Uninstall These Windows Patches NOW!

Category: Windows-7 , Windows-8

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.

bad windows patches

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?)

UPDATE: Microsoft reissued the flawed patches on 27 Aug 2014, correcting the problems mentioned here. If the date shown for these patches on your Installed Updates page is on or after that date, you should not follow the instructions below to remove them.

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.

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Most recent comments on "Uninstall These Windows Patches NOW!"

(See all 153 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

21 Aug 2014

Ellie: like you, the uninstall wouldn't work for me from the left hand column. I right clicked on the update and when "uninstall" appeared, left clicked on it, and that worked.

Posted by:

21 Aug 2014

I just posted above that my Vita 32-bit had the kb2982791 update. Well, after uninstalling it, my computer ran with a lot less CPU usage, and my mouse moves noticeably more easily. I had forgotten that my computer slowed to a crawl after this August Windows update. Well worth uninstalling. Thanks, Bob!

Posted by:

21 Aug 2014

Thank you so much...I had one on my W7 64. I hope you never decide to retire because we will be lost without you! You are super.

Posted by:

Milan P.
21 Aug 2014

Bob, THANK YOU for the great work! I was a “Bus rider” and am still following you!

I found both KB982791 and KB70228 on my 2 [TWO!] WIN7 PRO 32-bit comps [!!!] and removed them; I don’t know if it affects 64-bit comps exclusively as you said, but yes, they were installed on the 32-bit machines and I took them out just in case. [Right click/Uninstall works just fine!]

Posted by:

21 Aug 2014

Hi Bob, same for me as for Milan - I was a “Bus rider” and am still following you!

I had powered down my laptop before I left Work on Thursday and on the train home I wanted to do some work - that's when the BSoD struck...
I've spent the better part of my long weekend trying every trick in the book to fix it - Enter Bob - Yeah back up and running in 10 min flat.

I've removed the patches from all the other computers in our house and have advised my colleagues to read your posts :)

Thank you very much, indeed - keep up the superb work!

Greetings from Good Old Germany,

Posted by:

21 Aug 2014

Hi, thank you for this article! I wanted to ask if the last update with only 6 digits is missing a number? I was looking thru my updates and they all seem to have 7 digits, so I just want to double check. Also, is it unusual that I only found the first 2 update numbers to uninstall?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The correct number for that 4th patch is 2975331. And yes, it's expected that you'll find only 1 or 2 of them present on your computer.

Posted by:

22 Aug 2014

Tx Bob I found : 2982791 & 2970228 on my 32 bit Win7 and uninstalled them.

However on the MS link that you gave they mention something about deleting the fntcache.dat file and give the whole process on how to go about doing it. What do you think? Is it necessary?

EDITOR'S NOTE: As far as I know, you only need to do that if you have issues caused by the flawed patches.

Posted by:

22 Aug 2014

Yep, I had 2 of the patches installed, on my Winodws 7 Professional 64-bit version. I am so glad, that I didn't have any issues, but at the same time, I am surprised.

For myself, since, I am more or less a Geek ... I prefer, to have the Notification of all Updates, but, I want to review them and decide which ones I want to update or not. I don't even want Microsoft to download any of the updates, I want to make that decision. I definitely, want the important updates, but, there are other updates from Microsoft, that I simply do NOT want ... For instance, any of the Bing updates!!!

I detest Bing and refuse to use the Search Engine. I try not to use Internet Explorer, as much as possible, but, with me using Outlook, as my mail server ... Internet Explorer is still used, in some way. I prefer using Chrome, as my browser. I like that way it works and how simple it is to set up and maintain. I will not use Firefox, due to what was done earlier this year, regarding Brenden Eich's resignation on April 3, 2014.

I still, can not believe that Mozilla or Firefox chose not to support one of their employees, over an issue that was done in 2008. Plus, Eich had been a intricate part of the development of Firefox, for over 15 years. I guess, I am old fashioned and honestly, do not understand the ways of the working world, today. I came from a time, where loyalty and teamwork, were the whole reason for working.

