WDS update revision follow – up


Hi Folks – 


I wanted to get back to you with more information and guidance around the Windows Desktop Search (WDS) issue and the results of our investigation today.   


As you know, Windows Desktop Search was published last February 07, as an optional update that was only applicable to systems which had WDS previously installed. Then on Tuesday of this week we revised that update package to be applicable (but still optional) to Windows XP SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP1+ systems which did not have WDS installed. Unfortunately, in revising this update, the decision to re-use the same update package had unintended consequences to our WSUS customers.  Namely many of you who had approved the initial update package for a limited number of machines, had Tuesdays’ WDS revision 105 automatically install on all clients because of the expanded applicability scope and because by default, WSUS is set to automatically approve update revisions.  We sincerely regret the inconvenience this has caused and extend a sincere apology to all impacted customers.


For those of you who want to uninstall the WDS update revision released Tuesday of this week, this can be done via


1.  Add/remove programs


2. Invoking spunisnts: %windir%\$NtUninstallKB917013$\spuninst\spuninst.exe /q /promptrestart


3. Using System Restore on Windows XP (not available on Windows Server 2003). This option will leave some software on the machine, but the invocation effectively removes WDS 3.01.  This should only be used for conditions where the /noback switch was used.


I want you to know we are working now to correct the issue and have temporarily suspended the distribution of the Windows Desktop Search through WSUS.  The current package will remain available through the Microsoft Download Center. We will make a new package available for WSUS in the near future, but not as an update revision, so that you can rely on predictable update behavior with auto-approval settings.   We are also working on improving our internal publishing processes to ensure this does not happen again in the future. 


Again, our sincere apologies for this publishing process error. 


Bobbie Harder


Program Manager, WSUS


 

Comments (297)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:56 AM by Andre # re: WDS update revision follow – up Tuesday, October 30

  2. Anonymous says:

    This will be much easier to deploy once Windows 2008 is more widespread, and don’t confuse Windows Deployment Services (WDS) with Windows Desktop Search (WDS), because they are not the same thing. Unfortunately the buzzword bingo namespace has a collisio

  3. Anonymous says:

    En donde trabajo tenemos implementado WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) , comentando a la ligera

  4. Anonymous says:

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:56 AM by Andre # re: WDS update revision follow – up Tuesday, October 30

  5. Anonymous says:

    El equipo de WSUS se disculpa por la instalacion no autorizada del software Windows Desktop search en uno de sus paquetes de actualizacion.

  6. Anonymous says:

    In the WSUS I disallowed it to install, now I see I can’t approve it anymore wich is great.

  7. Anonymous says:

    thanks you admin

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nate Cull:  This is the link that provides the information you want (albeit not for all updates).

    <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/894199/en-us&gt;

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 […] Changes to existing security content […]

    • MS07-057: Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer for Windows (KB939653)

    • Updated MoreInfoURL.

    • Binaries have not changed.

    • This update does not have to be reinstalled.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for this! This is exactly

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    This is really  http://www.lightme.biz/ stretching the interpretation of "revision to an update"  http://www.clubturknet2seoyarismasi.info/ way past the breaking point.

  13. Neil Carpenter says:

    If you’d rather than your machines don’t reboot, you can use the /norestart switch rather than the /promptrestart.  This is untested, to my knowledge, and there’s always a small risk when you install or uninstall something that requires a reboot and you delay that reboot.

    If you want to make sure that your machine reboots, /forcerestart is your friend.

  14. Eric says:

    Bobbie / Team

    You have really shot my confidence on allowing revisons to previously approved updates to be automatically approved. How can we (WSUS Admins) be assured that this won’t happen again in the future?

  15. Bill says:

    When will be the day Microsoft will come out with a bug free product, not over charged the customers and stop sneaking into people’s PCs without their permission nor knowledge? Under the normal situation, this amounts to illegal entry (if into someone’s house – be arrested by the police).

  16. DalePres says:

    By these standards, SP3 is an update to SP2.  In fact, isn’t SP3 an update to Windows XP?  So Microsoft doesn’t need our permission at all to install it.

    This is really stretching the interpretation of "revision to an update" way past the breaking point.

    But in my case, WDS 2.6.5 for XP and for W2K3 was "Not Approved."  WDS 3.1 for both was specifically declined.  There is not a single WDS related approval on my WSUS so this is not simply a re-interpretation of the rules.  This is breaking the rules.

  17. name@bill.com says:

    @Bill

    Re-read the post.  They made a "mistake" that had unintended consequences.  Not nafarious.  Not maliscious. The consequence is not a problem.  And, its easily rectified (if you so choose).

    You’re fantasy-land of sneakers and illegal entry is laughable.

    There isnt a better Operating System on the market, but you’re welcome to go try your luck elsewhere, unless you do, stop spewing ignorant, paranoid vitrol.

  18. Andre says:

    In the WSUS I disallowed it to install, now I see I can’t approve it anymore wich is great.

    But why isn’t there an option to remove it though WSUS?

    I now have the problem that I can’t remove it thoughout my domain. Normal users can’t uninstall software… So now what?

    How long do I have to wait for MS to solve this problem and make a proper uninstall option? This is no sollution.

    Some users complain of very very very slow systems. I can’t uninstall it manually on all those systems.

  19. Rudd-O says:

    Yes, there is a better operating system.  It’s called Linux.

  20. Dadabhai Naoroji says:

    That’s a nice way to increase the no. of people using WDS :-)

  21. No says:

    Linux is not a superior operating system, you basement-dwelling fool.

