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  • KB 2670838 “Platform Update” crashing systems

    Posted on March 2nd, 2013 at 22:02 woody 24 comments

    KB 2670838 was released last Tuesday, as part of the second Black Tuesday in February. (Microsoft generally releases non-security-related patches on the fourth Tuesday of the month.)

    Commenter FTWMike noted, “I find it interesting that yesterday “Platform Update for Windows 7 x64-Edition (KB2670838)” was listed as an ‘Important’ and today it’s ‘Optional’ or did I imagine yesterday?”

    You didn’t imagine anything, FTWMike…

    If you had Automatic Update turned on last Tuesday or Wednesday, and you’re running Windows 7 Service Pack 1, you may wonder why Internet Explorer is tossing up a blue screen, “PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA,” blaming the problem on igdpmd64.sys .

    Guess what? Microsoft screwed up the patch. Gosh.

    At first, it looked like the problem only appeared on laptops with hybrid graphics . Now it’s starting to look like desktops are affected too, with or without hybrid graphics.

    An announcement just went up. It appears to come from an official Microsoft source, but there’s some confusion at this moment as to whether the person who posted the announcement represents Microsoft in some way. Anyway, here’s what the post says: “Microsoft is aware of an issue some customers are experiencing when installing KB2670838 on certain laptop systems with hybrid graphics. We are looking into the situation and are considering blocking the update for systems that could be affected. Customers who are experiencing issues on systems that already have installed the update should consider uninstalling KB2670838.”

    At this point, nobody seems to know what caused the problem, but MS is in the process of pulling the patch.

    Full details on the MS Answers blog.

    And the next time somebody tells you it’s OK to turn on Microsoft Automatic Update, you should quote JMBE on that thread: “Same Problem, Pavilion Notebook G7 With ATI Radeon card 6470M card, no update possible voor Card, blue screen. I had to buy new Notebook to do my work. Of topic next time it becomes A Mac”

    UPDATE: More details on my InfoWorld Tech Watch post.

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    24 Responses to “KB 2670838 “Platform Update” crashing systems”

    1. John says:

      I’m so glad that I follow Woody,it makes my life a lot easier.

      thanks again


    2. FTWMike says:

      I guess it’s a good thing I’m only in ‘notify’ mode on Microsoft Automatic Update and not ‘apply’. I do follow your advice and only ‘apply’ when you or Susan Bradley say to do so. With 6 Windows boxes to maintain (none of which are my day job), I don’t have time to deal with ‘oops’ updates from MS. 🙂


    3. axkramer says:


      Gave KB 2670838 a try with a Win 7 64 bit desktop system. So far all OK with no evidence of problems.

    4. Bruce Roberts says:

      “And the next time somebody tells you it’s OK to turn on Microsoft Automatic Update, you should quote JMBE on that thread: ”Same Problem, … I had to buy new Notebook to do my work.””

      Why couldn’t he uninstall and hide the update?

      How often does this happen and what’s the real cost? (and I mean for consumers, not enterprises)


      • woody says:

        @Bruce –

        Good questions. See my latest InfoWorld post.

        Microsoft issues roughly one bad patch every two or three months, on average. When I say “bad” it may mean that millions of people can’t print their tax returns, or it may mean that thousands (tens of thousands?) of people get Blue Screens.

    5. sanda says:

      What about Windows8? Do we put Windows8 in automatic updates?

      I have just started reading your “Windows 8 for Dummies”, a worthy successor to its older siblings, jumping to different sections, and I think I remember you suggested turning on Automatic Updates.

      You were right several ways, Woody. I’ve been offline…1. It was very hard getting rid of Delta Search (redirect) malware. I knocked myself out trying to fix it myself, something I’d never have tried 5 years ago. (Didn’t want to leave it for 3 days in shop.) I gave up after 2plus weeks, having escalated my illness, but the shop took pity on an old sophomoric tech klutz lady, and fixed it while spouse waited. I came here first to check if I put in updates before doing any catchup on email,etc.

      2. Spouse shopped for (the problem solving
      with him added to my overload at same time as above)& got me the Surf Pro tablet. I like the tiles, as you indicate your change in opening pages of Win8for D’s.

      3.Thank you so much for MiFi suggestion.
      Only tested it once, due illness, but it’s good.

      This is always the first place I go when I go online.

      One other question: as I was reading the book, I wondered if it was via Firefox add-ons that I picked up the Delta search? Are Firefox add-ons safe?

      • woody says:

        Sanda –

        Nope, I wouldn’t set up Win8 for Auto Updates, any more than I would set up Win7 that way.

        Firefox add-ins are safe – but you have to be careful where you get them. If you always download them from reputable sources, and make sure you don’t install anything you don’t understand, you should be fine.

    6. EP says:

      fortunately, the KB2670838 update has NOT bitten my family’s Win7 64bit Dell Inspiron desktop computer with blue screen crashes and so far I have not encountered any blue screen errors with the KB2670838 patch installed. KB2670838 was one of the “pre-requisite” Win7 updates to install before installing Internet Explorer 10 as noted in Microsoft KB article 2818833.

