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Faulty Windows 7 patch blocks software installations

Sorry Microsoft patches its own patch for Windows 7

Microsoft has been forced to replace a patch issued last week for Windows 7 after it was discovered to block some software installations – including further patches to Windows! Update KB3004394 was released last week as part of the monthly Patch Tuesday cycle. However, some users discovered that the update was preventing the installation of software carrying a digital signature, a measure designed to prevent malware disguising itself as genuine products. 

The faulty update was reportedly causing the installation of both AMD and Nvidia graphics drivers to fail, amongst other software. The bug only affects systems running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 – other operating systems which received the KB3004394 update are unaffected.

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Microsoft has now released a new emergency patch to replace KB3004394, which is available via Windows Update on affected systems or can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft website. This removes the faulty update before installing a replacement, requiring a reboot of the PC once it’s completed. 

It’s by no means the first time in recent history that Microsoft has been forced to withdraw and replace a faulty patch. In January, it released an update to fix a glitch with the Surface Pro 2 tablet, which was caused by the previous month’s update. Last April, the company was forced to replace a patch that prevented some Windows 7 PCs from booting properly. Just last week, Microsoft admitted that a faulty update to the Windows 10 Preview would force customers to reinstall Office – although given that Windows 10 is effectively beta software, that lapse was entirely forgiveable. 

Microsoft recommends that Windows is set to install security updates automatically, but risks undermining confidence in the system when errors slip through and are automatically installed on users’ PCs. 


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