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Microsoft: Black Screen of Death Not Our Fault

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments
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It wasn't us, said Microsoft.

Last month, reports from security vendors claim that Microsoft's latest round of patches was causing software problems that lead to the "Black Screen of Death."

Apparently, patches that affect Windows 7, Vista and XP made changes to the Access Control List that have caused installed applications to cough up the Black Screen of Death.

Security firm Prevx believed that Microsoft's patches for Windows 7, Vista and XP made changes to the Access Control List that have caused installed applications to cough up the Black Screen of Death. Prevx offered users a free patch that supposedly fixed things.

Microsoft, however, held back to investigate the supposed problem and now says that whatever is causing the Black Screen of Death isn't its fault.

"We’ve investigated these reports and found that our November Security Updates are not making changes to the system that these reports say are responsible for these issues," Microsoft wrote on it Security Response Center blog.

Reports claimed that Microsoft's updates security updates made permission changes in the registry to the value for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell key.

Microsoft responded, "We’ve conducted a comprehensive review of the November Security Updates, the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, and the non-security updates we released through Windows Update in November. That investigation has shown that none of these updates make any changes to the permissions in the registry. Thus, we don’t believe the updates are related to the 'black screen' behavior described in these reports."

Microsoft added that its worldwide Customer Service and Support organization is not seeing "black screen" behavior as a broad customer issue, but does know that such behavior is associated with some malware families such as Daonol.

Have you been hit by the Black Screen of Death? If so, was it malware and were you able to get rid of it?

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  • 0 Hide
    excalibur1814 , 3 December 2009 01:01
    6 machines, different software, all Windows 7.

    All updated as they should be.

    No black screens?
  • 0 Hide
    Skid , 3 December 2009 01:45
    I've had all the latest Microsoft updates on my PC for a while, no issues here.
  • 0 Hide
    Alsone , 3 December 2009 05:43
    There's a new issue emerging. I've put Windows 7 Professional on and myself and many others are now having problems since the latest updates in making it boot without the Windows disc still in the machine.Without the disc present, you get the message no BootMgr even though Windows 7 doesn't seem to use boot manager. I even security wiped my drive to ensure there were no traces of previous OS's left and its still doing it. HD video link here (last post): http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/da185234-d63a-41ff-9b8b-e07e50d439fb Only seems to affect Professional version so far.

  • 0 Hide
    excalibur1814 , 3 December 2009 14:37
    I love the way the last poster screams to high heaven that Microsoft isn't listening! Maybe two people don't warrant an INSTANT response

    "AS MICROSOFT DON'T SEEM TO BE ACKNOWLEDGING A PROBLEM I'VE UPLOADED A HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO TO YOUTUBE TO DEMONSTRATE IT."

    Is this just two people, more than two?
  • 0 Hide
    Alsone , 3 December 2009 21:39
    Its more than two if you search around the web but who cares!

    If you spent £150 on a new OS you'd expect to be able to get it load without the disc in the drive wouldn't you?
  • 0 Hide
    excalibur1814 , 4 December 2009 00:16
    Yes, you would, but I'm sure that MS will find a fix and get it out there as soon as possible.

    There will always be problems with new operating system releases and it was the same with 95, 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista and now 7. The shear AMOUNT of pc configurations is mind blowing so i still think that MS is doing a good job.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 7 December 2009 00:18
    4 win 7 machines here - 2 pro 2 home - and zero problems.
  • 0 Hide
    Scott2009 , 12 December 2009 09:31
    It's probably a 3rd party application that a subset of all users have installed that's made proprietary changes to 'Microsoft's Boot Manager.

    Kinda reminds me of OS/2.
  • 0 Hide
    Scott2009 , 12 December 2009 09:43
    I'd like to see optional Boot Loader encryption for those people who only want to run one Operating System per disk. Which is over 95% of consumers.

    It also prevents malware (and 3rd party apps) from making changes which would permit things like key-loggers, and the like to get into the machine.

    Since it's optional the EU and it's 'crazy' market can't **** it up.

    BitLocker isn't 'good enough' yet, not if something can get in and snoop my data using calls that decrypt it, with an active Internet connection.