J003-Content-PatchTueFiasco-Aug_SQWe reported here yesterday that a large number of BSODs (Blue Screens of Death) were popping up on Windows 7 computers following the installation of this month’s Patch Tuesday updates. The scope of the problem seems to be broadening, with reports now coming in that Windows 8.1 systems are also being taken down by some of the patches.

This is particularly vexing because the August rollup update for Windows 8.1 had been hyped quite a bit as not just a security fix; it also was designed to add some new features (although not as significant as those that were added in the rollup called Windows 8.1 Update 1 that was released last April). An especially welcome feature for those using notebook computers with touchpads was the change to settings that let you control the behavior of precision touchpads more easily.

Note that unlike update KB2919355, this update wasn’t mandatory. That update has to be installed before you can install any subsequent updates to Windows 8.1. However, most systems are set up to install updates automatically, either through Windows Update in home and small business environments or Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) in corporate enterprise environments.

Some folks are installing the updates with no problems while others are finding themselves unable to even boot into safe mode, getting a Stop 0x50 error. Booting with the original installation disc and then using System Restore has enabled some computer users to recover their operating systems.

The problem is so widespread that Microsoft has reportedly recommended to customers that they uninstall the KB2982791 (MS14-045) update, which is an update that was supposed to fix kernel-mode driver vulnerabilities. They’ve also removed the update from the download web site.

The company is said to be investigating additional problems with three more of the August updates, KB2970228, 2975719 and 2975331 and pulled them from the download sites, as well. These include non-security updates that are issued each month along with the more high profile security patches.

Problems with patches are by no means a rare thing, but it’s somewhat unusual to have this many different updates that were part of the same release causing problems for this many users. We’ll keep you updated on this latest update fiasco and whether Microsoft releases any out-of-band fixes to address the problems. In the meantime, if you’re being affected by this, be sure to go back and read about the community fix that I discussed in the earlier blog post.

NOTE: GFI LanGuard customers are notified that the security update 2982791 has been pulled from GFI LanGuard.

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