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Microsoft has an update on the notorious KB5034441/KB5034440 causing 0x80070643 error

Windows recovery on the Windows 11 bloom

Microsoft released the first Windows 10 and 11 Patch Tuesday updates of 2024 on the 9th with January's KB5034122 and KB5034123 respectively. Aside from security patches, the one for Windows 11 also fixed some Wi-Fi troubles that led to networks not connecting or the Wi-Fi icon not showing.

In a separate article, the company also detailed another security fix for a BitLocker Secure Boot bypass vulnerability that is being tracked under ID "CVE-2024-20666." Microsoft said that the security flaw could allow threat actors to bypass BitLocker encryption if they manage to get physical access to an unpatched PC.

The vulnerability was patched by KB5034441 (on Windows 10) and KB5034440 (on Windows 11) which were WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) updates. The company also published a PowerShell script that automates the process for managed devices, and recently, it tweaked that script slightly.

Microsoft, however, also cautioned that inadequate space on the recovery partition could lead to a "0x80070643 - ERROR_INSTALL_FAILURE" error message when trying to install the WinRE WIM (Windows Imaging Format) update. The issue could be resolved by allocating an additional 250 MB of storage space to the recovery partition. Details on how to do that can be found in this dedicated article.

Microsoft wrote:

Some computers might not have a recovery partition that is large enough to complete this update. Because of this, the update for WinRE might fail. In this case, you will receive the following error message:

Windows Recovery Environment servicing failed.

Known issue Because of an issue in the error code handling routine, you might receive the following error message instead of the expected error message when there is insufficient disk space:


A few days later, the tech giant promised a fix. Although it does not seem to have delivered on that promise yet, Microsoft has made an update on KB5034440 and KB5034441.

On the support page for these 9th January updates, Microsoft has attached a "note" which now adds that users who do not have a WinRE recovery partition on their system are not required to install these updates.

The company has added:

NOTE If your running PC does not have a WinRE recovery partition, you do not need this update.

If you are wondering whether your PC has a recovery partition(s), you can find that information by running the Disk Management console (run "diskmgmt") to check disk details.

Disk management window showing recovery partition UEFI partition and others

As you can see in the image above (click to zoom in), my Disk 2 has two Recovery Partitions where one of them is 545MB and the other is 669MB.

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