Microsoft investigating claims of wide spread BSODs due to recent patch [Update]

On Tuesday, Microsoft released a patch (KB977165) for Windows that seems to be causing a lot of headaches for users of Windows XP.

ComputerWorld claim that numerous reports have been hitting Microsoft’s help forums by users who are complaining that after the update they now are receiving a BSOD. Microsoft Answers, is filled with many users who are angry at the company for what the update did to their machine.  The update, MS10-015, is the suspected culprit and it may be wise to avoid this update until these apparent issues are resolved.

Neowin requested a comment from Microsoft regarding the patch and the software company confirmed they are investigating the issues:

“Microsoft is investigating reports of an installation issues with a security update released on February 9, 2010. We are investigating the issue to determine the cause of the issue. Anyone believed to have been affected can visit: https://consumersecuritysupport.microsoft.com. Those in the United States can contact Customer Service and Support at no charge using the PC Safety hotline at 1-866-727-2338 (PCSAFETY). Those outside the United States can find local contact numbers at http://support.microsoft.com/international.”

The patch in question, MS10-015, one of 13 security updates Microsoft issued Tuesday, fixed a 17-year-old kernel bug in all 32-bit versions of Windows. The vulnerability went public three weeks ago when a Google engineer disclosed the bug and posted proof-of-concept attack code.

As Neowin had previously reported, Microsoft said it would fix a 17 year old bug that was discovered by the Google engineer.  The bug, patched in this update, is related to the Virtual Dos Machine (VDM) which is used to support 16-bit applications.

Neowin member Warwagon has suggested the following fix that may work for some:

  1. Boot from a Windows XP setup CD and select Recovery Console at the prompt
  2. Change directories to the uninstall directory of update in question: At the C:\windows prompt, type "CD $NtUninstallKB977165$\spuninst" and press Enter.
  3. Run in the uninstall script for that update: At the prompt, type "BATCH spuninst.txt" and press Enter. This executes the txt file as a batch script.

You'll also want to boot into safe mode and set automatic updates to download but do not install. Other wise when you boot into windows it will automatically reinstall the update.

Update: Microsoft has posted an offical response to the issue which you can read here.  In a nutshell they state that they do not know the exact cause of the issue and pulled the patch from Windows Update as they continue to investigate the problem.

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91 Comments

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My sister's laptop got this.
Reading all your comments claiming 7 "is perfect" and XP is old, etc, is really annoying when you're actually trying to fix this, so please shut up.

I've done the fix warwagon posted but now I'm getting a godforsaken IRQL BSOD ¬_¬

Got one with the problem!
First computer we've had in all week with it, I haven't had time to delve into what else is installed yet.

DaveGreen said,
The only secure way to solve the BSOD problem is to throw Windows XP in the trash. Period.

The only secure way to solve everything is to throw away Windows in the trash.

DaveGreen said,
The only secure way to solve the BSOD problem is to throw Windows XP in the trash. Period.
What if I don't want to pay for a copy Windows 7?

Got the patch on XP and 7 and both seem fine, wonder if there`s a common denominator on all the systems being effected, or is it just random!

Saying that it does seem to be luck as to whether it kills your system or not...

So far, no problems here on 4 XP Pro machines and 2 Windows 7 systems.

As already commented on, 17 years in the making, you KNEW it had to cause some kind of issue!!

i'm not seeing any problems with that update. i think the ppl who claim this is causing a problem are just wanting attention as they are bored.

have had no problems with the last batch of updates on mine and the family/friends pcs.

is wide spread just the pcs in bills and steves homes?

Could you guys that run anything else than XP go away please? I installed this update on two computers and didn't had any issues with it. :)

Maybe you should learn to read past the 1st line of an article then.

The patch in question, MS10-015, one of 13 security updates Microsoft issued Tuesday, fixed a 17-year-old kernel bug in all 32-bit versions of Windows.

I had it at university...

we have about 20 PCs and suddenly one of them had BSoD yesterday ... not sure if this was the reason though...

Dozen or more XP boxes at work, not a single one hit with this. Got hundreds of customer boxes out there, no calls (yet). But I am prepared with the above advice from warwagon, should they call.

johnnyftw said,
Honestly... it's just a way of microsoft saying GET OFF XP.

Do you mean off to a MAC ?


Win 7 is buggy as much as XP or Vista.:

Win7 that were hit by this update
Stability update that crashes win7
copying to USB drive that freezes win7
BOSD with no apparent reason : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979444
and the list goes on....

Edited by ilev, Feb 12 2010, 7:07am :

ilev said,

Do you mean off to a MAC ?


Win 7 is buggy as much as XP or Vista.:

Win7 that were hit by this update
Stability update that crashes win7
copying to USB drive that freezes win7
BOSD with no apparent reason : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979444
and the list goes on....

