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

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 …

  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Nice one, Microsft

    I'm glad I'm on holiday this week. SEP.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Nice one, Microsft

      to the tune of "I Dream of Jeannie"

      Blue Screen!

      Here comes another,

      Blue Screen!

      Wait, there's another,

      Blue Screen!

      Its a BLUE SCREEN of Death!

  2. Captain Obvious

    This is not the first rodeo where WSUS updates have messed up. Also, you had to do a lot of work to get Windows 10 updates to work on WSUS. MS is REALLY getting worse.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      "MS is REALLY getting worse."

      Yes. They've been getting worse for a number of years. It's been pointed out to them. At times, they've even accepted it. They haven't been able to change. That's the story here. It will rumble on for another 5-10 years and then it won't matter because MS won't be a significant player in the industry anymore.

      I only hope that Bill's managed to philanthropize all his billions before they disappear.

      1. Captain DaFt

        I only hope that Bill's managed to philanthropize all his billions before they disappear.

        Don't worry 'bout poor ol' Bill!

        As soon as he was able, he shoveled MS stock out the windows (Fnar) as fast as the SEC would let him.

        He only holds a token amount now.

        Actually, if you follow the links in the site linked above, a lot of the actual investments seem to be in Canada, not the US; Maybe Ol' Bill knows something we don't (or only suspect)? ☺

        1. aqk
          Windows

          Poor ol' Bill?

          (Sorry, I suppose this reply shd have pointed to the OP)

          I have to inform you that Ol' Bill has been out of Microsoft for several years, and (probably) only shows up for board meetings. He and Warren Buffett are too busy trying to eradicate Malaria than to be much concerned with MS.

          Good news! Even Steve Ballmer is not around much any more. And the office furniture is now in much better shape.

          Your news of the world seems dated. I bet you're even using XP, right? Or did you finally upgrade to Windows-7?

          I would say that Bill, and Warren are well on their way to a Nobel Prize. Heck, if Bobby (only women bleed) Dylin' can win one, almost anyone can.

          .

    2. LDS Silver badge

      The idea is probably to push customers from the Blue (screen of death) to Azure....

      1. fobobob

        Blue Service Of Death?

  3. benderama

    Love that it's the sysadmin's fault for the cockup and not because Microsoft laid out some poor planning...

    1. Jim Mitchell

      The quote, to me, implies that Microsoft screwed up by having a delta update show up in WSUS. The sysadmin is not being blamed.

    2. EnviableOne Bronze badge

      I remeber something about 6Ps

      Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performace!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Testing Plan

      > Love that it's the sysadmin's fault for the cockup and not because Microsoft laid out some poor planning...

      Sysadmin is responsible for testing patches before they're rolled out into userland, especially on mission critical systems. Nobody should think it is ok just to push untested patches and then point the finger at the vendor when systems go down.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: Testing Plan

        "Sysadmin is responsible for testing patches before they're rolled out into userland"

        And shouldn't Microsoft be responsible for testing patches before they're rolled out into Sysadminland?

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Testing Plan

          "And shouldn't Microsoft be responsible for testing patches before they're rolled out into Sysadminland?"

          No. After they fired their testing staff a couple of years ago (during the Insider Program for Win-10-nic), this became the responsibility of Insiders and End Users.

  4. Captain DaFt

    Cue megatonne facepalm

    "You should never have delta updates in WSUS. It was a 'whoops'."

    A multi-million dollar cock-up that affects businesses around the world caused by a multi-billion dollar company, and they just say "whoops"? Might as well as said, "We're Microsoft, what're you going to do about it?

    Someone's over paid arse needs a severe kicking!

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Cue megatonne facepalm

      Until someone with a large cash reserve decides to sue Slurp over breach of contract not much will change (depending on the contract terms). This is rather ridiculous, botched updates seemingly every month.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "sue Slurp over breach of contract"

        What breach ?

        The EULA specifically absolves Microsoft of everything that can happen to your machine.

        The only way anyone could sue over Microsoft's repeated failures is to attack the EULA and get the part that absolves MS of any problem off the EULA.

        THEN we get to sit back, grab a jumbo popcorn and watch the dogpile.

