Tech Microsoft Critical Update turns out to be Internet Explorer 8...

Critical Update turns out to be Internet Explorer 8 for Windows Home Server

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Introduction

Tonight I was greeted by my Home Server announcing that it had a critical update that just *had* to be installed. I wasn’t happy with clicking the Install Updates button in the Home Network Health dialog so I logged into my Home Server via Remote Desktop and had a look for the Windows Update icon to see what it so urgently needed to install.

Critical Update from Microsoft

Turns out it was Internet Explorer 8, not exactly a critical update in my opinion after all I don’t use the internet from my Home Server. Still I can understand why they’d want to force the update onto users, that way installations of IE6 and IE7 would be lowered and critical updates that people haven’t installed would most likely get installed as part of IE8.

Still I’m not exactly happy to install an internet browser on a server appliance, it’s just not something you do from servers. Here’s hoping that the next version of Windows Home Server is like the Core Version of Windows 2008 Server….

Installation

Installation was painless with just a couple of questions (no I don’t want to participate in the gathering of installation ‘metrics’ and yes you SHOULD install updates) and about three minutes later installation is complete and I find that a reboot is required. And I mean required, Windows will prompt you to reboot after the update installs and will continue to do so until you do.

Reboot and then all is well, Network Health upgraded from the Red Critical that not having installed the update gives and all is well once more. I can safety NOT browse the internet from my Home Server, safe in the knowledge that Internet Explorer 8 is installed and protecting me from all the things on the internet that my Home Server NEVER sees…. sarcasm in that last line, NEVER!

Conclusion

I can understand the forcing of the installation but it still doesn’t mean I like being forced to upgrade a component on a server that I believe shouldn’t exist in the first place. But enough of my bitching, then again I’m not the only one. Check out the following links for more information on this update, should you so wish, but remember to install it there *ARE* security updates to core components of your Home Server that will, hopefully, prevent you being exploited and ‘zombified’ in the future:

Microsoft to require opt-in for installing IE8

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10218185-56.html

Is IE8 worth installing

Yes

http://www.pcworld.com/article/163902/ie_8_its_security_is_worth_the_download.html

No

http://blogs.computerworld.com/why_you_should_not_install_internet_explorer_8

How to keep IE8 off of your computer

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/01/06/ie8-blocker-toolkit-available-today.aspx

Update:

As reported by several people as well as the authors own investigation it is correct that this “Critical Update” indeed does break the Advanced Admin Console add-in. Until this issue is resolved it is recommended that you either remove the Advanced Admin Console add-in or do not install the update until this issue is resolved.

If you do choose not to install the update Using Windows Home Server cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from not having the update installed.

Phil Bevanhttp://
An Englishman by birth Phil Bevan has since moved to Australia where he works as an IT Consultant. He spends a lot of his time as a Shoutcaster and Community Liaison trying to be the eSports equivalent of John Mottson.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Two things I have notes with IE8 on WHS:

    (1) Some Add-In functions fail, specifically some of the pre-canned options in the Advanced Admin Console Add-In. Even after a re-boot it fails. (And rvrn after you fo in through the Remote Desktop and setup/define the profile!)

    (2) I have notices a TWO THIRDS reduction in the time it takes to copy files using my Automated Server Backup procedure ( http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic…. ). And YES, my first thought was that the files were not copying properyl. This is not the case — they are properly reproducd.

    I do not know why these anomalies are occurring; I am particularly baffled at the second one and am looking forward to seeing how much the times are improved on Sunday morning (after the client database is cleaned up).

  2. Two things I have notes with IE8 on WHS:

    (1) Some Add-In functions fail, specifically some of the pre-canned options in the Advanced Admin Console Add-In. Even after a re-boot it fails. (And rvrn after you fo in through the Remote Desktop and setup/define the profile!)

    (2) I have notices a TWO THIRDS reduction in the time it takes to copy files using my Automated Server Backup procedure ( http://www.mediasmartserver.net/forums/viewtopic…. ). And YES, my first thought was that the files were not copying properyl. This is not the case — they are properly reproducd.

    I do not know why these anomalies are occurring; I am particularly baffled at the second one and am looking forward to seeing how much the times are improved on Sunday morning (after the client database is cleaned up).
    BTW I love your blog!

  3. After installing IE8 on WHS I am no longer able to install any programs on WHS that are stored in the shared folders even if I transfer them to the desktop. But can still view photos and open word documents.

  4. George,

    Login to your WHS using Remote Desktop then navigate to the file(s) you have downloaded. Right click on one of them and select Properties.

    You should see an Unblock button, click it to remove the restrictions preventing it being run.

    Repeat for the other files.

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