back to article Windows 10 once more in print condition: Microsoft applies out-of-band fix to Patch Tuesday cock-up

Microsoft has addressed the printer issues introduced in Windows 10 with the recent Patch Tuesday updates while admitting that some Storage Spaces had also been borked by the May 2020 update. While no timing is ideal when it comes to breaking printing, it's not a great look when many users are working from home, or schooling …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    Corrupt data is still data

    and deserves to be saved. Corruption as a service is becoming more popular under the current administration and Micros~t is just getting with the times.

  2. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    The ultimate patch for Windows 10

    Is rolling it back to Windows 7

    (I was going to say Linux but that's too obvious!)

  3. getHandle

    Why do people put with this nonsense?

    Seriously??

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

      Because lots of Windoze fanbois in corporate I.T. departments.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

        Often not so much fans but just oblivious to the fact that anything exists outside of that ecosystem.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

          I wouldn't say that, at least for all. I have been primarily a Windows admin for 20 years now. I hate Windows, personally do not use it at home, I have over the years been trying to reduce our companies usage of Windows server side and desktop side (where possible).

          Windows has declined in quality (i know, when has it ever been) over the years especially since Satya took over. I also do not see any long term future with the platform with Satya in charge (all he wants is his baby).

          Server side, the problem is the current applications that are used with no replacements or ones that the end user doesn't want / have time to learn.

          Desktop side, same thing. If you replace the desktop with something else, you need to do training, then there is still the learning curve / time to get used to it. Resistance to the change and then the complaints, why can't we just have something that works (that they know).

          To move to a new platform is difficult for most end users, especially if they use the old platform elsewhere too, they want consistency.

          Windows provides (kind of, consistent in that it now breaks every month in some way) that.

          1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

            Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

            Actually, Windows has always been bad, and not really fit for purpose. Quality control is and always has been reprehensible. Windows NT was basically incomplete; Windows 95, 98 etc was fundamentally flawed - as an OS. Windows 2000 and XP sort of made it , except they were a breeding ground for viruses due to their inherent insecurity.

            I feel it began to take a bit of a tumble with that clown Steve Ballmer and his love of the unusable and irrelevant tile interface. He was absolutely in love with the concept of Windows Phones and Windows Desktop being one-and-the-same, implementing things like the useless Touch where it wasn't wanted. It wasn't just the UI and UX it was the OS itself - still clunky and inefficient.

            I actually feel that Satya is going in the right direction, but the trouble is that there's so much legacy in there that it'll always be an unwieldy and unstable OS.

            We use it, because it's actually remarkably flexible, not because it's brilliant. I do feel that it's getting better but they do need to concentrate on quality control and actually helping the end users not hindering them.

            1. Wade Burchette Silver badge

              Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

              Satya is NOT going in the right direction. Going in the right direction would be to double your quality-control testers; instead we got less because Microsoft wanted to be "more agile". Going in the right direction would have been to bring back a logical start menu; instead we got one that was illogical and designed to push apps from Microsoft's app store. Going in the right direction would be to design a UI that is easy and intuitive; instead we have a UI that takes something that was once 3 steps and makes it 10. I have more, do I really need to go on?

              Microsoft is going in the wrong direction faster than ever under the leadership of Satya Nadella.

              1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

                Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

                @wade you have a point. I was more thinking of things like undoing the years of ballmer bullshit

              2. X5-332960073452
                FAIL

                Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

                start menu; instead we got one that was illogical and designed to push apps from Microsoft's app store.

                I call it the Adverts Menu

                1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                  Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

                  To do that. And also to keep elements of the Win 8 be like a phone design that everyone loved so much </sarc>

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

              I agree, but would comment that quality control, to the mind of the corporate bean counter, is a cost centre and so only gets considered as much as it absolutely has to be. These are people trained to think that actually providing the services and goods that people paid for is just one of the business costs that need to be controlled.They probably dream at night of a business that can keep charging fees without providing a service. And then wake up in the morning and remember that Adobe have pretty much achieved that. (And Capita are pretty close in as much as they don't seem to provide much of the service they get paid for).

            3. Dave K Silver badge

              Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

              I agree with most, but not the "Satya in the right direction" comment. IMO one of the high-points of Windows was probably 7. It was far from perfect and had its issues, but it did have a clean and relatively consistent user interface, you could drop it down to the "classic" UI if you didn't like Aero, it incorporated a lot of security improvements that XP was sadly lacking and was generally pretty stable.

              Since then, Windows has gone backwards IMO and nothing will convince me that the poorly-tested, data-slurping, hopelessly-inconsistent, constantly "upgrading" and bug-ridden Windows 10 is moving in the right direction at all.

          2. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

            There is always resistance. To upgrade. updates, new hardware, you name it. So why stick with a broken platform?

