Windows: Serious graphics printing problems after March 2021 updates

The March 2021 patch day is becoming a disaster for Windows users and administrators, as there have been serious printing problems with graphic content since then.

Systems with installed Windows 10 updates from March 9th and 15th, 2021 may experience further printing problems. Microsoft announces this on its status website. Table rows may be missing or alignment or formatting problems may occur. Additionally, elements of a document may be printed as solid boxes or may be missing altogether. It is also possible that barcodes, QR codes and graphic elements such as logos are missing in the printout or that blank labels are output on label printers.

This not only affects Windows 10 and its server counterparts but all versions back to 7 / 8.1. Microsoft says it is investigating this error and wants to publish a correction in the future.

So far it had looked as if the security updates from March 9, 2021, only caused blue screens when printing on certain Windows 10 systems. Microsoft corrected this problem with a special update on March 15, 2021. Windows users still had blue screens. Software developers reported that the 1-bit bit depth bitmap functions stopped working since the March 2021 updates. Software that works at 8-bit bit depth does not appear to be affected.

Consequences for companies

Printing documents with tables or graphics from Microsoft Office can fail completely. For example, many clients at DATEV are affected by these printing problems. Some companies have to restore a complete fleet of Windows clients to the February 2021 update, because otherwise, their users will no longer be able to work with Microsoft Office. This applies to all versions of Microsoft Office 365 and also Microsoft Office 2010 to 2019.

One company switched to a Linux print server because Dymo label writers only printed blank labels and the shipment of goods stopped. In medical practices, the stamps to be inserted as graphics were missing when printing documents, fax servers can no longer make fax printouts because these are processed and printed as TIFF graphics.

Post a Comment