Microsoft admits issues with Windows 10 patch almost 2 months after release

Problematic Microsoft Edge package could affect System Preparation Tool

Microsoft is confirming that an issue with update KB5032278, which brought Copilot to Windows 10 machines at the end of 2023, could throw up a system preparation tool error.

The issue is not related to the Copilot preview but is instead caused by a problematic Microsoft Edge package. It only affects Windows 10 22H2 systems, not Windows Server.

The patch was released on November 30, 2023, but Microsoft only admitted that there were problems on January 23, 2024.

According to the Windows giant: "After installing updates released November 30, 2023 KB5032278 or later, some Windows devices might be unable to complete preparation using System Preparation Tool (Sysprep.exe) due to issues with the status of a Microsoft Edge package. Affected Windows devices will receive a 0x80073cf2 in the setupact.log."

The system preparation tool, or sysprep.exe, is for IT administrators who want to prepare an installation of Windows for duplication, auditing, and customer delivery.

According to Microsoft, the problem also only occurs when running sysprep.exe in audit mode, which enables admins to add extra drivers and applications to Windows as well as check out an installation before it gets sent to an end user.

Microsoft said it is working on a solution, but in the meantime it published a workaround to mitigate the issue. Affected users will need to use PowerShell and be able to run the tool with administrative privileges.

KB5032278 has had its fair share of issues. As well as having to pull the Copilot preview from devices with more than one monitor and insisting users position their taskbar horizontally at the top and bottom of the screen in order to access the assistant, there were also reported issues around encryption that were only addressed in the January 23 patch, KB5034203.

It does appear that the latest problem confirmed by Microsoft is mainly limited to administrators rather than end users, however. And the Windows giant would no doubt prefer that they focus on Windows 11 instead of the soon-to-be-sunset Windows 10. ®

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