Newsletter Archives

  • The ides of March

    To patch or not to patch this month…. that is the question I attempt to answer this week in ComputerWorld.

    Printers side effects were the big issue (and still are) this month.

    (note that I’m going to have to reach out to the ComputerWorld editors… they missed part of the post I sent them…)

    It’s supposed to read:

    So for Windows 10 2004 or 20H2 you need to skip the updates released on March 9th and instead jump over to the March 18th update of KB5001649. It should be offered up to you as an optional update, or you can download it from the Catalog site. Because Windows 10 updates are cumulative you only need the one update (the third and final update Microsoft released this month).

    For Windows 10 1909, you need KB5001648. Once again it should be offered up to you as an optional update if you go to the Windows update interface or you can download it from the Catalog site like 2004/20H2 handles it’s updating, 1909 is cumulative.

    For Windows 8.1 the process is slightly different as the fixing patches are not cumulative. This time the updates are not documented on the Windows 8.1 history page but can be found if you dig into the 8.1 health release dashboard. On Windows 8.1 you need to install both the original update from March 9th of KB5000848 AND the fix up patch of KB5001640. These are not offered up as optional updates and you must download KB5001640 from the catalog site.

    Windows 7 is similar to Windows 8.1 in not having a cumulative update patch to fix it’s printing issues. After you install the original security only update of KB5000851 or the monthly rollup of KB5000841 (which includes security updates) is fixed by KB5001639 which is only available from the Catalog site.  So for these platforms you need to install two updates just like 8.1.

  • Let’s get Mikey to try it

    Do you remember that old commercial that had two little boys who didn’t want to eat cereal that was supposed to be good for you?  The two little boys slid the cereal bowl over to their little brother and said “Let’s get Mikey to try it…”

    … so who wants to be Mikey tonight?

    Microsoft halts rollout of Windows 10 KB5001649 emergency update (

    Apparently even Mikey doesn’t want it now.

    From the Update portal

    For those of you with Dymo label printers, this might fix your issue:

    Microsoft identified an issue that affects Windows 10 devices which applied the March 2021 security update released March 9, 2021 and the out-of-band updates released March 15, 2021, and a resolution has been expedited. Affected devices might receive unexpected results when printing from some apps or to some printers. Issues might include missing or solid color graphics, misalignment/formatting issues, or printing of blank pages/labels. An out-of-band optional update is now available on the Microsoft Update Catalog and on Windows Update.
    We recommend you only install this update if you are affected by this issue. For more information, see the known issues section for your version of Windows 10 or see the links below:
    • Windows 10, version 20H2 and Windows Server, version 20H2 (KB5001649)
    • Windows 10, version 2004 and Windows Server, version 2004 (KB5001649)
    • Windows 10, version 1909 and Windows Server, version 1909 (KB5001648)
    • Windows 10, version 1809 and Windows Server 2019 (KB5001638)
    • Windows 10, version 1803 (KB5001634)
    • Windows 10, version 1607 and Windows Server 2016 (KB5001633)
    • Windows 10, version 1507 (KB5001631)
    Note Updates for the remaining affected versions of Windows will be released in the coming days.
  • March patching madness begins

    EDIT 3/10/2021:  We are seeing issues with printing after the March updates. Ghacks reports BSODs are  being triggered after printing. It’s unclear if it’s all of the March operating system updates or just the Windows 10 versions.  The Windows 10 updates include this fix:

    Addresses an elevation of privilege security vulnerability documented in CVE-2021-1640 related to print jobs submitted to “FILE:” ports. After installing Windows updates from March 9, 2021 and later, print jobs that are in a pending state before restarting the print spooler service or restarting the OS will remain in an error state. Manually delete the affected print jobs and resubmit them to the print queue when the print spooler service is online.

    Note it appears that Microsoft has pulled the updates from Windows update but NOT from WSUS or the catalog site.

    It’s that time of the month that I take a quick look at the patches that are released to see if there are any that I think we need to quickly act on. I used to joke that there were times that I would slam my Mountain Dew can on my desk and run screaming to the server to patch. These days I can just take remote control of systems and patch remotely.

    Nothing in the March security updates (besides the Exchange ones released last week) is causing me to want to urge you to go running to your machines and patch at this time. That said if I change my mind I will let you know.  A full “Askwoody-ized” analysis of the updates will be in the Plus newsletter. Until then if you are a small business running an on premises Microsoft Exchange email server, you can use this site to check to see if you are vulnerable.

    For those of you that want a bit of early reading here are various sites that I turn to:

    Zero Day blog

    Ghacks blog


    Security week


    Remember for those of you that don’t want to read, just stay tuned and we’ll do the research and reading on your behalf and will let you know of any side effects we spot.

  • March 2021 Office non-Security Updates are now available

    The March 2021 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, March 2, 2021. They are not included in the DEFCON-4 approval for the February 2021 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Access 2016 (KB4493188)
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4493153)
    Update for Microsoft Outlook 2016 (KB4493226)
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB4493191)

    Office 2013
    Update for Microsoft Outlook 2013 (KB4493174)

    There were no non-security listings for Office 2010 (which reached EOS on October 13, 2020).
    On April 10, 2018, Office 2013 reached End of Mainstream Support. Extended Support will end for Office 2013 on April 11, 2023.
    Office 2016 also reached  End of Mainstream Support on October 13, 2020. EOS for Office 2016 is October 14, 2025.

    Updates are for the .msi version (perpetual). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).