Windows 10 update is reportedly causing serious problems that prevent PCs from starting

Windows 10
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Windows 10’s latest cumulative updates are causing problems for some people, including what seems to be a nasty boot loop bug that stops the PC from starting up.

January’s patches, which are KB4598242 and KB4598229 for the most recent versions of Windows 10 – the former covers last year’s two versions, and the latter the November 2019 Update – have suffered from gremlins including the seemingly commonly repeated bug whereby the installation fails with a mysterious error message.

Windows Latest further reports that there is a more worrying boot loop issue that some people are affected by, which drops users into the recovery environment.

One post on Reddit explains: “I got a ‘Automatic Repair’ bootloop issue with this update on Lenovo T14 AMD. I have tracked down the issue to update KB4598229. Immediate boot failure and reset without any BSOD or any other error. It just boot me into the recovery environment after failing the last boot.”

The user notes that the automatic repair fails – obviously – and the ‘update rollback’ option in the recovery environment doesn’t work either (it just produces an error). In the end, this Reddit denizen said that they managed to roll back the updates manually “using DISM in the command prompt” in the recovery environment, and this allowed the laptop to boot normally.

A reply to this post from another affected Windows 10 user observes that the DISM approach didn’t work for them, so of course, your mileage may vary if you do try this route.

There’s another Redditor on the above post who observes: “My PC goes into ‘preparing automatic repair’ loop after installing this update (same happened when I applied 20H2 a few months back. I had to reset my Windows installation). Any suggestion to fix the problem without resetting my computer?”

Furthermore, there are numerous posts on Microsoft’s own forum describing various problems with these cumulative updates, including that very unfortunate boot loop.

One post reads: “So, I woke up to my laptop working in automatic repair mode this morning, and it telling me that automatic repair could not fix whatever issue occurred.  I went to Advanced Options to see about going to a Restore Point, and the most recent was this morning at ~12:30AM for Windows Update.  However, it says it cannot restore because of disk corruption.”

CPU usage

Other problems that folks have complained about include higher than normal processor usage (around 20% CPU usage showing in the Task Manager with no applications running whatsoever) which went away after uninstalling KB4598242.

Also, another user said that: “I installed this update (KB4598242) on my HP laptop and it’s become unusably slow since then. I have to attend online classes on my PC and I am not able to do so. I tried to do a system restore but even after hours, the screen was blank, so I force shut down the laptop. Then I started it again (it showed system restore failed) and somehow managed to uninstall the update but in vain, because the laptop is still heavily slow and unusable.”

How widespread these various issues are, we can’t be certain, but clearly there are a number of Windows 10 users out there having some trouble in one form or another.

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).