Windows 10 bug could leave HP PCs stuck in boot loop hell – but there’s now a fix

(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10 has been going seriously wrong for some HP PC owners in recent times, with an error that could potentially leave the machine stuck in a boot loop according to reports – but fortunately a fix has now been provided by HP itself (following a lot of chatter about various different workarounds online).

The issue, whereby the PC completely crashes and throws up a Blue Screen of Death error (pointing to a ‘kmode exception’) was first spotted by Windows Latest, and reported widely on HP’s own forums, as well as the likes of Reddit.

The problem has apparently been hanging around for a while but seemingly became more prevalent early in May (possibly after Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday update on May 12). Some theories linked it to the cumulative update KB4556799 for Windows 10 – which has caused a lot of other trouble – although it was widely talked about as some kind of conflict with Windows Defender.

At any rate, whatever the exact issue going on here, HP has now released a patch which should hopefully address it, as Ask Woody highlighted on Twitter (spotted by Neowin).

Boot loop

It’s not clear how many HP machines were affected by this problem, but we’ve certainly seen a fair few reports around this error popping up here and there – the most worrying thing being that some users are getting stuck in a boot loop as mentioned at the outset.

For example, see this report on Reddit about an HP Pavilion gaming desktop PC which was suffering the Blue Screen of Death error as soon as the login screen was reached, no matter how many times the user rebooted – and it was even occurring in safe mode.

The main cure mentioned was simply rolling back to an earlier restore point on the PC, and pausing Windows updates (after you’ve got your PC to a usable state, which was evidently a bit of a struggle in some cases). Another workaround involved disabling Windows Defender, but you don’t have to worry about going to those sort of lengths now that HP has provided this patch (or that’s the theory, anyway – assuming it works across all HP machines).

A wide range of HP PCs are reportedly affected by this bug, including Pavilion, Omen, Envy, Obelisk models and more.

You can grab HP’s new update in Windows 10 by heading to the Start menu and clicking on the Settings cog, then Update & Security, and finally Windows Update. You can check for new updates with the relevant button there, although the patch may not appear immediately for every PC, as it’s in the process of being rolled out.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).