Microsoft’s latest round of security patches appears to be causing some PCs to seize up and display a black screen, rendering the computer useless.
The problem affects Microsoft products including Windows 7, Vista and XP operating systems, said Mel Morris , the CEO and CTO for the U.K. security company Prevx.
Prevx was alerted to the problem by users of its security software last week, Morris said. Microsoft apparently made changes to the Access Control List (ACL), a list of permissions for a logged-on user. The ACL interacts with registry keys, creating visible desktop features such as a sidebar.
However, the latest patches appear to make some changes to those registry keys. The effect is that some installed applications aren’t aware of the changes and don’t run properly, causing a black screen, Morris said.
Security applications seem to be particularly affected. Morris said users of other security products have also complained about the issue, even going so far as trying to reinstall the operating system to fix it.
Black Screen woes could affect millions on Windows 7, Vista and XP
Firstly, there appears to be many causes of of the black screen issue. The symptoms are very distinctive and troublesome. After starting your Windows 7, Vista, XP, NT, W2K, W2K3 or W2K8 PC or server the system appears normal. However, after logging on there is no desktop, task bar, system tray or side bar. Instead you are left with a totally black screen and a single My Computer Explorer window. Even this window might be minimized making it hard to see.
If you have these symptoms you can safely try our free Black Screen Fix. It will fix the most common cause we have seen of this issue. Running the fix program is easy under normal circumstances, simply download with your browser using the link above and run the program. However, if you are trying to do this from the PC which has black screen it is a bit more tricky.
Microsoft looking into Windows ‘black screen of death’ problem
Microsoft says it’s looking into reports that its latest security updates are causing some Windows machines to stop working and display a mostly black screen with no desktop icons, taskbar, sidebar or other elements — seizing up and displaying just a "My Computer" Explorer window, if they’re lucky. [...]
"Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers," a company representative said via email in response to our inquiry. "Once we complete our investigation, we will provide detailed guidance on how to prevent or address these issues."
Also, Recent Windows security patches causing ‘black screen of death’
Microsoft said it is aware of the issue and sent seattlepi.com the following statement:
* Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers.
* Based on our investigation so far we can say that we’re not seeing this as an issue from our support organization.
* The issues as described also do not match any known issues that have been documented in the security bulletins or KB articles.
* As always, we encourage customers to review the security bulletin and related KB articles and test and deploy security updates.
* If customers do encounter an issue with security updates, we encourage them to contact our Customer Service and Support group for no-charge assistance. Customers can contact CSS using the information at http://support.microsoft.com/security.