Update woes that never end: Microsoft halts Patch of a Patch of a Patch rollout to fix printing issues

March 2021 has not been a particularly good month for some users of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. The company released the cumulative updates for March that fixed security issues on all supported versions of Windows. Shortly thereafter, reports emerged that printing would cause bluescreens on some devices. Users would get "APC_INDEX_MISMATCH for win32kfull.sys" bluescreen messages as printing caused Windows to crash.

apc index mismatch

Microsoft released a workaround, and then a first emergency out-of-band patch to address the issue. While the patch did do away with the bluescreen errors, users started to report other printing related issues such as incomplete printouts or blank sheet printouts, especially when printing content with graphics.

To address this issue, Microsoft released yet another patch. The update was released as an optional update via Windows Update and as a direct download on the Microsoft Update Catalog website. The update did replace the previously released emergency update.

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Administrators who installed the new update reported that it did resolve the issues on their ends, but many could not install it but received the error message "We couldn't install this update , but you can try again (0x80070541)" instead when trying to do so.

Microsoft appears to have paused the rollout of the new update via Windows Update. The previous update is offered again (the one that introduces printing issues), and the new update is no longer available. Our colleagues over at Bleeping Computer and Born City came to the same conclusion.

The latest update is still listed on the Microsoft Update Catalog website as a direct download, e.g. KB5001649 for Windows 10 version 2004, 20H2 and Windows Server 2004 and 20H2.

windows printing woes

Installation of the update will fail on affected systems, however, but it installs fine on others. A quick test on two Windows 10 version 20H2 systems resulted in the successful installation of the update on these machines.

Microsoft has not acknowledged the pulling of the new update yet; the support articles don't mention the fact, and that adds a high level of uncertainty to the whole ordeal. The most likely explanation is, that Microsoft did pause the rollout of the update to analyze the installation issues that users reported to the company. It seems likely that the issue will be addressed and that an updated version of the update will be released again via Windows Update to, once again, replace the previously released first update.

Günter Born published a handy overview of the patches that Microsoft released for Windows 10:

Windows 10 Version9. March 202115. March 202118. March 2021
2004/20H2KB5000802KB5001567KB5001649
1909KB5000808KB5001566KB5001648
1809KB5000822KB5001568KB5001638
1803KB5000809KB5001565KB5001634
1703KB5000812
1607KB5000803KB5001633
1507KB5000807KB5001631

The patches released on March 9 are the cumulative updates. The patches on March 15 and 18 are attempts to address the printing related issues that occurred after the installation of the cumulative updates.

Now You: did you experience printing related issues after the installation of the March 2021 updates?

Summary
Update woes that never end: Microsoft halts Patch of a Patch of a Patch rollout to fix printing issues
Article Name
Update woes that never end: Microsoft halts Patch of a Patch of a Patch rollout to fix printing issues
Description
Microsoft paused the rollout of a second update designed to fix printing related issues on Windows 10 machines that were introduced with the March 2021 cumulative updates.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. John G. said on March 21, 2021 at 8:03 am
    Reply

    This is like a bad joke. :[

  2. ddk said on March 21, 2021 at 8:46 am
    Reply

    Mac OS anyone?

    1. Klaas Vaak said on March 21, 2021 at 9:59 am
      Reply

      @ddk: good point. I made the move via Linux, and am happy to have found mental tranquility instead of this never-ending Windows updates madness. Beats me how home users can still use Windows. Not everyone can or is willing to invest in a Mac, but there are Linux distros that are user friendly and a heck of a lot better than Windows, and yes, there are acceptable apps, plenty.

      1. Zelanium said on March 21, 2021 at 8:49 pm
        Reply

        The main reason why I decided to stay on Windows was and is the advanced file management features (libraries, edited saved searches), which apparently no one else uses. It’s also probably important for gamers. But I would not recommend Windows to anyone, and I have updates disabled.

        Apple sells stuff four times as expensive as it has to be in exchange for a silly Apple logo, and runs a walled garden.

      2. Anon7 said on March 21, 2021 at 10:11 pm
        Reply

        @Zelenium

        > Beats me how home users can still use Windows

        They think that there are no other options out there, also when they buy a PC they are forced to pay for the microsoft license which makes the PC more expensive.

