Users Claim Microsoft Triggered Windows Black Screen Of Death

Black Screen of Death

Microsoft is staying mum on the Black Screen of Death, which results in a totally black screen, only saying it is investigating the issue.

Microsoft's support home page on Tuesday contained no alert or assistance on the Black Screen of Death.

But a number of users seeking help on the Internet say the Black Screen of Death symptoms cropped up in the past two weeks after a Windows security update.

"I have two computers, and both have been affected by the Windows update," wrote a user on security company Prevx's support site. "The laptop runs McAfee and the desktop runs NOD32, Spyware Doctor [from Google] and Spybot S&D."

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"This just happened to me yesterday!" exclaimed another user on the Prevx Web site. "I reloaded XP and it fixed the problem. I wished I had seen your posting first. No more Windows updates for me!"

"I've had problems with their [Microsoft] updates before," wrote yet another user on the Prevx Web site, cautioning others not to install Microsoft updates automatically. "Best to get them and wait a couple of days to see if there is an alert like this one!"

Prevx, which has offered a free fix for the Black Screen of Death, said the troubles could affect "millions [of users] on Windows 7, Vista and XP."

"If you Google Black Screen then you will find a whopping 80 million- plus results, mostly dominated by people searching for a fix to this problem," wrote Dave Kennerly, a Prevx support representative in a support site posting. "Thousands of users have resorted to reloading Windows as a last-ditch effort to fix the problem; avoid that at all cost."

Prevx said there are many causes of the Black Screen issue but that Windows updates could be a factor.

"The cause of this recent crop of Black Screen appears to be a change in the Windows Operating System's lockdown of registry keys," wrote Kennerly. "This change has the effect of invalidating several key registry entries if they are updated without consideration of the new ACL rules being applied. For reference the rule change does not appear to have been publicized adequately, if at all, with the recent Windows updates."

Kennerly said Prevx has identified "at least 10 different scenarios which will trigger the same Black Screen conditions. These appear to have been around for years now."