  22. Meitzi says:

    When we uninstalla WDS with script, users quick launch is getting off. How we deal with that?

  23. The blog entry still implies that we had somehow previously approved an earlier version of Desktop Search, which is why it was pushed out this time as a ‘vevision’.  (I can somewhat understand this scenario, even though it’s a new version of WDS.)

    However, I had *never* approved any version of Desktop Search in WSUS (which I verified after all this mess happened).  So I’m left at a loss as to why it was distributed.

  24. Christian Mohn says:

    I have the same experience, no version of WDS was ever approved here yet all of a sudden 3.1 gets installed all over the place.

    Also, why is it installed on servers? Clearly it’s a desktop product.

  25. David says:

    This post takes a bunch of sting out of the problem.  A sincere appology which is appreciated.  The throbbing headache, of course, is still there…

    I’m hoping you can release an ‘uninstall WDS’ update shortly.  You’re able to do this for malicious software – not that WDS is normally, but in this case something similar is warranted.

    I would still point out that the initial 3.0.1 update was not set to Install on my WSUS 2 server.  The 2.x updates were set to install.  But I’m not sure how 3.0.1 initial update was happy as decline while second update inheritied 2.x settings?

  26. Matthew Jackson says:

    By default on our network our end users do not have access to the Control Panel, Windows folder, or the run command.  We were discussing doing this with a script that elevates itself and removes the update, however as was noted above, when doing this it shuts off the Quick Launch bar, which without our end users are lost.

    With as many end users as we have, do you have an ETA on when Microsoft might release a removal tool that can be run on end user machines in order to accomplish something like this?  Ordinarly it would not be a major issue, but when your team does something that results in a serious foul up you should come out with something in order to quickly and efficiently help resolve the issue for the IT staff that puts their trust in your product and services.

  27. F says:

    I cannot believe this happend. I do not believe the reason either. Even if it were true, then it is plain stupid.

    In any case, people need to seek damage compensation from Microsoft. If not in the US, maybe in the EU.

  28. brainwabrain says:

    We have never approved a previous version of WDS.  So why was this forced down our throats?

  29. Marco Sonnenberg says:

    After automatic deployment of  WDS, hundrets of users started indexing their network shares at the same time. It paralyzed my fileserver for hours and killed a lot of serverbased userprofiles!

    Worse is, that the adm-file, supposed to prevent this behaviour, doesn’t work in my environment and i don’t know the reason.

  30. Way to go says:

    As said above, why can’t MS come out with a script that we can run which will elevate itself, remove this piece of malware (which is what it is) and does not touch the quick launch?

    using spuninst works great, but not for restricted users.

  31. Sigh... says:

    on a side note, I had to import the .adm file in twice, why who knows… first time GPO editor did not show the new options

  32. question says:

    Anyone knows how to turn off indexing with GPO? I know the setting is to turn off indexing of certain paths, but how do you enter in the value?

    Will  File:///*  stop it from indexing all files on all shared/local drives ???

  33. Marco Sonnenberg says:

    In my case the import of the .adm files was no problem. (I took the older version too, because the new one didn’t contain all features)

    The issue is, that my clients don’t care about the setting in the policy.

  34. MoebiusTripp says:

    @name@bill.com

    I don’t care if it was accidental or not. It was at the least incompetent and at worst malicious. If you think the "OOPS!" defence holds water, why don’t you get drunk and pass out in a stranger’s home and tell it to the cop who arrests you. And please explain how the consequence is insignificant if I have to have two people spend the next week logging into 800 machines and removing this by hand. And as a final note, the only person I see using personal attacks and vitriol is you.

  35. Scott Marlowe says:

    One of the supposed selling points of Microsoft over Linux is that there is better testing of these types of things.  All the requisite testing is also given as the reason for batching our patches on patch tuesday, so they can all be properly tested.

    The failure here is in poor testing. Period. There is no excuse for not catching this.  It’s not like Microsoft doesn’t have the resources to properly test this.  And it makes clear the lie behind the "better tested than linux" line.

    Also, this brings up the issue that Windows STILL has no package management.  A mistake that would be <1 minute fixing in any flavor of unix on the planet is a huge, ugly mess on Windows, because there is not package manager with a simple "unistall this package and anything that depends on it" functionality.

    It’s 2007 guys, time to give up on the insanity of the registry to track packages and go to a REAL package manager.  Hell, steal BSD’s if you have to, it’s free.  

  36. Matthew Jackson says:

    @ Scott Marlowe

    This is a very true comment in that many in the professional business world do stick with Microsoft over the other options out there such as Linux or even Sun for the fact that Microsoft has a longer history of business and should have a much higher track record as a result in production and testing.  The problem you stated however was poor testing, which while I can sort of agree with there, I cannot agree completely.

    Microsoft does do a large amount of testing on new applications, patches, and updates to an extent, however you have to consider that they cannot possibly test on every production environment out there.  They can test on only so many environments and then hope for the best.  All software vendors face this same plague… it works in the lab and on test systems, but then that oddball 3rd party program or proprietary software that user John Doe is running on X manufacturer’s machine with their own propriatary drivers sends the entire thing off in a tailspin with unexpected results.  So even though I am very angry over this and am looking at myself and my 8 collegues on our IT staff having to manually remove this fubar from over 10k end users machines, I cannot fault Microsoft completely for not testing.

    I can fault Microsoft for violating the trust of the users in pushing something through when they indicated that they would not do this.  I can fault Microsoft for bypassing security that was built in with the WSUS to prevent this.  I can fault Microsoft for designing this update to appearantly affect users of older versions of office while leaving their new versions alone.

