Feeds

Uh oh! Here comes the first bug in the Windows 8.1 Update

Fortunately, it only affects Windows Server Update Services customers

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft has suspended distribution of April's Windows 8.1 Update to some enterprise customers after a bug was discovered that could bork affected machines' ability to receive future updates.

The issue affects businesses that distribute software updates via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2, which shipped with Windows Server 2008 R2 but can also be used with earlier versions of Windows Server.

After installing the Windows 8.1 Update, affected PCs will try to contact their WSUS servers using the TLS 1.2 secure communications protocol. But because TLS 1.2 support is not enabled on WSUS 3.0 SP2 by default – that version defaults to the older SSL protocol – in many cases these attempts will fail, and the PCs will no longer be able to receive future software updates.

This unfortunate side effect is delivered in Windows update KB2919355, the 707MB code chunk that makes up the majority of the Windows 8.1 Update set of patches.

Systems admins have a couple of workarounds available to resolve the problem, at least temporarily. First, if they're running WSUS 3.0 SP2 on Windows Server 2008 R2, they can enable TLS 1.2 support via some Registry tweaks. A Microsoft Knowledge Base article explains how.

Earlier versions of Windows Server, however, lack support for TLS 1.2. In these cases, the only way to re-enable software updates is to disable HTTPS in WSUS 3.0 SP2 and ship updates to PCs unencrypted.

Redmond says – with some small irony – that it's working on a software update that will restore proper behavior for all supported versions of WSUS, though it hasn't said when to expect that update to arrive.

Until then, Microsoft will no longer be distributing update KB2919355 to WSUS servers, and the only way for customers in WSUS environments to get the Windows 8.1 Update will be to download it from the Windows Update Catalog or from MSDN. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.