Perhaps there’s a connection between the warm, sunny days in the Northwest and a slew of problematic August patches sent out by Microsoft.
Several security and nonsecurity updates were recalled, as was the August update for Windows 8.1 Update. Are these delayed fixes putting us at risk?
2970228, 2975331, 2975719, 2982791
Reissued update for a troubled kernel fix
It’s not uncommon for Windows patches to have unforeseen consequences. If all updates from Microsoft worked perfectly, there would be no need for the Patch Watch column — and I’d have to find something else to write about. Thankfully, updates that Microsoft needs to actually pull back are fairly rare. But August’s Patch Tuesday had far more than its usual share.
Not long after the August 12 Patch Tuesday release, there were reports of font-rendering problems and system crashes. The trouble wasn’t widespread, but it was severe enough to force a recall of several security and nonsecurity patches. And a seemingly odd mixture of updates was involved.
The recalled security update was KB 2982791, which was supposed to fix newly found vulnerabilities in Windows kernel-mode drivers. The update, rated important, applied to all supported versions of Windows. Nonsecurity update KB 2970228 would seem to be a relatively benign fix; it added support for the new Russian ruble symbol to Windows.
Perhaps more troubling for Microsoft was the recall of KB 2975331 and KB 2975719, rollup updates for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, respectively. It was once rumored that the August update for Windows 8.1 would be nearly as significant as Windows 8.1 Update. As it turns out, that update didn’t just fizzle — it bombed.
Flawed font-rendering would be bad enough, but some systems also crashed, displaying the message: 0×50 Stop error message (bugcheck). Recovering from the crash required booting into safe mode and removing the FNTCACHE.DAT file (Windows\system32\FNTCACHE.DAT).