    2. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Cue megatonne facepalm

      "Someone's over paid arse needs a severe kicking!"

      Maybe someone who ought to worry more about fixing the many things wrong with MS instead of writing books congratulating himself for hitting refresh and getting Microsoft's groove back...

    3. Manu T

      Re: Cue megatonne facepalm

      Next time they "Whoops", I FLUSH (them)!

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Cue megatonne facepalm

        Next time they "Whoops", I FLUSH (them)!

        So.. You'll be testing the plumbing next week then?

  5. Steve Kellett

    I had a Windows 10 driver update give me the same BSOD on my “Because the BLE SDK only works on MS” dual boot machine.

    Yeah. Inaccessible boot device because of a driver update for a NAS. Glorious. Isn’t being an unpaid unit tester great?

  6. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Micro$luts screw up another patch. Not exactly news nowadays.

    I'm waiting for the news article

    "Patch Tuesday completes flawlessly, Sysadmins able complete real work due to stress free day"

    Though this will happen on the same day I win the lottery, My unicorn gives birth to a gold egg laying goose and the business users are able to articulate a full set of requirements well in advance of the due by date (unicorn giving birth is still more likely i think).

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      I'm waiting for the news article

      "Patch Tuesday completes flawlessly, Sysadmins able complete real work due to stress free day"

      Better still, a news announcer that looks/sounds like Michael Palin. Or John Cleese.

      And now, for something, completely different...

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      "Patch Tuesday completes flawlessly, Sysadmins able complete real work due to stress free day"

      Happens all the time around here. Starts with "sudo apt-get update..." :)

      AND I don't have to wait for a whole month to be able to get updates, I can install them when they're ready.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed by THAT much

    Agent 86

  8. G2

    "clear the cache on WSUS servers" - WTF.. is he crazy? What has he smoked?

    The WSUS caches on my servers are 200+ GIGABYTES on each server. One of them is configured to download express updates instead of normal... that one has a regular WSUS cache of about 900 gigabytes just by itself.

    That cache flush would mean re-downloading terabytes of data just to fetch ~99% of the same data that the servers already have and it will take almost a week for the caches to recover.

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Internet melts under strain of refreshing WSUS Servers from scratch

      clear the cache on WSUS servers" - WTF.. is he crazy? What has he smoked?

      The WSUS caches on my servers are 200+ GIGABYTES on each server.

      A demonstration of how one ill thought out comment could cause the whole internet to grind to a halt. You couldn't make this up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or look at the file information in WSUS for the update in question. Which gives the URI.

      Go to location, delete file, wait for WSUS to resynchronise the missing file ?

  9. aaaa
    FAIL

    Engineering 101

    You should never have delta updates in WSUS.

    So you have two types of updates. You write a computer program to process updates - which should only ever receive one of those two types.

    Isn't engineering 101 to 'check' which type of update it is, and if it's one you haven't explicitly coded to handle, you reject it/skip it?

    Then again, here in OZ they keep building tunnels without putting in safety gates - you know a 'cheap' steel (upside down) U shape thingy set at the maximum height for vehicles? The idea being rather than a 3m vehicle ploughing into a 2.6m tunnel and causing major delays and days of remedial roadwork - the truck can hit the gate and be safely/easily moved to a slip road and leaving the tunnel itself undamaged. So if actual engineers no longer do basic safety, it's little surprise software engineers just ignore it altogether.

    I'm sure that by reducing the total project cost by 0.01% and skimping on Engineering 101 some middle manager got a whopping great bonus and promotion. Well done. You're totally awesome. High five! Rock Star!

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Engineering 101

      a 'cheap' steel (upside down) U shape thingy

      Yeah that dosent sound too much to ask. But if it is , you could achieve the same with a chain strung across the road at that height with dangly noisy things on it , or , at a push , a sign displaying max height.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Engineering 101

        a 'cheap' steel (upside down) U shape thingy

        Yeah that dosent sound too much to ask. But if it is , you could achieve the same with a chain strung across the road at that height with dangly noisy things on it , or , at a push , a sign displaying max height.

        None of that will help. Google 'low bridge fail' for lots and lots and lots of examples.

