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Patch Tuesday update is causing some Windows 10 systems to blue screen

Microsoft issues a workaround for problem while it works on a fix

Some users running Windows 10 who installed the KB5021233 cumulative update this month are seeing their operating system crash with the Blue Screen of Death, Microsoft is warning.

In an entry over the weekend in its Windows Health Dashboard, the company wrote that the update might cause "a mismatch between the file versions of hidparse.sys in c:/windows/system32 and c:/windows/system32/drivers (assuming Windows is installed to your C: drive), which might cause signature validation to fail when cleanup occurs."

The result is the system starting up to an error – 0xc000021a – featuring the blue screen (BSOD).

The problem is affecting multiple versions of Windows 10, including 22H2, 21H2, 21H1, and 20H2.

Microsoft wrote that engineers are working on a fix for the problem and, in the meantime, have developed a workaround using Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), a tool used to fix problems with operating systems that won't boot:

The user will need to enter WinRE. If the device doesn't automatically star up into WinRE, the steps for getting into it are found here.

Select the Troubleshoot button.

Select the "Start recovery, troubleshooting, and diagnostic tools" button.

Select the "Advanced Options" button.

Select the "Command Prompt" button and wait for your device to restart, if needed.

The device should restart to a Command Prompt window. Users might need to sign into their device with their password before getting to the Command Prompt window.

Run the following command (Important: If Windows is not installed to C:\windows you will need to modify the command to your environment): xcopy C:\windows\system32\drivers\hidparse.sys C:\windows\\system32\hidparse.sys

Once the previous command completes, type: exit

Select the "Continue" button.

Windows should now start up as expected.

Microsoft also warned users not to follow any other workaround or to delete the hidparse.sys from their Windows\System32 folder.

KB5021233 was released December 13 as part of the larger Patch Tuesday rollout. According to Microsoft, the update was aimed at fixing a problem with the Camera app that caused it to stop responding when the memory is low.

This is by no means the first time Microsoft has had to address an issue caused by a Patch Tuesday update. The same day the updates were released, the giant software maker said it was investigating problems for some Windows Server 2019 and 2022 users who wanted to spin up new virtual machines in some Hyper-V hosts.

The issue arose after installing two updates on Windows Server or Azure Stack HCI hosts managed by System Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and in software-defined networking (SDN)-enabled environments with a network controller. As with the Windows 10 problems, Microsoft issued a workaround while working on a fix. ®

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