Windows 8.1 'August Update' BSODs affected less than 0.01% of users

On the second Tuesday of August, Microsoft unleashed its traditional 'Patch Tuesday' releases but also pushed out some new features for Windows users as well. Unfortunately, a small subset of the Windows user base has been hit with some serious issues and now we are starting to learn a few more details about the issue at hand. 

According to Microsoft's support website, the security update had various issues and it could cause Windows not to boot in some cases; the company has stopped distributing the release through Windows Update as well as its website. But how many of its millions of users are affected?

Well, according to Kurt Phillips (a Microsoft program manager), who appears to have been posting on the company's Answer forums, it looks like only 0.01% of users were affected by the issues. You can read his full post below but it has since been pulled from the forums for unknown reasons; likely do to the fact that he is not an authorized spokesperson.

After reading his post, you can probably get a sense of his frustration, as well as the understanding that the problem needs to be resolved as soon as possible. He goes on to say that the fix should be out soon and you can bet that there have been many long days and nights in his office as they try to fix this problem.

By using their internal telemetry data, they can tell that for 99.99% of the user base, the install went smoothly but when you have hundreds of millions of users, even 0.01% will still affect thousands of users around the world.

Source: myce.com

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i guess im one of the unlucky ones. Machine wont boot, goes into the Windows Recovery Environment. That cant fix it either. Tried to follow MS's remediation steps but my PC wont even boot into Safe Mode now.

probably going to have to reformat, eh?

Gladly, I've been quite fortunate, having never had a single BSOD on my machine, which has gone through every iteration of Win7, and now Win8 up through the latest update.

That machine happens to be a 2008 MBP (OS X 10.10 B2 with upgraded HD, and custom RAM) running Windows through Bootcamp, so I am not sure if that has anything to do with it.

Oddly enough, this MBP has always run Windows (7&8) better that it ever ran OS X.

I don't think its the update but something else already on those computers that's causing this once its updated. I have never had to roll back an update on my systems ever.

It's amazing how much I hear the excuse "It must've been a Windows update that caused that BSOD" for a machine falling over. I try to explain to people it's extremely rare cases and scenarios that can cause this to happen. However this is only coming from my own experience.

Believe it or not, my Windows update experience has never been too rough. I suspect this helps when you have an on-premise WSUS server that can hold back patches and wait till the dust settles, but having said that I've never really had an issue at home either. I don't really do anything special to keep my home system running as well, it's full of crap however still chugs along. However having said that, I do recall having some issues with some patches on an Exchange 2010 box and did uninstall them to resolve the problem. Can't remember which patch, maybe it was Powerhell 3.0, or maybe it was on an Exchange 2007 server that had that problem. Eugh, it all blurs into one after awhile.

Anyways, it's good to hear that MS is committed to even that small percentage of users that are having difficulties. Kudos.

Since installing the update I have been experiencing an intermittent lag from time to time that was not there before. I have searched to see if I could find anyone having the same issue and have not seen it. It happens when clicking on a file or folder, I get a lag in opening after the click and it also does it sometimes when I click on a link when using Chrome. Have not tried it in IE since I never use it at all. Anyone?

Geez! I'm in the .01%! Glad I made a system image the day before. Was not even able to start in safe mode. The only problem was that microsoft did not release the bulletin, or pull the update till a few days went by. I had figured out that it was the update that caused it, after reloading the system a few times, and managed to turn off auto-updating. Was a few scary days but its all good.

With over 1 billion computers running Windows the 0.01% figure is over 1 million PC's. So, you have plenty of company. Microsoft always downplays missteps by saying "a small number" of PC's or in this case only 0.01%, which is a lot of PC's. You're smart to make images. I image all of our PCs at least once a week and before Patch Tuesday as mistakes are all too common with the complexity of systems in use.

Mr. Phillips needs to be promoted, honest and forthcoming about a problem that he is working on, great public relations in my book. To bad, it figures his post was pulled.
-1 Microsoft

Nothing that bad here, but I've been having issues where the start button and charms bar become non-responsive. I have to reboot to get them back to working order. Experienced it on a few machines now, including my Surface.

I've had that problem also occasionally, but it started with Update 1 a few months ago. I generally kill and restart explorer.exe which restores normal behavior, which is easy enough, but there should have been a fix for that type of amatuerish glitchery since then.

I hope that engineer doesn't get in trouble. That's EXACTLY the kind of transparency we need MORE of, not LESS of.

I'm not uninstalling. I know they're recommending uninstalling specific updates, but I'm not having any issues at all, anywhere. I'm hoping that when they re-release the updates, the updating system properly handles both cases: Users who have uninstalled (or never installed), and users who installed and left them in place.

My son came in yesterday and said, "Dad, why is your screen all blue? It's got some scary stuff on it." First time he had seen a BSOD and he's 11. That shows you how much improved Windows is compared to the "good old days". Haha!

My anecdote's the opposite, my daughter's been using Windows for ~4 years now and has yet to see one, doesn't even know what it's referring to. But *shrug*. For me the last time I've personally had one was ~6 years ago, and that was due to a GPU that had its cooling fan die out, overheated. You can keep the "good old" days where XP would do it just because it got bored, current versions have been rock solid thanks.

I'm assuming that he means the same thing that you did. In the "good old days" an 11 year old might have seen a BSOD enough times to have recognized it.

I recently had a BSOD when a HDD started to fail. It's my first HDD failure in a very long time. I think the main reason Windows has been far more stable in recent versions is because of the way PCs are put together nowadays. There's now a lot more functionality built directly into the motherboard. Aside from video cards and an eSATA card for an external RAID, I haven't had to purchase a peripheral card in years. When was the last time you had to purchase a NIC? LOL Having peripherals standardize on USB has also helped.

