Microsoft patch debacle continues

Updates to Windows 10 and Office 2011 leave business users regretting hitting the 'update' option.
23 November 2018

You might want to stall hitting this for a while. Source: Shutterstock

Microsoft’s end-users in businesses across the world (and plenty of consumers too) have experienced a series of problems with updates to Windows 10 in recent weeks, with the October 2018 update to the operating system causing, in some cases, data loss.

The update was re-released this month, with the issue fixed after the original was pulled amid a storm of internet protests about valuable data disappearing from hard drives.

However, the fixed update appears not to have addressed the problem of broken mapped drives in Windows File Explorer. External drives hosted on Windows 2012 Server, users report, still show as disconnected– complete with red Xs on the GUI’s icons.

According to Microsoft: “Mapped drives may fail to reconnect after starting and logging onto a Windows device.” The issue affects Windows 10 1809, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server, version 1809.

However, users will have to wait until 2019 for the issue to be resolved, the company’s website states.

In recent days, there have also been compatibility issues flagged between the 1809 update and OfficeScan by Trend Micro and Worry-Free Business Security applications. OfficeScan users can get more information from Trend Micro.

Now, however, it’s the turn of users of Microsoft Office 2010 that are regretting hitting the ‘Update’ button. Two week’s ago, Microsoft’s ‘Patch Tuesday updates contained several updates to Office that were designed to change the platform’s Japanese calendars– after the change in that country’s eras’ names on the abdication of Emperor Akihito last year.

Two updates specifically for Office 2010 (no longer available from Microsoft, but widely on sale via third-party suppliers) caused the various Office apps to crash without warning. Microsoft pulled the updates, KB4461522, KB4461529 and KB2863821, and has issued instructions to users who have applied two of the rogue patches (KB2863821 and KB4461522).

The KB4461529 patch breaks Outlook 2010 64-bit, causing the app to quit on startup. Users unlucky enough to have installed it are currently being advised to use OWA (Outlook Web Access) to access their email, contacts, and calendars, until such a time as the update can be rolled back, or the bug fixed.

Because the latter patch was a security-based update, Microsoft appears to be slower out of the blocks to supply roll-back instructions and code.

However, despite some users’ business-critical software not working correctly, or requiring remedial work, they can console themselves with the comforting knowledge that the Japanese calendars in the OWA representation of Outlook are labeled according to the new Emperor’s name, Naruhito.