      2. Si Ro

        Re: Engineering 101

        Except signs and dangly bits haven't worked for the Montague Bridge in Melbourne :D

        http://howmanydayssincemontaguestreetbridgehasbeenhit.com/

    2. fobobob

      Re: Engineering 101

      You'd think they'd have come up with some sort of better solution to this sort of crap by now. People don't read street signs reliably, and it also seems that most folks are even worse at judging height than they are at judging distance.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USu8vT_tfdw (this bridge has been wrecking havoc for years at ~3.5m!)

  10. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    "It was a 'whoops'."

    Give MS a break, folks. They're obviously just a bunch of kids.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: "It was a 'whoops'."

      Give MS a break, folks. They're obviously just a bunch of kids.

      ITWYM?* (Is this what you meant): "Give MS a break, folks. They're obviously just a bunch of Entrenched Idiots."

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unicorns?

    Nah, mermaids would be far more useful. Especially if they were immune to pressure so didn't have to decompress after a mere hour at >150 feet. Although I am not sure what other adaptations would be handy, if their biology is similar to ours then vision would be optimized for green light so "Cut the black wire with the yellow stripe, not the yellow wire with the red stripe" would end badly.

    I'd expect language to be a minor inconvenience as intelligence would be high enough to understand basic concepts such as "this bolt goes here" etc. and reading a diagram.

    Did you know that dolphins have really bad eyesight? Literally you can shine LEDs at them and they won't even see them if the wavelength is wrong. Their vision is similar to dogs but they lack a key eye component so can't generally see details but make up for it with SONAR (even to the extent of being curious about pregnant women or so it is said)

    Hint: If they ever found a phone it would run out of battery power long before they figured out what it was, also induction charging does work under water but not very well.

    The matching is optimized for air y'see.

    I suppose a dolphin would probably be able to turn the phone on and off using sonar pulses but someone needs to test that.

    https://www.livescience.com/38087-can-dolphins-detect-pregnant-women.html

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Unicorns?

      8087-can-dolphins-detect-pregnant-women.html

      Wolves certainly can.. (went on a 'walk with wolves' - hand-reared wolves that can't be released into the wild because they are habituated to humans. We were told in advance that women who were pregnant should not turn up to meet the wolves as the wolves can always tell and show a *lot* of interest in said women).

      They also seeming like the smell/taste of people that have pets - my wife and I both got licked on the hands by the wolves when we got to meet them - the only people in our group who did.

      I suspect it might have been along the lines of "I like the smell of these - I'll eat them first" kind of a lick.

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Woof, woof, woof... awooooooo

        I suspect it might have been along the lines of "I like the smell of these - I'll eat them first" kind of a lick.

        Yes.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Woof, woof, woof... awooooooo

          Interesting factoid: despite many of the important markers being different human pregnancy tests do work on certain monkeys. NOT: horses, cattle, sheep, goats or most other large mammals.

          Also relevant: the pheromone wolves and dogs detect is actually unknown to science and a Nobel is probably waiting for the scientist(s) who figure this out as it could provide a valuable fetal health indication.

          Pretty sure that its more than one actually but we lack the ability to consciously detect it, with our sense of smell being very primitive and all those extra neurons being used for abstract thought instead.

  12. Boohoo4u

    Businesses better put someone that is REALLY religious in charge of WSUS, because there’s going to be a lot of praying going on.

    But a procrastinator might be a better choice...

  13. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "So these updates come with some extra homework."

    Now where have I heard that phrase before?

    To which Wensleydale should reply...

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: "So these updates come with some extra homework."

      "Now where have I heard that phrase before?

      To which Wensleydale should reply..."

      Please, Miss, Windows ate my homework.

  14. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Microsoft is pushing out fresh updates to correct the boot failures

    Seriously, wow, just wow, I wanna see an update fix a bricked server ...

  15. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    The late adopter dodges the bullet

    Whew, only Win10 affected? my Win users are still riding out the storm on Win7.

  16. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    ach <censored> Microsoft, ye are a bunch o' <censored>

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      ach <censored> Microsoft, ye are a bunch o' <censored>

      you need to have a proper Far North Scotland accent to say that properly. Usually while gazing longingly at the claidheamh-mòr hanging on the wall.

