back to article Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death

Microsoft's near-legendary approach to quality in Windows has struck again, with customers complaining of blue screens rather than print-outs following a recent patch. The problem appears to stem from changes introduced with the 9 March patch, KB5000802, which brought OS builds 19041.867 and 19042.867 for Windows 20H1 and 20H2 …

  1. WolfFan Silver badge

    It’s worse than that

    Microsoft’s own PDF writer breaks from some applications (including minor, insignificant, ones like MS Word and Excel), doing things like creating corrupt files, or zero-length files, or taking a Very Long Time to generate the file. How long? So long that I could and did copy the file over the network to a Mac and use the Mac’s built in print to PDF ability to generate a PDF. (The Word file was 171 pages, had multiple tables, and other complex formatting; it printed to a Brother laser and to an Epson inkjet without problems, but Microsoft’s Print PDF barfed. Saving the file as HTML and opening it in a web browser worked, with some weird pagination problems, and printed to PDF without problems from Firefox and Safari but not Edge. Microsoft broke printing with their own apps… good work, there, Redmond.

    1. Danny 14

      Re: It’s worse than that

      Kyocera v4 xps driver works. As does MS PCL6. All our other kycera druvers barfed BSOD when used.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: It’s worse than that

        Yes, we had a couple of users with Kyocera printers that caused BSODs. Swapping to the XPS driver solved the problem.

        So far no problems with HP or Canon. I'm currently blocking the patch in WSUS, luckily it has only been rolled out to half a dozen test machines so far.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: It’s worse than that

        Are you using the printer-specific drivers from Kycera or are you simply using the mopria certified drivers that W10 will install by default?

        1. Danny 14

          Re: It’s worse than that

          Kyocera v4 is what im using. We were using the v3.

          V4 dont support accounting though.

  2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

    "in some apps"?

    Why is everything an "app" now? I remember t' good old days when we 'ad programs, n' all we 'ad to launch 'em were a program manager. None of your fancy start menu malarkey. And we were 'appy! Tell that to kids these days, and they won't believe you...

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: "in some apps"?

      Tell them the OS and Programs all together took up less than 100 megabytes, they won't believe you...

      'Microsoft program seen working' will soon be a news story all by itself.

      1. Totally not a Cylon Silver badge

        Re: "in some apps"?


        when I were a lass the OS and the program fitted on a 1.2MB floppy disk (5 and a quarter inch variety)......

        Or even 2 8Inch ones..... RML 380Z

        1. MacroRodent

          Re: "in some apps"?

          > 1.2MB floppy disk (5 and a quarter inch variety).

          1.2Mb? Luxury! My first PC that had any disks at all had two 360k disks (A: and B:, but no hard disk C:, and I did interesting stuff with that for some years...). Yes, I know many people would call _that_ a luxury. If memory serves, the original Osborne 1 portable that one of my friends owned had two only 90K diskette drives. But that ran CP/M, which is about as barebones an OS as you can get.

          1. kvuj

            Re: "in some apps"?

            "But that ran CP/M, which is about as barebones an OS as you can get."

            Let's go for even smaller :)

            Here's Cyjon ( written in pure assembly. It weighs 64 KB with a GUI and you can play tetris on it.

            Or if you want to be fancy and have a bunch of apps (including a web browser), there's KolibriOS also in pure ASM. The kernel weighs 100KB and you can install it on a 1.44MB floppy disk.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: "in some apps"?

              64KB for Tetris?

              The first PoC||GTFO book reprints an article that has a Tetris in a boot sector. Let me see... ah, you can get it from github. Credit to Juhani Haverinen, Owen Shepherd, and Shikhin Sethi.

              (This is what I love about PoC||GTFO: it's real hacking.)

              1. kvuj

                Re: "in some apps"?

                "64KB for Tetris?"

                Nah 64KB for fully multithreaded 64 bit OS with window management, color display, terminal, top, ls, cat, calculator, mouse and keyboard detection, which just happens to have tetris.

                Still quite an impressive paper to fit Tetris in such a small place. Awesome!

          2. thondwe

            Re: "in some apps"?

            Youngsters eh - Think yourselves lucky - we ran a network (!) with a server with TWO EIGHT INCH floppy drives - (RM 380/480z for other ancients here) - of the day when two of us carried in the external hard drive unit 5MB total capacity!

          3. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: "in some apps"?

            >1.2Mb? Luxury!

            Yes, even 360k 8-inch disks were an upgrade from paper tape (Digico Micro16)

          4. Boothy Silver badge

            Re: "in some apps"?

            One of the first peripherals I bought for my Amiga A500 was an external floppy drive, it seemed awesome at the time to be able to access other apps er, programs, whilst still having the OS disk in place!

          5. Hawkuletz

            Re: "in some apps"?

            You had *disks*?! Luxury!

            R Tape Loading Error , 0:1

            1. Tom Paine

              Re: "in some apps"?

              I too have witnessed the terror...

          6. fidodogbreath Silver badge

            Re: "in some apps"?

            Yes, I know many people would call _that_ a luxury.

            Early in his career as an academic research chemist, my Dad used to go back to the university at 9:00 PM or later to haul boxes of punch cards to the data center. His group's crystallography programs were so CPU-intensive that he was only allowed to run them on the mainframe at night.

            Even then the mainframe jockeys weren't happy about it. He was not allowed to leave the cards for the overnight data center staff to run; they had far more important work to do than deal with mere users. No, he had to physically drive there and run the program himself.

          7. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: "in some apps"?

            And let us not forget the joys of cassette tape for storage, on such venerable beasts as the Commodore PET, CBM, and VIC-20, or the TRS-80 Model I (without the hard-drive upgrade).

