I like to imagine that there’s a sign someplace inside Microsoft’s HQ that tracks the number of days since the company screwed up a Windows update. It’s time to reset the counter to zero — it has now been zero days since Microsoft rolled out a busted update to Windows 10. A new security update is causing blue screens on computers when they attempt to use certain brands of printers. As if printers and Windows updates weren’t annoying enough already, they have now joined forces.
The update, known as KB5000802, began rolling out in the past few days. There are a huge number of Windows 10 devices around the world with very diverse hardware, so a few bugs are understandable. However, this update has sysadmins pulling out their hair. There’s a thread on Reddit where admins are trading horror stories and trying to come up with ways to mitigate the problem.
As a security update, KB5000802 was installed automatically on many systems. For whatever reason, spooling up printer drivers from Kyocera, Zebra, and others causes the system to crash. Several solutions have been thrown around, but the only surefire way appears to be uninstalling the update, which is available from Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update. You can also enter “wusa /uninstall /kb:5000802” in a command prompt. Although, some PCs might fail to roll back the changes.
Microsoft has been repeatedly chastised for its handling of Windows 10 updates, which often install automatically and force a restart. Microsoft gives users some modest controls, but enterprise clients can control more. It’s just that no one expected a minor security patch to break printing. The only good news is that this bug appears to only affect systems that have a printer physically connected. Printers that are hosted at the network level won’t cause crashes after the KB5000802 update.
Usually, this is where I express a solemn desire that Microsoft gets it together and fixes Windows updates, but I think I’m past hoping. Windows 10 turned five this past year, and Microsoft still rolls out buggy updates on an almost weekly basis. It might be time we accepted this is just how Windows works. There’s so much institutional momentum behind Windows at this point, it may not be possible to make the necessary changes to stabilize and streamline the OS. Yeah, it’s a depressing thought.
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