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Some Windows 7 PCs bricked by Microsoft after faulty Patch Tuesday update


August 18, 2014

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Some Windows 7 PCs bricked by Microsoft after faulty Patch Tuesday update

Has your Windows computer been stuck in an endless Blue Screen of Death hell since last week?

Chances are it may be connected to the Patch Tuesday updates that Microsoft issued last week.

As ComputerWorld reports, a lengthy thread on Microsoft’s support forums reveal that many users have been hit by a so-called “Blue Screen of Death” (BSOD) 0x50 Stop error message.

The dodgy update which appears to have caused the problem is MS14-045, a security update for the Windows kernel-mode drivers.

Frustration amongst those hit by the problem grew towards the end of last week, as many users found that their Windows 7 computers had been effectively “bricked”, with the BSOD preventing them from booting up properly.

Why was this bulletin revised on August 15, 2014?

Microsoft revised this bulletin to address known issues associated with installation of security update 2982791. Microsoft is investigating behavior associated with the installation of this update, and will update this bulletin when more information becomes available. Microsoft recommends that customers uninstall this update. As an added precaution, Microsoft has removed the download links to the 2982791 security update. For instructions on how to uninstall this update, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 2982791.

Microsoft has now removed download links while they investigate more deeply, but the finger of suspicion has already been pointed strongly towards poor handling of the Windows font cache file.

Known issue 3
Microsoft is investigating behavior in which systems may crash with a 0x50 Stop error message (bugcheck) after any of the following updates are installed:

2982791 MS14-045: Description of the security update for kernel-mode drivers: August 12, 2014
2970228 Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows
2975719 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2
2975331 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012

This condition may be persistent and may prevent the system from starting correctly.

It’s good that Microsoft has published a workaround (albeit a fiddly one) to get computers back up and running again, but there’s no doubt that everyone would be happier if the bug hadn’t been present in the first place – or had been intercepted during Microsoft’s testing process rather than only discovered once rolled out to users’ computers.

This is far from the first time that Microsoft’s critical security fixes have caused problems, forcing users to await a patch for the patch… and sadly I doubt it will be the last either.




Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s.

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