Microsoft's Buggy Patch Tuesday Update For Windows 7 Is Labeling Some PCs As Not Genuine

Microsoft seems to be having a bad run of luck with its Windows updates as of late. By now you are probably familiar with the various issues that affected the October Update for Windows 10, such as a file deletion bug that prompted Microsoft to pause the update's roll out. Well, it turns out users are seeing problems in Windows 7 as well.

Windows 7
Image Source: Flickr via Andrew Mason

Earlier this week, Microsoft issued its Patch Tuesday updates to Windows PCs, as it does on the second Tuesday of every month. Typically those go without too much trouble, and that appears to the be the case on Windows 10. On Windows 7, however, some system administrators report a couple of annoying issues, one of which is the labeling of legitimate Windows 7 devices as 'Not Genuine'.

"Woke up this morning to find a few thousand Windows 7 VDI machines reporting that Windows 7 wasn’t genuine. After much troubleshooting we found that KB971033 (should not have been installed in a KMS environment in the first place) was installed on these machines. Until today having this KB installed hasn’t been an issue, it appears a change to how Microsoft’s activation servers respond to a standard KMS key being sent to them may be to blame," freelance writer Günter Born from Born City wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft has since confirmed that "some users are reporting the KMS Activation error." The good news here is that Microsoft is working on a fix and will provide an update when it's available. According to Microsoft, this affects users who are part of the local Administrators group.

"This does not affect domain accounts in the local 'Administrators' group," Microsoft added. "To work around this issue use either a local account that is not part of the local 'Administrators' group or any domain user (including domain administrators). We recommend this workaround until a fix is available in a future release."

Part of the Patch Tuesday update was intended to roll out further mitigations for Meltdown and Spectre. However, it was also found to mess up network shares over the SMBv2 file sharing protocol. Those affected say their Windows 7 PCs hosting an SMBv2 share are no longer able to connect after applying the update.

The fix for now is to uninstall the update, though that's obviously not ideal. Hopefully Microsoft gets this mess sorted out sooner rather than later.