        Linux is free and if the shop PC’s did not have windows installed, the PC would be a lot less expensive if it had a linux distro installed.

        M$ are pure GREEDY and its funny how a free linux distro beats it EVERYWHERE except video games.

      3. Anon7 said on March 21, 2021 at 11:05 pm
        Reply

        @klaas vaak

        > Not everyone can or is willing to invest in a Mac

        I find it to be really stupid to recommend apple over linux or OPENbsd.

        apple are a joke as regards privacy and cost, they are entirely closed source, so again why are they hiding the code from scrutiny? why are they putting radar chips in their newer devices? the apple PR fluff of them caring about privacy? take that with a grain of salt.

        They would seem to be a better option than windows at least with the older mac devices, but with those new radar chips embedded onto the boards of their newer devices? NO WAY! that is crossing a line that even windows has not crossed yet.

        Those radar chips can create a digital map of the environment by bouncing radio waves off of objects, its a digitalized virtual real time capability radar (UWB ultra wide band) that can go through walls even to track and map humans or any other physical object that the waves bounce off. I think it needs something like a few of the apple devices with the new chip to be able to fully map out the surroundings. But still, apple devices are very common, if there was multiple apple devices in a building they could literally map out the entire building and everyone in it and watch them in real time with powerful 5G infrastructure is built. Well at least in theory.

        With newer apple devices, you can almost guarantee they will have the chips, thats a privacy nightmare arguably worse than what M$ has ever done with WIN 10. In fact WIN 10 would even pale in comparison to the invasion of privacy that those apple UWB chips could be capable of.

        The PR fluff around the new apple U1 (UWB) chip it is that it is locating missing airpods. Yeah sure.

        Stick with Linux or OPENbsd if you want privacy, if you want lack of transparency as regards privacy then stay with M$ or apple and trust their PR fluff. You will just have to take their word for it that nothing malicious is going on in their closed operating systems.

      4. Klaas Vaak said on March 22, 2021 at 7:18 am
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        @Anon7: if you would have read my post carefully you would have realized I did NOT recommend an Apple computer, in fact I made a case for Linux against Windows !

        As for Apple hiding the code from scrutiny, that’s a good point but the same applies to M$.

        As for the radar chip, the U1, from what I gather it is only used on the iPhone, AirPods (?), iPad (?), in any case on on the laptops or iMacs.

        Having said all that, since I have had my 2019 MacBook Air (no U1 in it) I have had not software hassles like the one I experienced with Windows. I found Linux to be a lot better than Windows, of course, but still more finicky than MacOS. Furthermore, I held off buying a Mac for 20 years, but now find the Mac experience to be a pleasure.

        It always boils down to convenience vs privacy. 1 thing I am absolutely convinced of: despite you being perhaps more privacy conscious and active than me, the authorities have as much data about you as about me.

      5. Anon7 said on March 22, 2021 at 1:22 pm
        Reply

        @klaas vaak

        > if you would have read my post carefully you would have realized I did NOT recommend an Apple computer, in fact I made a case for Linux against Windows

        I fully understood what you’re saying. I was continuing the conversation you had with the previous poster about apple and picked your words as an example about how expensive macs are and how i don;t think they are as good as people say. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

        > As for the radar chip, the U1, from what I gather it is only used on the iPhone, AirPods (?), iPad (?), in any case on on the laptops or iMacs.

        See thats whats worrying, they say it is just for airpods or what not, but the potential for privacy abuse is deeply concerning considering apple is closed source. Its all PR fluff with closed source code, why should we just take their word for it when they are hiding code?

        If you buy a car you want to see whats under the hood, With these closed source software that hood is shut tight. So what are they hiding in it? why should we trust it as end-users? if you buy a car you should be able to modify it. The funny thing is with linux you can modify it and its free. With closed source like mac or m$ you are paying for a product and it always feels like its not yours, it feels like you are renting it NOT OWNING IT!

        > Having said all that, since I have had my 2019 MacBook Air (no U1 in it) I have had not software hassles like the one I experienced with Windows.

        Yes, i can see in that case the macbook is a much better system than windows.

