Windows Meltdown and Spectre Patches Impact Rockwell Software Users


Earlier this week, Bob (a fellow automation instructor and a LinkedIn connection), sent me a message about a serious Windows update issue he encountered after returning from winter break.

Apparently, Microsoft released several security updates for Windows 7, 8.1, 10, Server 2012 and 2016 this month that have been discovered to cause multiple issues with popular Rockwell Software products.

Issues, that in some cases, stop products like Studio 5000 and FactoryTalk View Studio from working.

It appears Bob was on the leading edge of the discovery of these issues, as when he initially called Rockwell Tech Support no public Tech Note had yet been published.

But in the week's since, Rockwell has now published a public Tech Note (ID 1071234) covering the many issues in quite some detail.

Note: You can view the above mentioned Tech Note here.

The issues reported so far include the following:

  • Inability to log into FactoryTalk Security
  • Inability to select a FactoryTalk Directory
  • Inability to run the FactoryTalk Directory Configuration Wizard
  • Nuisance errors when opening up Studio 5000 Logix Designer
  • Inability to down with Logix Designer because Who Active (RSLinx Classic) doesn't work
  • RSLinx will not launch due to RSWho error
  • Rockwell Alarm Server service fails to start
  • FactoryTalk Directory fails to start with tray application showing errors
  • FactoryTalk Activation Manager Binding ID list shows as blank, no option to select
  • Installation of View SE generates error because it can't locate FT Directory
  • RSLogix 5000 revision 20.04 won't launch
  • Logix Compare Tool throws error message after selecting 2 projects
  • New install of FactoryTalk View Machine Edition generates Activation Failed error.

What exasperates this issue, is how Microsoft (and other vendors) are practically forcing users to install updates, and when those updates are not automatically and silently installed, users are berated with daily update reminders.

Now in my Windows 10 VM article posted last week, I mentioned how I typically set Windows 10 to update as infrequently as possible.

But even then, using Windows' own built-in options, you can only postpone security updates for up to 30 days, which is not typically long enough for automation vendors to release fixes for issues.

The persistent nature of these updates lead Bob to have to implement a stop gap measure in his classroom.

At the beginning of each class he now has to have his students uninstall the above mentioned MS updates before starting the affected Rockwell Software products.

Hopefully the Rockwell MS Patch qualification team will be able to find workarounds for the affected products soon, so these MS patches will no longer prohibit some of Rockwell's popular software packages from working.

That said, it's no small task as currently there are a dozen MS Patches that have been observed to cause “anomalous behavior” with FactoryTalk based products:

  • KB4054517
  • KB4056888
  • KB4056890
  • KB4056891
  • KB4056892
  • KB4056895
  • KB4056896
  • KB4056898
  • KB4056899
  • KB4073291
  • KB4075199
  • KB4075200

If you'd like to watch a video discussion of the above, check out Episode 23 of The Automation Minute Season 4 below:

If you've run into any of these issues I'd love to hear from you – just click on the “post a comment or question” link below.

And if you enjoy reading articles like this and would like to support my work you can pledge $1 a month at and in return receive free downloads of my sample code, videos, and articles 😉


Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger
If you enjoyed my article, you may like my courses at

  1. Super job explaining how tricky this problem is and how to get some temporary relief. Rumor is that some of the MS security patches have been rolled back as they are causing problems in a variety of software programs. An updated patch from Rockwell would be the best solution.
    Thank YOU Bob for letting me know!
    Very much appreciated!
    Shawn Tierney,
    PS - I'm publishing a new article this morning walking Windows 10 users though the steps I show in the video 😉

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