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Microsoft Remedies Windows Server Update Glitch

Microsoft confirmed reports of a distribution glitch preventing patch uploading in certain implementations of WSUS programs and provided a solution to the problem.

Microsoft on Thursday confirmed public reports of a distribution glitch preventing patch uploading in certain implementations of Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) programs and it also provided a solution to the problem.

The issue is addressed in Microsoft's latest Security Advisory, which provides a remedy. Users with this problem had client systems with Microsoft Office 2003 installed and faced blocked distribution of patches and nonsecurity updates when they were deployed using WSUS 3.0 or WSUS 3.0 Service Pack 1.

The problems occurred on some computers due to a recent code revision to an Office 2003 Service Pack 1 update, according to Microsoft's Knowledgebase article. The update can cause some WSUS 3.0 servers to incorrectly synchronize the revised update with the update's approvals.

The glitch happens because the browser-based update function is unable to process the approvals when the affected client computers interact with the service. This problem, in turn, causes patch installation to fail.

The following Microsoft products may also be affected by this glitch:

  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 that had the WSUS component upgraded from WSUS 2 to WSUS 3;
  • System Center Essentials; and
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM 2007).

Microsoft has not yet supplied a fix for a separate deployment issue associated with SCCM 2007, a program that track components and settings in an enterprise environment using Windows-based workstations

Meanwhile, according to Bill Sisk, security response communications manager for Microsoft, customers are encouraged to install the update that comes with this latest advisory.

If the patch still doesn't install or if users opt not to install the update, there's a workaround. Users can reset approval listings and settings or change filters in the updated node (a linked list function in Windows). Doing so allows users to view and download the new updates.

Either way, all of these actions will require restarts for the fix to take effect.

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

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