            In 1980, I think it was, my father and I wrote a program to track library check-outs and returns for the PET. Load from one tape, read the data from another, make your entries, save the data back to tape (hopefully on a third cassette so you'd have some backup). It was a fun exercise but I'm sure the school librarians never used it; it would have made their job considerably more difficult than the pen-and-paper filing they were using at the time.

            "Insert the data cassette and press Play and Record on tape #1"

            The original IBM PC came with a cassette interface, of course, though you needed a special cable for it -- the PC end was something like a 5-pin DIN connector. I never had the cassette cable (no reason to), but sometime in the mid-80s I followed the instructions in one of Steve Ciarcia's "Circuit Cellar" articles in Byte and made myself a light pen that plugged into that port. I think I eventually got it working, too. Ah, light pens; has there ever been a superior input device? (Well, they worked better than these crap Synaptics touchpads.)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Totally not a Cylon - Re: "in some apps"?

          Pardon me for asking, the 8in were they single sided ?

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: @Totally not a Cylon - "in some apps"?

            Yes. Single-sided, single-density, 8”, 120 kB. I had CP/M and WordStar on one, and SpellStar on a second, and used them on a Xerox 820 system. There was enough space for a few documents after the OS, the word processor, and the spell check were installed. A total of three floppies got me through junior and senior year at a university in deepest Indiana. The grad students got to use IBM Display Writers, the peons, a.k.a the undergrads, got the Xerox. We also had a Prime mini, which had 150 terminals for the peons, and two CAD/CAM terminals for the grad students; the peons would get heaved off the Prime when the grad students needed to use the CAD/CAM, the Prime couldn’t do both the regular terminals and the giant 20” CAD/CAM terminals at the same time. We’d go back to punch cards on a GA system. We also had a Burroughs mini; we’d use the punch cards before going near it, which should say how much it was loved. The Burroughs was a gift from an alumnus; the school administration made us take down the banner, printed from the Prime, on green-bar computer paper, which read “How do you spell slow? B-U-R-R-O-U-G-H-S”. We were cruel little shits, we were.

            1. YetAnotherJoeBlow

              Re: @Totally not a Cylon - "in some apps"?

              Was the GA computer an IBM 1130 clone? I can still key in by memory the bootstrap on the front panel.

            2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

              Re: @Totally not a Cylon - "in some apps"?

              And nowadays everyone is much happier running Windows 10 and getting messages; "After installing this update, another update will be available to fix this update"

          2. mmonroe

            Re: @Totally not a Cylon - "in some apps"?

            "Pardon me for asking, the 8in were they single sided ?"

            I've still got a box of 8" DS/DD floppies from when I worked on System/34s. I have no idea what is on them and I have nothing to read them with. I tried holding them up to the light but that didn't help...

            8" disks where quite robust. Many a time we received data from a client on a disk with a crease and you would leave it overnight under a filing cabinet to flatten it out, so you could read it. It wasn't unknown for us to iron them - not on the cotton setting and definitely no steam!

            1. Mike 16 Silver badge

              Nothing to read them with

              You might want to look into Kryoflux. I had limited (that is, no) success back in the day, but people who should know have reported it's much better now, and if you are that curious, not a bad gamble.

              That said, I've also had success getting data off 7-track tape, and even cassettes, so YMMV.

              I do still lack ability to read Univac round-hole cards, but since that box of cards has gone walkies it doesn't seem to matter.

      2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

        Re: "in some apps"?

        100 megabytes? Luxury! My first hard drive were only forty – and most o' that were empty wi' t' OS rattlin' round in it!

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: "in some apps"?

          Not to out-Yorkshireman you, but my first hard drive was 20 Megabytes. A Seagate unit in a Commodore A590 sidecar. It clattered and clunked like a cement-mixer full of nails, but made my Amiga 500's Workbench fly. "What am I going to do with all this leftover space??? How on earth will I fill 17 megabytes??"

          Today's answer: 4 MP3s, or one very short YouTube clip of a cat doing something funny.

          That's progress, right?

          1. gfx

            Re: "in some apps"?

            Same here had an external unit for the A500 with 2MB of FAST RAM and a 40 MB Harddisk. It was 1100 gulden. Same price as the A500 IIRC.

            1. circusmole

              Re: "in some apps"?

              I fondly remember the PDP11/40 (32Kbytes memory) with two RK05 drives (2.5Mbyte each) running RT11 and providing a medium-size business with all it's compute needs!

              1. Fred Goldstein

                Re: "in some apps"?

                I had a PDT-11/150 running RT-11 on a pair of 8" floppies. Actually I still have it but it won't boot, the power supply capacitors probably having dried up. Might be fun for a paleocomputer geek. RT-11 was the predecessor (i.e., what they tried to copy) of CP/M and QDOS/PC-DOS/MS-DOS.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: PDT-11/150 running RT-11 on a pair of 8" floppies.

                  "I had a PDT-11/150 running RT-11 on a pair of 8" floppies."

                  I know some folks who used to use VT103 for semi-autonomous/intelligent factory floor test gear, three decades before "Industrie 4.0" was a thing.

                  VT103s were a VT100 terminal with a built in LSI11 (Qbus, 18bit address) backplane in the same box. Software was RT11 if you wanted, or some other PDP11 stuff if you preferred. Storage could be built in TU58, or external 8" floppy, or whatever suited.

                  Hours of endless fun.

                  And then along came the Commodore PET, and worse.

                  Has "the cloud" forced National Instruments down a slippery slope yet? I hope not.

          2. Boothy Silver badge

            Re: "in some apps"?

            My first hard drive, also for an Amiga, was 80MB.

            I can remember sitting there, installing the OS, Workbench, then basically adding every other program I used, and a good few games, and still had tons of space left over!