        But the newer devices with the U1 Chips are scary as hell. Its always a silly excuse with these companies, oh cortana wants to help you, the U1 chip is only for airpods. Oh Alexa wants to help you. I don’t know why people would need such invasive technology for simple things. LIghts on google, lights off google? it annoys me to no end. I think such things are insane. Horror sci-fi dystopia springs to mind. Too much power for big-tech.

        > I found Linux to be a lot better than Windows, of course, but still more finicky than MacOS.

        That is why a fully up and running linux is the only OS used on the worlds most powerful supercomputers. Thats tells you a lot. It is a highly complex OS. There are no other OS;s used on the most powerful computers, only Linux, it has destroyed the competition because it is so technically superior and more trustworthy than anything else available.

      6. RobG said on March 26, 2021 at 1:25 pm
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        Anon7 said: “Linux ..has destroyed the competition because it is so technically superior and more trustworthy than anything else available”.

        Doesn’t quite square with the fact that Microsoft Windows is by far the most widely used desktop/laptop OS in the world, and that Windows and Office are the most widely used by business around the globe, not Linux and Libre/Apache Office, which have what? ..less than a 2% market share?

      7. Kev said on March 25, 2021 at 12:26 am
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        Too much of a learning curve with all those commands you need to learn.

      8. RobG said on March 26, 2021 at 11:43 am
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        Klaas said:

        “there are Linux distros that are user friendly”.

        I havent found one yet and Ive been searching for years. Every Linux version Ive tried has some major stumbling block, such as making laptops run at high CPU/ high temperature, and high fan speeds. Its a well known issue with Linux, which I reckon people recommending Linux should mention, as it would save many people a lot of time and hassle.

  3. Martin Watson said on March 21, 2021 at 10:49 am
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    Is it just me but what’s with the EasyJet orange background? I have a hangover on Sundays.

  4. Emil said on March 21, 2021 at 11:41 am
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    After the first bluescreen with my (admittedly super-cheap) Kyocera printer I uninstalled the update and blocked further updates for a month. It was clear that more dirt was coming down that pipe.

    This affair has been a major embarassment for M$ with uncounted working hours wasted because they don’t seem to test their updates at all anymore. Linux is looking better and better every time.

    1. Klaas Vaak said on March 21, 2021 at 12:34 pm
      Reply

      @Emil: a major embarrassment? You must be joking, M$ has turned this shite into a trademark, and, it seems, quite proudly so. Move over to Linux, I tell ya you won’t regret it.

  5. John said on March 21, 2021 at 1:13 pm
    Reply

    Testers? Never heard of them.

    1. TheBETAsYeBe said on March 22, 2021 at 6:15 am
      Reply

      With Windows 10 that would be synonymous with End User!

  6. pHROZEN gHOST said on March 21, 2021 at 2:31 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft has a new program …. Save the environment. Stop printing.
    (just toss that printer in the trash bin)

    1. Anonymous said on March 21, 2021 at 5:43 pm
      Reply

      I have never got to use the term oxymoron so I may be using it wrong, but this quote from you I think fits the case:

      “Save the environment. Stop printing. (just toss that printer in the trash bin)”

      I guess the only explanation is that you were being facetious, but I am skeptical.

  7. ASB said on March 21, 2021 at 4:03 pm
    Reply

    No printing issues experience with any Windows 10 systems at present…

    1. Arjan said on March 22, 2021 at 12:35 am
      Reply

      The os on the mac is fine, and am wil use it if they released it for other platforms like Win10. But it isn’t.
      Until then i am not willing to pay for overpriced bad designed(engineerd) hardware. I wonder how many patches macos qould need if they ran on all platforms???

  8. common sense computing said on March 21, 2021 at 4:45 pm
    Reply

    Strange, my Windows 8.1 Install never seems to have these problems.

  9. Anonymous said on March 21, 2021 at 7:44 pm
    Reply

    Windows 10 is trash still? No surprise, when you got cloudy fools like Satya running the show.

    No issues here with Windows 7 ESU. Stable, stress free OS last 11 years.

  10. Parry Hotter said on March 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm
    Reply

    Not pulled. KB5001649 is still there as an optional update as of the time of this post. Sunday March 21st @ 3:00pm CST.

