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. Keke

    What you do when you can’t get to prompt and have no install DVD and have no DVD player even in the laptop ? does MS have a location where you can go and download some sort of patch to fix this and then I can get it in via USB maybe ? I am stuck with black screen with cursor blinking up left corner that’s it. I can get to Setup and have tried many things there but I cant get to updates, cant restore, cant run msconfig …. what do I do ?

    1. Deramin

      Tap F8 as it boots and select Safemode with networking. You’ll be able to get into Windows that way. Then do a system restore back to pre-update. That’s working for us.

      1. Keke

        Thanks, yes I also thought that safemode would get me somewhere, but can’t get there either, F8 or any other Fkey doesn’t give me safemode. Seems to be I can only get to BIOS ….

    2. CooloutAC

      Holy cow the link doesn’t work anymore. I’m starting to think this really all is a scam by MS to force people to upgrade. wow…..just wow.

      1. CooloutAC

        Here is the official site if you don’t have an oem key.

        I’m in shock right now, I have a dell, and dell support use to just tell me to go to microsoft and enter my dell key from the sticker. Apparenlty Microsoft stopped allowing that, recently. Starting in February of this year it seems!!! What a coincidence. After today, and this whole fiasco, I will never support MS again. This has all been a huge scam.

        1. Keke

          thanks for the software recovery key, I am starting to think this is my only route to fix this now. Appears my options are very limited as I can get to safemode or recovery or anything, only BIOS.

  2. stuck

    @keke, you’ll have to make a usb startup disk.

    1. keke

      With USB start up key, do you mean same as the “Recovery key”. I know I am facing to have to do something with my USB and I now I have the link for the Recovery. But is that the same ?

      1. CooloutAC

        yes, follow the instructions there to create the USB option.

  3. S Bell

    If your computer is not frozen you can uninstall the update. Go to Control Panel\System and Security\Windows Update\View update history. Click on Installed Updates and scroll down to the section named Microsoft Windows. From left to right the file numbers are in reverse numerical order so the file needed is on the top line. Find it and uninstall it!

    1. Muffin

      So, even if we have had no problems, we should uninstall 3033929?

      1. nathan

        I did not find update 3033929 on my list of updates. however I uninstalled all the last updates which was for today 3/14/15 and bingo my laptop in back to normal.

  4. CooloutAC

    I just have to put this out there . After doing a little research regarding this patch “” Tuesday’s update notes that it supersedes another similar update from October and addressed issues that customers had with that installation, Microsoft said. Windows 8, 8.1, RT, RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 already have SHA-2 support built in”

    I believe October was the same time I started noticing a double boot anomaly starting on my machine that happens now everytime I install the updates. And a patch that caused people similar problems, which MS themselves told people to kill.

    Coincidentally October is also the same month that they first, originally, took down all the digital river ISO links, and Also, coincidentally, the same month they stopped selling windows 7. Due to customer complaints on their forums, and after the October update fiasco, they put all the links back up. But I guess their plan all along was to take them down again after February, when their “mainstream Support” ended. (Even though extended support is to 2020) And coincidentally they release a similar patch now, which similarly breaks alot of peoples computers again, and similarly now alot of people are unable to download the ISO to repair it. Wow.

    I contacted Microsoft, and asked them why I can no longer download the ISO with my oem key like I could with win 7 in the past. (which i was told to do by Dell themselves) They told me that support has just ended and asked me why I don’t upgrade to 8.1. Thats literally what one rep said to me. I couldn’t believe it.

    I’ve always defended MS, but this have left a sick feeling in my stomach.

    1. SeymourB

      I don’t know why anyone using Windows 7 would buy Windows 8.x at this point, since they can get Windows 10 for free (in the first year).

      Now all Microsoft has to do is make Windows 10 suck less than Windows 8.

  5. john

    Microsoft often updates with nsa backdoors. Check your pc often after and before updates using various tools. Also check your outbound connections. Ipv6 connecting to ? has been seen many times after updates for many years. You can remove it, and sometimes it gets put back, and often. Also remember that nsa has backdoors in the firmware of hard drives of most that have been sold/on sale for last 10-15 years. Just search for it, no telling whats in the backdoors. Any information retrieved from these backdoors is considered unlawful entry and is not valid in any jurisdiction. Its called breaking and entering and sabotage. There are other words for it.

    1. Rick

      “Its called breaking and entering and sabotage. There are other words for it.”

      Yeah, paranoia is one.

      1. CooloutAC

        lol, living under a rock is what something else is called.

        I’ve made very damaging posts on both MS forums about this issue yesterday. and Today I had weird activity on my router. And IP successfully connecting to the backdoor port built into the firmware on my router. Over and Over again all day long every 5 minutes. I totally freaked.

        I called up my ISP , and even though its from an IP registered to them, they are speechless and even suggested it might be the Gov’t. I’m waiting to hear back from them. lol

      2. CooloutAC

        Its also called living under a rock.

        I complained on the MS forums about this issue. And I don’t know if its related, but today, while troubleshooting an issue with my grandfathers ipad, I noticed that I was having numerous accepted remote administration traffic, from an IP registered to my isp, on the backdoor unblockable port on my router. And I mean it was going on all day long, constantly being accessed every 5 minutes. I freaked.

