Internet Explorer emergency security fix breaks Lenovo laptops

It may not be at terrible as the now notorious Windows 10 October update, but for owners of certain Lenovo laptops, it might as well be. Last week, Microsoft rolled out a seemingly harmless update that, at least based on the Knowledge Base page, is just about fixing a security exploit in Internet Explorer. While majority of Windows users will install that update, even if they don't use the ancient browser, Microsoft has now acknowledged that it is causing headaches for some Lenovo laptops in the process.

The gist of the issue is that some Lenovo laptops with less than 8 GB of RAM will fail to start after installing KB44832229 which bumps up the OS Build number to 14393.2670. It is quite perplexing how an update that should simply apply a patch to Internet Explorer would cause the entire system to boot up. Such, however, is the rather convoluted mess that the Windows operating system has always been.

Microsoft promises that a proper fix will be coming soon but, in the meantime, has a workaround that will let owners get into their laptops again. They have to enter into the UEFI menu (with a vendor-specific key combo at boot) and disable Secure Boot. Sounds easy enough until it comes to the part where users will have to enter their BitLocker recovery key if their drive is encrypted. OEMs sometimes to apply BitLocker encryption by default and users might not have the key for that in the first place.

Microsoft is already receiving flak for its terrible update track record and, while this incident only affects a certain subset of users, it isn't doing it any favors. If anything, it shows how even a seemingly unrelated update could have dire consequences. And considering updates are literally forced on users, affected users would only find out too late after the update has already been installed.