            I even ended partitioning the drive, to give me separate boot drives, one into a GUI OS with minimal overheads, one with OS + fancy icons and a few other tweaks, and then a minimal command line only boot, tweaked to free up as much RAM as possible, mainly for playing a few games that didn't like to be launched from the GUI.

          3. Sam not the Viking Silver badge

            Re: "in some apps"?

            When we started our company we had two Amstrad PCs, one had a single, the other twin FDD. Boldly, we bought a 10 Megabyte HDD for an eye-watering £1,000, thinking we would 'never fill it'.

        2. finlaythethinker

          Re: "in some apps"?

          That 40MB certainly was luxury. My first external hard drive was a gigantic 2MB capacity attached by wide flat cable to an Apple II+, and cost approximately $2,000 Canadian about 1980. To save money in those days, with some memory chips and soldering iron also used to make 512Kb memory cards (bank switched top 16Kb over 48Kb) and sell them to other enlightened hobbyists. Adding in a Z80 card to an open slot opened up the wonderful speed of CP/M and Wordstar. Got double capacity out of many 5.25" single sided floppies simply by cutting extra notch in sleeve. Everything changed when IBM PC/XT came on the market and business shifted from mostly hobbyists to corporate world. Really is amazing the progress made over past 40 years and the wonderful world of Linux now my predominant interest.

        3. rpark

          Re: "in some apps"?

          ...40MB, holy smokes ! - I still 'pine' for the Iomega 10MB (8") cartridge and 'side by side' drive days, or the IBM Tempest PC System w/10MB Syquest removable cartridge drives (that mostly never worked well)- they were a particular favorite at the Pentagon.

      3. swm Silver badge

        Re: "in some apps"?

        Interlisp took about 10 MBytes with editors, mail readers etc. It also restored all windows after a power failure. Also it was fast.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "in some apps"?

        "What's a megabyte" they will ask

      5. EVP

        Re: "in some apps"?

        ”'Microsoft program seen working' will soon be a news story all by itself.”

        When was that? For some reason, I just can’t remember.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: "in some apps"?

      I have 8-track tapes for you, I know there are 78rpm records at the folks place. A relative still reel to reel kicking about. The kids would be saying what wizardry is this?

      1. Tom Paine

        Re: "in some apps"?

        Had a text from my nearly-80 year old Dad yesterday. I'm copying this directly from my phone:

        "I have bought an old vcr machinre to watch videos* on but have no leads to connect to the tv. Don't suppose you have any spare ones?"

        (I have no idea what TV they have nowadays -- not been able to visit them for almost 3y, long story, but in normal times they visit me en-route for rellies three or four times a year -- and of course he'll have no idea what any of the sockets on the back of either appliance are anyway, so...)

    3. redpawn

      Re: "in some apps"?

      "Program" has been canceled. It has negative connotations and implies a lack of freedom.

      Next year "app" gets canceled in favor of "Willing, Caring, Helper".

    4. krf

      Re: "in some apps"?

      Bunch of youngsters on here. My first 'app' was about six punched cards of Fortran on a college IBM 1401 with 8k, as I remember. Turn it in one day and show up to get your printout (usually an error list) the next. Circa 1964.

      1. FlamingDeath Silver badge

        Re: "in some apps"?

        Ok Boomer

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: "in some apps"?

        A decade later we had to send the stack of ferrite pencilled cards we'd put our programmes on to at school to a Uni of Manchester computer to get them back a week or two later - with the actual errors and the deliberate errors we'd hidden in there to try and put the computer into a loop. We got very creative about hiding these loops deep in the code.

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Penciled cards?

          Do you mean something like:

          I thought that was an Aussie thing...

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Printers are the bain of MS's world

    I just wonder how long it will be before MS just stops all printers dead and lets others deal with them.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

      Huh, don't know why you have 2 downvotes as I write this. Unless it's the Militant wing of the Oxford English Dictionary, for mis-spelling "bane"?

      1. TheAnt

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        The Microsoft Protection League seem to be out in force tonight.

        Do you think they're paid for each down vote they give to users who've found things that don't work.

        If only the devoted as much effort to finding and fixing bugs as they do to fighting against criticism.

    2. Dazed and Confused

      Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

      They've done it to me more than once

      One morning you come in and the Windows has no printers

      Windows won't let you add any printers


      At least it's never stopped me from copying the files to another PC to have another go at printing from there.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        I see the MS fan club are out again today.

        Customer reports that their Windows system has removed all the printers and refuses to allow them to add any more.

        So let's down vote them.

        And people say Apple's fans are fanatical.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        >At least it's never stopped me from copying the files to another PC to have another go at printing from there.

        In my case that other PC is still running W7...

        There is a 'nice' bug in the W10 mopria driver for my Brother MFP. If in portrait mode you accidentially set it to print 2 pages on one page, it will do exactly that - printing each page in A6 side-by-side on A4 paper. Unfortunately, I've yet to find the means to revert the settings to default namely print A4 full page on A4. Only solution has been to install the Brother W10 driver or use another system (my W7 uses the Brother drivers)...

    3. Adair Silver badge

      Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

      Perhaps MS should just adopt CUPS.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        Perhaps MS should just adopt CUPS.

        I can't give you ENOUGH THUMBS UP for THAT one!!!

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        With a tendency to produce bloated software, Microsoft's version will be named DD-CUPS

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        I thought Mopria used CUPS?

        In which case MS have been shipping CUPS with W10 since Oct 2018.

      4. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

        Perhaps MS should just adopt CUPS.


        In their relentless quest to Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, they'd most surely fuck that up, too.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

      yeah but in the USA, corporate taxes are due in 4 days, and personal ones in a little over a month.