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

          Also the resulting work of many years of monopolistic and anticompetitive practices enforcing locking users within a closed environment as much as possible. From "embrace and extend" to the destruction of open document types and standards through bribery, it's all been about locking in users. This includes de-facto "standard" document types as Microsoft Word and Excel documents, if one can't exchange these with a near certain level of success then one cannot operate easily in business.

          It says it all really, that Microsoft Outlook is the most used email client (real client, excluding webmail), it's definitely not the most popular but where are the alternatives within similar features that can interoperate with outside parties? It gets a regular reskinning but other than that all the same bugs and flaws that it's had for years are still there. It's the lowest common denominator when it comes to formatted emails and causes no end of problems and while I understand the "just use text" camp (been there myself), it's all about communication and colours and formatting are an important part of textual communication.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Why do people put with this nonsense?

            ...and all this as well.

            Decades of illegal business practices.

  4. Foxglove

    Does this mean...

    I can finally stop using 'net stop spooler' every few weeks?

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: Does this mean...

      Are you the reason I have to keep using net start spooler?

  5. Barry Rueger

    At the risk of repeating myself

    New Linux install to Dell laptop. Fifteen minutes, and it found four different printers, by three manufacturers, in our building and they all just worked out of the box.

    I do not understand why Windows can't do the same.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: At the risk of repeating myself

      @Barry Rueger - "found four different printers, by three manufacturers, in our building"

      Were any of those printers yours?

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: At the risk of repeating myself

        Hahaha... Oh dear. My daughter accidentally printed to a neighbour's WiFi printer the other day. It's like the 1990s never happened by way of security and networking.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: At the risk of repeating myself

          When I was young, we only had to ask grumpy neighbours for our ball back. Could be a new variant on the old excuse...

          "My neighbour's dog ate my homework."

    2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: it found four different printers, by three manufacturers, in our building

      So long as the payslips don't start issuing forth from the warehouse dot matrix.

  6. Potemkine!

    5 zeros

    0 paper.... checked!

    0 default ... in progress.

  7. Maximum Delfango
    Facepalm

    The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

    I mean what the hell is Microsoft doing to break printing? Printing across multiple devices from multiple manufacturers using a plug-in device driver model was pretty much sorted out and working by at least 1990.

    I know hardly anyone owns a printer or prints stuff out now (but just try getting a mortgage if you don't own a printer), but WTF are Microsoft's developers actually doing? How is Microsoft hiring such bad people? (See also: Sharepoint, Teams, Skype, ...).

    1. JcRabbit

      Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

      The problem is not the hiring. It's the firing. They fired the whole QA department some years ago.

      Windows is an extremely complicated piece of software (which is how it should be since this is the result of DECADES of new features, stability improvements and backwards compatibility with nearly everything from kitchen toasters to printers), any small change here can break something there. It's humanly impossible to understand or have a clear picture of how it all interconnects - which is why an experienced, competent and knowledgeable QA department, testing out real world scenarios and legacy combinations, is a must. Precisely the thing they got rid of.

      And now every little change they make here breaks something there, as it always did - difference being that now this is how an update is publicly released, instead of stuff like that being caught before.

      1. batfink Silver badge

        Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

        And this is why the Updates are now just flung out into the wild for the punters to find the bugs. It's much cheaper than paying a proper QA team.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

      I mean what the hell is Microsoft doing to break printing? Printing across multiple devices from multiple manufacturers using a plug-in device driver model was pretty much sorted out and working by at least 1990.

      In 1990, most printers just printed ASCII text dumped through a PC serial or parallel port. Configuring/wiring serial ports sometimes required black magic, but printing per se was mostly pretty simple.

      We've fixed that. Almost all printers nowadays are image printers even when the information being printed is text. And there are a number of possible complicated, not interoperable, image formats. And printers are networked. With different complex, not interoperable, protocols on different ports. Far from becoming simpler and fully automated (it just works) printing has become extraordinarily complex. It might work ... on good days ... if you refrain from conduct that annoys the printing Gods.

      The situation may well get worse if "improvements" in printing continue

    3. Swiss Anton

      Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

      "...just try getting a mortgage if you don't own a printer."

      Its kind of quaint to find that someone will except anything that you have printed as some sort of proof of income. All it proves is that you can use a word processor and a printer.

    4. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

      Home and small business users use printers for; Courier labels, kids homework, drafts of mail that needs to be read properly and edited ( much better on paper than on a screen), menus, price lists and soon.

      Also this update apparently fucks up PDF virtual printers!

      1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

        Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

        It's that last that is inexcusable. I stopped killing so many trees twenty-five years ago. I use it for the reams of research papers I have to read, and quite often keep, in a few dozen fields. Quite a bit easier to search through for the win.

    5. AndrueC Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

      I mean what the hell is Microsoft doing to break printing?

      Has anyone mentioned Visual Studio yet?

      * Sometimes takes a couple of seconds to respond to basic cursor commands.

