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Most bugs in Microsoft's June patches have been fixed; go ahead and patch

The most obvious problem with June patches was a conflict between Microsoft’s latest version of Windows and Microsoft’s latest version of Office (er, Microsoft 365) Click-to-Run: If you installed patches as soon as they came out, Outlook wouldn’t run. That bug got cleared up when Microsoft fixed Office a week later, even though Windows was to blame.

We also saw a bunch of belated patches for printers that didn’t work after installing the June Windows updates.

As it turns out, the weird method of patching holes in Microsoft’s HEIC drivers through the Microsoft Store was warranted: The patches came out via the store because, we’re assured, you were only vulnerable if you had downloaded specific drivers from the store. It took Microsoft a week to make that clear. You don’t need to do anything to guard against the way-out-of-band threats as long as you’re connected to the Windows Store. All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

Microsoft still hasn’t fixed the reboot race condition that leads to “missing” data (which isn’t really missing at all, just relocated to a completely inscrutable location), but that problem is well understood now. It’s just a pain.

Here’s how to get caught up.

Make a full backup

Make a full system image backup before you install the latest patches. There’s a non-zero chance that the patches — even the latest, greatest patches of patches of patches — could hose your machine. So it’s best to have a backup that you can reinstall if your machine refuses to boot. This is in addition to the usual need for System Restore points.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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