January 2018 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 1703 is Not Installing in Task Sequence

I recently upgraded to SCCM 1710 and also updated MDT to v8450 and ADK to v1709. After the upgrade, I discovered Software Updates were broken in my Task Sequences. Specifically the Windows updates weren’t being installed (except for a Adobe Flash security update) whereas the Office 2016 updates were installing fine. At first I thought the update to 1710 had broken it but after a little digging I found that the January Cumulative update looks for the existence of the following registry item before installing the update:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\QualityCompat"

Value Name="cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc"

Type="REG_DWORD”

Data="0x00000000”

So if the registry item is not present then the January cumulative update will not install as documented by Microsoft.

Important: The requirement of the registry item is related to the recent Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Many Anti-Virus software use the kernel in an unsupported way which would cause Windows 10 to BSOD if the cumulative update was to be installed. Hence Microsoft requires AV vendors to fix their software and then create the above registry item as a signal that the update can be safely installed.

Update and Test Anti-Virus Software Installation

Most likely you will need to get in touch with your AV vendor and find out if they have updated their software to fix the issue with the kernel and that it creates the registry item. You will need to obtain the updated version of AV software and run a test install.

This is what I done in my testing:

  • Obtained the updated AV software
  • Did a test AV install and checked the registry item is created
  • I then tried and successfully installed the January cumulative update manually

Once I was confident the above works well I then reproduced this in my task sequence.

Testing in a Task Sequence

The first thing I tried was to set the registry item manually using a Run Command Line step without installing the AV software. This way I was able to verify that my Install Software Updates step was working since the January cumulative update installed fine.

REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\QualityCompat /v cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Do not create this registry item manually in your Task Sequence unless you’re absolutely sure the antivirus software will create it anyway.

Next I moved on to see if the AV software would create the registry item. I made sure the Task Sequence installed the Anti-Virus software first and the Install Software Step would run afterwards. During my test run I added a condition to my Install Software Updates step to check for the existence of the registry item, just to be on the safe side.

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