Microsoft’s Fix For “PrintNightmare” May Not Work And May Break Printers

Microsoft has released fixes for the rather severe “PrintNightmare” flaw for all versions of Windows 10 as well as earlier versions of Windows including Windows 7. Thus you should get about patching all the things. But here’s the catch. There’s two reports from Windows Central that suggests that printing may break for you after installing these patches, and that the fixes may not be 100% effective in terms of fixing this flaw.

Let’s start with the latter. Some people have suggested that the patch can be circumvented. But Microsoft says that’s not the case:

Our investigation has shown that the OOB security update is working as designed and is effective against the known printer spooling exploits and other public reports collectively being referred to as PrintNightmare. All reports we have investigated have relied on the changing of default registry setting related to Point and Print to an insecure configuration.

So the message from Microsoft is that it’s not us but it’s you. Charming. If additional patches come out over the next week or so, you’ll know that they have changed their tune on this.

Now to the former. Apparently the patch breaks some printers. Specifically printers from Zebra. Though other printers may be affected. Here’s what Microsoft had to say:

We are aware of a printing issue caused by the July 6 Windows “KB5004945” update affecting multiple brands of printers. Microsoft has investigated this issue and plans to release an update addressing the issue within the next 1–2 business days. An immediate way to address the issue is to uninstall the Windows “KB5004945” update or uninstall the affected printer driver and reinstall using Administrative credentials. Long term, we encourage the use of the newer Windows update Microsoft is planning to release. Customers who need assistance regarding Zebra printers may contact our Technical Support Team.

At least they admit that this was an issue. I fully expect other issues to pop up over the next few days, so watch this space.

One Response to “Microsoft’s Fix For “PrintNightmare” May Not Work And May Break Printers”

  1. […] to its Windows Print Spooler service. This just after fixing “PrintNightmare“. Maybe. Either way, it’s not a good look for Microsoft. This one is listed as CVE-2021-34481, and […]

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