      It's typical that you need to print out at least SOMETHING to process them, even when you e-file.

      Breaking printers *NOW* [especially when THE! UPDATES! ARE! FORCED!] is likely to create a LOT OF CHAOS.

      Unfortunately this year the corporate tax software won't even install on Windows 7, and there WAS NO CLOUD OPTION. I'm glad I (held my nose and choked back the bile) and chose 8.1 instead of 10 for the VM (running on that same Windows 7 machine) that I used for processing it. God help us all if those tax programs REQUIRE Win-10-NIC some day...

    5. Merrill

      Re: Printers are the bain of MS's world

      Once upon a time printers were one of MS's competitive advantages. In the early days of word processing, one of MS Word's few advantages was the length of the list of printers supported. The complexity of PC brands, interface boards, and peripheral makers and models eventually became a "competitive moat" for Microsoft.

  4. spireite Silver badge

    Couldn't even complain....

    Tried to printer to print a letter of complaint to them, but couldn't

  5. Paul Herber Silver badge

    What do you want a printer for? Printers are for losers!

    1. Paul Herber Silver badge

      Voted down for paraphrasing Red Dwarf? Shame!

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Best guess: There are 19 losers here who are angry at you for suggesting they use printers.

    2. Fluffy Cactus

      May be you are just kidding, but after the first successful EMP attack you will be happy to have printed something, or at least written it to a CD-RW.

      May be I am just kidding, but the fundamental rules of computing are:

      If you have really important, irreplaceable data, the only copy was shredded,

      but if you want to be sure something has been deleted forever, there will be umpteen copies in back-ups, in directories (folders) you didn't ever know about, in e-mail drafts never sent, on servers you don't know, on various clouds and in some dark web corners.

  6. Teiwaz

    This is rather roundabout

    apple would have just come out and declared printers were old tech and announced they were discontinuing support.

    1. redpawn

      Re: This is rather roundabout

      My old brother laser printer is no longer supported by Apple since they killed CUPS.

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: This is rather roundabout

        Which Brother laser would that be? My HL-2070N, purchased in 2005 for $135, still works.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: This is rather roundabout

          So does my HL-2050N, similar vintage. Must be on, what, it's third or fourth toner by now!

        2. Danny 14

          Re: This is rather roundabout

          So does mine. I liked those printers as the drum and toner were separate thus cheaper to replace.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: This is rather roundabout

          My HP LaserJet 4MP, purchased in 1992, still works with Windows (via a USB-to-Centronics cable).

          Mind you, I haven't tried it with this latest Windows update.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: This is rather roundabout

        My Brother ML2270DW works fine on MacOS and Linux but is a real faff on Windows 10.

  7. hutchism

    Lots of users here getting blue screens, mainly with Kyocera printers, possibly Canon also.

    Naturally I get the first glut of calls directed at me as I'm in the process of migrating print servers from 2012 to 2019.

    Uninstalling update fixed issue. Thanks MS...

    1. tfewster

      Dunno why you were downvoted for a simple statement of your experiences. Or maybe you're using the wrong printers ;-)

      I still wonder why a device driver should be able to crash the kernel. I guess an onion ring design is harder to implement than it sounds.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Drivers crashing the OS

        I can see why the driver that is responsible for transferring the bytes back and forth to a device might take out the OS, but surely the level of handling different printers should be well outside the kernel.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Drivers crashing the OS

          >but surely the level of handling different printers should be well outside the kernel.

          Common sense and a general understanding of systems architecture should suggest that the problem would be compartmented so that a crash would be caught and confined to that particular print job or, worst case, that particular print driver.

          Unfortuantely, there's a tendency to crush everything together these days, its like the entire application and operating environment were written in GWBASIC. I think the most likely explanation is that Microsoft still haven't cottoned on to how memory segmentation models work -- they've never quite gone away from the 'hulking great puddle of memory' architecutre of the early days so that a bad pointer (am I allowed to use the term 'pointer' these days?) can randomly corrupt other applications or bits of the system. (Yes, I know they use two rings of the four available in Intel processors but they tend use fixed memory allocation for Rng 0 which leads to problems as the software continues to bloat.)

          1. Lorribot

            Re: Drivers crashing the OS

            Printing is an archaic process, so likely one of the things that is still tied in with a bunch of legacy code that really shouldn't be where it is at all., or even there at all.

            Windows will only ever improve if MS did a ground up re-write, but I can't see that happening at all and would require a complete drop of any backwards compatibility other than emulation. I would guess the resulting OS might actually be quite reasonable, stable and secure (untill the users started demanding stuff to do stuff that bloated and broke stuff).

            Probably the most modern (recently written) widely used personal OS is MacOSX and even that has its issues.

            Though I guess there may be more knowledgable people here than me.

            1. James O'Shea

              Re: Drivers crashing the OS

              MS did exactly that, at least three times over the last 20 years. They first screwed things up with XP. That was back when they went totally into deepest cloud-coocooland; you see, that big hunk of metal and plastic on the desk isn't the printer, it's the print device. The printer is the software. Really. The printer is independent of the print device; in theory, you can take a spooled print job from one print system and copy it to another, and it'll print. If the first print system had a greyscale print device, you might even be able to get colour if the second is a colour print device. (Good luck actually getting that to happen...) They did this with Won XP, then rebuilt stuff for Vista; that's why a bunch of print devices stopped working with Vista. I had a nice little HP inkjet which worked with XP and Mac OS X Leopard and died on impact with Vista and Snow Leopard. They fiddled some more with Win 10; some older inkjets died with Win10. The printer vendors (HP, the bastards) simply said that certain older printers were no longer supported. The HP printer which got broken by Vista was then less than two years old. It was replaced by a Brother inkjet, because I knew that my Brother laser which had worked with XP and Leopard still worked with Vista and Snow Leopard. Thje Brother laser is still working with Win 10 and Catalina, my Macs can't run Big Sur...

