Whereas this month’s safety updates weren’t launched precisely on the Ides of March, they actually induced disruption for a lot of customers. (For these not into historical past or Shakespeare, the Ides of March — March 15, 44 BC — is legendary because the day Julius Caesar was assassinated.) Microsoft’s March 9 patch launch introduced extra bumpiness and points than I can bear in mind in a very long time. Maybe we must always reassign the date for this yr’s Ides of March to March 9 as an unofficial acknowledgment.
As I alluded to final week, this month was bumpy when it comes to patching negative effects. Right here’s what we all know: The March updates included fixes for printing that triggered blue screens of demise on computer systems when customers tried to print. Within the case of Dymo label printers (and different bar code or graphical printers) they left them printing out clean labels. Bigger business-style multifunction printers noticed points, particularly the place you may have an older PCL 3 or PCL 4 type driver. Ricoh and Kyocera customers reported essentially the most points. (One workaround: use a generic PCL 6 driver as a substitute, although you would possibly lose some features.) Any Kyocera printers that use the KX driver are affected, as are some Okidata, NiceLabel, and point-of-sale system printers from purposes known as BarTender.
For a lot of, the Dymo label printer challenge is the worst. I’ve HP, Brother, and Lexmark printers and haven’t seen points with the March 9 base safety updates for Home windows 10, 8.1, or Home windows 7. First, I like to recommend putting in the updates launched on the Patch Tuesday and, when you your system reboots, testing your printing features. Should you run into issues, you may have two selections:
Choice 1: Uninstall the replace and pause the set up of updates till April. For these operating Home windows 10, click on on Begin, Settings, Replace and safety, Click on on View replace historical past, Click on on uninstall replace, discover the KB and click on. The system will uninstall the replace and roll itself again to the February patches. Now pause updates by clicking on Begin, Settings, Replace and safety, Home windows replace, Superior choices and Choose a brand new date. You possibly can view a video of this course of on the Askwoody channel.
Choice 2: Choose the newest (March 18) updates and set up these. There are two methods to seek out the correct one in your system: The elective replace needs to be supplied to you should you go to the Home windows replace part of your pc; if it isn’t, you too can go to the catalog website. I’m going to the Home windows 10 replace historical past website, and discover model of Home windows I’m operating, then I search for the patches dated March 18 to seek out the patch quantity I would like, then go to the catalog website and seek for it. Then you possibly can click on on the hyperlink supplied up and set up it. Reboot and see if printing works. If not, uninstall the replace (as famous above) and pause till April. Notice: since Home windows 10 updates are cumulative, you want solely set up the newest March 18 launch, not the one from March 15.
For Home windows 10 2004 or 20H2 it’s best to skip the March 9 updates and bounce over to the March 18 replace for KB5001649. It needs to be supplied as much as you as an elective replace, or you possibly can obtain it from the catalog website. (For Home windows 10 1909, you want KB5001648; it must also be supplied up as an elective replace should you go to the Home windows replace interface or you possibly can obtain it from the catalog website.)
It seems that the underlying points triggered by these updates are brought on by Microsoft trying to repair a privilege escalation bug. As famous within the bulletins: “Addresses an elevation of privilege safety vulnerability documented in CVE-2021-1640 associated to print jobs submitted to “FILE:” ports. After putting in Home windows updates from March 9, 2021 and later, print jobs which might be in a pending state earlier than restarting the print spooler service or restarting the OS will stay in an error state. Manually delete the affected print jobs and resubmit them to the print queue when the print spooler service is on-line.”
Final June, Microsoft mounted an analogous challenge and I had points printing to my Ricoh printers. Again then there have been no “fixing” patches; I needed to redeploy printer drivers and share them again out to the entire workstations. In a enterprise setting, this course of is cumbersome and disruptive and I typically discover myself having to return and tweak settings that I had forgotten similar to turning off dual-sided printing (which we don’t use as a default in my agency).
Should you had been affected by these updates, I might take this as an indication that it’s essential to discover a newer printer driver out of your vendor. Just like the obligatory updates for video drivers that Home windows 10 calls for, printers could be an entry-point for attackers. Elevation-of-privilege bugs usually are not as important as remote-code assaults, however when attackers can ship out phishing emails and trick you to click on on one thing, or when zero-day browser vulnerabilities could be bundled with these bugs, it’s necessary to take care of them.
I search for new printer drivers by going to the seller’s website and placing within the model variety of the printer I take advantage of. I then search for the precise mannequin and attempt to discover a driver that’s merely a printer driver and doesn’t embody notifications that my print cartridges are low, or another software program that will decelerate my system. Search for a driver date in the previous few years, should you can. (In case your printer is older, you might have to put in a generic driver relatively than one particular in your machine.) Should you take time now to evaluate what printer driver you may have, and replace accordingly, you’ll be safer and fewer prone to run into patching points sooner or later.
Microsoft didn’t make this March patching season simple. Let’s hope April brings us a pleasant, quiet, boring, headline-free patch day. As at all times, be a part of us on Askwoody should you want extra assist or steering putting in updates.