Black Screen of Death Not Related to Microsoft Patch

The mysterious black screen of death problem that some Windows users have been experiencing in the last few days turns out not to be related to the latest round of Microsoft patches after all.

The mysterious black screen of death problem that some Windows users have been experiencing in the last few days turns out not to be related to the latest round of Microsoft patches after all.

Microsoft spent several days investigating claims by security vendor PrevX that the company’s latest security updates had caused a registry problem that was in turn causing some Windows machines to display a black screen. The Microsoft Security Response Center could find nothing in the updates that was causing the problem, and neither could the company’s support organization.

“The company has found those reports
to be inaccurate and our comprehensive investigation has shown that none of the
recently released updates are related to the behavior described in the reports.
While we were not contacted by the organization who originally made these
reports, we have proactively contacted them with our findings. Our support organization is also not
seeing this as an issue. The claims also do not match any known issues that
have been documented in the security bulletins or KB articles,” Christopher Budd, security communications lead for the MSRC, said in a statement.

PrevX, which published a blog post blaming the instability issues on Microsoft’s patches, reversed course this afternoon, saying that it had been working with Microsoft to find the root cause of the black screen registry problem. It appears that the problem was caused by a “characteristic of the Windows Registry related to the storage of string data,” PrevX said.

Having narrowed down a specific trigger for this condition we’ve done
quite a bit of testing and re-testing on the recent Windows patches
including KB976098 and KB915597 as referred to in our previous blog.
Since more specifically narrowing down the cause we have been able to
exonerate these patches from being a contributory factor.

Microsoft security officials said that the black screen problem is seen on some machines that have been infected with malware, specifically the Daonol Trojan.

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