Windows 10 22H2 can be rendered unbootable if ''Windows Fax and Scan'' is removed

Frequent Contributor

 

There is a serious bug in the 32-bit kernel releases (x86) of Windows 10 22H2 (though older versions, such as 21H2 or 21H1 may also be affected; I have not tested).

 

I was doing some test-installs of the latest 22H2 release, using install-media built from the Media Creation Tool.  (The version that this tool creates is currently Build 19045.2006).

 

To reproduce this bug, do the following:

1   Install the x86 version of Windows 10 Version 22H2 onto a PC, or inside a VM (e.g. Home or Pro)

2   After the Desktop appears, go to Start > Settings > Apps > Optional Features

3   Click "Windows Fax & Scan" in the list, then the "Uninstall" button

4   After the uninstall is finished, and "Reboot required" appears, restart the PC or VM session

5   During the next boot-up, it will first go to this screen briefly:

     "Updating your system 0%"

But will then go to a blue-screen with this error:
     Stop code: KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
     What failed: NTFS.SYS

6   After a reboot, the blue-screen will appear again, then after the next reboot Windows will go to the "Preparing Automatic Repair" screen

7   The only way to repair the Windows install is to use a System Restore point, should one exist

 

I have been able to replicate this issue on ALL x86 kernel installs of Windows 10 22H2 I have tested, but the 64-bit (x64, AMD64) kernel versions are unaffected.  I have no ARM devices to test.

 

Needless to say, this should be treated as critical as this is easily reproduceable, and uses only built-in options supplied with Windows, but leaves systems completely unbootable afterwards.

 

Thanks

1 Reply

@dftf-wipCan confirm here on another x86 machine and after another fresh install. Narrowed it down to removing that optional feature and BSOD-ing as well.

The good thing is there is not need to reset/clean install. If anyone gets stuck in the same mess, you can execute this command in the prompt from the recovery menu and reboot:

 

dism /image:<DriveWhereMSEffedIt> /cleanup-image /revertpendingactions