Windows update caused ticket printing to stop 9-24-21

(Last updated on: September 24, 2021)

We have figured out how to work around the problem. The only problems that are coming up now are from box offices that have custom ticket formats. We can copy their ticket format back in a couple minutes.

So, what happened?

The first indication there was a problem was when one of our customers reported that their ticket format changed. They were also getting a message, “You do not have permission to write to the \Tickets subdirectory.” The interesting thing was that this was in a section of code that was about 10 years old. Why would software work reliably for 10 years and then quit? And, this would happen with most of the computers. But there were some that had no problems. This was getting curiouser and curiouser. Customers were calling us in a panic. It had become a real mess.

A couple hours later, we had worked around what seemed to be the problem. We posted an update. The only thing left to do is copy the ticket formats back in from a backup.

What seems to be happening is that Windows no longer allows binary files to be written on disk with low level commands. Why Windows would not want unsigned binary files written is understandable.

If that last sentence does not mean anything to you, you can safely skip the rest of this message.

The real problem is that Microsoft has had several embarrassing security lapses in the last couple months. They are trying desperately to fix the problems. Turning off the ability to write binary files (which is what viruses, malware and ransomware are) is extremely important. We just found out yesterday that Microsoft put out an update to Windows. Right after that, everyone started having problems.

Now, most of this is conjecture and deduction. But there is supporting evidence emerging.

“It appears that Microsoft has so far been unable to fix the vulnerabilities in Windows network printing.”

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