Microsoft Update Bricks PCs Running Windows 7
Last week, Microsoft released a security update which happened to cripple an unknown number of PCs running Windows 7. This was brought to light on Friday when Microsoft quietly recommended that customers uninstall a particular security update after users began reporting that it caused their computer to enter the dreaded “Blue Screen Of Death” (BSOD) screen.
The update which is labelled as MS14-045 under Microsoft’s classification, was one of nine released on “Patch Tuesday,” August 12th, which was devised with the intent of fixing three separate flaws. This included one related to a font vulnerability and another in the Windows kernel which is the root of the operating system.
Unfortunately, within hours of its release users had already reported that MS14-045 had caused a stop 0x50 error on some systems, especially on Windows 7 PCs running the 64-bit version of the OS.
One user, identified as “xformer” created a now-massive thread on Microsoft’s Support discussion forum where he described the issue in detail: “Installation went smoothly. After rebooting everything worked fine. But when I shut down my notebook and switched it on a little later it came up with a blue screen with a Stop 0x50 in Win32k.sys. I could not even boot into safe mode as Windows failed to start no matter which mode chose.”
As of Sunday, that thread contained almost 380 messages and had been viewed almost 50,000 times. The latter is a surprisingly large figure even for Microsoft’s support forum, and provides a good idea surrounding the scope of the issue.
It was reported in other articles that users were able to regain control of their PCs by performing a System Restore which returns the system state back to a previous point in time. This was only done however, after each person had booted the computer using original install media.
Microsoft has since announced the removal of all links to the harmful patches from its Download Center, despite the fact that they continued to offer this update via Windows Update – Microsoft’s service for delivering patches to PCs.
The software giant announced that they are currently “investigating behavior associated with the installation of this update, and will update this bulletin when more information becomes available” within the revised MS14-045’s Update FAQ.