Severe Problems with Windows August Updates

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Many people are reporting that some of the monthly updates issued by Microsoft on August 12, 2014 are causing severe problems. For example, some Windows 7 64-bit systems are getting system crashes. There are also font problems with some systems. Microsoft is withdrawing certain updates and is recommending that they be uninstalled.  The Microsoft advisory with details is at this link. Additional information can be found at this ZDNet post.

I have not personally seen the problem with system crashes but I am following the Microsoft instructions and uninstalling the problem updates. Updates can be uninstalled in Control Panel.

Update 27 August, 2014 - Microsoft has issued a revised update. Be sure that the old one has been uninstalled before installing the new one.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Comments

I have been having the same problem for maybe 8 or more months now. I am not able to do a windows update, I get the message that it is not turned on, and that I need to restart my computer. I also tried to get SP1 on my computer and I can not get that also. I have tried everything possible. I did everything that MS said to do and it still does not update. I even did a complete recovery but that did not fix it

Can anyone advise anything else?

For home use, automatic updates are relatively safe, but if you want peace of mind let me suggest imaging your OS partition. Basically, get yourself a 3TB external HDD (or internal if you have room in your case,)check out the disk tools section of Gizmos for free imaging software, and start taking daily and/or weekly snap shots of your OS! If you do install a bad update and your system becomes unstable, you can always roll back the image. Just make sure that your OS partition is clean (no documents, games, or media files that will drive the snap shop size over 60GBs. At roughly 60Gbs per snap shot, with a 3TB external drive you can store about 45 images.

Thanks for this Vic.

I think that I'll follow Phylis Sophical's example and do my Windows Update on the first of the month from now on. But how can an ordinary user routinely find out about which are the updates to avoid?

The only place I know of that routinely and systematically reports on the updates to avoid is in the paid version of a well-known newsletter. Maybe some of our members know of a free one. However, there are numerous forums and blogs where problems with updates are often reported. This is not done in a systematic way but here are some suggestions: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us http://www.infoworld.com/blogs/infoworld-tech-watch http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/ There are many others and readers may have other suggestions.

V.laurie, I just wanted to point out that the price for the paid version of that well-known newsletter you refer to is at the discretion of the subscriber. So, if you thought the newsletter was only worth $1/year, according to what they say, you would receive a year's subscription for that price.

I do my updates the 1st of each month. That way they are almost a month old and sure to be tested in the wild.
btw, Thanks for the heads up on this. Valuable info.

How does one disable Auto Windows 7 Updates? Maybe I need to do this.

Thank you for the information Vic
I disabled Windows updates in 2012

I have never trusted Windows updates
Automatic updates put you at the mercy of Microsoft and their well intentioned but sometimes unforeseen disastrous changes to the operating system
Since 2012 I have changed my internet browser, from Internet Explorer to Firefox portable version, avoided dodgy websites, used a sandbox, and havent had a security or malware problem since

Not everyone will agree with my approach and thats fine. My computer mainly runs legacy Windows software from 2002-2014, and I dont want to risk the compatibility with new risky Microsoft updates. My choice

An important statistical program, SAS, used in many colleges, was compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8.0, is now incompatible with Windows 8.1
I dont think users can easily roll back from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8, so its a major problem
As a result, colleagues with Windows 8.1 have no choice but to either fail the course, or completely factory reset their laptop (not pleasant)

My belief is - dont put your computer at the mercy of Microsoft, whose updates have good intentions but often unforeseen problems

erm...everything I see says various iterations of SAS versions 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4 NOW work with Win 8.1, according to SAS, blogs, & Microsoft pages. I see no recent chatter on forums either when I search, altho there were a few when 8.1 was released. A company as big as SAS is not going to leave any OS problem unresolved for long either.

Sounds like you need to update...heh.

Not patching your OS whatever it is leaves you more vulnerable to exploits...good luck with the script kiddies and rus. I update MANUALLY after a wait of a week or two and verify...updates can always be rolled back but I never have had a problem in the last decade or so.

Thanks for the heads-up Vic.