    I can also fault Microsoft for not having a plan in place to undo something like this quickly and efficiently after they made a literal nightmare for thousands of IT staff worldwide.  Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.  While it has been the norm for business to stick with Microsoft because they were the only kids on the block with the experience, there ARE other choices now with Linux, Sun, and even Apple.  Microsoft’s best plan right now would be to put their teams on finding a solution by Monday to fix this issue for IT staff, and stop trying to come up with excuses on why it happened.

  37. Tom S says:

    At the risk of getting my head chopped off…

    I keep seeing posts (rants) here talking about how this was a completely new version of WDS and how everyone did not have it set to install and it installed without approval, etc, etc….

    The first claim is not the case.

    WDS 3.01 r102 was released in March 2007.  

    WDS 3.01 r105 was released this week.

    Also, if you didn’t restore a copy of your file server from before it downloaded this update,

    you don’t know if the March 2007 version of WDS was approved ot not because this one superceded it.

    You can’t blame this all on MS because it worked as advertised.

    I’m guessing in most cases, the March update was approved for install on all computers and since it wasn’t needed, it never downloaded.

    If you can prove that a legitimate bug or error caused this, get with Microsoft so they can fix it.

    If it was previously approved and it deployed because the "applicability" changed, then get over it and move on.

    Tom S

  38. Mike says:

    "You can’t blame this all on MS because it worked as advertised."

    Small correction, you can’t blame WSUS for this, as it performed as advertised, Microsoft still made the mistake that caused this… :)

  39. FrankyT says:

    All the apologies and ranting are meaningless. all that matters is that Microsoft cut a check for all the man hours we spend fixing it.

  40. Merle says:

    What is the difference between Microsoft accessing your personal PC and installing any software they want without your permission and any other individual in the world (i.e. hackers) accessing your personal PC and installing or dumping any old garbage or virus or worm or trojan on your system. To me it is a complete invasion of privacy. IT MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY before major damage is done to millions of systems? I WOULD SAY NONE, even if the intention is completely different.

    Why don’t Microsoft put more emphases on designing a means to prevent outside intrusion of ones computer and if they have any updates make them TOTALLY optional with indepth explanation of the reasons for the updates any any concequences of not updating?

  41. Bob A says:

    Trust Microsoft? Surely you jest!

  42. wow says:

    Fanboys need to get a life.  The gap between a Microsoft OS and *Nix isn’t the huge gap it was before, but you’re a complete moron to say Microsoft is better.

    Go get a Mac for a desktop (and server).  So what if you can’t run Exchange, oh well.  Many businesses are switching over, and Vista is a joke compared to Leopard.

  43. DalePres says:

    Mathew Jackson – You seemed to have missed the biggest problem with this issue.  It is not whether or not Microsoft provides a fix or a promise never to do it again.  It is not that they bypassed security features intended to prevent this from happening.

    The problem is that they COULD do these things.  That they have access to bypass security they promised was there.

    In the bot net world, they refer to the computers in a hacker’s bot net as "owned".  This tells me that Microsoft absolutely "owns" our PCs – every single one of them that is on the Internet.  Regardless of what settings we configure on Windows Update.  You are "owned".

  44. Matthew Jackson says:

    @DalePres – Not to sound rude, but DUH!

    As long as you are running a Microsoft Windows based system of course Microsoft "owns" it.  They wrote it, they have the source code, they know ways to get into it that the public would never know and could create one if none existed.

  45. I Blog apology is not enough.. a full page on the wallstreet journal is not enough.

    Microsoft should own up to this mess… the headaches , stress and losing control of our production environment , costs our company money.

    Microsoft should properly apologize publicly, and compensate all companies that were hit by this , mistake or no mistake.

  46. Rob (just one of those) says:

    Yeah…  great !!!  

    Mistakes are forgiven. Besides.. we still are all human and you never hear us complain about new gooddies we get for free.

    But Bobbie,

    You may be right legally, but practically for "those" xxxxx "millions" ? home users, in full trust in their Microsoft  supplier saying "Yes", to their new gadget? now in pain and disrespect, for not as aware and skilled as many here on the blog….

    Simply provide for "those in vain" the option of a simple cleaning/removing tool, for of all the space consuming crap files (indexes) on my, their system(s).

    Could for "those" been seen as a sign of superior problem management to fix a known error.

    Thanks.

  47. Large Customer says:

    Oh darn! I flipped the wrong bit, and now the Microsoft desktop search engine is <insert 1-20 million desktops here> is *that* much closer to Google’s desktop search market penetration. I hate it when that happens!

  48. Danny (from Netherlands) says:

    Please provide me with a tool to undelete from complete domain via WSUS.

  49. D Colpitts says:

    Does anyone have a billing address for Microsoft so I can send them a labor bill for time I had to spend cleaning up after this (something I had specifically denied in previous revisions) on approximately 400 machines at 15 client sites?  I certainly can’t bill the customers my labor to undo Microsoft’s latest mess, and I am not eating the labor myself…

    Thanks

  50. Ian says:

    Bobbie,

    It’s simply too late. Admins all over the world have now unchecked the "automatically approve new revisions of previous updates" box. An admin in a really tight shop would have had that unchecked already, but for most of us that WAS a reasonable option to leave set. Now WSUS utterly cannot be trusted, in fact I’ve also unchecked the "automatically approve updates for WSUS" box too.

    That everyone’s now changing these settings is a *huge* set back for both the WDS product but more importantly WSUS and the whole automatic updates technology. What on earth was Microsoft thinking, pushing this out to servers anyway, having WDS on XP was one thing, but why on earth would people want it on their server farms? I really hope a number of people have been sacked over this.