You don't have a clue - sit in a corner.

was a bit worried. Read this article while at work and went uh oh. Updated my notebook before I left for work...turned it off. After reading the article I figured I would come home to a BSOD notebook. Nope, works fine thankfully.

We ran into the same issue. 5 times on the same machine until we updated each individual update and restarted after each individual update. There were only 4 so it wasnt that hard.
We have seen 10-15 computers in the last week with bsod and all appear to have the same problem after updates. At least now i KNOW its due to a MS update rather than my best guess...

Also had a call from a woman having the same problem who is 20 mins away. Told her to try to find someone with an XP disc, and i'd walk her though it. Ends up the person who she found had the disc also had the same problem and found the instructions online how to fix it. That same person also had a church computer and a computer at work that all had the same BSOD from the update. So it is fairly wide spread.

warwagon said,
Also had a call from a woman having the same problem who is 20 mins away. Told her to try to find someone with an XP disc, and i'd walk her though it. Ends up the person who she found had the disc also had the same problem and found the instructions online how to fix it. That same person also had a church computer and a computer at work that all had the same BSOD from the update. So it is fairly wide spread.

Obviously just exaggerated to generate bad publicity for Microsoft. /sarcasm

Serenity76 said,

Obviously just exaggerated to generate bad publicity for Microsoft. /sarcasm

Well given I've had had 3 people from just today I wouldn't say its exaggerated. Now the Prevx black screen of death. That was exaggerated, this is not.

warwagon said,

Well given I've had had 3 people from just today I wouldn't say its exaggerated. Now the Prevx black screen of death. That was exaggerated, this is not.

It was a reference to a post earlier here.

So what exactly do to the machines that effected by this? Once we fix the problem what do we do? Do we tell them never to install this update? Do we tell windows update not to alert us of the update and will they release another one?

Ci7 said,
there is a simple fix,

move to Vista SP2/7 x64

done


Yup, much easier to purchase and reinstall Windows and either handle the driver incompatibilities that arise from an upgrade, or the lost applications and configurations after a full reinstall, than wait a few more days for a fixed patch.

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 12 2010, 9:23am :

Northgrove said,

Yup, much easier to purchase and reinstall Windows and either handle the driver incompatibilities that arise from an upgrade, or the lost applications and configurations after a full reinstall, than wait a few more days for a fixed patch.

What driver incompatibilities, gramps? How about you xpers join us in the current century. Its much better for everyone.

Funny, because I've been waiting for my Windows 7 RC to crash so that I would have a reason to upgrade. RC is still going strong, but then again that timebomb is ticking.

humanz. said,
I'm curious to know if this affects machines with older hardware or recent models.

One recent set of crashes after a patch had to do with a virus on the computer getting messed up by the patch after it had already tied itself into the system. Its possible this is something similar. It could also be some combination of hardware/drivers/patch that all align just right.

Serenity76 said,
You'd think patching a 9 year old OS would be something they have down by now...

Honestly with the Millions of computers that have windows on it, I'm surprised their update success rate is as high as it is.

Office of 20 machines here, came in this morning to one of them dead w/ BSOD. Can't say with 100% certainty that the patch is at fault but it would have been applied on patch Tuesday and today was the first time the machine was rebooted since, so looking suspicious.

The manual uninstall of the patch fixed the system, so it was definitely that patch that killed the box. Thank you Warwagon for saving me a rebuild!

I'll be passing on this patch for now. If no one has exploited our systems in 17 years I think we can wait a little while longer to get a stable patch.

agreenbhm said,
I'll be passing on this patch for now. If no one has exploited our systems in 17 years I think we can wait a little while longer to get a stable patch.

but then this vulnerability got surfaced only a while back...

ilovetech said,

but then this vulnerability got surfaced only a while back...

True, but we're too busy to be rebuilding all of our workstations due to BSODs.

I successfully updated both XP and Windows 7 on my system yesterday, and so far, I haven't experienced any problems. Though it is sad that all those people can't even boot into their systems. I'm sure Microsoft is doing whatever it can to "fix" this issue, otherwise all they've got is a lot of angry customers who might seriously think switching to a mac because of its "stability".

C'mon Microsoft, don't let your users down. Hope all those users backed up their data. Wonder why this bug is only affecting SOME systems and not all of them.

joshua.barker said,
20 computers here all running xp with varying service packs and no problems.
They should all be on SP3. You won't get all the patches with out it, and you will get problems too.

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

Technical Information:

STOP: 0x0B00U05Y (0x80W97004, 0x00I00001, 0x80N15103, 0x00070000).

Anyone else see the hidden message?

