13 February 2010

Windows Update KB977165 causes BSoD

Had fun and games with Kath's laptop last night as it had mysteriously started blue screening with a PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA error on startup. Safe mode was also affected with the boot getting as far as mup.sys and then failing.

She's running Windows XP dual-boot on a MacBook however OS X was unaffected so a hardware issue seemed unlikely. I suspected a recent Windows Update may be to blame although I've never come across such a severe failure resulting from an update before.

After a quick Google search (using Safari) I found this thread on the Microsoft forums entitled "BLUE SCREEN, UNABLE TO BOOT AFTER WINDOWS XP UPDATE TODAY". The thread currently has 336 replies and 132,262 views so it's a fair bet a lot of people's machines have been affected.

Reading the replies to the post it seems only XP and Vista are affected with the BSoD although the patch applied to all recent versions of Windows. Some replies speculate that it may be down to a previous virus infection which Kath's laptop has had so this could well be the case.

The culprit is one of Tuesday 9th February's Windows Updates, KB977165, and you need to boot into Recovery Console using an XP CD and run some commands in order to uninstall it - full details are in Kevin Hau's answer in the thread.

That's fine for people with an XP CD but pre-installed shop-bought PCs don't normally come with one and Netbooks don't even have a CD drive. Anyone without access to an XP CD will have to either buy a copy or consider upgrading to Windows 7. I suppose any bad publicity Microsoft may get from this won't concern them as they'll be busy watching their Win 7 uptake figures get a healthy bump this month. Of course, maybe people will decide to go with OS X or Ubuntu instead.


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