  51. Quintin says:

    The ranters here need to grow up.  You’re getting paid big bucks to manage IT at your companies.  So you had to actually earn your pay this week.  Get over it.

    Microsoft made a mistake, acknowledged it, apologized for it.

    Nobody is perfect, not even you IT whiners.

    Does nobody remember that an Ubuntu update wiped people’s home directories?

    Does nobody remember that an iTunes update wiped peoples hard drives a few years ago (if the system volume began with a space or whatever)?

    Mistakes happen.  Even you IT staffers that put on an air of superiority/perfection make mistakes.

    And to the guy that insinuated that this was done on purpose to install WDS on "millions of desktops" in order to compete with Google Desktop (a truly horrible app that is installed, malware style, on the backs of unrelated products ranging from JVMs to video players), this problem doesn’t affect the millions of home users in the first place.

  52. GT says:

    Thanks Microsoft. I have now unchecked the "automatically approve new revisions of previous updates" box on all WSUS servers. I have also unchecked the "automatically approve updates for WSUS" box.

    These steps will also be added to our WSUS configuration policy for all future installs of WSUS server.

    Now to go clean up the mess that this update has created across our enterprise and I then need assure my managment that I have taken all of the immediate steps within my control to prevent this BS from happening again.

  53. Patchy says:

    Dear Bobbie,

    Thank you for your apology and attempt to rectify this major foulup by your organization.  Unfortunately, your attempts to rectify the problem after having ignored then denied it for long enough that over a thousand of our workstations were affected have actually complicated the issue.  Since we (and probably every other affected customer) had already realized YOUR mistake, we had already declined the update ourselves.  

    Then we looked to see which stations had the patch installed so we could plan our removal strategy.  By expiring the patch you have also disabled detection for the patch.  Now we can’t  determine which 1500+ computers of our 7000 have gotten this badly conceived and poorly executed deployment.

    This leaves us having to write a custom fingerprint in Patchlink to identify the thousands of machines that got the patch before we could decline it.  Had you expired the patch at 3:58 am on Thursday when you posted your first explanation that denied your customers reality, almost none of our computers would have been affected and you would have averted a catastrophe.  

    Instead you delayed a full 18 hours and allowed 10’s (100’s?) of thousands of computers worldwide to be affected.  Now by expiring the patch, you have made it so that we can’t tell who got it.

    Please write and distribute a DETECT ONLY update to WSUS so that we can determine which computers need to have WDS removed.  It would be great if you actually wrote a "remove WDS" update as part of your apology to the community. I’m not holding my breath though.

    Our institution’s direct costs for this event have yet to be totaled but could be significant.  Additionally, you have damaged the reputation of WSUS at a time when were successfully convincing the entire organization to begin using the service.  This damage could be irreparable and will certainly require renewed assurances from our IT group that we will do a better job of protecting them from Microsofts mistakes.

    I can’t speak for my organization on this but I, personally, do not accept your apology.  Maybe once MS has done more to help us dig out from this hole that you dug, I will find the apology to be more heartfelt and sincere.

    Unhappily yours

  54. Ben Colla says:

    An apology on a blog doesn’t mean anything, unless MS are now saying that Blogs are official means of communications.

    I have this stuff all over my networks, and servers, because MS messed up.  I don’t have the time to fix it, so my users are just going to have to live with it.  At least I can pull it from my servers

    Also, they are not uninstall instructions.  Thats a cop out.  Are you really telling me that we can uninstall using the ‘Add/Remove programs’ feature?  Really?  Who would of thought of that.  Certainly not network administrators.  No, they would never know of that option.  Pity it’s not useable with hundred of PC’s.

    I need something that will uninstall WDS via WSUS.

  55. Nate Cull says:

    We have ‘automatically approve the latest revision of the update’ turned off on our campus WSUS because I don’t trust any revisions to updates that haven’t passed our in-house testing process.

    Frankly I don’t understand why Microsoft uses ‘revisions’ so much, in fact at all. Worse, I have tried to find documentation for revised updates and there’s nothing available online to say what’s changed. The Security Bulletin page gets updated when the *bulletin* is revised – but the download page for the *update* itself is never changed when the revision number does. There is no ‘change list’, no manifest of files, no way for an administrator to tell the difference between the install effect of two identical updates with different revision numbers. This is bad, really bad. So every time an update gets revised, I treat it as a brand new update with unknown effects that needs to be tested from scratch.

    In the Linux package management world, there’s no such thing as ‘revisions’. There are packages, and there are new releases of packages. If ANYTHING gets changed, it’s a new package.

    That’s how WSUS updates should work as far as I’m concerned. Can someone explain to me just what Microsoft’s rationale is for having the ‘revision’ mechanism AT ALL?

  56. Nate Cull says:

    Here’s a classic example of just what I’m talking about: MS07-057.

    I look at my WSUS screen today after a week on leave and I see that MS07-057, the October 10th cumulative security update for Internet Explorer, has mysteriously been revised and reissued as of October 24.

    All seven versions of it that I track are now showing as ‘Not approved’ because I’ve got ‘automatically accept revisions’ off. That’s IE7/Vista, IE5.01SP5, IE6/2003, IE6/XP, IE6SP1, IE7/2003, and IE7/XP.

    The ‘revisions’ tab in WSUS2 simply says there is a revision as of 24/10/2007. No details.

