March 12, 2015

One of the operating system updates Microsoft released on Tuesday of this week — KB3033929 — is causing a reboot loop for a fair number of Windows 7 users, according to postings on multiple help forums. The update in question does not appear to address a pressing security vulnerability, so users who have not  yet installed it should probably delay doing so until Microsoft straightens things out.

brokenwindowsVarious tech help forums ares starting to fill up with requests from Windows 7 users who are experiencing a reboot loop after applying the glitchy patch, which is a “code signing” update that improves the ability of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 systems to validate the integrity and authenticity of programs running on top of the operating system.

At this time, none of the tech help forums seem to have a solution for the problem. If that changes (or if Microsoft pulls and re-issues this patch) I’ll update this post with a solution. For now, it’s best for Windows users to delay installing KB3033929.

Further reading:

Microsoft’s Technet Forum

Microsoft’s Answers forum

HP Support Forums

174 thoughts on “MS Update 3033929 Causing Reboot Loop

  1. Adair

    Mine has been in endless loop mode for 2 days. Recovered briefly last night and worked fine, then this morning it started the endless loop thing again.

  2. Tim Pearson

    I run 8.1 and my PC has updated 3 times in consecutive starts. Is that what you mean by a reboot loop? Takes a half hour every time to start up now.

    Can I expect this to get fixed automatically or is there something pro-active I can do.

  3. Bill

    Wonder if a failure on this patch is an indicator that the system has a malware modification(s)?

    1. Muffin

      Me too. I installed 3033929 along with the big batch of Microsoft updates and had no problem.

  4. PT

    The problem I’m seeing is I cannot connect to the Internet after the updates. I have tried deleting the adapters and restarting. I have also tried going to a restore point in safe mode. Nothing is working. At this point I am SOL unless Microsoft issues a new patch or anyone else has any other ideas. I don’t want to reinstall the OS. Currently running Windows 7.

    1. CooloutAC

      Is it just websites or network access in general? Do you have networking in safe mode? Go to network sharing, and change adapter settings, and make sure its enabled. Have you tried to reboot or maybe reset your router? Try a system restore then update again. Download your network adapter drivers from the manufacturers site.

      1. PT

        Thanks for the feedback. It’s networking in general. I’ve tried the steps you suggested above. So far no luck. Will try the others steps you suggested next.

    2. CooloutAC

      You can also try this…

      Start > All Programs > Accessories and right click on “Command Prompt”, select “Run as Administrator” to open a command prompt. In the command prompt window that opens, type type the following commands, each followed by the Enter key:

      Reset WINSOCK entries to installation defaults: netsh winsock reset catalog
      Reset IPv4 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log
      Reset IPv6 TCP/IP stack to installation defaults. netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log
      Reboot the machine.

      1. PT

        Thanks also for these ideas! I ran all the commands you suggested but still can’t connect to the network. When troubleshooting the network connection, Windows reports the Diagnostic Policy Service is not running. However, I am unable to start the service because of Error 5. I’m beginning to wonder if my scenario only developed coincidentally at the exact same time as the Windows updates we’re discussing here. But I don’t know.

        1. CooloutAC

          hmm maybe type services.msc in the run box, don’t hit enter, look for it in the list. then right click on it and hit run as administrator and try.

          1. PT

            Good idea about services.msc. I already tried that as admin but for some reason still can’t start the service.

        2. CooloutAC

          also worth a shot to do same thing with typing CMD, run as administrator, and do the sfc /scannow command.

          If that doesn’t work have you tried system restore yet? Or a repair install or re-install? You won’t lose any data.

    3. Adair

      After 2 and a half days of endless loops, it finally booted up. Went into the update file and unchecked all the updates waiting to load. Restarted the computer and it started just fine. Then shut it down and brought it back up and it worked perfectly. I will go in later and install the updates 1 at a time.

    4. Patrick M.

      I am having the same problem since the updates. Mike. Any help would be appreciated.

  5. KINDLEN Ltd

    Resolved the issue by doing the following:
    1) Booted to Windows 7 repair disk
    2) Carried out a restore to previous restore point. Reported a fail but was successful as the updates had to restored later again.
    3) Carried out repair. Successful
    4) Booted successfully.
    5)Changed update to download and allow to choose which updates to install.
    6)Did a MS update except for MS Update 3033929

  6. JWH

    I have a WinVista unit that hanged on reboot during this week’s update. I ended up having to do a restore point and system repair; then updated one update at a time. Quite time consuming but no hang. Maybe not the same type of issue but does make you wonder.

  7. Jotto

    My computer has been updating without my sayso! Didn’t ask it to install any updates/reconfigure. It just did it automatically and sent me into that loop: periodically installs forever, shuts down forever and takes forever to reboot.

  8. Heron

    Our Windows 7 computer successfully installed this update yesterday. My sympathies to those of you who’ve had trouble with it. I posted a link to this blog entry on my Facebook page, to warn others.

  9. George Florin

    Clean out my account of all unwanted viruses and malware

  10. unpatched

    Never use a product with a consumer code base for mission critical stuff.

  11. JimV

    No problem installing it on my Win7 Ultimate x64 desktop.

  12. Phil

    I have that bug, just starting today at 9pm, but I have no Update 3033929, nor KB3033929, listed under installed updates. Also, I don’t seem to have Microsoft Update on my Windows 7 system, only Windows Update.

