On 10th Feb 2015, Microsoft offered Windows update KB3001652, along with a bunch of other updates. Most of the customers received this as a sort of Valentine’s gift from Microsoft, but the result was anything but sweet! Many Windows machines went into a constant update loop and were unable to boot into their desktops. Both Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 were affected.
The Morning After
The morning after, as it were, we received dozens of calls from those whose computers had received the now-infamous KB3001652. Most of them were in a panic, as they did not have an up-to-date backup of their important data; a few people who called had never backed up anything from their computers – ever.
Over the years any IT admins worth their salt know that Windows patching is not that simple. These things are meant to fix the flaws and improve the Windows operating system or its applications. Yet ever so often we – both IT admins and users – find ourselves in the sticky situation of braking something which was working just fine.
Loss of Productivity
When update KB3001652 struck, the combined loss of productivity and the cost of fixing this broken patch must have been staggering. We managed to get most of the folks who called us, up and running within a few hours. Our regular customers did not panic; they knew they had a good, full backup. This gave them (and our support team!) peace of mind.
Managed IT Saved the Day
Our managed customers didn’t face the problem at all, as we hadn’t approved the KB3001652 Windows update. So their computers were not affected by this faulty patch. As any good MSP ought to do, we review all Windows updates before they are approved and deployed to client machines. This is what saved our managed IT customers dozens of hours and hundreds of dollars in downtime.
To be fair, Microsoft was lightning fast in responding to this fiasco. They have withdrawn the update. This could also indicate how widespread the problem was. But again, botched updates are nothing new; this sort of thing has happened at least half a dozen times in 2014. Undoubtedly – and unfortunately for all of us – they will happen again.
What You Can Do About It
Here are a few recommendations to improve our IT and save expensive down-time:
- Deploy a good backup solution.
- Monitor and review the backups regularly.
- Most importantly, consider the benefits of using a reliable, knowledgeable Managed IT Service and a comprehensive Managed IT support plan.
Managed IT will save you money, increase business productivity and most certainly save you from tearing your hair out when the next faulty update comes along.