Microsoft Leaves Users Waiting For Black Screen Of Death Fix

The news this week has been a flaw in Microsoft‘s all versions of Windows labeled as the “Black Screen of Death”, they did acknowledge the problem a few days ago (in a roundabout way) but basically said it wasn’t their fault and it wasn’t widespread.

The blame is currently being passed around and as of now, no-one really knows exactly what is going on. With Prevx leading up the initial claims that the newest batch of November updates pushed out by Microsoft caused the problem.

Users who want the best Windows experience will need some help from Microsoft. But if the Black Screen of Death case is any indication, Microsoft isn’t so quick to take responsibility. As usual, users find they are left to their own devices to solve problems with software and hardware they paid good money for.

For too long, users have been forced by default to deal with the many security problems that plague the Windows ecosystem. Whether because of malware, flaws in how Microsoft built Windows or any other number of things that can occur in the course of using a Windows PC, it seems that users have to look to their own knowledge and resources to maintain at least a basic level of security.

It has gotten so bad that today, no anti-malware program is capable of targeting and removing every malicious file that can potentially impact a Windows installation. Even with several anti-malware tools installed, not a single Windows user is absolutely safe. And in order to come closer to achieving that lofty goal, the user needs to be diligent, always keeping in mind that if trouble strikes, it could very well be a battle with a malicious hacker.

It’s a pretty crippling bug and very confusing for most users as it’s not a total kernel panic like the traditional Blue Screen of Death but starts up normally and allows you login.

The problem appears after you login when the entire screen is black, there is no menu, no system tray, no taskbar and only a single “My Computer” desktop icon.

Plus any non-technical users trying to remedy the problem will face a tough time, not all fixes work and it’s really an odd problem.

Perhaps that’s why the controversy over the Black Screen of Death has taken on such a life of its own in the past 24 hours. Just one day ago, Windows users experiencing a Black Screen of Death generally believed that the problem began with updates from Microsoft that they had installed.

But after investigating the situation, Microsoft responded late Dec. 1 saying it wasn’t at fault. And Prevx, the security company that initially suggested that Windows updates were to blame, has already backtracked. Once again users are left wondering what they can possibly do to keep from loosing time, data and even possibly cash to this glitch for which Microsoft apparently doesn’t want to take responsibility.

A lot of buck passing has been going on as per usual and the baggage ends up with the end user as per usual with issues pertaining to Microsoft.

It’s pretty heated at the moment so it’ll be interested to see what transpires over the next few days and if we will actually get some definitive answers (unlikely).

Wherever the fault actually lies, Windows 7 users are still left wondering what is going on and how they are supposed to fix it.

Source: eWeek

Posted in: Exploits/Vulnerabilities, Windows Hacking

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14 Responses to Microsoft Leaves Users Waiting For Black Screen Of Death Fix

  1. Cj December 3, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Thats a load of shit. considering most good firewalls include early and out-of-line boot history checking, which does stop ANY PROCESS down to a thread, that tries to run without recognition on boot.

    Don’t believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see.

  2. Bresson December 4, 2009 at 2:21 am #

    I’m currently suffering from this Black Screen and it is indeed crippling. I’ve been trying all sorts of fixes in the last 3 days including the Prevx Fix, system restore, malware scans, and other last ditch efforts all to no avail. Something is definitely up with this and if you do a google search you can tell that many others are experiencing this too. Microsoft needs to step up and do something constructive now.

  3. ^.^ December 4, 2009 at 4:08 am #

    Cause; CAPICOM update.

  4. Deborah S December 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm #

    My experience agrees with Cj’s, at least on Windows XP. A good firewall is really all you need to keep the bad guys out. Oh, and few other things, like PeerGuardian to block connection attempts from known bad guys, sensible web surfing, keeping an eye on your running processes so you will spot something that shouldn’t be running. And maybe most important of all, is to forego all those potential computer bombs that Windows Updates makes available.

  5. babelfish00 December 7, 2009 at 4:04 am #

    orrrrr you could just use linux

  6. Deborah S December 7, 2009 at 4:10 am #

    I hear you babelfishoo, and I’m working on it. Migrating to Linux, that is.

  7. Listner December 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    Dont blame M$, blame yourself. Who at this point is honestly surprised that there’s a serious bug from a M$ product? That being said the responsibility, in my opinion, rests with the users who continue to pay for there flawed products.

    Deborah S:
    You’ll be very happy with that decision, I gave up on M$ years ago and ran into the friendly arms of linux. I wish more of the sheep would follow your example.