Piggy said,
PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

Technical Information:

STOP: 0x0B00U05Y (0x80W97004, 0x00I00001, 0x80N15103, 0x00070000).

Anyone else see the hidden message?


Haha, nice. BUY WIN7

Piggy said,
PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

Technical Information:

STOP: 0x0B00U05Y (0x80W97004, 0x00I00001, 0x80N15103, 0x00070000).

Anyone else see the hidden message?

I'm wondering if thats not related to this patch. I just saw one today. Ended up reformatting. This was before I knew about this.

warwagon said,

I'm wondering if thats not related to this patch. I just saw one today. Ended up reformatting. This was before I knew about this.

Is that not a last resort, usually?

Neoauld said,
i think ppl are just making up these claims to get MS bad publicity, ive never had these issues

Neither, none of the computers at home with 7 are affected as some have reported. All the XP computers at work seem fine as well, I even installed the updates during work hours :O Man I'd crap my pants if it didn't lol

Neoauld said,
i think ppl are just making up these claims to get MS bad publicity, ive never had these issues

Because obviously, your experiences are indicative of the other millions of users. Thanks.

I had a BSOD today but I'm unsure about the reason,I think it could be the temperature on my situation wich is 41ºC (room temp).

not just xp, my Win 7 went tits up after the update

no amount of recovery system restore or sfc scannow doesn't work

and the manual uninstall of the update through cmd wasn't there


thanks MS!
had to backup with BartPE, then format back to backup image in December!

SolwayUK said,
not just xp, my Win 7 went tits up after the update

no amount of recovery system restore or sfc scannow doesn't work

and the manual uninstall of the update through cmd wasn't there


thanks MS!
had to backup with BartPE, then format back to backup image in December!

Well at least you'll have fun installing Windows again.

Yea, after I installed those patchs, my windows 7 pro 32 bits version also freezed after login user account, this is the first time I saw windows 7 freezes.

SolwayUK said,
not just xp, my Win 7 went tits up after the update

no amount of recovery system restore or sfc scannow doesn't work

and the manual uninstall of the update through cmd wasn't there


thanks MS!
had to backup with BartPE, then format back to backup image in December!

Edited by cheng, Feb 12 2010, 12:50am :

I'm having a weird bug where the superbar icons stay highlighted even when the app isn't in focus or even running. I think this happened to some people back in the pre-RTM stage. It only started doing this in the last few days, probably some time after I installed these latest updates.

nekrosoft13 said,

this patch affects 32bit windows, 64bit systems are fine.


Hang on while I count up how many XP64 systems there are...

humanz. said,
I knew fixing this exploit would of done something unnatural.

17 years tells you something.

the problem is probably not with windows but some poorly coded programs, probably something security related or anti-virus

nekrosoft13 said,

the problem is probably not with windows but some poorly coded programs, probably something security related or anti-virus

That could be, it has to be something right at the driver load because the machine I fixed today shot the BSOD about 1 second after the XP logo appears on the screen.

Haven't had anyone else call yet about the issue so will be curious as to what is affecting it.

Martog said,
That could be, it has to be something right at the driver load because the machine
Hmm, leads me to think that it may have something to do with drivers having some legacy 16-bit code? I'm curious.

Martog said,

That could be, it has to be something right at the driver load because the machine I fixed today shot the BSOD about 1 second after the XP logo appears on the screen.

Haven't had anyone else call yet about the issue so will be curious as to what is affecting it.

It's a kernel bug. Not a driver bug. And it doesn't happen to all systems.

humanz. said,
I knew fixing this exploit would of done something unnatural.

17 years tells you something.

Glad i'm running Windows 7 x64 then, no need for this update :)

Edited by neo158, Feb 12 2010, 3:02am :

neo158 said,

Glad i'm running Windows 7 x64 then, no need for this update :)

Win 7 has it's share of BSODs : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979444
and about 400 bugs in 3 months :-)

ilev said,

Win 7 has it's share of BSODs : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/979444
and about 400 bugs in 3 months :-)


and where exactly are those 400 bugs :)

MrTwister said,

It's a kernel bug. Not a driver bug. And it doesn't happen to all systems.


Where's this information from? That it doesn't happen to all system indicates to me that it is NOT a kernel bug. MS will probably release something soon though, but that could just as well be compatibility improvements so it doesn't break on certain configurations.

I have had multiple calls today regarding this matter. The computer becomes unbootable. Last Known Good Configuration or Safe Mode do not work. This is an absolute disaster! It seems to be affecting quite a number of Windows XP users and rendering their computers useless.

This will be good - no doubt it'll be like last time where the dodgy AV vendor in the UK blamed the bluescreens on a Microsoft patch, but in reality it was a bug with the AV software!