Windows 7: ESU questions and more answers – Part 4

win7[German]Administrators who have chosen to participate in the Extended Security Updates program will need to make some enhancements in order to receive security updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in February 2020.


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I’m going to take this up again briefly because Microsoft has given all administrators an unpleasant surprise regarding Extended Security Updates (ESU).

Background: Extended Security Updates (ESU)

I’ve covered it several times in my blog: Companies can still get security updates for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 after the support ends (January 14, 2020). However, the Extended Security Updates Program (ESU) must be booked. Afterwards the ESU license had to be activated on the clients. I had mentioned the necessary boundary conditions and steps in several blog posts (see links at the end of the article).

Meanwhile it is also clear that Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate is covered in the ESU program. This was unclear for some time, as Microsoft had partially removed the reference to the Ultimate from its support articles. The following screenshot shows that the Ultimate SKU is covered.

Update KB4538483 mandatory for ESU

Microsoft had even provided a test update KB4528069 (in 2019), which was downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog and then installed manually.

Update KB4528069


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The update only appeared at startup and was then installed without any further messages. So I thought, it’s sufficient – but on 2/11/22020 I was surprised, however, that no security updates came on my ESU machine. In the meantime the update has been removed from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

For this purpose, Microsoft provided the Techcommunity article on the ESU program, in which the notes on the requirements (SSU, SHA-2) were updated. For ESU systems, update KB4538483 must be manually downloaded from the Update Catalog and then installed.

Windows 7 ESU-Update KB4538483

Only then the client receives its security updates via Windows Update. An additional move from Microsoft, Susan Bradley picked it up at bei askwoody.com.

ESU-Key may have to be reactivated

In addition, the following information is included in the preamble to the Extended Security Updates (ESU) Licensing Preparation Package for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (Update 4538483):

IMPORTANT Some customers using Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 who activated their ESU multiple activation key (MAK) add-on before installing the January 14, 2020 updates might need to re-activate their key. Re-activation on affected devices should only be required once.  For information on activation, see this blog post.

IMPORTANT WSUS scan cab files will continue to be available for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. If you have a subset of devices running these operating systems without ESU, they might show as non-compliant in your patch management and compliance toolsets.

IMPORTANT Customers who have purchased the Extended Security Update (ESU) for on-premises versions of this OS must follow the procedures in KB4522133 to continue receiving security updates after extended support ends on January 14, 2020. For more information on ESU and which editions are supported, see KB4497181.

Caution, probably outdated support articles

At Twitter blog reader Karl points out that Microsoft’s support articles include some outdated information about the requirements for ESU patches. This affects the following articles:

Currently, it is recommended that you use the information provided by Microsoft in KB article 452213 Procedure to continue receiving security updates after extended support ends on January 14, 2020 to upgrade a machine for additional ESU patches. It may help.

The nasty thing: Microsoft’s ESU check is broken. Have here a machine, where ESU is activated, but no updates are shown. A German reader reported, that typos in registering an ESU license may cause this issues without dropping errors. I will check further in the next days and probably write another article.

Article series
Windows 7: Buy and manage ESU licenses – Part 1
Windows 7: Preparing for ESU and license activation – Part 2
Windows 7: ESU Activation inEnterprise Environment – Part 3
Windows 7: ESU questions and more answers – Part 4

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4 Responses to Windows 7: ESU questions and more answers – Part 4

  1. EP says:

    guenni

    Microsoft has just yanked the KB4528069 update from MS Update Catalog site and searching for KB4528069 will recently display no results for it.

    And MS support article 4528069 was updated Feb. 12, 2020 with this note near the top:
    https://support.microsoft.com/help/4528069/

    “Note This update is no longer available. Customers who have purchased the Extended Security Update (ESU) for on-premises versions of this OS must follow the procedures in KB4522133 to continue receiving security updates after extended support ends on January 14, 2020. For more information on ESU and which editions are supported, see KB4497181. To verify ESU eligibility, please use any Monthly Rollup or Security Only update released February 11, 2020 or later, such as KB4537820 or KB4537813.”

    • guenni says:

      Thanks for your comment. Here is just an informational note for my readers.

      Concerning Update KB452808: Maybe you missed my sentence: In the meantime the update has been removed from the Microsoft Update Catalog. below the image?

      Concerning the ‘And MS support article 4528069 was updated Feb. 12, 2020 with this note near the’ – yes, you are right. The pitfall, why I didn’t recognized that prominently: If I call the knowledge base article for that update I will be redirected to a machine translated German page. All localized kb articles are not up to date.

      During writing my patchday blog posts I use the English support articles, but I need manually to switch back to en-us to read the text. That’s what I avoided this night, when I translated the English edition of the blog post (from my German article).

  2. EP says:

    a little late on this but speaking of Win7 ESUs, I stumble onto this article on Deskmodder.de:

    https://www.deskmodder.de/blog/2020/02/12/windows-7-esu-updates-installieren-bypass-funktioniert-wirklich/

    what do you think of it, guenni?

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