              1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

                Correction : MS claimed to have done that three times.

                Then came the bug reports and vulns that affected every version from XP to 1 0, so those claims went right down the toilet.

                The fact that different versions broke different printers is just the usual solid MS programming.

                1. Dazed and Confused

                  Re: Correction : MS claimed to have done that three times.

                  Please stop using evidence to dispute the claims of the marketing departments.

                2. Roland6 Silver badge

                  And the bug/malware in NTFS.SYS that was traced right back to NT 3.51...

                  However, it is harder to determine whether things have changed now. I'm finding that some installers whilst intended for W7/W8 did work on early builds of W10, no long run on 20H2.

              2. Fluffy Cactus

                Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                Yeah, that reminds me of the one time when I had this Brother HL-1244, and the new Vista or Win 7

                Windows would not work with the new drivers Brother made available.

                So, I remembered the movie line 'Hey, it worked in Blazing Saddles!" and accordingly went to the old

                Win XP machine, copied the old Brother HL-1244 drivers to the new Windows machine. At first it didn't

                work, but then I had the fabulous idea to rename the file name to the same name the "newer" Brother drivers" had, and also edited the references within the drivers to make it consistent.

                And those worked like a charm (not the Windows8 charm, but like a charm when charms still were charming and working).

                That was one of the few times when my victory dance over the MSFT empire was appropriate.

                This was also back in the time when I thought that having ideas would be welcome. I wrote MSFT once, asking them to ask ALL Windows users whether they would be willing to pay $1 extra per year, as long as MSFT would promise to dedicate that extra $1 to a new state-of-the-art software, hardware, compatibility testing center. Because, with about 1,000,000,000 users, that would be $1,000,000,000 per year, and they could run a testing center, and still have enough left over for a new yacht for the head honcho. They never responded, because that would have been admitting that their current testing processes were insufficient.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Drivers crashing the OS

              OSX modern? It's a 1980s fork of BSD Unix. Windows NT can at least claim to be written more recently, as can Linux and many others.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                Windows NT (WNT) was copied from VMS, notice the one letter difference? like HAL and IBM.

                There hasn't been a new OS in decades and this isnt suprising given how "professional" programming has degraded to cutting and pasting other people's code off the web or if the boss is actually watching then cobbled together without any regard for the rest of the system.

                I have wondered for a while if MS are not testing the infinite monkeys method but havent noticed that Shakespeare isnt optimised for x86

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                  "Windows NT (WNT) was copied from VMS"

                  There's some truth in that. Other parts of original NT were "inspired by" another Dave Cutler operating system, VAXELN, a little-known network-centric distributed realtime OS. The VAXELN heritage was documented briefly in e.g. the Helen Custer variant of Inside Windows NT (MS Press).

                  In both VMS and VAXELN, and indeed any sensible robust OS, stuff that didn't need to share memory wasn't encouraged (let alone required) to share memory, especially kernel mode stuff.

                  By the time NT4 came along, Gates had forced various chunks of NT which were originally safely separated to lose that separation (notably the video and print spool subsystems), because the overheads of context switching etc made NT look slower than its 16bit predecessors which used shared-everything memory. Well duh.

                  And the rest is history. It's blue screens all the way down.

                  1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                    Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                    The big problem with NT4 was getting rid of the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and going back to running drivers in kernel mode.

                    With Vista, Microsoft finally introduced UMDF (User-Mode Driver Framework), and even backported it to XP. But OEMs have to write their drivers to run in user mode. And UMDF 1 was pretty limited; a lot of stuff was only added in UMDF 2 for Windows 8.1 and later.

                    And very few OEMs seem to want to put more than the absolute minimum of effort into writing drivers, as you'll know if you've ever used any devices with Windows. Even big vendors like Intel (drivers that spam the event log with frequent pointless rubbish) and HP (horrible printer drivers, riddled with shovelware and spyware and advertising, and worse installers) publish some terrible ones. So there are still lots of unnecessary kernel-mode drivers.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                      @"The big problem with NT4 was getting rid of the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)"

                      Hardware abstraction is not a problem but a solution that allows for a common kernel across widely different hardware.

                      As to vista it just did not work, 2000 was okay in that it was NT4SP6 but MS's marketting team wanted Windows to still run games written for win3->95->98 for home users so everyone gets XP

                      If you had been around at the time you could see MS trying to stay relevant in too many markets, they wanted to retain business users and home users with different needs and desires. windows7 was as close as MS ever got to catering to all both markets and then it just got silly when MS attempted to cash in on mobile phones as well.

                      As to drivers WDM was MS attempt to get control of their driver mess but what actually happened was that hardware features has to be dropped inorder to fit MS's model.

                      Windows was never what it was sold as simply because MS wanted to control all computing markets making money with a product evolved to fit a market that no longer existsed and what they ended up with is a bastard that fits nonwhere. Only the quality of existing third party software has kept MS in the game but it cannot be said that windows is fit for purpose

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                  "Windows NT (WNT) was copied from VMS"

                  Complete bollocks. They're not even conceptually similar, which isn't surprising given the amount of research that had gone on in-between the two kernels being written. As for the name, that was likely just an in joke.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                    "Complete bollocks. They're not even conceptually similar, which isn't surprising given the amount of research that had gone on in-between the two kernels being written. As for the name, that was likely just an in joke."

                    Clearly you were not around at the time nor have you bothered to look at who was contracted to finish WNT after MS broken after plundered and yet again stiffed IBM.

                    I see a web search showing yet more attempted rewriting of history typical of MS's robber baron behaviour so if your confusion is genuine then it is understandable.

