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Microsoft Pulls August Update Over BSOD Crashes

Microsoft released a security bulletin on Monday reporting that it is currently investigating system crashes associated with four updates released on August 12: 2982791, 2970228, 2975719 and 2975331. The bulletin said that any of these four will cause a 0x50 Stop error, which may prevent the system from starting correctly. For now, Microsoft has removed the download links.

There are actually three known issues stemming from these four updates. For starters, if fonts are installed somewhere other than the default directory, then they cannot be changed when loaded into an active session. The bulletin said Windows customers will get a "File in use" message when they attempt to delete, replace or change the fonts. The second known issue is also font-related; when these updates are installed, fonts will not render correctly.

Until Microsoft finds out what is going on, customers can uninstall these updates. Instructions include booting into Safe Mode, deleting the fntcache.dat file, and editing the registry. Of course, if you've never edited the registry, then don't try this yourself.

Microsoft began receiving complaints on August 13. According to one user named "Frank," he updated his notebook, shut it down, and then restarted, only to be greeted by the Blue Screen of Death. The error, he said, was a Stop 0x50 in Win32k.sys. He couldn't even boot into safe mode.

After restoring his laptop, he decided to download the updates again. He had the same problem as before.

"I went through the updates and found update KB2982791 which relates to Win32k.sys and fonts," he wrote. "I also found this KB article (Stop error 0x50 in Win32k.sys) which says that a Stop 0x50 occurs because Win32k.sys crashes when the font cache is not correctly maintained. Quite a bizarre behavior to crash the whole operating system because a cache seems to be invalid. A decent programmer would have just cleared the cache and continued."

Update 2982791, the most important of the four, addresses MS14-045. According to the bulletin, it fixes three privately reported vulnerabilities in Windows. One of them could allow a hacker to log into the system and run a malicious program to elevate his/her privilege. However, the hacker would need the valid credentials and have hands-on access to the system.

"The security update addresses the vulnerabilities by correcting the way that Windows handles thread-owned objects, by correcting the way in which specially crafted font files are handled in memory by Windows, and by correcting the way in which memory is allocated," the bulletin said.

To uninstall the updates, head here for the instructions. Again, if you're not comfortable with editing the registry, then wait until Microsoft provides a fix via Windows Update.

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  • Joseph DeGarmo
    Would a system restore back to restore point created last Tuesday automatically remedy the issue on Windows 8.1 and allow only the good updates to be reinstalled?
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    The Registry isn't too bad. It's just a bloated database. Back up Windows before you edit it, and you should be fine.

    Would a system restore back to restore point created last Tuesday automatically remedy the issue on Windows 8.1 and allow only the good updates to be reinstalled?
    It probably would. If your system is running though, I wouldn't do it.


    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    I didn't have any issues with these updates....
    Reply
  • Dan Neiman
    Why should you have to mess with the registry? Just go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, View Installed Updates and uninstall the ones that are bad
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    No wonder, I've been having weird issues also.

    (this Is with both win 8 & 7) On my laptop, when I plug in both my TV via HDMI and my laptop cooler via usb, all of a sudden my computer would just shut down, and after continuous testing to see what was causing the problem, I couldn't even boot to windows 8. Then I reinstalled to windows 7 and still had the same problem, so I plugged my cooler into a usb wall adapter and everything works.

    Could these updates be causing this issue?
    Reply
  • Weboh
    Windows 8: The only version Windows that had automatic updates break it. Upgrade to the future today!
    Reply
  • ickibar1234
    This issue has already been discussed in a previous article today by Jill Scharr.
    Reply
  • Vorador2
    Windows 8: The only version Windows that had automatic updates break it. Upgrade to the future today!

    You're new to this newfangled "Microsoft Windows" thing i take. Microsoft has released botched updates from time to time since Windows 95.
    Reply
  • Christopher1
    Windows 8: The only version Windows that had automatic updates break it. Upgrade to the future today!
    Um.... no. Microsoft had issues with updates for Windows XP, Vista and 7 that did this in very specific situations. Personally, I updated my system with this update and had absolutely no issues whatsoever so I am wondering how exactly this issue crops up.
    Reply
  • Joseph DeGarmo
    During the past few days, I had issues with the network cutting off. I reset the modem by shutting down the PC, unplugging the Ethernet and modem power, reconnecting them, and rebooting. That seemed to have resolved the issue, but did the faulty updates have anything to do with the network connection issue?
    Reply