January CU breaks stuff and false alarms

If you work at a company that mandates Microsoft Security patches get installed on all servers, like some major health care companies and law firms have a tendency of mandating, then you might have encountered this months happy-happy, joy-joy of MS16-004 Office 2013 Security Update (Important) (KB3124585) and it’s breaking of lists and causing other things to seemingly go awry.

After installing the patch we saw the “Error: TypeError: Unable to get property ‘replace’ of undefined or null reference” throughout the dev farm (and uat; since we’d erroneously patched both farms in unison).  And in true law firm haste, we didn’t wait for the workaround for this bug that Stefan Goßner blogs about at his blog, we went straight to the January CU that was touted, by Microsoft TechNet forums as the resolution.

False Alarms

Excel services seemed to be crashing the app pool…

So, at this point the lists were looking fantastic; but, excel services seemed like it wanted to stop the app pool any time someone tried to connect an excel spreadsheet to SharePoint.  Managed meta data was also acting strange and in some cases it was throwing an error in both central admin that the service was unavailable, and in any list with a managed metadata field – – not able to connect.

 

managedmetadata

 

The fix:

 

 

Just run Initialize-SPResourceSecurity on all the servers in your farm, and you should be good to go.

 

Not out of the woods yet:

If you threw on the January CU, as one of my unfortunate clients has done,  you will notice other things, for example, when you go to “View all Site collections” and then attempt to change to a different web application, the browser redirects to the default.aspx for central admin and does not take the user to the page that shows the site collections within the page.  One workaround for this  to use powershell to see all the site collections

 

(https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262261.aspx)

 

Avoid the Jan CU:

As is always best practice, avoid applying a CU until at least 90 days have past since it’s release.  If you have a break fix and cant wait even a couple of minutes (or days) to see if Microsoft puts out a break fix security patch, then you could apply the CU.  that being said, I recommend that you follow Stefan Goßner’s advice and install this patch to fix https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50667

January CU seems to have possibly caused other issues with User Profile sync: as is reported by numerous blogs, including Todd K’s – – http://www.toddklindt.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=616 and TechNet forums

apparently some folks search is down too.  Yike-a-rownskins on that one!

For the user profile sync issues, i’d say that if it does not start, the quick fix would be to remove the user profile service application and it’s databases and then re-install and for the search, – – it just depends on what the issue is, if a full crawl isn’t occurring, then check logs to see what might be the issue, maybe is permissions for the crawl account, as we saw some of the SPdataAccess user mappings removed by the KB, as well….

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