Patch Tuesday: Here's what's new in November for Windows 7 and 8.1

It's the second Tuesday of the month, and that makes it Patch Tuesday, or the day that Microsoft releases updates for all supported versions of Windows. The most notable ones are certainly the six cumulative updates that were released for Windows 10, but Windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008, and Server 2012 were also included.

If you're on Windows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, you'll get KB4048957, which you can grab from the Microsoft Update Catalog here. It contains the following fixes and improvements:

  • Addressed issue where applications based on the Microsoft JET Database Engine (Microsoft Access 2007 and older or non-Microsoft applications) fail when creating or opening Microsoft Excel .xls files. The error message is: “Unexpected error from external database driver (1). (Microsoft JET Database Engine)".

  • Security updates to Microsoft Windows Search Component, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel-mode drivers, Windows Media Player, and Windows kernel.

There are also a couple of known issues to be aware of:

Symptom Workaround
After installing KB4041681, package users may see an error dialog that indicates that an application exception has occurred when closing some applications. This can affect applications that use mshtml.dll to load web content. The failure only occurs when a process is already shutting down, and doesn't affect application functionality. Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.
After installing this KB, Internet Explorer 11 users who use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) may not be able to scroll through a drop-down menu using the scroll bar.

Using the scroll wheel on a mouse works as expected. This issue only applies to document mode 11, so attempting to load the page with document mode 10 may work around the issue.

To change the document mode in Internet Explorer 11:

  1. Select F12.
  2. Select the Emulation tab.
  3. On the Document mode menu, select 10. The page will reload in the new document mode.
Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.


KB4048960 is a security-only flavor of that update, and it has the exact same changelog. You can download that here.

For those on Windows 8.1 or Server 2012 R2, you'll get KB4048958, which you can grab here. It contains the following fixes and improvements:

  • Addressed issue where the virtual smart card doesn't assess the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) vulnerability correctly.

  • Addressed issue where applications based on the Microsoft JET Database Engine (Microsoft Access 2007 and older or non-Microsoft applications) fail when creating or opening Microsoft Excel .xls files. The error message is: “Unexpected error from external database driver (1). (Microsoft JET Database Engine)".

  • Addressed a crash in Internet Explorer that was seen in machines that used large font-size settings.

  • Addressed issue that caused SharePoint Online sites to stop working in Internet Explorer.

  • Security updates to Microsoft Windows Search Component, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel-mode drivers, Windows Media Player, and Windows kernel.

KB4048958 contains the same known issues as its Windows 7 counterpart. There's also a security-only update, KB4048961, that contains the following fixes and can be downloaded here:

  • Addressed issue where applications based on the Microsoft JET Database Engine (Microsoft Access 2007 and older or non-Microsoft applications) fail when creating or opening Microsoft Excel .xls files. The error message is: “Unexpected error from external database driver (1). (Microsoft JET Database Engine)".

  • Security updates to Microsoft Windows Search Component, Windows Media Player, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel-mode drivers, and the Windows kernel.

Finally, Windows Server 2012 (not R2) gets KB4048959, which contains the following fixes and improvements:

  • Addressed issue where the virtual smart card doesn't assess the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) vulnerability correctly.

  • Addressed issue where applications based on the Microsoft JET Database Engine (Microsoft Access 2007 and older or non-Microsoft applications) fail when creating or opening Microsoft Excel .xls files. The error message is: “Unexpected error from external database driver (1). (Microsoft JET Database Engine)".

  • Security updates to Microsoft Windows Search Component, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel-mode drivers, Windows Media Player, and Windows kernel.

Unlike the rest of the updates, there are no known issues with that one. The security-only update, KB4048962, has the same changelog. You can click on the following links for the download pages for KB4048959 and KB4048962.

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