Microsoft Pulled KB4036479 for Windows Server 2012 R2

Nothing like coming back from a holiday to find out the quality assurance of Windows updates has cause some issues once again. What saved the day here is a great colleague who identified the problem, declined the update in WSUS and removed it from the affected machines. Meanwhile, Microsoft Pulled KB4036479 for Windows Server 2012 R2.

KB4036479 was to eliminated the restart that occurs during initial machine configuration (IMC) with with Windows Server 2012 R2. But after a the “successful” update it does the post install reboot, rolls it back and that process starts all over. This happened to both Windows Server 2012 R2 VMs on premises as well as in Azure IAAS. For now it has been pulled form the Microsoft Update Catalog (https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4036479). The issues has been discussed on the forums here.

Again, it pays to deploy and test Windows update to a lab or proving grounds environment that mimics your environment before you let it lose on your production environment. Be practical here and don’t let the desire for a perfect but non existent lab be the enemy of good, existing and usable one!

PS: Some people reported issues with KB4038774 as well, but that does not turn out to be the case. In any way these preview updates have no business being installed on production servers and I wish Microsoft would put them in a separate category so they are not detected / downloaded / approved with other production updates but allow for ease deployment /use in proving ground environments.

July 2016 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft recently released another update rollup (aka cumulative update). The

July 2016 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2.

This rollup includes improvements and fixes but more importantly it also contains ‘improvements’ from June 2016 update rollup KB3161606 and May 2016 update rollup KB3156418. When it comes to the June rollup KB3161606 it’s fixes the bugs that cause concerns with Hyper-V Integration Components (IC) to even serious down time to Scale Out File Server (SOFS) users. My fellow MVP Aidan Finn discuses this in this blog post. Let’s say it caused a wrinkle in the community.

In short with KB3161606 the Integration Components needed an upgrade (to 6.3.9600.18339) but due to a mix up with the manifest files this failed. You could leave them in pace but It’s messy. To make matters worse this cumulative update also messed up SOFS deployments which could only be dealt with by removing it.

Bring in update rollup 3172614. This will install on hosts and guest whether they have  already installed or not and it fixes these issues. I have now deployed it on our infrastructure and the IC’s updated successfully to 6.3.9600.18398. The issues with SOFS are also resolved with this update. We have not seen any issues so far.

image

In short, CU should be gone from Windows Update and WSUS. It it was already installed you don’t need to remove it. CU will install on those servers (hosts and guests) and this time is does things right.

I hope this leads to better QA in Redmond as it really is causing a lot of people grief at the moment. It also feed conspiracy nuts theories that MSFT is sabotaging on-premises to promote Azure usage even more. Let’s not feed the trolls shall we?

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-045

Just a quick post to make sure you all know there’s an important security update for Hyper-V in the April 2016 batch of updates.

Please review Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 3143118  and Microsoft Security Bulletin MS16-045 – Important for details. Realize thatthis ios one you’d better test en deploy asap. In my deployments I have not seen or heard o any issues with the update so far.

Why this little shout out? Well it’s a remote code execution vulnerability that can leverage the guest to run code on the host.

This security update resolves vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. The most severe of the vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if an authenticated attacker on a guest operating system runs a specially crafted application that causes the Hyper-V host operating system to execute arbitrary code. Customers who have not enabled the Hyper-V role are not affected.

It affect Windows 8.1 (x64), Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows 10 (x64). Test and patch a.s.a.p. When you’re a hosting provider, I hope you’re already on top of this one.

 

RD Gateway Management Console crashes with .NET framework 4.6.1 update (KB3102467)

 

UPDATE: KB – the June 2016 update rollup KB 3161606  June 2016 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2  contains the fix for this. See KB3162871 RD Gateway Manager console crashes with the latest .NET Framework 4.6.1 update on Windows Server 2012 R2 

Apparently the Exchange console and Skype for Business Server  2015 is not the only victim of Microsoft pushing out the .NET framework 4.6.1 update (KB3102467) to servers via Windows updates and WSUS. A colleague of mine described Windows updates as a game of Russian roulette, indicating there’s al least a QA concern …

The most recent victim I found was the RD Gateway management console on Windows Server 2012 R2. You might have the same issue on older Windows Versions but I’m only running W2K12R2 (it’s 2016 after all).

The result is that when you’re editing a Connection Authorization Policies or Resource Authorization Policies their membership settings (adding/removing groups) the MMC just crashes. Creating new ones is equally problematic!

image

You see the following errors logged in the event viewer:

Faulting application name: mmc.exe, version: 6.3.9600.17415, time stamp: 0x54504e26
Faulting module name: clr.dll, version: 4.6.1055.0, time stamp: 0x563c12de
Exception code: 0xc0000409
Fault offset: 0x00000000002fdbd8
Faulting process id: 0x12ec
Faulting application start time: 0x01d166820b2de977
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\system32\mmc.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\clr.dll
Report Id: 57bbb59c-d275-11e5-9440-00155dd2ca06
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

image

Followed by

image

The culprit once again is the .NET Framework  4.6.1 update (KB3102467)  for Microsoft Windows.

image

Get rid of that update to restore functionality. Come on Microsoft, Quality assurance! You need people to update ever faster for both security reasons and in order to keep up with technologies and the cloud cadence. You need to make sure they can do so without worrying all the time!