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March 2021 Windows 10 Cumulative Updates cause widespread printing issues

What Happened:

The original March 2021 Cumulative Updates for Windows 10 contained code that would cause a computer to throw a STOP Error (Blue Screen of Death) when print drivers for certain manufacturers are loaded, and a user pressed Print. 
 
In the past, Microsoft has either replaced or pulled updates that cause problems from distribution through Windows Update. Microsoft did not do that this time; the malfunctioning update is still published and available for download. Instead, Microsoft released two additional updates to fix the broken one. The first one, released March 15, was an improvement in that systems would no longer crash. However, this update had printing problems of its own, so Microsoft released an even newer update on March 17 that seemed to successfully fix all the problems with the original Cumulative Update. 
 
Because Microsoft never redacted the original, broken March 2021 Cumulative Update as soon as there were recognized problems with it, it made its way out to a lot of systems. Additionally, Microsoft delayed publication of the fixes for this problem to Windows Update, so it took a while for the remedy code to become available. 
 
Compounding the problem: Windows Feature Updates are set to automatically check for the latest patches to the upgraded operating system as part of that process. Unfortunately, the fixes for the problematic March 2021 CU cannot be discovered during the OS upgrade process because of the unique way a Feature Update checks for available patches. 

Suite3 Response:

We have halted the automatic distribution of the broken March 2021 CU via our patch management system. Additionally, Windows 10 Feature Updates will no longer perform additional patch checks during their operation to preclude the possibility that the malfunctioning patch will be accidentally installed to upgraded systems. 
 
We have delivered the latest fixes to the March 2021 Cumulative Update problem to as many systems as have been online and receptive to the download. As of this writing, some systems may still have been missed if they were offline during the first few runs of our automatic repair scripts. Our technicians are equipped with the knowledge and automation needed to fix any system still affected with issues, and our Automation Coordinator continues to improve the automatic distribution of these necessary patches. 

Further Reading:

If you’d like a more technical discussion about the challenges related to this Cumulative Update problem, please reach out and we will be happy to provide you more information.
 
General information about our patch delivery and Feature Update processes can be found here: 
https://www.suite3.com/patching