  17. JakeMS Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Good to hear

    That potentially causing an entire corporate network to be offline for several hours due to BSOD's is just a "whoops" glad it's nothing serious.

    Phew it could of been so much worse!

  18. Pat Harkin

    BSOD

    Couldn't they at least give us a choice of colour or background?

    I wouldn't mind the Fluffy Kitten Of Death screen nearly so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BSOD

      "Fluffy Kitten Of Death" were better with their original lead singer IMO.

      1. rmason Silver badge

        Re: BSOD

        The fluffy kitten of death could wear......

        A RIBBON.

        MS will love that.

    2. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: BSOD

      I wouldn't mind the Fluffy Kitten Of Death screen nearly so much.

      You mean this screen?

      http://mirror.uncyc.org/wiki/File:Cat_w-machine_gun.jpg

  19. Jesper
    Facepalm

    One more testing for M$

    I am getting bored, testing for Microsoft.

    Well, when it goes bad, here is the fix.

    cut power to computer and turn it on, so it goes into safe boot.

    use advanced, till you can make ity repair upstart, takes 5minutes, then it boots fine again.

    Easy, but difficult to explain to computer illiterate users. :-(

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: One more testing for M$

      Easy, but difficult to explain to computer illiterate users. :-(

      Not so hard really.

      Just say, :Windows FUBAR'd* everything again, and I need to start the machine from scratch."

      They'll nod knowingly. and go about their business.

      *Really dictionary, Firefox doesn't know FUBAR!? They perfected it on the browser after Internet Explorer passed the torch!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unix

    I can count the number of kernal panics i've had over the last 15 years on one hand... I also remember the last one - I was running OS X Lion.

    The only advise I can give on this one is to migrate over to a unix-like platform as soon as possible.

  21. PhilErrington

    This is not just on WSUS machines. We do small business support and have customers who have the problem on standard 10 pro upgrades from 7 pro.

    For all the people who say techs should test updates: this would be great, but Microsoft auto rolls out patches on 10 unless its a copy of windows10 enterprise.

    This is of course stupid hence I tweeted today on #windows10updateisstupid It would be great if this got some support.

  22. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Deja vu...

    Another week, another cocked-up patch...

    Every time I read this sort of thing, I wonder just how much downtime it would take to find equivalent tools and get up to speed on a non-windows OS...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deja vu...

      Cocked up patches would be more palatable had Windows 10 not embarked on the idiocy of forced updates. Should have let the techies, real qualified testers and the braver souls dip their toes in the water first.

      Microsoft's patches are getting from bad to worse, and I presume that SatNad had downsized/outsourced his QA team ever since taking the helm at Microsoft. Crowdsourcing to the bunch of clueless hipsters known as 'Insiders' also didn't help.

      'Ship it first, fix it later' is lazy and irresponsible, and I hope SatNad and Microsoft pay a dear price for this in due time.

  23. elgarak1

    There was a paper at the Chaos Computer Conference (the big German hacker convention, at the time in Hamburg) a few years back which had been devolved from its original content to "How Microsoft Fucked up Updates". The presenter at one time said: "Would you trust a company that does THIS to maintain production relevant machinery?"

    The biggest slap in the face is that Microsoft is about to ask for MORE money for exactly the type of deployment they fucked up now. Since when does one has to pay MORE for substandard work quality? It's more like a protection money racket.

  24. David Gosnell

    BSOD

    I thought BSODs were supposed to have been consigned to history in Windows <insert some previous version here>...

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: BSOD

      These two updates are Win10 and Server2016 specific.

      At least Win7, Win8, and 8.1 will be free from this issue. Maybe a downgrade (or should I say upgrade) is in order for most people?

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: BSOD

      BSOD are the equivalent of a kernel panic - if something goes really wrong at ring 0 the system stops - the functionality have to exist to protect the system from bad code.

      Years ago they were more common, especially because of lousy drivers - the older driver model required much more third-party code running in kernel space.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can now breath more easily.

    For some reason remote site's WSUS did not update as it was supposed, to, and its last update was done in August this year. Whoops.

    So we dodged a bullet here.

    Still pissed at M$ for allowing this sort of cock-up to happen.