    1. moocher said on March 22, 2021 at 5:48 pm
      Reply

      Yup. I just tried that update today via normal windows update, and it didn’t install. Funny, as it said the update was optional:

      “Optional quality update available
      We couldn’t install this update, but you can try again.
      2021-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 20H2 for x64-based Systems (KB5001649)”

      I guess Microsoft considers printing “optional”, ha.

  11. Anon7 said on March 21, 2021 at 10:02 pm
    Reply

    A patch to fix a patch, another patch to fix that patch, und a patch for that patch, now you’re all set for the next patch on patch tuesday, but there will be another patch to fix that patch, but one more patch after that, but wait we need one more patch, just one more patch, now done. LOL M$ a bunch of trolls.

    Windoze zzzzzz and the update blue screen = working on updates 10% complete

    10 hours later

    We couldn’t complete the updates dont turn off your computer.

    WIN 10 initial set up: Hi i’m cortana, can i have PERMISSION to use the INFO i need to do my best work.

    “To let cortana provide PERSONALIZED experiences and relevant suggestions, microsoft collects and uses information including your location and location history, contacts, voice input, speech patterns, searching history, relationships, calendar details, content and communication history from messages and apps and other information on your device. In microsoft edge cortana uses your browsing history.

    No (unhighlighted) Yes (highlighted)

    JESUS CHRIST

  12. Just Say NO To Windows 10 said on March 21, 2021 at 11:43 pm
    Reply

    Oh Microsoft Windows 10, how you continue to suck. I think it’s funny how much pressure people put on those choosing to continue to perfer Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. None of those operating systems are plagued with continual problems like Windows 10. Windows 10 is a continually moving target, and administrating even just 1 Windows 10 system is a nightmare. Since Microsoft’s Windows XP, I’ve never seen an OS with so many frequent serious problems.

    If you’re going to use an MS operating system, MS-DOS, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 are your best options. If you can escape the MS ecosystem, Linux and macOS are much better in so many ways.

  13. Anonymous said on March 22, 2021 at 12:18 am
    Reply

    Like math, printing is also racist and must be dismantled. go get em bill!

  14. Richard Steven Hack said on March 22, 2021 at 12:32 am
    Reply

    Microsoft continues to be a sad poster boy for the state of the software industry.

    Until the industry recognizes that *all* of its design and production methods are woefully inadequate to produce software which is efficient, usable and secure, this kind of nonsense will continue.

    And since human beings are incapable of admitting errors, this kind of nonsense will continue.

  15. Peterc said on March 22, 2021 at 11:27 am
    Reply

    Well, you can’t say that updating Windows 10 isn’t *exciting*, right? ;-)

    1. Anon7 said on March 22, 2021 at 1:38 pm
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      @Peterc

      M$ will decide what updates you need for THEIR OS, not yours THEIRS!, M$ knows whats best for you and THEIR OS.

      End user, “But i paid for that OS and i don’t like being interrupted and annoyed by all these updates crashing my pc

      M$, “Shut up and take the updates, you paid for it, but we still own our OS now take our damn updates and stop messing around with the privacy settings. Take the damn updates already.

      End user, “Leave me alone”

      M$, “Some candy crush anyone?

      LULZ

      1. EP said on March 23, 2021 at 4:25 pm
        Reply

        @Anon7

        “M$ will decide what updates you need for THEIR OS, not yours THEIRS!, M$ knows whats best for you and THEIR OS.”

        I guess that’s why I use tools like WUB (windows update blocker) or StopUpdates10 to disable/prevent the Win10 OS from inadvertently downloading & installing updates without my consent.

  16. Jake said on March 22, 2021 at 6:49 pm
    Reply

    On today’s episode of “Why Canning Professional Testers is a Bad Idea.”

  17. dc said on March 23, 2021 at 11:06 am
    Reply

    Don’t you just love M$. Incompetence at every level.

  18. Anonymous said on March 23, 2021 at 2:17 pm
    Reply

    M$ can’t track the printed paper so they basically don’t want user to print at all and discourage them from future use.

  19. M$_BSoD said on March 26, 2021 at 10:04 am
    Reply

    Never trust Microsoft to install Drivers on any of your PnP Devices, as the chances of getting BSoD is Higher than getting actual Manufacturers Drivers from their Official Site as they are the ones who built and know the inner workings said Device, not Microsoft!

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