    The ‘more information’ URL on the ‘details’ tab points to
    http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=95045, which resolves to
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/ms07-057.mspx

    The header for this, the official MS07-057 bulletin page, says:

    Microsoft Security Bulletin MS07-057 – Critical

    Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (939653)

    Published: October 9, 2007 | Updated: October 10, 2007

    Updated OCTOBER 10. Which was the date of the FIRST REVISION. And yet I know, because WSUS is telling me, that there was a SECOND REVISION ON OCTOBER 24. But there’s no mention of this in the bulletin.

    Nothing in the revision history at the bottom of the page either:

    Revisions

    • V1.0 (October 9, 2007): Bulletin published.

    • V1.1 (October 10, 2007): Bulletin revised to correct the "What does the update do?" section for CVE-2007-3893.

    Still October 10th.

    Okay, let’s look at the download page for one of the actual update binaries: IE6 on XP SP2.

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=513A8320-6D36-4FC9-A38A-867192B55B53&displaylang=en

    What do we see about update dates?

    File Name: WindowsXP-KB939653-x86-ENU.exe

    Version: 939653

    Security Bulletins: MS07-057  

    Knowledge Base (KB) Articles: KB939653  

    Date Published: 10/9/2007

    OCTOBER 10.

    Hello?

    W.T.F.???

    What’s the mysterious secret change to MS07-057 on October 24, and why should I put it on my systems if Microsoft can’t anywhere document what’s now in it?

  57. Nate Cull says:

    Sorry, that last date would be October 9, not 10, I’m guessing, if it’s using US date format.

    This weird stealth revision stuff has happened every month for about three months now.

    Really not impressed.

  58. Hunter French says:

    Bobbie,

    I really like WSUS, so thanks for the free tool. The goof was a big one and it was a treat to get to explain to all of my users what WDS was. ha.

    I am thankful for the explaination and apology, at least I am not going completely crazy. I just sat there thinking "I know I didn’t approve WDS."

    As has been mentioned previously, a real help would be a way to use WSUS to remove WDS in all of its flavors.

    I know you all are working on a fix and I appreciate it.

    Sincerely,

    Hunter

  59. Anything But Microsoft says:

    Eric,

    >How can we (WSUS Admins) be assured that this won’t happen again in the future?

    You can’t, in fact you can almost be assured it will happen again. This is illegal activity that Microsoft is very accustomed to doing, and will repeat itself whenever it suits Microsoft to do so.

  60. Danny says:

    The command %windir%$NtUninstallKB917013$spuninstspuninst.exe /q /promptrestart does not work in our login scripts. Could it be that the user does not have enough rights?

    Please help me with an efficient tool to uninstall desktop search.

  61. Bart Brinkman says:

    MS, fix this problem! Release a "uninstall WDS malware" "patch" and please don’t auto approve this patch for me… or any other patches, upgrades or what ever you’d like to call them. Your backhanded apology is not accepted or acceptable. I too have taken advantage of the advanced features in AD to control what my users have access to. They don’t have access to any of the stuff they’d need to uninstall WDS and I would never want them to. They live in a controlled environment where, for the most part, things don’t just sneak on or off there computer. That is, unless you decide to backdoor me like this and slip one in.

    I do feel your frustration though. Google makes all these great apps that people love. The pressure from the higher ups at MS to dominate every market must be overwhelming at times. I can almost understand why someone would think it would be a good idea to use your domination in other areas to slip some of your under preforming software software onto users desktops. You think WDS is great and "hey, why wouldn’t everyone want it" but your wrong. It’s only sad that someone didn’t stop who ever thought this was acceptable. This is what is truly sad. No one in the decision making process stopped to think if this was a good idea for US, the people on the ground, the admins fighting to keep systems updated and working day in and day out. We rely on your services for help and this is how you treat us.

    Shame on you, apology NOT accepted! Release an uninstall for WDS that WE can APPROVE for install with WSUS!

    Bart

  62. Aaron says:

    Please issue a removal patch that can be automatically deployed via WSUS or GP that does not require user to be an admin user.

  63. Nate Cull says:

    HarryJohnston: Thanks, that’s the missing information I was looking for.

    I’m still not happy that I can’t set up any automatic process to tell the difference between a (presumably) harmless package revision such as ‘Updated MoreInfoURL’ and an extremely dangerous one like ‘Updated detection metadata’, but this at least gives me a cumbersome manual process which (hopefully) can avoid disasters like KB917013.

    Oh, and what about this one:

    Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (32-bit x86)

    "The binaries have changed due to repackaging, but they are functionally equivalent to original version."

    Is this harmless? Dangerous? What exactly does ‘functionally equivalent’ mean? I mean, a binary linked against a new library could be considered ‘functionally equivalent’ until it turns out to have been a security flaw.

    It’s interesting looking at some of the historical updates too.

    MS07-057: Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP x64 Edition (KB939653)

    • Updated detection metadata.

    So, detection metadata updates happen quite often, do they? And do all of these have the potential to force a site-wide install?

    MS05-004: Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 1.1 Service Pack 1 (KB886903)

    • Added support for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista.

    Okay, what does ‘Added support for <entire new operating systems’> mean? Is that like updating the detection metadata? Could approving a revision of a patch I’ve previously approved for one operating system only, now force it to install sitewide?

    MS07-040: Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 2.0 (KB928365)

    • Updated metadata to add supersedence of MS06-033 and MS06-056.

    I presume ‘adding supersedence’ is harmless and only supercedes old patches, and doesn’t force an install on new systems?

    MS07-053: Security Update for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003 (KB939778)

    • Updated text and changed metadata.

    ‘Changed metadata’. Has that changed the *detection* metadata, or only text and URLs? How would I find out?

