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Win10 Build 10565: Bitten by the Dread KB3105208

If there are some distinctions to which Window10 testers should not aspire to attain, I’d have to say falling prey to the boot/system failures now widely associated with the recent KB3105208 cumulative update is one of them. The update appears to proceed normally, and then asks for a reboot (also a normal consequence of installing updates). But once a reboot has occurred, instead of the usual subsequent reboot start-up, what many sources are calling a “blue screen” or BSDO occurs instead. I will actually quibble with this terminology and observe that a normal start-up fails, and the built-in recovery screen pops up instead. What makes this update particularly insidious is that normal recovery techniques don’t work: you can’t perform a start-up repair, you can’t run a restore, and apparently, you can’t do much of anything at all, except perhaps for a clean reinstall of the OS.

How do I know all of this? My Dell Venue Pro 11 fell prey to this malaise, and I dithered around with it for a while before turning to the Internet for such flashes of wit and wisdom as might be available. Fortunately for me, turns out there is no shortage of insight on this particular failed update, much to my benefit and to the benefit of others who might have found themselves in that boat. This potential gotcha is no longer a threat, because in the wake of widespread yelling about problems with KB3105208, MS yanked the update and has promised to re-release it without the errant fix that brought affected systems down.

secure-boot

This snippet from the BIOS Configuration section of the VP 11 7139 User’s Guide gets to the heart of this matter.

As it happens, the only systems affected are those with Secure Boot enabled, which make tweaks to a UEFI BIOS to secure the boot-up sequences from unwanted tampering. The trick to the fix is to disable Secure Boot in the UEFI after which the system will return to what passes for normal with Windows 10 preview builds. My VP11 is now back on the job, awaiting the repair to KB3105208 that will let me turn Secure Boot back on, or the next Fast Ring release, which will hopefully do likewise.

Just another day in the sometimes exciting, at other times frustrating, round of the preview OS victim … err … tester. One more thing: you will also have to visit http://windows.microsoft.com/recoverykey to retrieve your BitLocker recovery key so that the next reboot can decrypt your boot partition (this is what protects it from tampering when Secure Boot is enabled) to permit a non-Secure Boot restart. Entering a 42-digit numeric string is not without its unique delights but if you’re careful you can get it right the first time!

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