More BSOD…Maybe It Really Wasn’t Microsoft’s Fault After All

Ok…let’s rework this. Last week there was excitement and anxiety about the Windows7  BSOD, Black screen of death. Not to be confused with the other famous BSOD, the blue screen of death, most Microsoft Windows users are familiar with.  Prevx, a British security consulting firm made the claim that Microsoft’s November download patches were responsible for the problem.

The problem was that on occasion, users would lose everything on their screen and be left looking at a black screen. There would be no start button, no task bar…nothing to work with.

The Black Screen of Death (BSOD)

The Black Screen of Death (BSOD)

There were several posts on this site talking about the problem and providing fixes.

Microsoft immediately went to work on the problem. It concluded that their were convinced that their patches were not responsible for the problem.

A week later, it appears that Prevx is backing off of its claim, and has issued an apology to Microsoft.

They make two points in their retraction:

1) they were not convinced that Microsoft’s update patches were the principle cause of the problem, just that they were looking at the problem, by first focusing on the security downloads.

2) they made it appear that Microsoft was responsible, but they regret that observation since they now believe that the occurrence is inconsistent, and not caused by the downloads.

Either way the damage had been done. But in the longer term the damage is common to many incidents going through the news cycle that are not properly vetted. When gossip and rumor become the mainstay for public information, the public is hurt. As a Microsoft Spokesman Roger Habeer said: “For me, the ultimate source for information [that] you should build your assessment on is neither Twitter nor your brother’s sister-in-law’s father’s brother, but our Web site.”

Public relations, as practices by corporation is different than blogging. The former is carefully vetted, the latter is not. This incident with Prevx was based on the company blog.

But in all of this fray, the problem with the BSOD as to its cause, is still not solved.

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One Response to More BSOD…Maybe It Really Wasn’t Microsoft’s Fault After All

  1. Yatti420 December 4, 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    I knew this just couldn’t be some random bug… I had yet to see anybody experience this all the way through beta rc.. The fact that a security company would publish this without verifying first is astounding.. Prevx = Fail in this situation.. Sorry.. That’s why I was also questioning the patch they pushed.. It just seemed so odd.. Prevx has basically admitted they infected their own machines and then windows updates pissed off their spyware.. A security company that makes this kind of mistake might want to reconsider the field they are in..

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