Mobile // Mobile Applications
News
12/4/2009
11:17 AM
50%
50%

Patch Tuesday: No Black Screen Fix

Thousands of Windows users have downloaded a tool in hopes of fixing a critical bug, but Microsoft has yet to solve issue.

Microsoft said it would release a patch next week that will address an Explorer 8 zero-day vulnerability and several other security threats. The software maker, however, disclosed no plans to fix a bug that may have crippled as many as 50,000 Windows PCs.




Windows 7 screen shot
(Click for larger image and for full photo gallery)

A security firm that developed a fix for the so-called "black screen of death" affecting Windows PCs said at least 50,000 users have downloaded the utility in just five days and said the problem is widespread. "There have been more than 50,000 downloads of the free fix tool since we made it available 5 days ago," said Prevx CEO Mel Morris, in a blog post.

The black screen of death, or KSOD, occurs when users attempt to boot their PCs. In cases where the bug occurs, the user is faced with a black or blank screen and is forced to reboot. It has reportedly hit PCs running Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP.

Prevx caused a stir earlier this week when it posted a blog indicating the problem was caused by a recently issued Microsoft security patch. But the company later backtracked, stating the cause is still unknown and may be the result of malware or some other security breach.

"The emergence of this issue coincided with the recent set of Windows updates, therefore our investigations were focused on identifying if any of these could have been the cause of the problem," said Morris, in Wednesday's post.

"Regrettably, it is clear that our original blog post has been taken out of context and may have caused inconvenience for Microsoft. This was never our intention and we have already apologized to Microsoft," Morris wrote.

For its part, Microsoft insists it's not behind the KSOD glitch, but to date has not offered an explanation or a fix of its own.

"Microsoft has investigated reports that its November security updates made changes to permissions in the registry that are resulting in system issues for some customers," said a Microsoft spokesman. Microsoft's Customer Service and Support organization is "not seeing 'black screen' behavior as a broad customer issue," the spokesman said.


InformationWeek has published an indepth report on Windows 7. Download the report here (registration required).

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.