Microsoft releases a new update packages for Windows operating systems and other products on the second Tuesday of each month. Updates can be installed on computers through the Windows Update service (updates are obtained from Windows Update servers), internal WSUS server, or manually using MSU or CAB files. In most cases, updates fix the specific vulnerability or bug in Windows or other products. However, in some cases new updates can cause different issues in the system (due to flawed testing, engineering errors, hardware incompatibility, etc.) and the installed update has to be removed. It is easy (see the article How to remove installed Windows Updates). But what to do if after the installation of the updates, the system doesn’t boot and the blue screen of death (BSOD) is displayed? In this article we’ll consider this case: how to remove an incorrect update in Windows 10 / 8.1 / 7 if the operating system won’t boot properly.
First of all, check whether the system can boot into one of the safe modes(to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 10/8, it’s enough to interrupt the boot using the Power button 3 times in a row).
If after the installation of a bad update Windows doesn’t boot in the Safe Mode as well, boot your computer from any available DVD/CD disk or USB drive: it can be Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), Windows installation disk, ERD (MSDaRT) repair disk or any other bootable drive.
In our case, I’ll boot a computer using Windows 10 x64 installation disk.
On the second screen with the prompt to start the installation, click Repair Computer or press Shift+F10.
In the first case, select Troubleshoot -> Command Prompt.
In the command prompt window that appears, you need to determine the drive letter assigned to the Windows system partition. (It can be any disk other than C:\).
Run the command:
Display the list of partitions in the system:
Exit the diskpart session using: exit
In our example, you can see that the drive letter D:\ is assigned to the system disk.
Display the list of packages installed in the system located on this drive:
DISM /Image:D:\ /Get-Packages /format:table
If you know exactly, which update (KB) has caused the problem, its number can be used as a filter:
DISM /Image:D:\ /Get-Packages /format:table | find “4052978”
Or you can filter the list by the update installation date:
DISM /Image:D:\ /Get-Packages /format:table | find “12/16/2017”
DISM /Image:D:\ /Get-Packages /format:table > d:\updates.txt
Now you need to copy the identifier of the problem update package to the clipboard (select the name of the package in the command prompt using the mouse and press Enter; to paste the text, just right click where you need).
You can remove the update using the following command:
DISM /Image:D:\ /Remove-Package /PackageName:Package_for_KB4052978~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~188.8.131.52
If you don’t know exactly, which update has caused the problem, remove all recently installed packages one by one. After removing each update, restart the computer and check whether Windows is booting in normal mode.
Easier to remove updates if you have an MSDaRT recovery disk. You just have to boot from the MSDaRT disk (the bitness must match), and select Diagnostics -> Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset. In the list of tools, select Hotfix Uninstall.
Just select the updates you want to delete and click Next.