Microsoft, acknowledging Win10 1803 update blue screens, offers limited remediation

The cumulative update turns the Surface Book 2 into a quivering pile of blue screen mush. A week after pushing the patch, Microsoft acknowledges the problem, tells blue screen beneficiaries to pull the patch, and promises it won't push the bad patch on Surface Book 2 PCs.

bsod blue screen of death
Paul Fenwick (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Microsoft has long had problems with its second monthly cumulative updates. In recent months, we've seen a string of bad "non-security" second monthly updates, which are pushed out the Windows Update chute without any external testing.

As @b notes on AskWoody, Microsoft has published a full mea culpa, along with some sound (but not very helpful) advice:

After installing this optional update [KB 4467682, the second Win10 1803 cumulative update this month] some users may get a blue or black screen with error code, “System thread exception not handled.”

For customers who are currently experiencing this issue, please follow these instructions Troubleshoot blue screen errors and uninstall KB4467682.

Note For Surface Book 2 customers, we are only blocking this optional update. You will receive the required December 2018 security update release.

A resolution for this issue will be available in the December 2018 security update release.

Nice. It only took 'em a week to track down the bug, publish an explanation and workaround, and block the patch on the Surface Book 2.

Yeah, that's Microsoft's most expensive PC. And it's getting flogged by Microsoft's latest patch. Somebody's testing this stuff, right?

Microsoft has recently put a fig leaf on those second monthly cumulative updates by claiming that they're "optional." They aren't "optional" in any normal sense — if you look at the Knowledge Base article for KB 4467682, the bad Win10 1803 patch in question this month, there's no mention of "optional."

The second Win10 monthly cumulative updates are only "optional" in the sense that you have to be a seeker — you have to manually click "Check for updates" — before they'll get installed. In the latest Microsoft lexicon "Check for updates" means "push your latest untested patches onto my machine."

Make no mistake, these patches aren't tested outside Microsoft. At this moment, only the Win10 version 1809 second monthly cumulative update is actively being tested — and it's been in the Windows Insider Release Preview Ring for more than a month, waiting for the bugs to shake out. The fifth version of 1809 patch KB 4469342 now produces the second version of build 17763.168. (Thx, @abbodi86.) Wouldn't it be nice if the same fastidiousness applied to, you know, the latest patch for the most popular version of Win10?

Win10 updating is so completely screwed up ...

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