Microsoft has something of a reputation when it comes Windows updatesand sadly it’s not a positive one. That reputation is currently taking another kicking as reports of computers freezing during the latest ‘Patch Tuesday’ update process or hanging during start-up afterwards roll in.
Microsoft has confirmed that there is “an issue on devices with Sophos Endpoint Protection installed and managed by either Sophos Central or Sophos Enterprise Console (SEC) that may cause the system to freeze or hang upon restart after installing this update.” Users of Avast for Business and CloudCare have been reporting machines locking up on start-up and Avira antivirus users are suffering from Windows running very slowly. So, it seems there is a combination of freezing/locking up during the update installation process itself, boot-looping and locking after the update and systems becoming sluggish and unresponsive if they do start successfully.
Which versions of Windows are affected?
Unfortunately, it would appear that a broad sweep of Windows versions are affected by the update problems. As of this morning these include Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows Embedded 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 10. Exactly which version is impacted depends upon which antivirus software you have installed. You can find a full list detailing conflicts between operating systems, antivirus and updates here.
How do you fix it?
The good news is that Microsoft has temporarily blocked devices from receiving these updates if the Sophos Endpoint is installed until a solution is available. However, at the time of publication there is no official confirmation of the problems that Avast and Avira users are experiencing, only for Sophos. And, of course, this doesn’t help if you have already installed the Patch Tuesday updates. So, if you have and need to fix it you should boot your computer into safe mode and roll back the updates. Sophos recommends that you disable the Sophos antivirus service (and ‘tamper protection’ if enabled) after booting into safe mode, then reboot normally and uninstall the relevant updates before re-enabling Sophos antivirus.