Latest Microsoft patches cause black screen of death
By Jeremy Kirk
November 30, 2009 07:05 AM ET
IDG News Service - 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.
"If you've got this problem, it's massively debilitating," Morris said.
Prevx has released software that fixes the registry to match the ACL settings, which should resolve the problem, Morris said. Users could do this on their own by modifying their registry settings, but making alterations to those settings is risky since it can severely affect how the operating system runs.
On Nov. 10, Microsoft released 15 patches for vulnerabilities in Windows, Windows Server, Excel and Word.
Continues at Computerworld