October 22, 2014

Microsoft Recommends Uninstalling Windows Update After Systems Crashes

Computer crash

Recent updates to Microsoft Windows may give you grief … if they haven’t already.

Microsoft issued an official security bulletin recently that indicates users who have problems after installing one of a series of updates starting Aug. 2 should uninstall that update. Further, the company has removed links to the affected files so users who don’t have these updates loaded to their systems automatically will be protected from the threat.

According to a PC World report, the issues concern the following updates released this month:

  • 2982791
  • 2970228
  • 2975719
  • 297533

System crashes, fonts that don’t render properly, and security flaws are all problems that could arise with the troubled updates if installed. In its security bulletin, the company explains:

“The most severe of these vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to the system and runs a specially crafted application. An attacker must have valid login credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit these vulnerabilities.”

A list of the Windows operating systems that could be affected include:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windown 8, Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012
  • Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1

Microsoft has provided a mitigation plan for removal of the updates causing users to have so many problems. Here are the steps for removing the updates from affected systems:

  • Restart your computer in Safe Mode.
  • Delete the fntcache.dat file. To do this, type the following command at command prompt, and then press Enter:del %windir%system32fntcache.dat.
  • After you delete fntcache.dat, restart the computer. The computer should now start successfully.
  • Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.
  • Locate and then click the following subkey in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionFonts.
  • Right-click the Fonts registry subkey, and then click Export.
  • Type a name for the exported reg file, and select a location to store the file. You will use this file later to restore the font registration that you will remove in the following steps.
  • After you save the reg file, find any registry values under the Fonts registry subkey for which the data field meets the following criteria: (1) Contains a full file path (not just a file name), and (2) The full file path ends in an “.otf” extension. (This indicates an OpenType font file.)
  • Delete the fntcache.dat file again. (It will have been re-created.) To do this, type the following command at command prompt, and then press Enter: del %windir%system32fntcache.dat
  • Open the Programs and Features item in Control Panel, and then click View installed updates. Find and then uninstall any of the following update that are currently installed: KB2982791, KB2970228, KB2975719, and KB2975331.
  • Restart the computer.
  • Find the reg file that you saved earlier, right-click the file, and then click Merge to restore the font registry values that you previously removed.

Computer Problems photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼

Joshua Sophy - Staff Writer


Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering technology and business news. He is a journalist and editor with 15 years experience in media. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Joshua also serves as President of the Board of Directors of a curling club and is editor of a regional newsletter focused on the sport of curling in the Eastern U.S.

6 Reactions

  1. Oh great – I have Windows 7, and my updates automatically download. I haven’t noticed any problems though, so maybe I escaped those particular updates.

    The mitigation plan might confuse some folks though and might result in things getting messed up. It would have been more productive for Windows to release another update that dealt with all that.

  2. I don’t know what it is with Windows that their updates kills the computer. It is supposed to do the computer some good by making it better but it just crashes everytime. Why not hire more researchers to test things out?

    • I’ve been fortunate enough not have my computer crash on me after an update — yet.

      I really don’t know what makes the updates problematic for some, but it’s not something that should be happening, though it does.

  3. How’s about issuing an update that corrects or uninstalls the guilty update.

    If it does not crash all computers than do some genetic or dna mapping on the system to determine what programs, file,etc on the code side and cpu, chip set, etc on the machine side that gave you those unintended results.

    It is time to start billing for our time spent maintaining the OS (Microsoft Windows v?) that costs so much and comes with no guarantees. [There is however one guarantee, the learning curve is never ending]

    • That’s what I was thinking, gaemulater (read my response to Joshua). It would be better if Windows fixed it via auto-update. They built it – they have the knowledge and the skill — rather than the onus being placed on its affected users to fix it via mitigation plan.

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