Changes to Windows Update supersedence

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 12, 2016

Microsoft revealed a couple of days ago on Technet that it plans to change the Windows Update supersedence on Windows 7 and 8.1, and Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2.

The company started to publish so-called rollup updates for the mentioned operating systems in October.

This was a major change for several reasons. For one, instead of having the luxury to install individual updates, all-or-nothing was the motto of the day.

This was problematic, as it changes how bugs are addressed. You could remove the problematic update previously to address the issue, if caused by an update. With the new update scheme, all you can do is uninstall the whole rollup with all patches, even those that are not causing any issues on the system.

Imagine having to remove all security patches of a month because one causes issues on your system. You may leave a computer system running Windows wide open to attacks.

But that was not the only issue; Microsoft decided to release a security only update rollup, and a rollup image containing security updates and other updates.

I called the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe these updates atrocious. The company calls "security only" updates "Security Only Quality Update", and the all-encompassing updates "Security Monthly Quality Rollup".

Windows users have three options when it comes to updates: 1) install only security rollups, 2) install security and non-security update rollups, or 3) block all updates.

The supersedence issue

The idea was, that if you only wanted security updates, that you had to install those rollup patches and be done with it.

Turns out, this did not work for customers using WSUs or Configuration Manager 2007.

While security only, and security and non-security rollup, updates installed fine in October, the following happened in November when the new batch of updates was released:

  1. The Security-only rollup update of October 2016 was superseeded by the security and non-security rollup update in November.

This meant, that customers could not install security-only rollup updates on their machines if they used WSUS or Configuration Manager 2007, at least not without workarounds.

This meant that the October 2016 Security only update, the October 2016 Security Monthly Quality Rollup update, and the November 2016 Security only update were all superseded by the November 2016 Security Monthly Quality Rollup update.

The Fix


The fix removes security-only update supersedence. This has a couple of advantages, including that it fixes the issue that company customers experienced in November 2016.

Companies may install security only updates at any time, and in any order. They may furthermore install security monthly quality rollup images in select months without affecting installed or future security updates.

Microsoft on fixing bugs in security-only updates

I asked back in October how Microsoft was going to address issues found in security updates. This was an important question for Windows users and administrators who install the security only updates only on machines.

Would Microsoft release updates for the security-only update to address the issue, or would it release the patch as part of the security monthly quality rollup?

Scott Breen shed some light on the question. According to him, Microsoft will decide the course of action on a case by case basis.

The company may release a revision for the security update to address the issue.

If a problem with the update itself is identified and not a known issue, a revision of the update might be released which resolves the problem. As I said, case-by-case.

While that is one option, Microsoft did something different for issues identified in security patch MS16-087. It addressed the issue in the November Security Quality Monthly Rollup, but not in the Security-Only Rollup for the month. (via Born City)

Changes to Windows Update supersedence
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Changes to Windows Update supersedence
Microsoft revealed a couple of days ago on Technet that it plans to change the Windows Update supersedence on Windows 7 and 8.1, and Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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