Uninstall These Windows Patches NOW!
On August 2, Microsoft began pushing out its monthly bundle of Windows security patches and feature updates via Windows Update. By August 5, hundreds of users’ PCs were failing to boot after being powered off; the infamous Blue Screen of Death appeared. Some tech-savvy users traced the problem to a handful of patches in the August 2 release. On August 15, Microsoft pulled the flawed patches from Windows Update and advised users to uninstall them. Here is what you need to do:
Uninstalling Flawed Windows Patches
If you PC has already been “bricked” and won’t boot, your only solution is to boot from a DVD copy of Windows, load the Windows Recovery Environment, and go through a complex repair process detailed here (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2982791)
Don’t ignore this issue if your PC hasn’t crashed already. That doesn’t mean it won’t. If the flawed patches remain on your system you could boot up to a Blue Screen of Death at any time. There are also certain actions other than a reboot which can trigger the problem, such as installing new software or certain types of fonts.
Note that this flaw ONLY affects 64-bit versions of Windows 7 or 8. You can relax if you have any other version of Windows; the flawed patches were installed only on 64-bit Windows 7 or 8 computers. (If you're not sure which version of Windows you have, see Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?)
But if you have one of the affected Windows flavors, you need to uninstall four patches that were installed (automatically or manually) on or after August 2, 2014. All Windows patches have the prefix “KB” followed by a number. The four numbers you are looking for are: 2982791, 2970228, 2975719, and 2975331.
To find these patches and uninstall them, follow these instructions:
1) Click the Start button and enter “installed updates” in the search box
2) Double-click on the “View Installed Update” item that appears in the search results list. It will take a few seconds for Windows to gather data on all installed updates. Then they will be displayed in a sortable list.
3) Click on the column heading, “Installed On” to sort the list by installation date.
4) Scroll down the list to the “Microsoft Windows” section, where you will find all the “KB” updates that have been installed to the operating system.
5) Look for each of the four “KB” numbers listed above. You need only look among updates that were installed on or after August 2, 2014.
6) If you find one of the four numbers, highlight that item and click on “Uninstall” or “Change” in the window’s sidebar. Follow instructions to uninstall the item.
NOTE: Some of these patches are for Windows 7, and some for Windows 8. Don't expect to find all four of them on any computer. You will most likely have only 1 or 2 of them.
If none of these flawed patches exist on your system, count your blessings. They won’t be installed later.
Flying on Autopilot?
The flaw has been traced to a font cache in Windows, an area of RAM where frequently used fonts are kept for fast access. Several users have investigated and found that this font cache flaw has existed in Windows for many years, and has caused problems with updates many times. Maybe Microsoft will finally fix this vulnerability once and for all.
I know some people will say that it's a bad idea to run Windows Update with the standard "Automatic" setting, which applies Windows fixes without any user interaction. But I strongly disagree. There have been a small number of problems over the years with Windows patches that went awry, such as this one. But turning off Windows Update and asking ordinary users who are not tech savvy to decide which patches they might need, and which they might not, is simply ridiculous. It would lead very predictably to MORE problems, because most people just wouldn't bother to apply critical security patches.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 18 Aug 2014
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Uninstall These Windows Patches NOW! (Posted: 18 Aug 2014)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved