Microsoft yanks Windows 11 update after boot loop blunder

Tour of recovery options not supposed to be part of KB5039302

Microsoft has pulled a Windows 11 update after users reported boot loops and startup failures.

The problem is the June non-security preview update, KB5039302, which has left some systems requiring recovery operations to get up and running after install.

According to a message in its Windows Release Health dashboard, Microsoft isn't sure what the problem is, only that it seems to be something to do with virtualization. "This issue is more likely to affect devices utilizing virtual machines tools and nested virtualization features, such as CloudPC, DevBox, Azure Virtual Desktop."

Azure Virtual Desktop? If only the company had some sort of cloud of its own with which it could test these patches before sending them out. What might that look like?

The affected systems are Windows 11 22H2 and 23H2. Microsoft says the virtualization aspect means that users of Windows Home edition are less likely to be affected.

The patch was released on June 26, and Microsoft has wisely opted to pull it from Windows Update and Windows Update for Business while it works out what the problem is.

It's a shame because this non-security update has some genuinely useful features. The Show Desktop button has returned the taskbar again by default, and File Explorer was updated with more compression options. For example, 7-Zip and TAR files can now be created from the context menu, and a compression wizard has been added among the tweaks.

Other changes include fixes to the Snipping Tool to deal with distorted video and an update to the "Safely Remove Hardware" option, which had a habit of failing when Task Manager was open.

Nothing earth-shattering, but useful quality-of-life improvements.

Of course, this assumes that a user can get the update installed without falling into a boot loop and having to explore recovery options.

The purpose of a monthly rollup preview is, according to Microsoft, "for customers to proactively download, test, and provide feedback." In this instance, that proactive testing has shown up a problem serious enough that Microsoft has opted to pause the rollout.

However, in the same definition, Microsoft also claims that the preview is "a tested, cumulative set of new updates."

"Tested" – customers might not think that word means what Microsoft thinks it means. ®

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