Microsoft admits printing bugs in updates

Windows Bug

The PC manufacturer has conceded that printing bugs in Windows updates exist.

InfoWorld reported on the confession from Microsoft after recent Windows updates KB 3177725 and KB 3176493, with the latter a “magic” Win7 patch “that speeds update scans”, but unfortunately also appears to prevent users from printing multiple documents. The update affects Vista, Windows 7, 8.1, R 8.1, Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2, as well as “all versions of Windows 10”, with the latter issue meaning that “if you applied the latest cumulative update to any version of Windows 10, your printer won’t work right”.

Microsoft “has admitted to distributing the bug”, the site noted, but “there’s no indication when it will issue a fix”, and the issue was first reported on its Answers forum last week by poster ‘Kristjan G’, who stated that as an ERP software developer, “printing invoices and sales orders etc is a critical part of our clients business. The August 2016 updates for Windows 7 and Windows 10 have not been good.

“Many of our clients have called in, unable to print more than one page at a time, any more and they get blank page or corrupt printjob with an error. Problem is solved after uninstalling KB3176493 on Windows 10 and KB3177725 on Windows 7… What on earth is the connection between these updates and printing?” The updates are patches for stopping attackers exploiting a “hole” to log onto an affect system, but said attackers need to be “inside your system”, so it’s not a major issue.

Microsoft first blamed OEMs “for their bad drivers”, but then “changed its tune”, stating that “we are actively investigating this issue and have updated some of the KB articles involved with a Known Issues section”. This included the statement: “After you apply this security update and you print multiple documents in succession, the first two documents may print successfully. However, the third and subsequent documents may not print.”

Other workarounds were suggested, and the news site gave “kudos” to barcode printing software manufacturer Seagull Scientific, which “posted a warning on its BarTender support site” last week before Microsoft admitted the issue existed. InfoWorld added that “this is not a welcome development” because the patch also improved Windows 7 update times, giving the advice that users should “install KB 3177725” when the patches are launched, before uninstalling it.

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