    Update for Windows Vista (KB938979)

    • Changed metadata to remove supersedence of update 933928.

    Wait, so does this mean a patch can supersede a patch, let me disable the superseded patch… then change its mind?

    Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (32-bit x86)

    • Updated targeting metadata for Chinese Traditional.

    I don’t automatically install Service Packs and we don’t have Chinese language… but what’s ‘targeting metadata’ versus ‘detection metadata’?

    MS06-078: Security Update for Windows XP (KB923689)

    • Updated metadata to resolve file version discrepancy in detection logic.

    That could be dangerous, and should be re-tested by us as a new update, right?

    MS07-038: Security Update for Windows Vista (KB935807)

    • Released new package to address an installation failure on systems missing a %windir%system32LogFilesFirewall directory.

    MS07-040: Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 1.0 Service Pack 3 (KB928367)

    • Updated detection to resolve incorrect reporting in WSUS.

    Both harmless, I’m guessing?

    MS07-038: Security Update for Windows Vista (KB935807)

    • Updating the targeting detection.

    But that one could be dangerous, right?

  64. Asaf says:

    Our environment is tightly controlled (or so we’d like to think anyway). We have installed WDS on IT workstations for testing and control it via group policy, however there were good reasons why we selected the WDS 2.X client as opposed to the later 3.x release – mostly due to the availability of ADM files and policy controls.

    All of a sudden I came in and found that I have a new WDS installed, that policy is not being applied, and that my indexes have disappeared – I’d say this is pretty serious!!! I too have to now find a way to remove 100’s of WDS installs from unweary users .

    I completely agree with a previous comment I saw – where does it end? Will Microsoft now decide for us when XP SP3 gets installed because SP2 was approved previously? Someone needs to be held accountable for these stuff-ups.

    One more thing – can anyone explain why an updated version of the "supposed" same program no is no longer controlled by group policy and also wipes out previous indexes?

  65. patchy says:

    uhh… Bobbie, your minions are awaiting a word (ANY WORD) from you and your group.

    While I’m asking, a blog is not an official corporate statement.  When is MS going to issue a real statement on this fiasco.

    Hello…. is there anybody in there?  just nod if you can hear me. Is there anybody home?

  66. rigo says:

    use linux and you won’t have to worry about this kind of stuff

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  67. anon says:

    Put the script in your Active Directory Computer Startup GPO and this runs with the necessary rights, also /norestart if you don’t want it to retart the PC

    [ instead of /promptrestart  ]

     %windir%$NtUninstallKB917013$spuninstspuninst.exe /q /promptrestart

  68. Blunder says:

    Microsoft –

    You’re arrogance once again arises.  You need to supply the fix to your aggresive behavior.  You have no right to penetrate secure systems (at least that is what you have  led us to believe).  Step up, publically announce your misdeed, provide an automatic fix or agree to pay for the labor to remove you’re blunder and oh by the way – what will still be left on our machines….   "This option will leave some software on the machine, but the invocation effectively removes WDS 3.01."  Maybe you need to pay rental for space used by your ineffective uninstall.  Shame on Microsoft.

  69. asd says:

    i just read the last comment about where to put the uninstall command.

    i don’t understand one thing though – how the hell didn’t all of you server/system/network administrator guys know how to do that.

    advice in previous comment worked fine here, i was just going to write practically the same comment.

    and i’m just a lowly it tech that didn’t get hit hard (well, ~75% of computers got wds).

    i’m not saying it was good or right for it to be deployed like that, but i understand the reasons why it did. the uninstallation instructions are given in a post, previous comment by anon should make it understandable for most people with access to there…

  70. Zimbo says:

    I finally managed to remove this software yesterday, only to find that the damn thing has downloaded itself again this morning…!

  71. Zimbo says:

    Oh, and running Add/Remove gets rid of the application but does NOT delete the downloaded update file. So after removing the application you then find after a reboot that the ‘new updates’ icon appears back in System Tray, and wants you to reinstall it!

    You have to find the update file in  C:WINDOWSSoftwareDistributionDownload and do a manual delete.

  72. Andre says:

    # re: WDS update revision follow – up

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007 2:20 AM by anon

    Put the script in your Active Directory Computer Startup GPO and this runs with the necessary rights, also /norestart if you don’t want it to retart the PC

    [ instead of /promptrestart  ]

    %windir%$NtUninstallKB917013$spuninstspuninst.exe /q /promptrestart

    This works great!

    Add a policy object and set startup script to

    %windir%$NtUninstallKB917013$spuninstspuninst.exe

    and set parameters to

    /q /promptrestart

    Link the GPO to a specific OU in your Active Directory and it works. I tried it on several systems.

    Offcourse it can take a while for your policy to be replicated so to test go to the commandprompt on the workstation and use gpupdate /force

  73. I says:

    Mr. Bobbie Harder,

    Your version of events is NOT believable.

    Try to come up with something more plausible.

  74. Tom says:

    1) It was a mistake. When you use WSUS, you give YOUR WSUS server the ability to automatically install updates. YOU, not MS, are permitting this to happen. It isn’t as if WSUS suddenly appears and starts spewing updates. Now, we do trust the WSUS team to not make mistakes, and they’re going to work on their process. At least they had the integrity to admit it…and we got it straight from the horses mouth, and not some PR puppet.

    2) Download PowerShell, query AD for all servers, and use PSEXEC to run the uninstall command on all of your remote machines. Problem solved.

    This isn’t THAT big of a deal. If all the people whining spent 7 seconds to think about the solution, instead of playing victim, you’d have it removed already.