TMYW said,
Aside from video cards and an eSATA card for an external RAID, I haven't had to purchase a peripheral card in years. When was the last time you had to purchase a NIC? LOL Having peripherals standardize on USB has also helped.

Windows 98 era hardware had motherboards in built-in NIC's.

Max Norris said,
My anecdote's the opposite, my daughter's been using Windows for ~4 years now and has yet to see one, doesn't even know what it's referring to. But *shrug*. For me the last time I've personally had one was ~6 years ago, and that was due to a GPU that had its cooling fan die out, overheated. You can keep the "good old" days where XP would do it just because it got bored, current versions have been rock solid thanks.

You misread my comment. He is 11 and has never seen a BSOD until now. I had quotes around "good old days" because of the way people longingly refer to XP and hate Vista, Win8, etc., when in reality, things are much better now.

TMYW got my point. :) And he also has a good point about the components being built-in to the motherboard. That might really be helping more than I have thought, too.

It may be only a few, but even that small amount is a LOT of people, and its' enough to shatter confidence.

Microsoft really needs to up their upgrade game. Upgrades/Updates need to be safe, fast, stress-free, low-cost or free, and easy to the point of being mindless.

We had TONS of trouble getting some PCs to upgrade to Windows 8.1 ... and even MORE problems getting 8.1 users upgraded to Update 1. Random, inexplicable failures, including some that were simply unfixable... requiring those users to do a wipe and clean install (and re-install and configure their entire desktop environment) in order to update.

That's just not acceptable.

It's a very hard problem, given the vast array of hardware, drivers, and types of users out there... but Microsoft needs to find a way to do it better, and restore confidence.

If it shatters confidence in people who didn't even encounter the problem themselves, then those people have some weird personal issues. There are more stories of crap breaking in iOS and Android on a regular basis than this.

Mac OS could have all the failures in the world, and nothing changes the perception that its coding is superior.

There's a unique standard Windows is held to, and I have no doubt in my mind that, even if it were 0.001% instead of 0.01%, there'd still be people like you flurrying their fingers across their keyboards to use words like "shatter".

If you're in a corporate environment, upgrading was the worst thing you could have done, at work it has always been backup, wipe, install, or backup, replace,

Joshie said,
There's a unique standard Windows is held to, and I have no doubt in my mind that, even if it were 0.001% instead of 0.01%, there'd still be people like you flurrying their fingers across their keyboards to use words like "shatter".

That unique standard is why I try not to use a mac for anything remotely important. I agree Microsoft is held to an impossible standard, but that's also the reason why they're Microsoft, and not Apple.

Joshie said,
Mac OS could have all the failures in the world, and nothing changes the perception that its coding is superior.

Brings back memories:

The Bomb icon is a symbol designed by Susan Kare that was displayed inside the System Error alert box when the "classic" Macintosh operating system (pre-Mac OS X) had a crash in which the system decided it was unrecoverable. It was similar to a dialog box in Windows 9x that said "This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down." Since the "classic" Mac OS offered little memory protection, an application crash would often take down the entire system.

If it was made by humans, it can be broken and is flawed.

That's what, despite existing UI and API issues, lol, makes Windows itself a great feat of software engineering bolstered by IHVs and being in a position of dominance to enforce some much needed standards all funded mostly by ... IBM /s.

This is why it betrays people's ignorance about software development when they spew crap like "start over from scratch". Yanno what from-scratch code is? Code that hasn't been put through the wringer of years of testing, and will have a crapton more problems than this sort of thing.

j2006 said,
Nope. (did neowin seriously censor the world 'd*mb'? lol)

Careful now. I once got a warning for trying to bypass the profanity filter. :)

techbeck said,

What is wrong with the damn task bar?

For some people, it's "always on" even on the start screen and in Modern apps... it doesn't fade away like it should.

Nobody here has experienced this issue (in my company or on any of the PCs at my home), but it's been relatively widely reported, including here on Neowin.

You can temporarily fix the taskbar issue by going into Performance Options and making sure there are ticks in both of the top 2 options. http://i.mknight.co/images/2014/08/22/taskbarfix.png

It's due to the lack of windows animation and it should make the window take focus, but it doesn't. By adding the animation back, gives the window focus over the taskbar.

To get to this option (for those who don't know), hold down the Windows key and press Pause (or Pause/Break) > Click Advanced System Settings on the left, on the new window that opens select Advanced and Settings under Performance.

If you don't have a windows key, go to Control Panel > System and follow the rest of the steps above.

dingl_ said,
whats uncalled for is lack of common sense- there is so little of it these days

Walgreens has the Valerian pills on sales.... just saying.

TMYW said,

Careful now. I once got a warning for trying to bypass the profanity filter. :)

Me too. Careful there, mate. :) Now on to the topic: I've never had a single crash or BSOD. System working like a champ here.

dingl_ said,
whats uncalled for is lack of common sense- there is so little of it these days

Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach eighteen.
~Albert Einstein

That taskbar bug thing only affected me if I used Stardock's Modern mix. Once I uninstalled that my laptop was fine. Don't know if anyone else tried uninstalling it like I did.

Microft said,
You can temporarily fix the taskbar issue by going into Performance Options and making sure there are ticks in both of the top 2 options. http://i.mknight.co/images/2014/08/22/taskbarfix.png

It's due to the lack of windows animation and it should make the window take focus, but it doesn't. By adding the animation back, gives the window focus over the taskbar.

To get to this option (for those who don't know), hold down the Windows key and press Pause (or Pause/Break) > Click Advanced System Settings on the left, on the new window that opens select Advanced and Settings under Performance.

If you don't have a windows key, go to Control Panel > System and follow the rest of the steps above.

Thanks for the tip, it's now working as supposed here !