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Over the past six weeks, Windows watchers have tracked and pondered occasional but vexing issues for some Windows 8.1 users when it comes to applying a key update — namely KB 2919355, originally issued on April 10, then reissued on April 21 or 22 — to their systems. The reason why this particular update matters more than most is that its application is required for Windows 8.1 users to remain able to apply future updates to their systems. To give enterprises time to get ready, MS has also extended the deadline by which time that update MUST be applied to Windows 8 systems until August 12 (that month’s Patch Tuesday) for those who get their updates through Windows Assurance or the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). Ordinary Windows users were originally given until May 13 to do likewise, but that deadline has now been extended until next month’s Patch Tuesday (June 10).
I’ve already blogged repeatedly on this subject, most recently on May 7 in a post entitled “Continuing Saga of KB2919355 Win81 Update.” In those posts, I’ve also referred to numerous articles from Windows (and MS Office) wizard Woody Leonhard who has himself written repeatedly on this topic for InfoWorld online. Woody’s latest opus on this topic appeared yesterday (May 15), is entitled “Microsoft posts tips for overcoming Windows 8.1 Update KB 2929355 errors,” and goes into considerable detail (with supporting links to a considerable number of resources and details, including MS advice on the topic, along with the most common Windows error codes that affected users are likely to encounter should they experience trouble in getting KB 2919355 to install properly (or at all).
What’s currently missing from the analysis and controversy is a sense of how many Windows users are afflicted with KB 2919355 problems, and what portion of the overall user population they represent. I’ve got 8 Windows 8.1 machines that I maintain (4 desktops, and an equal number of laptops, including three touch-enabled systems) and I haven’t hit serious snags with any of them. Only one of those machines required a reinstallation of KB 2919355 (which concluded successfully following the 4/21 or 22 re-release of that update), and all of them have now made it through the update process without further (or any) difficulties.
Reading through a post on the Microsoft Community forums at answers.Microsoft.com, it’s readily apparent that plenty of people have encountered issues with KB 2919355 (and other, related Windows 8.1 Update components including KB2919422, KB2932046, KB2937592, and KB2938439). In addition, MS has created separate discussion threads for six different error codes, plus the generic error message “We couldn’t complete the updates. Undoing changes. Don’t turn off your computer” as shown here:
If you are receiving the error ‘We couldn’t complete the updates, Undoing changes. Don’t turn off your computer’ please post to this thread found here
If you are receiving Error 0x800F0922 when installing KB 2919355 please post here
If you are receiving Error 0x800F0923 when installing KB 2919355 please post here
If you are receiving Error 0x80070003 when installing KB 2919355 please post here
If you are receiving Error 0x80070005 when installing KB 2919355 please post here
If you are receiving Error 0x80070490 when installing KB 2919355 please post here
If you are receiving Error 0x80073712 when installing KB 2919355 please post here
Preceding italic text comes from Paul Sey’s 5/14/14 post to the MS support forums thread at answers.Microsoft.com.
Some readers of this blog and other coverage of this topic have suggested that the KB 2919355 issues reported here and elsewhere are simply “a tempest in a teapot” and don’t really represent anything serious. I have to disagree, especially for enterprise IT departments faced with deploying the update into carefully managed organizational computing environments. This is just the kind of thing that gives IT pros the heebie-jeebies. The original KB 2919355 forum thread was locked at 103 pages, and another thread on that topic (“KB2919355 (Windows 8.1 Update) Fails…” was likewise capped at 116 pages, so these issues are neither completely out of the ordinary nor easy to solve, either.
I’m going to echo and amplify on Woody’s closing exhortation from his latest article for those who may be encountering issues with KB2919355. First, if you have experienced difficulty that falls into any of the seven categories listed above, follow the respective link to the designated Windows Error code thread provided in the text lifted from Paul Sey’s 5/14/14 forum post above. Second, if your error code isn’t listed there, visit answers.microsoft.com, and search for your error code there. If you can find a thread, post to it; if not, start a new one. Only if the community comes together and chases problems down can they be fixed, and will Microsoft get a complete accounting of unresolved issues still in the wild. This will be necessary to get them to revisit the deadline for applying KB 2919355, both for ordinary users on Windows Update and Microsoft Update, and for enterprise/organization users who get their updates through Software Assurance or WSUS.
[For more news on KB 2919355 from Woody dated 5/16/2014 please visit “Microsoft acknowledges more error, 800700371 and 80071A91, when installing … KB 2919355.” Apparently, the woes continue, and there are still no proven fixes or workarounds available for those suffering from any of the aforecited error codes.]