Print 10 comment(s) - last by Lerianis.. on Dec 5 at 11:33 AM

Meanwhile, third party releases purported fix to the problem

Microsoft's Windows 7 is the hottest OS in the land.  Packed with new features, better performance, and selling like hotcakes, Microsoft is very pleased with the new operating system's performance.  However, a new problem has landed on some users' systems, causing concern.  Specific details, however, are scarce.

The error appears to occur after logging on to the affected systems and features a black-screen-of-death, rendering the computer unresponsive.  The error has been reported to occur on Windows 7, Vista, and XP systems and began cropping up after its latest Patch day, which occurred on November 10.  Thus some have speculated that the error was somehow triggered by the patch, possibly via modifications to the Access Control List (ACL) entries in the registry.

It's hard to put an exact number on how many users are affected.  A British security firm, Prevx, says that "millions" of people may be impacted.  The firm has released a fix that will fix some of these systems.  Describes David Kennerley in his company's blog, "Users have resorted to reloading Windows as a last ditch effort to fix the problem.  We hope we can help a good many of you avoid the need to reload."

He writes that there are "many causes" to the problem, so not all systems will be fixed.  However, he continues, "But if your black screen woes began in the last two weeks after a Windows update or after running any security program (including Prevx) to remove malware during this time then this fix will have a high probability of working."

The potential fix can be found in the linked blog.

According to Mr. Kennerley 10 or more scenarios that can trigger a black screen of death have lay dormant in Windows for several years now.  These scenarios can be found in distributions of Windows 7, Vista, XP, NT, and Windows 2000.

Microsoft is actively pursuing a solution the problem.  It states that the issue does "not match any known issues" and it comments, "Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers.  Once we complete our investigation, we will provide detailed guidance on how to prevent or address these issues."

A Microsoft spokesperson recommended that businesses first test the November 10 security updates before deploying.  However, they add, "Based on our investigation so far we can say that we’re not seeing this as an issue from our support organization.  The issues as described also do not match any known issues that have been documented in the security bulletins or (knowledge base) articles."

The "black screen of death" (BSOD) is derived from and shares an acronym with the "blue screen of death" a common error screen that occurs when Windows operating systems crash.  The blue screen of death has taken on pop culture status, so the black screen is a bit of a homage to it.

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Black SOD is real and is due to a bad update
By cvmaas on 12/5/2009 1:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
I had problems on 2 Vista machines, one Vista Ultimate and the other Home Premium. It would boot to a "Desktop" surprising fast (Much faster than usual) but the screen would stay completely black with a mouse pointer that could be moved. Rolled back the last update and it was fine until the next automatic update session and I watched the problem happen. It appears the registry is getting jacked up. After rebooting to complete the update I saw lines from the registry scrolling across the top of the screen and got dumped to the same black screen o death.

I since disabled windows updates completely and am going with a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it cuz MS will find a way to break it" approach.

By Lerianis on 12/5/2009 11:33:49 AM , Rating: 2
No. I am sorry, but I have installed all the updates that Microsoft recommends and haven't seen this. It sounds more like, before you install the next updates or those updates, you should run a registry cleaner like Baku.

Have it search for "All unnecessary registry entries" and have it delete ALL of them. If that doesn't solve the problem (and it should!)... contact Microsoft and tell them that this is happening and it is linked to updates.

happened to me
By anarchyjim on 12/2/09, Rating: 0
RE: happened to me
By Flunk on 12/2/2009 4:38:41 PM , Rating: 3
What you're describing isn't this issue, it's a feature called UAC that is designed to alert you when unauthorised changes to system settings are taking place.

By leexgx on 12/2/2009 1:19:40 AM , Rating: 3
i had this issue happen on a lot of XP systems but not come across any Vista or win7 systems yet

As the system restore Works under Vista and win7 for the better part picking last known configuration norm undoes the problem so MS may not be aware of it and the user may pick that option (XP only fix for most users is reload)
And just for kickers installing the same updates again most of the time does not make the black desktop load happen again (or an Blue screen of death) very hard for MS to re-test

I can already see...
By CrazyBernie on 12/1/2009 10:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
... some lame Apple commercial with the grimm reaper coming to get PC while Mac looks on in feigned interest.

The investigation is over.
By Smilin on 12/3/2009 10:08:41 AM , Rating: 2
The investigation is over. There is no bug.

The security company that reported it has also come forward and retracted their statements and apologized to Microsoft.

Windows 7 Black Screen Of Death
By fastncrazy on 12/3/2009 2:30:13 PM , Rating: 2
I have more than one machine on Windows 7 and have not had this experience. However, I have had problems with Prevx software. It got to the point where I had to uninstall it due to stability issues.

Best article on this whole thing
By Smilin on 12/3/09, Rating: 0
By HotFoot on 12/5/2009 12:43:36 AM , Rating: 2
It's yet another worthy reminder to check your sources and not just repeat what is essentially gossip.

That said, I didn't go so far as to dig through Mr Bott's sources myself to verify what he's saying.

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