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Microsoft Updates and Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Windows

Article ID: 113634, created on Apr 6, 2012, last review on Dec 18, 2014

APPLIES TO:
  • Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Windows

Windows Updates types

There are two major types of Windows Updates:

  1. GDR - General Distribution Release.

    A binary marked as GDR contains only security-related changes that have been made to the binary, including changes that are relevant to this build of the file and those from any earlier security hotfix that updates the same binary.

    These updates are distributed via Microsoft WSUS.

  2. LDR (QFE) - Limited Distribution Release (formerly known as Quick Fix Engineering).

    A binary marked as QFE/LDR contains both security-related changes that have been made to the binary as well as any functionality changes, including changes that are relevant to this build of the file and those from any earlier security fix or bug fix that updates the same binary.

    These updates are installed manually and are not present in WSUS.

Additional information on Microsoft Updates types:

Technet: QFE vs GDR/LDR hotfixes

Technet: GDR, QFE, LDR... WTH?

Windows Updates Mechanism

As of Windows 2008, binary files of an update are unpacked under the \Windows\WinSxS folder, after which a hardlink to the actual "location" of the file is created.

Example:

Updates KB978886 and KB981391 bring changes to the same file C:\Windows\System32\drivers\FWPKCLNT.SYS.

Upon installation of KB978886 the patched binary is extracted as \Windows\WinSxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-tcpip-binaries_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16889_none_0f170e9f80139ebc\FWPKCLNT.SYS The following hardling is created:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\FWPKCLNT.SYS -> \Windows\WinSxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-tcpip-binaries_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16889_none_0f170e9f80139ebc\FWPKCLNT.SYS

When one installs KB981391 the new binary is extracted as \Windows\WinSxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-tcpip-binaries_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16610_none_0f59b7ad7fe2fcc8\FWPKCLNT.SYS The following hardling is created:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\FWPKCLNT.SYS -> \Windows\WinSxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-tcpip-binaries_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16610_none_0f59b7ad7fe2fcc8\FWPKCLNT.SYS

If one decides to remove update KB981391 the hardlink is being reset to the former location:

C:\Windows\System32\drivers\FWPKCLNT.SYS -> \Windows\WinSxs\amd64_microsoft-windows-tcpip-binaries_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16889_none_0f170e9f80139ebc\FWPKCLNT.SYS

Additional information on Microsoft Updates mechanism:

Technet: What is the WINSXS directory in Windows 2008 and Windows Vista and why is it so large?

Microsoft Windows Updates and Parallels Virtuozzo Containers

All kernel updates, both LDR and GDR, have to be supported by the Parallels Virtuozzo Containers kernel abstraction layer. Parallels Virtuozzo Containers updates introduce support for new Microsoft Windows updates, both GDR and LDR.

In order to verify that an update is supported, take one of the following actions:

Useful links

  1. 112060 Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Windows best practices and known limitations

    It is recommended to read the entire article, but you may check only point #1 in scope of MS updates learning.

  2. 985 How to keep a Parallels Virtuozzo Containers for Windows server up-to-date.

    Parallels recommend to install updates only through "Automatic Updates" distributed from our WSUS (correct WSUS is configured after PVC installation automatically)

  3. 113428 How to know if an unsupported Microsoft update can be installed on a PVC node

    Due to huge amount of MS updates Parallels physically cannot check all of them. Therefore if update is not distributed through WSUS it still might be safe to install it manually. This article will explain how to determine whether some certain update can be installed on the node even if it is not marked as "approved".

  4. 123210 Microsoft updates recommended for manual installation on every PVCfW/PCW node

    Addition to previous article, updates that are not distributed through WSUS but recommended to be installed.

  5. 11220 Is it safe to install Microsoft .NET Framework on a hardware node?

    Small FAQ about .NET installation to the node.In short: Do not install .NET on the node, but if it is already installed, do not uninstall, or things will get worse.

  6. 113348 Microsoft updates for .NET Framework in PVCfW

    Addition to previous article. In short: as installation of .NET on the node is not supported, then all .NET updates are not supported as well.

  7. 111448 How do I properly install .NET Framework inside Containers?

    Small addition to the 2 previous articles.

  8. 120012 Windows updates are not detected: Windows Service Pack reached End-Of-Life

    Microsoft Windows Updates and Service Pack Support Lifecycle Policy

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