BSOD gives Microsoft blues: Faulty Patch Tuesday update yanked


Microsoft is pulling out a Windows update that led some users complaining about their computers crashing and displaying nothing but the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD), but the company still continues to provide a truncated version of the update.

MS14-045, the update in question, was one of nine updates released during last week's Patch Tuesday. It was meant to fix security flaws including one found in the Windows kernel, what is typically known as the "heart" of the operating system, and another with font vulnerabilities.

However, a number of Windows users, mostly those who have the 64-bit version of Windows 7 running on their PCs, took to the Microsoft Answers support forum to say that their computers crashed shortly after installing the MS14-045 update.

"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," writes a user nicknamed xformer on the Microsoft support forums.

Microsoft says it has removed the flawed update, which actually has two separate packages, from its Download Center. However, Microsoft only removed 2982791, which contains the font problem fix, but not 2976897, which Microsoft still continues to push through Windows Update. In a not-so-detailed security bulletin, Microsoft says it is "investigating behavior association with the installation of this update, and will update this bulletin when more information becomes available."

Microsoft also says that the blue screens could also have been possibly caused by a trio of earlier patches, including one that added support for the Russian ruble symbol, an update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 RT, and another rollup for Windows RT, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Microsoft urges users to boot their PCs in safe mode and uninstall the flawed patch. However, a number of users in the support forums have questioned the fix since Windows has failed to start in whichever mode for most affected PCs. Some users have reported that they were able to revive their PCs using System Restore, but only after booting their computers using a Windows disc or USB installer.

For users who do not have the original install media, Microsoft recommends that they press the power button during the startup process to go into Windows Recovery Environment. From there, they can choose to go into Safe Mode to uninstall the flawed update. Users can go to Microsoft support forum for more details on how to delete the 2982791 package. 

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