  13. Rick Blaine

    I installed the new version thanks to this site. I have lots of ways to find out of new versions but they never showed up as usual.

    BTW, I got my cash for the week and now I don’t worry about hacking my cards or identity theft. Hurray!

  14. Rick Blaine

    My OS has so many patches it has ceased to be itself.

    In the meantime, how about us cooking an apple pie and visiting our bank for some cold hard cash?

  15. jdgalt

    My office machine (Windows 7) doesn’t loop; the patch just won’t install. Its troubleshooting app tells me to download and run something called “Microsoft Fixit” which has no visible results, either then or upon retrying the install.

    One more reason to jump ship for Linux.

  16. John

    **************Possible Fix**************
    after hours of trying to resolve this – we hit pot luck

    Turn on the PC
    From the restore/repair options, choose command prompt
    open 4 instances of command prompt
    use the dos command to open 4 instances of system restore
    restore 4 different restore points at the same time
    When you get on to the pc having resolved the issue – turn off automatic updates until Microsoft fix this issue

    This has just worked for us on multiple laptops.
    hope it helps you!

  17. Neil in West Jersey

    After a few hours of loops, I finally was able to log in, only to get a black screen telling me that my version of Windows was not genuine (it is!). I restored my system to an earlier date and I keep postponing the update.

  18. Lee

    i run a toshiba satalite laptop on windows 8. Up until Tuesday all updates were installed no problems. Full defender scan done before windows update downloaded. Updates downloaded then restarted and all I get now is ERROR ON COMPUTER NEED TO RESTART DRIVER IPQL NOT ENOUGH. ANY HELP. can’t even get onto safe mode as nothing comes up

  19. Cesar Vega

    When I start the computer, the BIOS always presented a chart with a manufacturer’s logo and then asked to choose the OS (I have installed Ubuntu and Win 7). After the upgrade, skip to choose the OS and bypasses the graph.

  20. Matt

    When booting press F8 and select “disable driver signature enforcement” this will get the system back up and running.
    Had 3 systems that were stuck in a BSOD. Selecting “disable driver signature enforcement” got all 3 systems back up and running.

    1. timeless

      Can run msconfig, go to Services, hide all Microsoft services, sort by status, and then list what you have?

      It’d be interesting to see if any of them are obvious offenders…

      … explains how to use (Microsoft) Sysinternals’s Process Explorer to look for (un)signed processes — don’t worry that it’s talking about Malware, the idea applies to anything, and if the thing is causing your system not to boot properly, then while it might not be malware in the normal sense, it’s obviously harmful (“mal-“) to your computer.

      ** Your comment is the first one that seems to be on the right path to identifying the conflict

      1. Matt

        If I hide all the MS services. The only ones left are.
        Symantec endpoint protection launcher
        Symantec endpoint protection manager
        Symantec endpoint protection manager webservice
        Symantec endpoint protection database
        VMware Tools
        VNC Service.

  21. Ian

    I have a HP notebook with Windows 8.1 and it has worked just fine since I purchased it -this week the latest automatic windows update installed and I had constant lock up issues when I went on line (Mozilla Firefox). I could only get out of it by turning off the power manually. Did the restore and went back to before the latest update and the problem is resolved. Must be something to do with the update.

    1. timeless

      This isn’t the right post for NPAPI/PPAPI.

      In short, the Pepper Plugin API is a proposal by Google/Chrome that didn’t get traction w/ the other plugin hosts implementers (Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft). Adobe has implemented it for Flash (not sure about their other plugins) because it’s the only supported plugin api for Chrome.

      At this point, most browsers do some amount of sandboxing of plugins (if only running them out of process to decrease the likelihood that a plugin crashes the browser). With time, all vendors are improving their sandboxing permission bits to decrease the ability of rogue plugin content from being able to harm your computer, but this is a long road (which may or may not involve Pepper)…

      NPAPI is the Netscape Plugin API, it’s very old, and has had a number of revisions. Microsoft offers ActiveX (in various iterations) as its plugin API. I believe Apple still uses NPAPI for on OS X (afaik on iOS doesn’t support plugins).

  22. Chad Simmons

    All of the issues I and a lot of others were experiencing with this update stemmed from a dual boot environment. Windows was having trouble authenticating the update when chain loaded through Grub. This may or may not be easy to work around depending on your configurations. I put together a brief guide on what I went through to fix it. This only applies if your issues is being caused by a dual boot environment.

    1. CooloutAC

      So I wonder if people who don’t dual boot, maybe have another partition on their machine they don’t know about? lol

        1. Chad Simmons

          A recovery partition should cause the issue. There is no alternate bootloader involved there. The dual boot situation was not the only issue with this update, but it was a large part of it. Others without a dual boot environment still had issues with this update for other reasons.

  23. Gene Horr

    We had one Win7Pro machine stuck in the reboot loop after the automatic update. All the usual fixes did not work and was unable to even get to the command prompt.

    The solution was to insert an install DVD then get to a command prompt. Go to the boot drive (which probably will not be C. It was D on this machine) and then go to the \windows\winsxs directory. Rename or delete the pending.xml file. Reboot and then everything was fine.

    If you don’t have a Win DVD and the installed version was OEM you can no longer download the media. All is not lost. If you can get any Win 7 media and do the usual process to get to a command prompt it will give you a number of errors but eventually you will get to the menu with the command prompt as an option. Unfortunately I did not note the exact steps.

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