The last set of Windows patch updates seem to be causing trouble for some users, possibly "millions" according to one company.
According to the BBC
, Windows 7 users are being faced with a raft of black screen lock-ups having patched their systems with the latest monthly dose of Windows fixes. The black screen is caused by the desktop vanishing, the start bar and other controls becoming inaccessible.
At this point, Microsoft says that it does not recognise the problem, but is investigating. So, it could be a case of Prevx, the security software company that highlighted the issue selling its services off the back of a low-key issue. Prevx says on its blog
, "Firstly, there appears to be many causes of the black screen issue. The symptoms are very distinctive and troublesome. After starting your Windows 7, Vista, XP, NT, W2K, W2K3 or W2K8 PC or server the system appears normal. However, after logging on there is no desktop, task bar, system tray or side bar. Instead you are left with a totally black screen and a single My Computer Explorer window. Even this window might be minimized making it hard to see."
Prevx offers a free fix for the problem, with the proviso that it may not work in all cases. The actual cause seems to be something of a mystery and while there are lots of messages about the story flying around Twitter, finding someone who has actually had the problem is proving harder, even on dedicated PC support forums. The last patch updates
included fixes for various Windows flaws, but not in Windows 7. The Prevx update is a few days old and if this was really a massive issue, we think it would exploded to the front pages by now.
If the story evolves, then we'll keep you informed. If nothing much happens, put it down to a slow news day as we wait for Microsoft to finally release some proper Windows 7 sales figures.