Posted by:

23 Aug 2014

Found and uninstalled 2791 and 0228 installed on 64b Win7 and 64b Win8; plus 5331 on theWin8. My optiplex Win7-sp1 64b was "bricked". Ref to MS detailed procedure Kb 29822791 too much for this semi-savvy PC user. Need your clear helpful translation/procedure, starting with Recovery Disk boot procedure. Up to now NEVER had a bricked DeskTop. Usually replaced suspect HDD with and iso-imaged HDD before any crashes.

Posted by:

24 Aug 2014

Thank uou, Bob! Had no problems with BSOD, but found 2 patches out of those 4 and deleted them. Thanks!

Posted by:

25 Aug 2014

Once I am notified of an available update I wait at least 5 days before installation. My XP machine is still dead thanks to a Mcafee update. Never again will I do a same day update. Thanks McaFee, you jerks.

Posted by:

25 Aug 2014

In addendum to my previous post, thank you for your sage and timely advice, and for the countless times I have previously followed your advice, heeded your warnings, and followed up on your recommendations (Ting) for one. Also thank you for posting comments else I would not have been prepared for the near two hours it took to reboot after the second uninstall.
Another Bus Rider

Posted by:

29 Aug 2014

These updates were never installed on my Windows 7 laptop, but there is one that keeps trying to update now: KB2993651. It is supposed to be a replacement for one of the original ones you mentioned. Unfortunately, every time I turn on my laptop, I get a black screen. I have to reboot in Safe Mode, where the updates are automatically uninstalled, then it works fine. But then it tries to install them again. Do I just need to turn off automatic updates?

Posted by:

02 Sep 2014

Easily followed your instructions for insuring the 4 updates were not installed. Happily they were not.

Posted by:

11 Sep 2014

I've taken them out of my computers, but they are still showing up in Windows Updates and my computers keep installing them automatically. If they are problems shouldn't MS take them off the update site? Sorry if this has been already asked by someone else. Don't have time to read all 147 comments. Thanks.

Posted by:

22 Sep 2014

Why said those windows updates was problem in windows 7 /8 64 bits only ? as a computer repair technician I had some troubles in many desktops and laptops computers on or before August 2, 2014.
And I knowed was after windows updates was installed .....Computers with those troubles had Windows 7 32 bits systems on it ...and had to do system restore on some , but reformate on others.
Now are in good working conditions ..
Again ...this problems afected too on 32 bits systems .

EDITOR'S NOTE: If the problem happened prior to Aug 2nd, turn it was unrelated to the flawed patches mentioned in this article.

Posted by:

Geoff Carlin
27 Sep 2014

Watch out, these rogue updates are still out there. I bought a new laptop and KB 2975719 tried to install itself among the updates today, leading to failure of installation of all updates. I have now moved to manual installation of updates and being highly selective about what goes on. Perversely when I rechecked for important updates the unchecked KB 2975719 reappeared on the list! Well done Bob! Poor show Microsoft.

Posted by:

07 Feb 2015

I can't tell you the hundreds of hours I've spent trying to fix this problem! I've done a system restore over two hundred times alone! I've run startup repair 50+ times. I bought "Spin Rite" and ran that at every level. I'd resorted to leaving the PC running 24/7 and found nothing describing this in the web or Microsoft's sites. I'm furious at MS over this. I even considered going over to the dark side (Apple) and buying a new DT computer! What you have described here fits my problem to a "T" - timeline wise and all! I hope this works. Thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Posted by:

31 Mar 2015

I found one of the files, but am unable to uninstall it. my computer has been stuck in a bootloop so I am in safe mode. could that be the problem?

Posted by:

18 Jun 2016

Thanks for this. I have just uninstalled 2 patches of the 4 listed. Haven't had the problems mentioned to date, but followed your advice to minimise future risks. Thanks again.

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