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Microsoft delivers a solid, low-impact patch Tuesday

March brings us a robust set of updates from Microsoft for Windows, Microsoft Office, Exchange, and Edge (Chromium), but there are no critical issues requiring a “Patch Now” release schedule (though Microsoft Exchange will require some technical effort this month ). We have published a number of test guidelines, focusing on printing, remote desktop over VPN connections, and changes to server – based networking. We also recommend testing your Windows installer packages with a particular focus on roll-back and uninstall functionality.

You can find out more about the dangers of deploying these Patch Tuesday updates with this useful infographic. And, if you’re looking for more information on .NET updates, a great post from Microsoft which highlights this month ‘s changes.

Key test cases

One high-risk switch to the Windows platform was reported for March. Based on our analysis of the modified files and the contents of this month’s Windows and Office updates, we have included the following rough testing guidelines:

  • (High Risk): Test for networked printers over Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Microsoft has not announced any functional changes for this month’s update as modifications are due to security concerns.
  • V4 Print Driver, printing using remote printer (s) and network based redirected printer (s).
  • Test your backup processes and restore when Encrypted File Systems are in use (EFS).
  • Make sure your VPNs authenticate correctly over the Point-to-Point tunneling protocol (PPTP).
  • Test your Windows Error reporting processes with Create / Read / Update / Delete (CRUD) for each log file.
  • Find application references for NtAlpcCreatePort on your Windows servers and validate your application results.

If you have time, UNC paths to DOS boxes may be worth testing (due to some changes to the networking and authentication stack). The has also been updated FastFAT system driver and how End User Defined Characters (EUDC) to handle. Microsoft has included deployment and reboot requirements for this March 2022 update in one page.

Identified issues

Each month, Microsoft includes a list of known operating system and platform issues that are included in this cycle. This time around, it’s more than usual, so I’ve covered some key issues related to the latest Microsoft builds, including:

  • After installing this update, while connecting to devices in an untrusted domain using Remote Desktop, you may fail to authenticate connections while using smart card authentication. You may get the hint, “Your credentials did not work.” Like last month, Microsoft has released a number of GPO files that address this issue, including: Windows server 2022 and Windows 10.
  • After installing updates issued January 11 or later, applications that use the Microsoft .NET Framework to retrieve or set Active Directory Forest Trust Information using the System.DirectoryServers An API may fail or generate an error message.

There was an unresolved issue since the January update cycle when the DWM.EXE executable crashes after installation KB5010386. This issue has now been resolved. If you are looking for more details on these types of reported issues, this is one great resource from Microsoft Health centre specifically, you can find out about it Windows 10 and Windows 11 identified issues and their current status.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

Microsoft delivers a solid, low-impact patch Tuesday

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