                    Lastly HAL in orginal post does not stand for "hardware abstraction level" but a reference to HAL9000 from 2001.

              2. MrBanana Silver badge

                Re: Drivers crashing the OS

                Not sure why the down votes for a true statement - although dating it as a 1980s fork is pushing things a bit. And it's not even a good fork, just some bastardised runt that sits unhappily alongside the pile of shite that comprises the rest of MacOS.

                I have to run MacOS for work and it frustrates me all the time compared to the Linux system I also use. It's a new MacBook, and had to be downgraded to Catlina for our business apps to work correctly. My previous MacBook had a hardware failure and could no longer reliably run MacOS. Works fine as a Linux system though. Gotta love Apple.

          2. gfx

            Re: Drivers crashing the OS

            Funny thing is at work we had a building control system and the tasks running on the controller are in BASIC. It does multiple tasks and taskswitching. One task could stop but the others kept running. Ofcourse this marvel of 80's technology got bought by Siemens to be replaced by stupid 1960 PLC logic.

          3. Someone Else Silver badge

            @martinusher -- Re: Drivers crashing the OS

            Unfortuantely, there's a tendency to crush everything together these days, its like the entire application and operating environment were written in GWBASIC.

            Damn you, martinusher! You just exposed the entire charade!!

            Bad, martinusher! Bad! Bad!!

  8. cheb

    I for one applaud MS for doing something positive to promote the much predicted paperless office.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @cheb - Paperless ofice will become reality

      about the same time with paperless toilets

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: @cheb - Paperless ofice will become reality

        Don't you know how to use the shells?

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: @cheb - Paperless ofice will become reality

          BZZT! You are fined one credit for a violation of the verbal morality statute!

      2. gfx

        Re: @cheb - Paperless ofice will become reality

        they exist Toto make some paperless toilets here a review:

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: @cheb - Paperless ofice will become reality

          >they exist...


          Just shows how far behind some people are in such things. I remember these being quite common in Japan in 1994, only problem the instructions and buttons were all in Japanese; those not familiar with the button language (particularly males) were advised to avoid unless they wanted a surprise!

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: @cheb - Paperless ofice will become reality

          Surely toilets with built-in bidets are pretty commonplace these days, as are add-on bidets. I nearly installed one of the latter here in the Mountain Fastness during the Recent Unpleasantness, but the vendor messed up the shipping and I never got around to ordering a different one. (I was not inclined to give the original vendor another chance.)

          I may yet, though. There are environmental advantages, even if you use recycled toilet paper,1 and the claims that it's more hygienic too are plausible. And since we have well water and a septic system here, the small additional water usage just means we're using a little electricity to move a little water from one stratum to a higher one.2

          1Which gives "post-consumer waste" a whole other meaning.

          2Irrigating the fundament, in a couple of senses.

  9. Def Silver badge


    ...this is just Microsoft bringing Windows closer to Linux in functionality. ;)

  10. krf

    There are reasons that people use Windows even in 2021.


    Well, SOMEONE must know why.

    1. Mark #255


      (1) Fortnite on PC is Windows-only...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Yes, for example printing on high-end photo printers for which no Linux driver is available without having to pay the Apple tax - and incidentally run the software needed to produce the images to be printed on such photo printers, which does not run on Linux. Plus all the software needed for color management, especially when hardware-based - my monitor and printer profiling tools again have no support for Linux.

      I wonder what reasons people who are not sysadmins or developers have to run Linux - but the fact they don't want to pay for software and are ready to accept inferior applications.

      Or maybe because they feel they are showing that middle finger to all those capitalists, while they turn on their Mac on which they run Linux...

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        >I wonder what reasons people who are not sysadmins or developers have to run Linux

        Been out of the Unix workstation sector of the market for a while, but I wonder what happened to this platform. For example Silicon Graphics Unix workstations were ubiquitous in the film industry for computer graphics and post-production some years back.

        Did these move to Linux or did the applications themselves migrate to Windows.

        I know my cousin now uses Windows for AutoCAD rather than a Unix CAD station.

        1. Def Silver badge

          Silicon Graphics went bankrupt after they failed to effectively compete with Wintel machines.

          Alias/Wavefront was ported to Linux and Windows. I don't know about the film industry, but most of the games industry back then used Windows. Most continue to do so today because of the superior development tools.

          Softimage was bought by Microsoft, and then sold to Avid.

          Autodesk later acquired both Alias and Softimage.

          1. Mike 16 Silver badge

            effectively compete with Wintel machines.

            That can be parsed in at least two ways.

            My recollection is that SGI started circling the drain when they attempted to move their often admired software from Irix to WinNT, and couldn't understand why people used to paying Windows prices and running on gray boxes balked at the continuation of "Custom Unix on custom hardware" prices.

            But I suspect you meant "their hardware/software bundle on WiTel could not compete with the existing Win-native products on gray boxes"

            1. Def Silver badge

              Re: effectively compete with Wintel machines.

              I think it was more that the performance of Wintel machines caught up with SGI's offerings and they couldn't compete on price.

              I could be wrong though. My memories of the time (ca. 94/95) are mostly limited to playing games on the SGI boxes we had in the office.

              The software on Wintel (3DS was the main application iirc) at the time certainly wasn't even close to what was available on SGI machines. I tried to get to grips with 3DS at one time and found it horrendous. Alias, on the other hand, was really intuitive to use. (And I'm saying that as a programmer with almost zero art talent.)

              1. TheAnt

                Re: effectively compete with Wintel machines.

                > I think it was more that the performance of Wintel machines caught up with SGI's offerings and they couldn't compete on price.

