Microsoft whips out probe after Windows 11 users suffer the blue-screen blues

Pay particular attention if you're MSI and Intel powered

Updated Microsoft is investigating reports of dreaded blue screens of death from users who installed a recent Windows 11 update. Some folks suggest it's a particular problem for machines equipped with Intel chips and MSI motherboards.

The issue is linked to Windows 11's KB5029351 update released this week. While largely a set of standard bug fixes, tweaks, and minor new features, the updated code is causing some systems to throw an "UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR" error upon reboot. 

"We are presently investigating to determine if this is an issue caused by Microsoft. We will provide an update when more information is available," the Windows maker said in an acknowledgement of the problem. 

Microsoft hasn't provided much in the way of details, though Redditors discussing the update on the Windows 11 subreddit seem to have arrived at a conclusion relatively quickly. (Remember to take some Reddit theories with a pinch of salt.)

According to the Reddit consensus, the unsupported CPU BSOD is happening a lot on MSI motherboards with Intel processors, but even then not all of them - just ones with the most recent BIOS update installed. 

MSI's most recent round of BIOS updates for its Z690 and Z790 motherboards came out in July and are designed to support Intel's 14th-generation processors, information about which MSI accidentally just leaked. You'll read more about that on The Register shortly.

It's not immediately clear what about the updates may have caused the issue, though at least one Reddit poster said rolling back to an earlier version of their BIOS allowed the OS update to install successfully. Microsoft said, and several posters confirmed, that after several restart attempts Windows automatically uninstalls the update, allowing affected users to boot normally.

Microsoft is asking anyone affected by the issue to file a report in the Feedback Hub once they're able to get back into Windows. Redmond has also reportedly pulled the update on affected systems, but we haven't been able to confirm that fact since Microsoft has not responded to questions. 

MSI has said it's aware of the issue and is also investigating.

In the meantime, anyone with a potentially affected motherboard should either hold off on installing Windows updates, roll back their BIOS if the latest version was installed and hope a fix that allows the updated MSI BIOS to play well with Windows 11 updates comes soon. ®

Updated to add on August 30

Microsoft seems to think the BSOD issue is a problem at the hardware manufacturers' end, and not with its operating system update, though it will withhold the update from potentially affected systems as it seems to clash with people's hardware.

"After investigating these reports, we have found that the UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR error was not caused by issues in KB5029351 and is limited to a specific subset of processors," Redmond said in a statement.

"We are collaborating with device manufacturers (OEMs) and will temporarily mitigate this issue by not offering KB5029351 to Windows devices that might be affected by this issue. If you still experience this issue, please contact your device’s processor manufacturer."

MSI, meanwhile, recommends Windows 11 users not install the KB5029351 update on systems fitted with its motherboards.

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