Some Windows 7 administrators recently started a nasty awakening. They arrived and found that many, sometimes thousands of PCs were no longer activated. Quick Scan found that the latest Windows updates were KB4480870 and KB4480960.
Thousands of Volume Licenses Disabled
As described by Mary Jo Foley and Günter Born, a Windows 7 administrator who found that thousands of computers had been found disabled and displayed an error message that is not real , The problem appears to have occurred after installing KB971
These special machines have KMS enabled, a volume licensing option offered by Microsoft. With KMS activation, an administrator can easily activate many PCs by checking in to a local server for a valid volume license key.
There was a problem after installing the update when a Windows 7 PC checked in the KMS server. The server sent a blacklisted error instead of the usual answer, resulting in a "non-genuine" message. According to Born, KB971033 was developed to validate standard Windows licenses and would probably never have made it to KMS PCs.
Microsoft has since confirmed the problem and reversed the change. It also provided guidance to find out if computers have the update installed and how to remove and re-enable them.
Remote Access Interrupted with Some Local Users
Unfortunately, the problem does not stop there. At the same time, Microsoft broke the activation for legitimate PCs. It also broke remote access for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 PCs. This problem is limited to remote connections from local users who are part of the local Administrators group. Domain accounts and local accounts that are not local administrators are not affected.
Microsoft has identified the problem, but only offers the workaround, which is to use one of the unaffected accounts above.
Once again, Microsoft has released patches and updates that have damaged parts of Windows. Considering how quickly an administrator found the cause of the problem, Microsoft definitely seems to be testing more before patches are released. Unfortunately, Microsoft continues to treat its users as testers. Because of this, you probably should not click the "Check for Updates" button.
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