                The great advantage that SGI and HP Unix workstations had was a large flat virtual memory space, same was true for DEC and Sun, but they didn't invest in highend graphics subsystems. When the Alpha team joined AMD and produced the AMD64 (x86_64) architecture the advantage of the Unix boys vanished overnight and pulled the plug out of SGI's business.

                1. Def Silver badge

                  Re: effectively compete with Wintel machines.

                  Well, the 386 in protected mode also had a flat virtual address space (albeit 32-bit) 20 years before AMD64 was a thing. But PCs back then lacked any kind of serious graphics capabilities.

                  At least within cost brackets that could match SGI. My neighbour’s dad in the 80s was a designer of some description and the PC he used at work had a £30,000 graphics card for the CAD software he used.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "Did these move to Linux or did the applications themselves migrate to Windows."

          The film industry has deep pocket to develop custom applications and Linux helps to keep the licenses cost down. But you will see a lot of Macs for design and prototyping, then they can switch to Linux ones.

          But people with far less deep pockets can't really develop their own applications and rely on off-the-shelf applications. Many CAD, even high-end ones, are not available for Linux.

          It's a basic facts that beyond computer nerds and activsts, people choose applications and then the OS on which they run upon. People pay for work done, not for what OS you use.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ "I wonder what reasons people who are not sysadmins or developers have to run Linux"

        well to play all my steam games. my 600+ games run fine under ubuntu

        So as to why, code visibility, hoards of competent experts, control over updates and changes, its free and it does all the same stuff which also runs faster under linux.

        The premise that Windows does anything that linux will not do faster and better is gone. Linux does everything and you dont have to give up your right to privacy to run it.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "my 600+ games run fine under ubuntu"

          Do you really play 600+ games?

          And probably most of them are old games ported - still porting games is far easier than porting other kind of applications that need a complex GUI - the lack of a common GUI library, and a well done one, it's what makes Apple and Windows far better for applications.

          Every time I open a Linux GUI I immediately get the feeling of amateurish work... GUI are very difficult to design and code, and it's clear most of the Linux efforts go to the kernel and server applications, nobody is really interested in investing money for something that a tiny fractions of users care about... in turn porting GUI applications to Linux is a nightmare - and the result is always a subpar GUI.

          Many people don't play with PCs, they do real work and don't need subpar applications which just mean wasted time, and more issue to get a job done. That's why they use Windows or macOS and don't waste time with Linux. Where your expensive printer may even not work at all simply because there are no drivers available at all....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "my 600+ games run fine under ubuntu"

            @"common GUI" is meaningless under X windows pick the one you like rather than be forced to use one designed for a mobile phone Microsoft failed to be significant in.

            @"Every time I open a Linux GUI" so windows gui is consistent? rubbish half the settings are still in control panel the rest spead all out or hidden to make securing the machine harder.

            @"Many people don't play with PCs" and many people do play games, windows cannot be said to be optimised for non-gaming can it? As to why people use windows mostly it is because they have no choice either through ignorance or because someone made the choice for them.

            All Operating systems require printer drivers, because printers were virtually always a addon, someone has to write the program to convert what is on the screen to what the printer will accept. Printer manufacturers will provide drivers for their target OS or use existing standards that server the same function, for a long time Windows was a common standard, this time has passed, windows is no longer the only OS on PCclones.

            Lastly on Windows drivers, I purchased a printer years ago that used USB1 that MS just dropped completely even though it was a GDI device (meaning that hardware traditionally part of a printer's electronics has been replaced with proprietry software in windows) so do not try to say that MS can be trusted to keep printers working they have a long history of moving the goal posts on driver models making working hardware unusable.

            I can understand that some people are reliant upon MS and their products for their daily bread, the idea of joining the nix environment ,where experts are still a real thing, must be scary and worrying for them given that their main skill is repeating whatever MS say is true rather than knowing the truth.

    3. FlamingDeath Silver badge

      DirectX is the only valid reason, but even then some reasonable solutions exist

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        DirectX no longer an issue as vulkan is better

        Steam runs on linux fine and games run atleast as fast as under windows, steam also does all the work of getting your windows games to run under linux for you, without the user having to do anything but enable steam play for everything.

        The only issue for the future I can see is MS trying to claw back control of new games via binding as many gaming devs as they can into MS exclusive contracts which might work for a bit but not too long given how windows is a pain to get new hardware running

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @There are reasons that people use Windows even in 2021.

      Because too many "experts" get paid to maintain the myth and deny the fact that windows is a buggy insecure mess and unfit for purpose.

    5. Fluffy Cactus

      Well, it's still cheaper, and Linux does not explain how to use it, nor does it have any support of any kind, because you'd have to be a super-genius to understand the meaning of what they say.

      Then Apple not only is too expensive, but has taken to hating its customers, with insane policies like "You must have an appointment to get help with your I-Phone. Who loves the functionality of the Apple I-Cloud? That one is as bad as Microsoft, but more expensive.

  11. Lorribot

    Distractions abound

    To be fair they may have been a little distracted by a small issue with Exchange servers.

    Weirdly I had a GSOD on my Insider PC (insider builds get a Green Screen Of Death) with that exact error (APC_INDEX_MISMATCH) but on reboot on the last update (Build 21327). Could not fix and no roll back had do a full restore from backups to recover and turn off updates so I can skip this one. First real issue I have had and been doing Insider builds since they first started for Windows 10. Like all MS OSes it has got a lot slower to boot and less slicker, it used to take on 10 seconds now its more like 30. Still it is the first OS that i have not felt teh need to re-install every 6 months.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Distractions abound

      >Still it is the first OS that i have not felt teh need to re-install every 6 months.

      But then it does reinstall itself every year or so, says he who is currently overseeing an upgrade of W10 1909 systems to 20H2 which has a tendency to fail if things get out of sequence (*)...