      * Sometimes loses the ability to respond to the keyboard (or retains that ability while losing the ability to render to the screen).

      * Randomly changes the names of document tabs to '%2' and then sometimes leaves you unable to close a document that has changes.

      * Fails to Rebuild until you've done a Build (had that one today).

      * Doesn't always clean things properly even when you've asked it to.

      An application that loads really fast..but then it turns out you can't actually do anything meaningful with it for <insert random delay here>.

      Now granted only software developers use VS but farking 'ell it's like the VS development team don't care or assume that as fellow programmers we are more tolerant of crappy applications.

  8. ThereBePirates

    HP

    Hang on....

    This neatly coincides with my computer no longer being able to see my printer.

    I ended up having to uninstall. reinstall and faff about with drivers, when it previously was fine - my printer just kept saying it was unavailable.

    So was it this Microsoft issue ?

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: HP

      Yes - I set up my personal printers as LPR ports & Windows 10 used to keep changing them to WSD devices.

      Had the same issue at last place of work, install them manually through the print wizard, it changed them at a point of its own choosing, use a scripted install or via SCCM (pointing back to the script) no problem. We had to educate a number of our field guys who used the print wizard.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: HP

        I'd be pleased if Windows just didn't keep installing a second (non-functioning) copy of my perfectly working printer in the drop down list to be quite honest.

  9. pogul

    BAD_POOL_...

    Is this related to the BSOD I got several times a couple of days ago... The error was something like BAD_POOL_DATA. Googling suggests it might have been BAD_POOL_HEADER which seems to be RAM related, so I'm not sure. Perhaps I'm just grasping at straws with the word Pool being present.

    At least Microsoft have added a smiley face to the BSOD. Much nicer.

    1. batfink Silver badge

      Re: BAD_POOL_...

      Try adding more chlorine.

  10. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Deja Vu Again

    To quote Yogi Berra, "It's Deja vu, again". The Rejects of Redmond need to hire a proper QA staff and stop relying on what is effectively amateur hour (not intended to insult the participants) with their channels. Printing and storage are essential activities of any OS and they need to work flawlessly in the OS otherwise users will be at risk of not being able to do something mission critical. This is something that should be tested thoroughly by an internal QA staff not a bunch of random users. I would hate for someone to be fired or flunked because the Rejects refuse to get their act together and actually fix Bloatware-as-a-(dis)service (a couple of legal beagles might want to advise if this might lead to a nasty suit).

    If I was on the Insider Program I might not print something or even think to print something as a test. Personally I have not printed anything in several months and probably would not fire up the printer just to print a random test.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Deja Vu Again

      A fair point. And we, like many home and small office users, do print. A lot. Even now in lockdown, and a Hell of a lot more when we're actually meeting people.

      Materials for Guides meetings, committee minutes,classroom templates, invitations ( for close family and friends who don't appreciate a message on social media), letters of complaint (for posting when various companies have provided crap service and there's no way to get through the [Help Page-Contact us-FAQ-Not found what you need?-Help page] loop to find a phone number or email address.

      But I'm guessing that those beta tester types don't run Guides groups, volunteer in the community, work in public service or send (written) letters of complaint. Not that I would dream of stereotyping them. :-)

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Deja Vu Again

        I suspect I am closer to the user who would foolishly volunteer to be a guinea pig for the Rejects in skill and knowledge. So the way I work is probably much more electronic than paper. But as you noted not everyone 95% electronic in their work flow. Some actually print stuff out with some regularity. The real failure of the Rejects is not having a testing protocol in place that covers a broad set of relatively common use cases (i.e. a proper QA department).

  11. Big Al 23

    Will Microsoft's incompetence and negligence ever end?

    1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

      So long as they can save a few bucks cutting corners? No! Reminds when Bombay Sapphire was the Best, or near best, gin in the world and the bean counters took over. Pretty far back, that, but harbringer of our collective future.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Precisely. Bean counter thinking is that the "brand" has a value. So let's see how they can provide the brand while cutting the costs of the product. In effect the product is just a carrier of the valuable brand to them. They'd flog you the label without the bottle (or contents) if they could get away with it.

        The worst example (imo) was when Timberland started producing tacky products with TIMBERLAND emblazoned on the front in 4" high letters instead of their previous discreetly badged, brilliant quality stuff. I stopped buying their stuff for a couple of years - I'm guessing I wasn't alone.

        1. NetBlackOps Bronze badge

          Then again, "Humans are the only animals that brand themselves unlike, say, cattle."

  12. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge

    W10 print spoolers

    I have a mixed network including W7, W8.1 and W10.

    Every now and then W10 seems to lose contact with the HP networked printer while W7 and W8.1 still print happily.

    Restarting the printer (single action instead of tinkering with multiple PCs) seems to cure it.

    This predates the latest updates so the W10 spooler may have been dodgy for some time.

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