  75. m.mcneely says:

        Does nobody remember that an Ubuntu update wiped people’s home directories?

    Does anyone remember Windows allowing their hard-drive to be corrupted?

    I waited {and my operating system allowed me to wait: no automatic updates   😉  } until the dust had settled and then i did an update.

    I have never lost a file or been disgusted by anything Ubuntu has done on my system, and am never at a loss with Linux.

    Stop whining about incompetency.  Those who are incompetent will stick with what allows them to be incompetent:  Windows.

    Those who are competent will just switch:  Debian, Ubuntu, Gentoo, etc.

  76. Chris Hoiberg says:

    As a WSUS Admin I have some questions, concerns, and comments on this recent WDS 3.01 update that was forcibly shoved down our throats.

    First off, this update came in with an Approved Status when I had not clearly approved the prior version. All I am coming across is posts stating that if you had WDS 3.0 previously "Approved for Install", than when the 105 revision of WDS 3.01 came in to our WSUS it would have inherited that Auto Approval.

    I have scoured my WSUS and I do not have a trace of WDS 3.0 on my system, I do however have WDS 2.6.6 from November of 2006 as well as WDS 2.6.5 from July of 2006 that are "Approved for Install". But this is a completely different version of the product and does not warrant the next version to come in Auto Approved.

    Now, not only did this update come into WSUS Auto Approved, but it came in a silent mode. We have our GPO for Windows Updates set to "Auto download and schedule the install”. This was not the case; our machines had this installation of WDS 3.01 (Revision 105) happen in the background without user input. WDS 3.01 (Revision 105) came in with the same behavior as Windows Defender Updates, once approved, they install in the background…

    So now we at the point of having to deal with WDS 3.01 (Revision 105) being installed in the background without us knowing about it to almost every machine on the corporate network. The IT community starts to notice this and calls Microsoft on update they sent out. So the next evening we get another update into WSUS which is Revision 106 of WDS 3.01.

    This Revision 106 comes into WSUS with the proper settings of not being auto approved for installation.

    The only problem is this new update of WDS 3.01 (Revision 106) which has conveniently cleared out the prior Revision 105 of WDS 3.01 is not even available to be "Approved for Install".  WDS 3.01 (Revision 106) is now an Expired Update. (“The selected update has expired and cannot be approved for installation. It is recommended you decline this update.”).

    Now we are left with over 1,000 machines that have a standard image on them with WDS 3.01 and close to another 150 machines with our standard image that hadn’t checked in with WSUS yet and did not get the WDS 3.01 (Revision 105) Update before it was replaced with the Expired WDS 3.01 (Revision 106) Update.

    So where does Microsoft stand on this update, you already caused us to deploy this application to over 3/4 of our machines, now we can’t finish the remaining machines that have yet to receive the application???

  77. PZ says:

    1. Understood – autoapproval was a SNAFU. Provide a removal mechanism that is equivalent to install mechanism. Do not give us uninstall strings. If install requires no reboot, so should the uninstall process. If install can be approved through WSUS, so should be removal. When pushing updates, provide a mechanism to return the system into its pre-update state if needed. What next – MS will give us the list of dll’s to remove and registry settings to change?

    2. Removal does require restart in this case. If restart is delayed, undesired side effects happen, especially on servers.

    3. Better regression testing is required. After install on W2k3 SP2 Terminal Servers Cluster users were denied logon due to low system resources. DOS would happen at 25%-30% of regular number of sessions. Uninstall of WDS would not remedy the situation until the reboot is done. With 30-40 users already on Terminal Server, reboot is unacceptable. Even with reboot, multiple roaming profiles would turn "corrupt", so users will logon into temporary profiles, losing all their personalizations.

    4. It is my impression – seems like during the last 2-2.5 months WSUS QA has been really lacking. Are there any personnel changes in the key functional areas of WSUS team, or a new "streamlined" process being implemented? We never had these many harmful updates happening one after another in the past. Hope it’s just a coinsidence.

    5. It wasn’t even 2nd Tuesday of the month – my understanding is that off-schedule updates are reserved for high-risk, critical vulnerabilities that can’t wait. How’s this the case?

  78. PZ says:

    One more thing:

    How ironic is that when you do need a patch for a legitimate OS or Office Suite issue that’s not publicly available for download, MS support really gets under your skin before they provide it to you, to "assure" and whatnot… Last I called for a particular patch, I had to talk to 3 layers of management somewhere half way around the globe, providing them everything from the KB articles to diagnostics data, to blood samples to find out that they didn’t "feel comfortable" that patch would fix our issues, and that our Excel issues were definitely due to us running VMWare in our environment. I ended up downloading the patch from p2p network instead, and it did fix the issue they described in KB.

    And here we get a "givaway" bananza on the updates we don’t even want. Followed by a "sincere" apology.

  79. dalepres says:

    PZ, the fact that this was released off schedule is another indication that this was nothing other than a marketing ploy and not an update.  It was done in the middle of the night, sort of like Congress does when passing pork spending that they don’t want anyone to know.  It was snuck in when no one was looking.  

    They were losing in the desktop search marketplace and losing badly.  Afterall, all Microsoft search products have been disasters from the beginning.  So, since they couldn’t beat the competition in the market, they tried to beat them by using wsus.trojan and OneCare.trojan.

    I have seen very serious security risks with hacks in the wild have to wait until Patch Tuesday weeks away and yet this one gets rolled out off schedule.  The only emergency was Microsoft’s need to beat you-know-who that was kicking their tail in the Desktop Search category.

