, the Thursday after Patch Tuesday, Microsoft re-re-released KB 3150513. It’s innocuously titled “Latest compatibility definition update for Windows,” but it’s raised a lot of suspicion for those of us who prefer our Windows snooping overt, not covert.

    Microsoft’s description:

    This update provides the latest set of definitions for compatibility diagnostics that are performed on the system. The updated definitions will help enable Microsoft and its partners to ensure compatibility for all customers who want to install the latest Windows operating system. Installing this update also makes sure that the latest Windows operating system version is correctly offered through Windows Update, based on compatibility results.

    Which is enough to get my tinfoil hat twitching.

    We had a similar not-quite-documented appearance of KB 3150513 back in September.

    Here’s what we know for sure:

    The update includes files called Appraiser.sdb and Appraiser_telemetryrunlist.xml.

    It was offered on just about every version of Windows you can name. The KB article lists prerequisites, but there are versions for Win10 1607, 1511, Windows 8 (!) and 8.1, and Win 7 RTM (!) and SP1. In addition @ch100 documents that a version is also available for Windows Server 2016, for the first time.

    When it appeared in September, poster K hid it, but it re-appeared two additional times. At the time, I documented that it appeared twice, with two different dates, May 4 and May 11, 2016.

    In September, @abbodi86 viewed it as a precursor to upgrading to the Win10 Anniversary Update (released July 2016):

    it’s an update for the system’s compatibility database, which is related the famous schedule task “Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser”. This diagnostics is required to see if the current machine is applicable for RS1 upgrade through WU. Yes, it may involves sending “telemetry” feedback but isn’t whole Windows 10 is already telemetry-connected?

    With regard to the March 15 release, @PKCano says:

    This is being offered on all versions of Windows. It is a compatibility definition update. A new release for Win10, but Win7 and Win8.1 are seeing the earlier version appear if they installed KB2952664 (Win7) or KB2976978 (Win8.1) with the recent updates. The latter are prerequisites. It is also showing up in Win10.

    And @abbodi86 says

    Appraiser KB2952664 and Telemetry DiagTrack are built-in Windows 10 since RTM. Both KB2952664/KB3150513 are only needed for upgrade they have nothing useful for current Windows 7 (well, except providing MSFT with Appraiser statistics)

    And @ch100:

    Other versions were released in the past for Windows 10 1511.
    To me, without having the full details, it indicates that the functionality from KB2952664 in Windows 7 is built-in at least in Windows 10 1511 and 1607. Otherwise we wouldn’t see KB3150513 being on offer for those versions of Windows 10.
    There was no KB3150513 release for Windows 10 1507.

    Does anybody else have some definitive information on this beast? Is there any reason at all to install it, unless you plan on upgrading to the Win10 Creators Update version as soon as it’s available (which is an incredibly poor choice, but more about that later)?

  • Mysterious re-release of KB3150513 – on Windows 10, no less

    This in from DP:

    I just rec’d notification of the above update on my Win10 system yesterday. I am running ver. 1511, build 10586.545. I have searched around the web trying to find out what it’s going to attempt to do to my system if I download and install.

    I found all the articles around May of 2016, but nothing this recent. I found some users at The Windows Club who got the same KB within the last day or two expressing some concern, but no one seems to know what it will do to Win 10 system. I’ve used the Group Policy Editor to control updates and haven’t gotten the AU update notice yet. Could KB3150513 be Microsoft’s attempt to entice the AU on me?

    Thanks for helping. Your Windows 10 book for Dummies is the best, BTW.

    I’m not seeing it on my Win10 1511 machines, but it’s starting to pop up all over the web. The KB article was last updated today.

    Anybody know what’s up?

  • What are the differences between KB2952664, KB3150513 and the naughty KB3035583?

    A very interesting synopsis from our very own ch100:

    What are the differences between KB2952664, KB3150513, and the naughty “Get Windows 10” patch KB3035583?

    KB2952664 (and its equivalents for other OSes and versions) is the baseline pre-requisite for all the others providing the telemetry baseline. It is mostly useful for the upgrading to Windows 10, but not only as it provides telemetry capabilities in a wider sense.

    KB3150513 is not offered unless the previous one is installed and adds further functionality in relation to making Windows 10 upgrade more reliable. It has specific functionality in relation to applications compatibility and this is why is offered as a different KB number.

    KB3035583 is purely adware/nagware, the bad guy which is neutralised by the Group Policies configured to do that or by Josh’s GWX Control Panel, or Steve Gibson’s tool, or Noel’s procedure.

    What I find relevant is that the first 2 patches are offered to medium/large businesses running Enterprise Version or Enterprise/Pro + WSUS, while the last one KB3035583 is never offered to those businesses. They are the most important customers for Microsoft’s bottom line.

    Which makes me think that, unless overly concerned about the telemetry issues, the other patches are not so damaging or annoying and may actually provide some benefit in certain instances. The larger businesses seem not to pay much attention to the telemetry issues and follow the official line from Microsoft. If anything, the communication back to Microsoft is blocked for network traffic and OS performance reasons and rarely for the content of it. The larger businesses are not typically offered an upgrade in place and are still offered KB2952664 and KB3150513 and maybe there are more to come.

    There is certainly no benefit at all in installing KB3035583 unless and only if interested in doing in-place upgrade to Windows 10.

    Even so, I upgraded long before all those patches mentioned here were released and my upgrade still completed successfully and I did it more than once. The three patches are just risk mitigation patches, not mandatory if upgrading from sources other than Windows Update, like the official ISO image. And it is actually a lot more reliable to use the ISO than Windows Update.

  • Microsoft releases another undocumented Windows 10-enabling patch, KB 3150513

    It took a Polish poster on Microsoft Answers to explain that it’s an update to the Win10 compatibility appraiser.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows