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Blue Screen of Death on Print...

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Windows 10: March updates can cause blue screens when printing!

Cumulative (security) updates dated March 9th are causing printing problems on some PCs. The rollout may have stopped; there is a workaround.

As usual, Microsoft published cumulative updates for "Patch Tuesday" which, among other things, eliminate critical security gaps in various Microsoft products. However, some of these updates apparently cause problems on some computers: Numerous users reported to the author of this article and to the editorial staff of heise online on Wednesday morning who reported on blue screens when printing with various printers (including those from the manufacturer Kyocera).

Specifically, we have received feedback for updates KB5000802 (Windows 10 2004 / 20H2) and KB5000808 (Windows 10 1909). The error occurs, among other things, when printing PDF files (e.g. from the context of the browser). So far, Microsoft has not officially confirmed the problems - but there are indications that the rollout of the updates in question has been stopped. There is also a suggested workaround.

Blue screen and successful workaround

In response to the blog entry describing the printer problem, several affected administrators came forward. They reported that in their case, uninstalling the respective printer driver and then reinstalling the driver fixed the problem. Since the current security updates are intended to protect Windows 10 against vulnerabilities that are sometimes actively attacked, it is much more advisable to use such a workaround than to uninstall the updates.

Update may have stopped

In the meantime, users reported on the author's blog that the cumulative updates for Windows 10 are no longer offered on their clients. Our editorial team was also able to observe this on several test systems: While the update was still distributed to devices on the evening of March 9, 2021, several test VMs were not (no longer) offered on the morning of March 10, 2021.

It is possible that Microsoft has at least stopped the rollout of the updates - an automated process is also conceivable here, after the telemetry has triggered corresponding feedback. So far, however, there is no corresponding information in the Microsoft support articles. The updates also continue to appear in the Microsoft Update Catalog.

The bottom line is that Windows 10 users or administrators should consider the "Patch Tuesday" updates as possible sources of errors and problems, but at the same time be aware of the high potential for danger that the vulnerabilities currently being actively exploited harbor.

Possible relationship: Fix for CVE-2021-1640

In the course of the possibly buggy updates KB5000802 (Windows 10 2004 / 20H2) and KB5000808 (Windows 10 1909), the printer vulnerability CVE-2021-1640 was also closed. According to Microsoft's description, the vulnerability made it possible to extend permissions in connection with print jobs that are transmitted to "FILE:" ports. According to the author's observations, Microsoft distributed a first security update for this vulnerability in December 2020 and has now apparently improved it again.

In connection with the current fix for CVE-2021-1640, Microsoft notes (including in a post on blogs.windows.com) that after installing Windows updates from March 9, 2021 and later, print jobs that occurred before Restarting the Print Spooler Service or restarting the operating system was in a pending state, then would be left in an error state. The company's recommendation is to manually delete the affected print jobs and resubmit them to the print queue when the print spooler service is back online.

However, Microsoft's comment does not provide any indications of serious printing problems, for example in the form of the currently observed blue screen problems. It is therefore unclear whether there is a connection here.


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On 3/14/2021 at 9:45 PM, kaylon said:


Opens and works fine Until I select 'Print' Then it blue screens my PC and re-starts it. This happens in ALL affinity apps. But all my other apps etc are fine and work as expected.



This was caused of the bug in Windows update KB5000802, we can only waiting from Microsoft to release the patch to solve this issue.

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