Microsoft Can’t Catch A Break, Windows 10 July Update Kills Printing Again For Some

There are few things more frustrating than dealing with a printer issue. Like dealing with repeated printer issues. Unfortunately for some Windows 10 users, the problems keep coming, the latest one arriving with the cumulative update for July that arrived earlier this month. Depending on a person's setup, this month's Patch Tuesday roll out could cause printing and scanning capabilities to no longer function.

Fortunately, the latest printer issue appears limited to some specific setups. However, that does not come as any consolation to anyone is affected by it.

"After installing updates released July 13, 2021 on domain controllers (DCs) in your environment, printers, scanners, and multifunction devices which are not compliant with section 3.2.1 of RFC 4556 spec, might fail to print when using smart-card (PIV) authentication," Microsoft explains.

This impacts a wide range of both client and server platforms. The list of affected client platforms includes Windows 10, version 21H1; Windows 10, version 20H2; Windows 10, version 2004; Windows 10, version 1909; Windows 10, version 1809; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019; Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2016; Windows 10, version 1607; Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB; Windows 8.1; and Windows 7 SP1.

Meanwhile, the list of server platforms includes Windows Server, version 20H2; Windows Server, version 2004; Windows Server, version 1909; Windows Server, version 1809; Windows Server 2019; Windows Server 2016; Windows Server 2012 R2; Windows Server 2012; Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1; and Windows Server 2008 SP2.

Microsoft says anyone running into this newest printer issue should verify they are using the latest firmware and drivers for their problematic device. If the firmware is the latest version, Microsoft says the best bet is to contact the manufacturer and ask if there is a setting or configuration change that could bring the device back into compliance.

Some users might still be out of luck. As such, Microsoft has promised to offer a workaround sometime soon, so that device makers will have time to release new firmware and drivers to bring their device into compliance.

"We are working on a temporary mitigation and will provide an update in the near term. This temporary mitigation should allow printing and scanning to the affected devices. This will allow time for device manufacturers to release compliant firmware and drivers for their devices. Further, it should allow time to update settings, firmware, and drivers in your environment and make them compliant," Microsoft says.

This has been a rough stretch for Microsoft in regards to various printer problems. Over the past several weeks, multiple Windows Printer Spooler vulnerabilities have reared their ugly heads, including PrintNightmare, which necessitated an emergency patch.

They have not all been security related, either. Back in March, for example, Microsoft dished out a patch for a printer bug that was causing some Windows 10 PCs to experience blue screen of death (BSOD) errors. Knock on wood that after Microsoft and printer makers resolve this latest issue, there will be no more printer bugs or vulnerabilities for a long while.