Microsoft has issued a second fix for a flaw it tried to patch in July for a bug that prevented some network administrators from using the company's primary business patch management tool to deploy security updates.
The patch, which was posted to Windows Update on Tuesday along with a raft of more than two-dozen other fixes, was the second time in the past month that Microsoft addressed an issue with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), the free add-on to Windows server software that lets companies feed security updates to client systems.
In early June, WSUS administrators discovered that they were unable to push patches to machines that had Office 2003 on-board. Microsoft determined that a synchronisation bug in a recent Office 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) update was at fault, and promised a fix.
Although it delivered a patch on July 10, the next day it acknowledged problems some administrators running WSUS on Windows Server 2008 had after installing the fix. "In order to successfully install this update, you must run the update as an administrator," said Microsoft in an advisory at the time.
On August 1, Microsoft quietly re-issued the patch - tweaked so it would install on Server 2008 - and posted it on the company's download centre.
On Wednesday, Microsoft added the revised WSUS patch to Windows Update to make it available for automatic download and installation.
Administrators who manually downloaded and installed the re-patch between August 1 and Tuesday, of course, do not need to do so again via Windows Update, Microsoft noted in a revised security advisory.
The just-patched problem was the second found in WSUS during June. Earlier that month, some enterprises running System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (ConfigMgr) were unable to push patches to end users' machines. That bug was also traced to Office 2003 Service Pack 1, Microsoft later said. It has refused to link the two issues, saying only that there were "similarities in the contributing factors" in both.