    By the by, how do you delete those two specific updates from WSUS using powershell?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "By the by, how do you delete those two specific updates from WSUS using powershell?"

      Something along the lines of this:

      https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/sus/2016/01/29/how-to-delete-upgrades-in-wsus/

      and some more powershell/wsus stuff (i like the title)

      http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/powershell-windows-software-update-services,1-3509.html

  26. Bob Dole (tm)

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/30/microsoft_exam_scoring_changes/

    I'm just going to guess that whoever at MS is responsible for testing their update roll outs was a "victim" of the Cert Exam changes made last year.

    Their high scores in the "Bum Kissing" section overcame the low scores in "Attention to Detail".

  27. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    WTF?

    Now if only they could figure out why my Win 7 laptop gets random video driver crashes since the July security only update.

  28. fobobob

    win10 future fun

    Eventually, the company I work for (< 50 machines) is going to move to a relatively homogenous windows 10 environment... but I'll be actively resisting that until we're able to wrest control of updates from Microsoft. I can't imagine managing a Windows 10 corporate environment without WSUS... well, actually I can, and it seems like some shit Dante might have written.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: win10 future fun

      but I'll be actively resisting that until we're able to wrest control of updates from Microsoft.

      Firewall off all the MS domains/IP's at the gateway, let it connect the week after "patch Tuesday" when you know if you'll have problems or not?

      (give yourself some good perimeter defences etc to help mitigate the 0-day risk as well (if it is possible to actually harden Windows enough for that)

  29. Bucky 2

    When these kinds of things happen to the big guys, I always feel like less of a fuck-up myself.

    It's not exactly schadenfreude. It's more like, if I don't screw up any more often than they do, then I'm doing all right.

  30. Mikel

    Some customers may have experienced issues

    This is an auto-announce message that goes out on Crash Wednesday.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure this problem is easily resolved if you HIT REFRESH

    Ask SatNad, he knows.

  32. Captain DaFt

    Jangly, dangly bits? Warning signs? They're up, they're ignored.

    I doubt the audio/visual warning:

    "YOU WILL BE SHOT

    . If you pass

    THE BLACK LINE AHEAD"

    Followed by a bright red light shown in the average lorry driver's face would even make them pause; "Surely they can't mean me!"

  33. Domquark

    Not just WSUS

    The latest patches don't just screw up WSUS - they also cause havok with some database connectors - especially ones that connect to Excel (for reports etc.).

    KB4041676 tanks Win 10 machines, KB4041681 and KB4041678 do the same for Win 7.

    The error is: "Unexpected error from external database driver(1)"

    I had to quickly write a batch file to uninstall these updates at logoff to get rid of the offending updates.

    Hope this helps someone who is stuck in the same position.

  34. Kiwi Silver badge
    FAIL

    How often have we heard this recently?

    "Those updates was never intended to show up in...

    I sure we've heard this a few times lately, though of course ICBW,

    Nystrom recommended administrators whose machines are afflicted with the bad updates, released on Tuesday, remove them using either PowerShell or the DISM app.

    Yup, F8 for the boot menu, into safe mode and.. FUCK YOU MICROSOFT!

    (Thank the Lord I'm not longer needing to deal with this stuff!)

  35. kbutler.toledo

    no problems for home users? HOHOHO!

    Regarding your comment in the article about "KB 4041676" not causing glitches for home users:

    my HP Pro book installed the update 8 or 9 times (By now I have lost count) only to immediately reboot again and uninstall it.

    No BSOD but all the pc does is install-reboot-uninstall-reboot and send me to a web page that says "Tell us how good we are(n't)"

    No help but to DISABLE AUTOMATIC UPDATES THROUGH THE SERVICES WINDOW.

    I keep telling myself to stick with Linux or just go back to DOS. I STILL HAVE ALL MY NEEDED SOFTWARE FROM MY 8088.

  36. SCT_Skynet

    Enterprise solution for this problem

    Ran into this earlier this year. The Delta/Full is a giant pain for customers. Developed automation for enterprises as covered in this blog.

    https://www.systemcentertools.com/single-post/2017/12/01/Resolving-7B-BSODs-related-to-Microsoft-CUs-for-the-Enterprise-Part-1

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019