Data Centre

It's Patch Blues-day: Bad October Windows updates trigger BSODs

Microsoft's latest fixes blamed for crashing WSUS-managed boxes during start-up

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco


Microsoft's October batch of security patches and bug fixes caused some corporate PCs to suffer blue-screen-of-death crashes when starting up this week.

The Redmond software giant has fielded multiple complaints on its support forum from system administrators, who said the KB4041676 and 4041691 updates are making their machines go titsup.

Specifically, admins said that for some boxes managed by WSUS – Microsoft's Windows Server Update Services – the October patches cause the computers to halt during power up with "inaccessible boot device" errors.

Machines that are not managed through WSUS are not impacted by the issue, meaning home and small business users should not experience any problems with the October update – and are still advised to install the fixes as soon as possible in order to close up the myriad security vulnerabilities addressed.

According to IT consultant Mikael Nystrom, the boot errors are the result of a delta update package that was pushed out through WSUS in error.

"Those updates was never intended to show up in WSUS, they should be deleted or declined," Nystrom explained. "You should never have delta updates in WSUS. It was a 'whoops'."

Nystrom recommended administrators whose machines are afflicted with the bad updates, released on Tuesday, remove them using either PowerShell or the DISM app. Microsoft is pushing out fresh updates to correct the boot failures: sysadmins should clear the cache on WSUS servers to ensure the latest packages are fetched and deployed.

A spokesperson for the software giant told The Register on Thursday: “Some customers may have experienced issues in Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) deployment of KB 4041676 and KB 4041691, which has been resolved. Most customers automatically receive updates from Windows and Microsoft Update, and were not affected.”

You can find some official information on the technical cockup, and solutions to tackle the "publishing issue," right here. ®

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