Several customers who attempted to install the August or September 2018 Monthly Rollups or security-only updates on their Windows 7 devices experienced an error in the process. Now, Microsoft has explained that this was due to the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 servicing stack update (KB 3177467) missing from their machine. That update was released way back in October 2016.
In a blog article posted to Microsoft's tech community site, the company noted that error 0x8000FFFF, which showed up when users tried to install the August 30 Monthly Rollup Preview (KB 4343894), the September 11 Monthly Rollup (KB 4457144), or the September 11 Security-only update (KB 4457145) without the KB 3177467 update. This occurred after the rollout of the Windows 7 SP1 Monthly Rollup (KB 4343900). To help resolve the issue, Microsoft advised customers to install the October 2016 Windows 7 SP1 update first, and then apply the August 30 or September 11, 2018 updates.
Microsoft believed that many customers missed the update and chose to install only the default monthly security fixes, skipping the full servicing stack, because KB 3177467 was marked “critical" and not as a security fix.
The software giant intends to reissue KB3177467 as part of the October 2018 Update on Tuesday, and categorize it as a security update to let blocked customers install the August 2018 or later monthly security-only updates. Moving forward, Microsoft will mark the servicing stack updates as "security" instead of "critical" so as to help customers avoid the same error.