  8. novent December 7, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    This is about the lamest article I have read here in quite a while. What is Linux going to fix here? Seriously, I love Open Source and utilize it everywhere I can. I even contribute source code to the open source community when I am able to. However, until a unified authentication and user source management utility, please don’t bring up Open Directory, with support for several Line of Business applications and many integrated, end user friendly, non package dependent systems come about, MS will always hold the market.

    As far as “no anti-malware program is capable of targeting and removing every malicious file that can potentially impact a Windows installation” that is just BS. No anti-malware anywhere for any system that is readily available to the public has this ability. That is as completely ignorant as saying “No windows users anywhere are safe from hardware failure”.

    But Windows isn’t prone to RPM hell cycles, oh just use deb package manager or apt-get … “what about the programs i want to install that aren’t built with those” RPM, YUM, DEB …etc they all have had issues. But who is there to blame? only the community i.e. your(our)selves. But isn’t it free? Yeah its free until you have to hire/pay/train/install something that isn’t supported by a vendor.

    I am all about a good M$ poke, or Bill Gates is trying to patent the alphabet, but this is a horrible, horrible article with no answers or resolve. Darknet has offered so much good advice, tools and interesting reads but this is just plain ignorant.

    Hopefully some day the open source community can bring something to table to combat this grip that MS has on the IT world but as long as people have to read about compiling, won’t happen.

  9. Darknet December 8, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    novent: Sorry but I can’t find the part in the article when I even mentioned Linux, please point it out for me. I must be getting blind in my old age.

  10. Deborah S December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    No Darknet, you’re not getting blind in your old age! You in fact did not so much as hint about anything Linux in your article, but I think what the comments are showing is that Linux is really the only viable way to avoid the kinds of problems this article points out.

    But I also have to agree with novent. Linux is still too geeky for the masses to adopt, and if they did the hackers would be vigorously attacking it as well. Personally, I’ve dabbled in coding, C, C++, Java, perl, etc. And I’m reasonably competent at it, but I’m just not one of those people who enjoys coding for its own sake. So even though I’m able to make the leap to Linux, so far I just haven’t rounded up the time and motivation to do so. But with XP, a decent firewall and your wits about you, you don’t really need to. When I do give Linux a try it will be as a way to break my dependence on Microsoft and to take more direct control of my computing and internet environment. But I really don’t have to.

    Oh, and I just want to add that XP SP3 has also been reported having these Black Screens of Death, just read that yesterday. Makes no difference to me since I’ve been sticking to SP2, and now have yet another reason not to “upgrade” to SP3. I’ll take XP the way it was before Microsoft began distributing their Vista/Windows 7 “largess” to it.

  11. Listner December 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    You dont have to be a coder to use linux lol, I have many, many friends with ubuntu mini’s who couldnt code their way out of a wet paper sack. For the normal web surfing users out there, its just fine.

  12. Rishabh Dangwal December 23, 2009 at 7:00 am #

    Linux is not tough to use,it rather clicks when u get used to it. Trust me if Windows wasn’t there since from the beginning and people get to use the Linux like they did when only *Nix was there, Linux might have dominated the market. Its just plain old dilemma of laziness in which we tend to get most our tasks automated without getting an insightful view of how they are being done.An average Linux user smirks at the thought of using windows on their boxes just for the sake of getting their tasks done. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Of course Linux provides great UI’s for those with less technical skills to do there daily jobs, I believe it will become a force to recon with in the upcoming years if Microsoft keeps on releasing more BS like Vista and later upgrade them to somewhat better 7. Microsoft’s Larger than life theory of operating systems has always felt shallow as they always monopolize the shit out of it.Even the code they donated to open source was incomplete, why not just to switch once and for all.


  13. Linux Trolls, as usual January 2, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    The linux trolls have arrived, as usual. Open the door a bit, and they cram their foot in the door. Hey, I use Linux, Mac, and PC platforms – each has their own strengths, and weaknesses. The key is matching to the user. This “linux is better” or “mac is better” or “pc is better” argument is ridiculous. Did the author even MENTION linux in the original post ? NO he didn’t, linux trolls.

    Stop acting like children, and see the issue for what it really is.

  14. Anony Moose January 8, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Linux trolls aside, I use Linux & Windows (when I have to) because there are jobs one does better than the other.

    With Windows, I have found that if the number of ‘services’ are reduced (drastically) then Windows is actually stable, fairly responsive and less susceptible to malware.

    Mayhaps if other techs mand Windows “Lean and Mean” then those suffering the BSOD SP2 will have some relief.