    Wsus.Trojan is now a marketing tool.  Kind of reminds me of smart tags in Office where advertisers can buy popup ads in productivity software.  Microsoft, a pioneer in the concept of the banner ad, who continues to not do the one simple thing that would end rootkits completely, who sees every product they sell you only  as a tool to drive recurring revenue into their coffers.  

    In other words, they are the king of all malware.  

    And, by the way, I am not a Linux fan.  I have been a Microsoft fan and supporter since Microsoft Basic on the Altair days.  I just have had enough though.  

    They are no longer happy making billions by selling products on their merits; now they want to sell you the product and sell others the advertising space in the product you paid for: to sell Sony rootkit access to your PC; sell your fair-use rights out from under you to the RIAA in the form of digital rights management… do I need to continue?  What you buy from Microsoft means nothing to them.  You mean nothing to them.  What they install on your PC, including Windows, WSUS, WDS, and all the rest are only the means to open the door – the back door – for those back-door deals Microsoft makes with everyone besides you.

  80. Overworked Admin says:

    I’m sure it’s been said enough – but what a nightmare for the admin that has to deal with the complaints from users saying there desktops are slow.

    I’ve somewhat limited through installing a Group Policy with the v3.1 adm file shipped with the’update’, to limit what WDS searches.

    At first I thought it was Microsoft idea of getting in to beat Google Desktop – which hides itself in many other programs (Adobe Reader / Real Player etc).

  81. Paul Predo says:

    Where is the WSUS removal tool? We can’t even uninstall this mess ?!?!

  82. FREDERICK SANTOS says:

    I HAD DE ACTIVATED AUTOUPDATES DUE TO A DEFENDER UPDATE WHICH REMOVED MY SECURITY SUITE OPERATING ICON, AN HAD TO SEARCH THROUGH THE COMPUTER UNTIL I FOUND THE PROGRAMME, WHICH HAD ITS LOCATION HIDDEN DUE TO THE FACT THAT IT WAS A SECURITY PROGRAMME, CREATE ANOTHER SHORT CUT, AND FINALLY GET IT TO THE SYSTEM TRAY, AND ALSO MAKE IT A START UP ITEM.

    SO I DO NOT KNOW HOW THIS SEARCH DESKTOP ITEM GOT INTO MY COMPUTER, UNLESS AS SOMEONE SAID, IT WAS FORCED THROUGH BY MICROSOFT , WHICH HAS A TRUSTED STATUS.

  83. Steven says:

    So Bob, What’s the deal when are you going to fix this monumental cockup properly? We have been left waiting far too long already.

  84. Dave Star says:

    Hello,

    Maybe you didn’t get it, but we need a REMOVAL TOOL ASAP !

    Why you don’t put a new security update named "Windows Desktop Search Uninstaller" set to "off" that we could turn on to UNINSTALL this intrusive software ?

    Thanks for your concern!

  85. Another Star says:

    I agree with Dave Star – a removal agent is needed as I am seeing PC’s reduced to a standstill by this.

  86. Eric Wallace says:

    Gotta add my voice to the mix… Please WSUS team: either change this so that we can "Approve for removal" or release a removal tool ASAP!

  87. Paul Predo says:

    I got a blame for my I&T admin for this…

    Thank you very much WSUS team for your incompetence.

    I have simply too many computers to think about going on manually desinstalling WDS.

    I have told to my I&T admin that a removal tool will be released shortly.. and what the hell are you waiting for ?!

  88. Tom says:

    And people still continue to beg for a "removal tool" instead of being creative and fixing it on their own.

    http://www.phishthis.com/2007/10/30/wsuswds-debacle/

    There’s a powershell script there. Change the LDAP string to suit your environment and try that. You’ll need PowerShell.

  89. Dave Star says:

    "And people still continue to beg for a "removal tool" instead of being creative and fixing it on their own."

    Because it’s not professional to do it this way, this is just a workaround. Your pcs have to be turned on (or you have to put this code in a startup script) if you’re not using AD.

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  93. Caspi says:

    Hello,

    I would like to install WDS 3.01 on some computers, but I cannot approve this package :( I have wds 3.01 revision 106, but it is expired. Is there a way how can i approve it?

    Thanks Caspi

  94. Sam Phillips says:

    Look the best way to fix this is to download the WDS 3.01 patch from microsoft (make sure you Download the MSI) then extract these files using the /extract command.

    Add the .adm template

    Then under comp mgmt, admin tools, windows components, windows search click on "Stop indexing on Limited hard drive space" and set this variable to the value 2147483647MB which will turn off indexing on computers with less than 2 Teribytes harddrives!  this will disable indexing in your environment.

  95. Sam Phillips says:

    Hello,

    I would like to install WDS 3.01 on some computers, but I cannot approve this package :( I have wds 3.01 revision 106, but it is expired. Is there a way how can i approve it?

    Thanks Caspi

    Hi Caspi, you can always destribute via MSI rather than WSUS, sorry thats the only way forward i know of

  96. Sam Phillips says:

    *********************************************************************************************************

    Ignore my previous post….Make sure you download the exe not the msi!!!!!

    Look the best way to fix this is to download the WDS 3.01 patch from microsoft (make sure you Download the EXE) then extract these files using the /extract command.

    Add the .adm template

    Then under comp mgmt, admin tools, windows components, windows search click on "Stop indexing on Limited hard drive space" and set this variable to the value 2147483647MB which will turn off indexing on computers with less than 2 Teribytes harddrives!  this will disable indexing in your environment.

  97. Bill Gates says:

    There is nothing wrong with Microsoft!  

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  106. Peter Wolf says:

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  107. Karl Kiss says:

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