Latest MS Patches Cause Black Screen of Death

It's funny how things work out. Microsoft's little yellow shield appeared a few days ago, indicating that it's time to download and install the latest updates. Thanks to the turkey-basted holidays, it was put off until today. Now Computerworld is reporting that the latest patches are actually causing many users the Black Screen of Death, making this writer a little more thankful for tasty turkey and hard-headed procrastination.

With that wordy opening out of the way (had to make up for the two days off), the problem affects the latest Microsoft operating systems: Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Security firm Prevx actually reported the problem here in this blog, saying that Microsoft has made changes to the Access Control List that have caused installed applications to cough up the Black Screen of Death.

Mel Morris , the CEO and CTO of Prevx, said that security applications suffer more damage than other programs. Many users have tried to uninstall and re-install various security programs to no avail. "If you've got this problem, it's massively debilitating," Morris said.

Naturally, Prevx already released a free, downloadable update to fix the issue with its security offerings. But until Microsoft fixes the issue, other security software vendors will have to do the same. Advanced Windows users can also fix the problem my altering the registry settings, but as always, that's risky business. Morris said that Prevx has submitted the problem and solution directly to Microsoft.

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  • shadow187
    Microsoft releasing an update that screws something over...

    In other news, the sky is blue.
  • jerreece
    This is why I always set Windows for Automatic Notification... NOT Automatic Update. This way I can choose what/when it installs or updates.
  • thenetavenger
    I think this story would have more bite if it was an actual problem with the update or Windows. The problem is a 3rd party application 'injecting' itself into the OS in areas it has no business being.

    This is why Microsoft created a robust API set for virus, spyware, and firewall applications to use instead of injecting or nesting themselves in areas of the OS that cause problems (like this) and also slow down the system.

    Norton and McAfee fought about Vista because Microsoft forbid them from injecting into the OS in unstable layers, and sadly Microsoft gave in to them and this is why you find security products degrading performance and causing compatibility problems, especially less known products that don't get the same levels of testing and depend on ACLs they have no business relying on or modifying.

    Even on XP there are basic Firewall and some virus and spyware API sets that were added to the OS with SP2 and SP3, that these applications should be using.

    When you install a product like Norton (for example) and it stuffs services that monitor all I/O or injects itself into the network stack it is going to cause more problems with compatibility and performance than it is ever going to 'help' the user.

    (Especially when these are subscription based products that when they expire stop updating yet keep filtering network traffic causing problems for users to even send out email as port 25 is hijacked by Norton at the network level.)

    Stick to MSE and the built in Defender, or at the very least, check that the product you are using is conforming to using the 3rd party API sets the OS provides instead of bypassing them and changing system security.

    There are a few good 3rd party anti-virus/security products that conform to the OS provided API sets and by nature they will also be more compatible and faster than other solutions that do not.
  • Other Comments
  • shadow187
    Microsoft releasing an update that screws something over...

    In other news, the sky is blue.
  • scorc25
    of course they submitted the problem and solution to doesnt give much of an option with its error reporting
  • nebun
    no problems here