Why is Microsoft's consumer software so flawed

Windows 10: Microsoft corrects graphics problems after incorrect updates

After the security updates KB5001330 and KB5001337 for Windows 10 were released on April 13, 2021, some users of the operating system reported various undesirable "side effects". In the gaming area in particular, the updates caused performance losses with jerky graphics up to blue screens and other errors. On some computers, the problems had existed since March, provided the (also faulty) preview update KB5000842 for Windows 10 V2004 / 20H2 from March 29 had been installed.

After the graphics card manufacturer Nvidia had even recommended uninstalling the relevant updates in the meantime, Microsoft has now reacted. The company confirmed the complications that heise online reported in detail last week - or at least those related to the gaming area. It also stated that the problems had now been remotely corrected with the help of the "Known Issue Rollback" (KIR) function, so that it should no longer occur on the systems originally affected.

Confirmation and limitation by Microsoft

Microsoft confirmed the error in the status area of ​​Windows 10 Version 2004 / 20H2 last Friday, April 23rd. Redmond wrote there that a small subgroup of users after installing KB5000842 (Preview Update for Windows 10 V2004 / 20H2 from March 29th) or later updates - KB5001330 and KB5001337 based on the preview update - should have a lower performance than expected to have reported in games.

Most of the users who have been affected by this issue were running games in full screen or borderless windowed mode and using two or more monitors, according to Microsoft. It is noteworthy in this context that clients with Windows 10 version 2004 and 20H2 as well as with Windows Server version 2004 / 20H2 are indicated as affected.

Graphic problems solved by known issue rollback

The Known Issue Rollback (KIR) function, which Microsoft claims to have used in the current case for remote error correction, was only presented in a tech community article at the beginning of March 2021. Originally, KIR was therefore developed for processes in user mode in order to automatically correct problems occurring during runtime. In the course of 2020, the Microsoft developers then gradually made improvements to the operating system kernel and the bootloader to support the KIR function in kernel mode. Known Issue Rollback (KIR) is only available for full use from Windows 10 Version 2004, as updates are only installed there in such a way that the previous code of a bug fix is ​​retained and can be reactivated.

With Known Issue Rollback (KIR), Microsoft has an instrument at hand to reset malfunctions through bug fixes in Windows 10 clients and server counterparts to a previous state if a critical regression is discovered. KIR can be initiated automatically by Microsoft without any active user intervention, as long as the systems can communicate with the services for Windows Update or Windows Update for Business. The affected Windows 10 clients are then reset to the state before the defective fix was rolled out within 24 hours. Microsoft writes that restarting the client can, under certain circumstances, initiate the rollback function before the end of these 24 hours.

No KIR in the corporate environment

It is important to know, however, that Microsoft claims to only use Known Issue Rollback (KIR) for problems that are caused by non-security-relevant correction updates. Specifically, the code is deactivated for a specific bug fix and not the entire update is rolled back or uninstalled. In addition, the automatic correction by KIR mentioned here is only available on unmanaged Windows 10 systems in the consumer area. This also includes small companies with stand-alone systems. In the corporate environment, where systems with Windows 10 Enterprise are used and the updates are managed via WSUS, SCCM or Intune, on the other hand, special group policies are used.

The rollback via KIR does not seem to help against the current graphics problems in all cases, according to some user feedback. What the (certainly complex) reasons for this fact lie in detail remains open; Feedback and discussions in this regard in the forum are welcome.


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