Microsoft investigates “black screen of death”
Microsoft is investigating a mysterious “black screen of death” issue that’s afflicting people who’ve installed its November security updates.
The issue was highlighted by UK-based security firm PrevX, which claims the problem is a result of the way Windows handles registry keys after the update.
“The cause of this recent crop of Black Screens appears to be a change in the Windows operating systems lock down of registry keys,” says Dave Kennerley, a Prevx support engineer, on the company blog.
After logging on there is no desktop, task bar, system tray or sidebar. Instead you are left with a totally black screen
“This change has the effect of invalidating several key registry entries if they are updated without consideration of the new ACL (access control list) rules being applied,” he concludes.
While PrevX repeatedly describes the error as a “black screen of death”, that’s not entirely accurate. “The symptoms are very distinctive and troublesome,” the blog continues.
“After logging on there is no desktop, task bar, system tray or sidebar. Instead you are left with a totally black screen and a single My Computer Explorer window.”
The blog offers a fix for anybody suffering from the issue and Microsoft has confirmed that it’s looking at complaints. “Microsoft is investigating reports that its latest release of security updates is resulting in system issues for some customers,” says the company in a statement. “Once we complete our investigation, we will provide detailed guidance on how to prevent or address these issues.”