      (*) The best one is that 1909 has to have the latest .NET framework installed before you do the upgrade, afterwards one of the first updates 20H2 installs is the .NET framework update you had installed to permit an error free update...

  12. Tron

    Plan B. Have one.

    Keep a W7 laptop/PC handy. Move stuff over on memory cards and print from it.

  13. Gene Cash Silver badge

    This is why I use Windows 7

    No pesky broken Microsoft updates!

  14. pmelon

    MS top quality

    Dealing with this and the recent glut of remote code exec vulns means I hate MS more than ever. Working in IT should not equate to being a Microsoft shit-shoveller.

    Anyone know why they sat on the Exchange vulns for two months?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: MS top quality

      Anyone know why they sat on the Exchange vulns for two months?

      Probably to give them time to fix the problem on Exchange online first.

  15. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Printing has been "unfashionable" for years

    While many users print documents, for good reasons too, and often have to print documents, printing has been an unfashionable side of Microsoft for many years.

    Microsoft could have had an OS level print preview. They chose not to.

    Microsoft's printing API uses a wide range of units within the same bloody API. Printing code has to regularly rely on conversion functions just to call sequential API calls. The API forces the developer to make assumptions - I spent far too long trying to find the actual print margins of a page and it turns out this information was just not provided forcing the developer to convert various provided values all in Inches(argh) to twips to mm to pixels to whatever and to use this along with the assumption that the printer would print in the horizontal centre of the page space. Vertical space was an entirely different chore of course.

    Try printing from Microsoft's incredibly slow to load "Photos app" in Windows 10? Crashes. Right click picture and select "Print" and if it's still there, the older "Photos/Images application" will quickly load and provide the option to print the image, with a few useful options too. There's a reason many people copy the damn picture into something like Microsoft Word and print from there.

  16. gerdesj Silver badge


    "Shout out to the @windows crew for releasing updates before they proof them"

    I proof, you proof, he she or it says wtf!

  17. Terry 6 Silver badge

    FFS and wider implications.

    I had a problem at the update - a green "There was a problem we need to restart...." screen. Which as usual,didn't restart. A forced restart and all seemed well so I didn't need to find my boot disk to reimage, with all the shenanigans that that requires.

    Hadn't used my Epson Pixma printer since then. My elderly Brother laser worked fine. So I tested the Epson - this is an older version of a current popular, very common inkjet printer (Mines's the TS6150 and I've seen no good reason to get a newer version, especially as it works really well still) so there is no reason why it shouldn't work under any adequately tested version of Windows.

    Didn't f***ing work!!!

    If I hadn't read this on El Reg I'd have assumed a problem with my computer/bought a new printer.....

    Removed said update - printer works again. We have the skills to do so, as you'd expect on El reg. Most ordinary users will not have a clue there's this problem, or know how to resolve it.

    And those that do and prevent or remove this patch will be leaving open vulnerabilities that are now widely known to quite likely be unpatched.

    Is there a much worse and avoidable fu** up? This goes beyond incompetent or even negligent. It ought to be criminal to do such a thing. But there will be no comeback for MS.

    1. vcayenne

      Re: FFS and wider implications.

      Ummm… that's not an Epson though. It's a Canon Pixma TS6150

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: FFS and wider implications.

        OOPs! Yes, of course. I don't know why I typed that. haven't had an Epson for years.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: FFS and wider implications.

      As noted, to the correction. Mia Culpa. My mind was distracted (probably by rage) Canon Pixma etc.

      Which doesn't actually change the point at all.

  18. oldgreyguy

    But, But, We don't understand

    We don't make printers, how can it be our issue?

  19. FlamingDeath Silver badge

    Let me guess

    The masters of disasters are going to be starting a new cloud printing service, and they’re wheeling out their old playbook, not too dusty though

    Microsoft = CUNT

    Apple = CUNT

    Google = CUNT

    What constitutes a world?


    What comes from CUNTRIES?


    Apologies for reminding you these tech companies exist

    1. TheAnt
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Let me guess

      I fail to see the equivalence, (I'm assuming you're using the "=" sign for equivalence here and not for assignment).

      The RHS of your statements is one of the nicest and most useful things in the world. We almost all come from there in the first place. About half of us have them and most of the other half will so anything within their power to get intimate with them.

  20. FlamingDeath Silver badge


    How can any company be taken seriously as a producer of a business oriented operating system, when Candy Crush Saga is right there in the start menu.

    Eventually the penny will drop and these muppet ‘adults’ will “get it”, or maybe not...

  21. Snar

    I wonder if this means that they won't be fucking up Ethernet with this patch then?

  22. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    They'll introduce PaaS before long. You just have to download the PrintAnywhereYouFuckingLikeExceptHere app, and subscribe to Microsoft's PaaS. This is a long drawn-out affair involving getting your registered printer number, accepting that it's your responsibility to allow people to randomly turn up at your house and pick up pages of print they've printed to your printer. This is in exchange for allowing you to be able to print anywhere too. You cannot print to your own printer, because it's not your own. It's owned by HP or Epson or whoever. So if you print a photo, you might be told that you can go round to your neighbour to get it.

  23. Someone Else Silver badge

    Way to go Reg!

    Love the picture that accompanied this article.

  24. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Any news on this?

    Any idea when the MS update will have been fixed (for this issue anyway so don't @ me with comments about the general crappiness of MS)?

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Any news on this?

      There's an update, of sorts.

      Days after the article was published, Microsoft sent us this gripping statement: "We are working to resolve an issue impacting a subset of customers using certain printers." ®

      A "subset" that includes, among others, Canon Pixma printers is a pretty big subset.

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