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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 https://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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