Network issues with Updates KB4088875 / KB4088878

Windows Update[German]Microsoft’s security updates KB4088875 and KB4088878 for Windows 7 SP1/Server 2008, released March 13, 2018, causes serious network issues with virtual network adapters. They lose their static IP address and are switched to DHCP address assignment.


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The (Monthly Quality Rollup) Update KB4088875 and the Security Only Update KB4088878 were released on March 13, 2018 for Windows 7 SP 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2. I had blogged about these security updates at Security Updates for Windows 7/8.1 (March 13, 2018). Within this article I already mentioned some known issues with these updates – reaching from blue screens up to a a possible memory leak for SMB servers. I warned about installing these updates. Shortly after the publication of the article, there was initial feedback that the updates were causing massive issues on real machines.

Error: Network adapter disappears

Shortly after I’ve published the German edition of my blog post, a blog reader left a comment, reporting the following issue:

I now had the following problem with the three Windows Server 2008 R2 that the server lost the fixed IP address and was set to DHCP.

A new interface has been created under

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\
Services\Tcpip\Parameters\Interfaces.

Has anyone also noticed this problem?

And I received this comment within my German blog.

KB4088875 or KB4088878 on our VMware VMs (Windows Server 2008 R2) ensures that the statically assigned IP address changes to DHCP… Server 2012 R2 does not appear to be affected.

At reddit.com this thread contains user reports, saying that the updates affects the virtual VMware VMXNET3 network adapters. And here we have another reddit.com mega thread discussing the issue, that static IP addresses used by network adapter has been changed to use a DHCP server to obtain these IP addresses. This tweet names the issue.


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A workaround with 50% success rate

At reddit somebody proposes within this thread, to force a view of hidden devices in devcice manager. This is possible in a command prompt window:

set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
start devmgmt.msc

Then activate the display of hidden devices in the device manager. Then delete the NICs that are grayed out. Should help in 50% of the cases and the network adapters will come back.

An old Microsoft support article 3125574

Microsoft already had massive issues with the Convenience Rollup Update KB3125574 in December 2017 and has published this KB article. Microsoft indicates as an issue with this update that the virtual network adapter (vNIC) is created with the default settings instead of the previous settings during the update installation:

A new Ethernet virtual Network Interface Card (vNIC) may be created with default settings in place of the previously existing vNIC, causing network issues. Any custom settings on the previous vNIC are still persisted in the registry but unused.

This is exactly the scenario described above that the static IP address assignment is lost and the card must obtain its IP addresses from a DHCP server.

Microsoft offers a VBScript program in source code, which deletes all affected vNIC adapters in the registry. There is an advice, to save first the content of the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\PCI

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8 Responses to Network issues with Updates KB4088875 / KB4088878

  1. EP says:

    More problems with the KB4088875 update are showing up. The 32bit version of KB4088875 causes the Macrium Reflect software to crash with blue screen errors on startup:

    https://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW7/Windows+7+32+bit+BSOD+after+MS+Windows+Update

    Heck, the 32bit version of the KB4088875 update also causes BSODs on non-SSE2 based machines and machines with PAE disabled as Microsoft has documented in support article 4088875.

  2. Shane Nejad says:

    Here is the fix that worked for us:

    1. Download and install this: http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/search.aspx?q=kb3125574 (don’t reboot)
    2. Create the script file from issue1: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3125574/convenience-rollup-update-for-windows-7-sp1-and-windows-server-2008-r2
    3. Reboot
    4. Uninstall Intel Network card from Add/Remove
    5. Install NIC Drivers –
    In our case, each one was the same intel card:
    https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/18713/Ethernet-Intel-Network-Adapter-Driver-for-Windows-7-?product=60019

  3. Bernard Thorne says:

    2008r2 fix for servers

    Hi Everyone

    Please try the following and let me know

    Remove this reg key
    Get-ChildItem “HKLM://System/CurrentControlSet/Enum/PCI/*/*/Device Parameters/SlotPersistentInfo”|Remove-Item

    Then install either kb4088875 or 4088875 and reboot.

    I have tested on 6 machines and Nic settings remain. Please see below article about cause of the vmxnet Nic issue.

    Info acticles
    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1020078

    Let me know how you all get on.

  4. Pingback: ИТ Вестник №15.2018 - Блог IT-KB

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  6. yinyangero says:

    Hi Guys,

    After those recent updates, web servers are also not functioning well. When restarting a server under IIS, the server refuses to start again unless you do a reboot. Also all our custom services listening to a socket refuse to restart.

    Is anyone also having these issues? For a quick troubleshooting, I uninstalled KB4338818 and issue went away.

    Life as a server administrator dealing with broken updates s*cks!

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