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Update KB2742596 succeeds but causes custom application to crash

Posted on 2013-02-04
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Recently our organization applied a Microsoft security update part of which was KB2742596. We have both Windows XP SP3 as well as Windows 7 systems. After the update  on Windows XP SP3 machines a custom application has stopped working. On start-up it simply crashes without any error message. I rebuilt the application with some exception handling and I get the following error message:

COM Error Occured in - Source:<EMPTY>, Description:<EMPTY>, Error: 16387

What could possibly cause this error? I also have to mention the same application if started from Visual Studio in Release mode with debugging enabled and Optimization disabled does not crash (standalone version does). Also, the COM error is not descriptive enough.

Environment: Windows XP SP3 on Dell Optiplex 760. .Net 3.5. Visual Studio 2008.
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Question by:olmuser
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by:John Hurst
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The Microsoft Article below says it might be for .NET Framework 2. I have a Windows 7 Pro 64-bit system that has .NET Frameworks 2, 3, and 4 and all versions in between. That update is not on my system and my system is fully up to date not calling for any updates.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/download/details.aspx?id=36275

Can you try rolling back the update?  

... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
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The update you refer to is an XP update that was installed on my XP Pro Virtual Machine via Automatic Update on January 9 this year, so it is nearly a month old. It is not causing any issue on my XP machine and (as noted) is not installed on my Windows 7 machine.

XP says the update can be uninstalled via Add/Remove Programs.

Try your system again without the update and see if it makes a difference.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:olmuser
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@Thinkpads_User, thanks for the reply. Yes it does make a difference. Since we found the isssue we have rolled the upadate back and since then our application works. But I need to find what causes this behaviour of our application. There must be something with the way we use one of the .net 2 libraries, but its hard to say when/where the issue happens. The exception thrown is non descriptive(as above).
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by:John Hurst
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I cannot help with your custom application because I do not now. My .NET 2 is .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 (on Windows 7).

You might download and run .NET Framework Setup Verifier to see that .NET 2 is properly installed and working.

http://cid-27e6a35d1a492af7.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Blog%7C_Tools/netfx%7C_setupverifier%7C_new.zip

Then the only other thing I could suggest is to recompile your application.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:olmuser
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thanks for posting!
Product verification succeeds for all versions of .Net framework.
Re-compiling does not help in my case.
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by:John Hurst
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It is your application causing the problem so far as I can see. That update does not cause any other problems.

So then pending some sort of re-write of your custom application, the short/medium term solution for you at this point is to uninstall KB2742596 on any problem machines and hide the update so it will not re-install.

.... Thinkpads_User
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by:olmuser
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Well, that is what we ended up doing! But I am trying to find what's causing this issue, but without much luck
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
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The update is a security update for .NET 2. The likelihood is that code has been strengthened to prevent strings and variables to go out of bounds. The is how bad hackers get in and this is probably what is happening.

So with XP dying and new versions of .NET coming out that won't run on XP, re-writing your application is probably all you can do.

The reason for the conflict is likely deep in your custom code and not anything Microsoft has done other than fix security.

.... Thinkpads_User
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