    7. rc primak says:

      One good thing about Chrome vs. Firefox is that Google controls pretty closely what add-ons can be installed into Chrome. This cuts down on the uncertainty about the safety of Chrome add-ons.

    8. rc primak says:

      I don’t have ATI graphics on my Toshiba Satellite desktop, but it’s original gen core-i5 with NVidia/Intel hybrid graphics. For months now, NVidia has been saying they non longer support hybrid graphics on laptops, and their driver updates have refused to install. DriverMax offers supposedly updated drivers, but only MS Updates for Windows 8 has had any drivers which claim to be new for this hardware configuration.

      I took one look at the technical details of this patch and immediately hid it from MS Updates.

      Why? Look at what hardware-level items the patch is updating. This is exactly the set of hardware and firmware attributes which Nvidia is afraid to touch with its more recently updated drivers. Messing up a firmware update is like having a BIOS flash fail — you can hose the entire graphics sub-system permanently.

      Hybrid systems have indeed suffered irreparable damages when applying these sorts of changes. As NVidia goes, I can imagine so goes ATI hybrid graphics.

      I wouldn’t touch this type of update for my laptop with a ten foot polecat!

    9. Missy says:

      THANK YOU!

      Uninstalling KB2670838 fixed the instant BSOD upon IE9 launch. MAU was set to auto-update for some reason, and since I don’t typically use IE for browsing, I didn’t notice the problem until last night. Of course, I was prepping to show my mother-in-law some basic functions of IE and needed to launch it for screencaps… and getting frustrated because every fix I tried (rollbacks, uninstall recent upgraded software and reinstall from disk, using AV to scan IE, etc.) did not fix the problem. Little did I know I had to go back further or just uninstall this one stupid Microsoft update. God I hate beta-testing and not getting paid for it… or is it gamma-testing…

      Thankfully, I typically use a different browser, so at least my job-related internet use was not affected. Oh, Microsoft, how I love thee, let me count the ways… Hmm… I think imaginary numbers would suffice here…

    10. Lee Grant says:

      I’ve currently got three machine on my workbench – all Lenovo (2xG550 and a G770). All have the switchable graphics between the CPU and the AMD Radeon chip and all have this issue.

      Had a look on the Lenovo site for some sort of ‘official word’…nothing!

    11. rcprimak says:

      Microsoft says this update must be installed for the IE 10 installation to proceed. So much for IE 10 on Windows 7!

    12. Tom R, says:

      Missy: “Oh, Microsoft, how I love thee, let me count the ways… Hmm… I think imaginary numbers would suffice here…”

      Missy, that comment was _so_ funny, and _so_ true.

    13. Tibby says:

      I’m currently trying to fix a laptop for someone. Their Windows 7 x64 got toasted, and this was the last patch that got installed before it went up in smoke.

    14. Paula says:

      I was having trouble with Firefox and Explorer both crashing when starting them. I looked for 2 days and couldn’t find any suggestions that would work. I came upon this website, removed the windows update (KB2670838) and everything started working again. Thank you!! I’m looking here first the next time. I now have my updates on ask me and I will check here first before installing anything.

    15. Chestnuts says:

      yes what a total disaster that update was (KB2670838) and of course installs twice if on automatic update. 3 hours laters of slow IE and blue screen of death. I knew what it must have been. I said year ago NO MORE AUTO UPDATES….well thats in place again….tut tut MS.

    16. Don Hirst says:

      Woody, it looks like this KB2670838 platform update can impact lots of things. After it installed on my Win 7 desktop system, my TurboTax 2012 Deluxe (and Premium) apps stopped working. I spent the morning online with Intuit and found that their apps run OK in my XP virtual box, but not in either of my two (updated) Win 7 desktop system. Removing the KB2670838 update restored the TT 2012 app to normal function. I’ll drop this on the TT forum as well. Thanks for the clue in this column.


    17. Rick Pelosi says:

      I submitted the original question to the forum regarding the problem that KB2670838 has been causing for many. I did determine that it was the update itself before their call. In defense of Microsoft, they did in fact call me within a day. I talked with some of their tech people and allowed them to copy the error logs off of my laptop. That was a simple deduction due the fact that I was aware the update had been installed the first time and I immediately began having problems. And it they were only ocurring when IE9 was running. No visual cues only the BSOD. I did a sys restore and all seemed ok. I had AU on before and never had any issues with MS patches. This next time I set it to let me approve first as I thought it may have been a bad install of the update. So I allowed again and after a restart as soon as I opened IE9 it went right to BSOD. The next time I used Add/Remove Programs and uninstalled the patch. Then it downloaded again but the next time I hid it so I didn’t inadvertently install it again. Now I do think that KB2670838 was bad patch, but they at least followed up on it promptly.

    18. Graham says:

      It causes Firefox to crash and only open in safe-mode. Removed KB2670838 and all OK again. Asus Sandybridge Desktop with Geforce GTX580 nvidea graphics. Think I’ll wait to see if an updated patch becomes available!!! Graham

    19. Jose Reynoso says:

      This update also causes problem with Flash player. Beware!

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