        So i called my ISP, and asked them whats going on and if there was some maintenance scheduled for today. Maybe just ping tests who knows. They said they could not know for sure if there was scheduled maintenance today. But they will try to find out call me back. The tech I talked to was very surprised at my question, because I’m sure he was never asked this before, and intrigued at the same time, and even suggested himself it might be the gov’t.

        Related to what John says, use your firewall to block all outgoing connections on your computer. Allow only the bare essentials you need for your programs that need network access one by one. One of the firewall layers i use gives me a popup on my screen everytime anything is blocked with the program name ip and port. And you will see almost every one of them try to connect to addressees as soon as you load them, whichthey clearly do not need to be doing, even when disabled in windows and my router, which always boggles my mind.

        1. CooloutAC

          *multicast addresses i meant to say. as if all the programs on your machine are snooping your network for other devices.

          1. SeymourB

            Multicasting is government backdoor snooping? You really need to look into how multicasting works.

            Disable it on your router if you want, but don’t be surprised when everything using multicast stops working. And if you can’t disable it on your router, then get another router, one controlled by you, not your ISP.

            1. CooloutAC

              I always disable them on my router and in windows. (for some of them in linux you need a custom kernel) I also blacklist all of them in my firewall. Nothing has ever broken. You kind of remind me of some linux network admins who claim i also need to allow tcp and not just udp for dns. Claiming either i will have lots of timeouts on webpages, or I will kill their network. Both have never been the case for me, and allowing it is security risk.

              “IGMP is the protocol used by layer
              3 routers to learn which interfaces connect to hosts interested in receiving traffic for specific
              multicast groups”

              You should be asking why almost every program on your machine tries to broadcast to multicast addresses… I didn’t mean to imply its only the gov’t who might want to map your network.


            2. CooloutAC

              My router does have a gov’t backdoor and my ISP does try to stop customers from blocking IGMP (and upnp) on its newer models. But its still possible if you know the page jump.

    2. markD

      Hi John. How does one search for these backdoors (actual concrete action steps please)? Thanks!!!

  6. john

    forgot to mention they also have the sim card databases as they ha c ked the company (look it up). Everyone is at risk now from nsa and microshaft/other companies.

  7. Christine

    Not happy with this update I never had a problem with my computer till this update. Now I can’t get out it at all, what is Microsoft going to do about this?????

  8. Eaglewerks

    My best guess is that ‘some’ of those experiencing the problem have a GRUB BOOT-LOADER in their path. Some have a Dual Boot with one HDD and two or more partitions, others have the GRUB code as primary in the initial boot path. Others have multiple HDD’s with a GRUB boot-loader on one of the HDD’s in the primary load path.

    I know of one reported case where there was apparently a GRUB based load of a malicious code in the HDD’s primary boot path.

    Apparently update 3033929 looks at the first Boot-Loader it sees and attempts to make a modification. It the first Boot-Loader is NOT a proper MS boot-loader then you got problems.

    My best advice would be to make sure your MB BIOS is set to only load the MS containing platter with the MS Boot-Loader, once loaded and properly booted with update 3033929 you can then go back into BIOS and use LINUX / GRUB as primary in your path.

    1. Richard Steven Hack

      Anyone running GRUB would be running Linux or some boot loader based on Linux. That would be, I would guess, something less than 1/10 of 1% of the Windows using population…

  9. nathan

    BLACK SCREEN AFTER SIGN IN ……..I did not find update 3033929 on my list of updates. however I uninstalled all the last updates which was for today 3/14/15 and bingo my laptop in back to normal. Now if I can just get them to stop updating.

    1. nathan

      ctrl+alt+delete / task mang / open file location / controll panel / uninstall programs / view installed updates / uninstall newest updates / restart and your good to go until they update again witch we prob be tomorrow

  10. Likes2LOL

    Naked Security appears to have figured out the details of exactly what’s going on and how to fix it:

    Reboot loop! Microsoft update to fix an old update ends up breaking a new update…​ | Naked Security​

    “What to do?

    * If you are not using Windows 7 or Windows 2008 R2, you can relax, because this shouldn’t affect you.

    * If you have both KB3033929 and KB3035131 installed and are not having problems, you can relax, but make sure that both updates are shown as correctly installed.

    * If you haven’t patched yet, make sure you apply KB 3035131 first, or let Windows make all the update decisions for you.

    * If you already installed the wrong way round, you will need to roll back and start again. ”

    “The fact that the problem was caused by non-critical fix that was replacing a previously-broken non-critical fix is bad enough.

    “The additional fact that the non-critical fix caused a problem because of an interaction with a critical fix issued at the same time just makes things worse.

    “That’s bad news for Microsoft, and bad news for future Update Tuesdays.

    “It is likely to bring at least a few months of understandable ‘patch reluctance’ to many companies, as our commenter Deramin noted at the top of this article.”

    Yup, ‘patch reluctance’ 😉

    BTW, it turns out there’s a difference between a Microsoft Security Advisory and a Security Bulletin — see the article…

    1. Muffin

      Thank you very much for this info. I have both KB3033929 and KB3035131 installed and they show as successful. I’m not having any problems with my computer. I will leave things as they are.

    2. Likes2LOL

      OOPS! So sorry, that URL contained hidden carriage return and line feed characters inserted by my WYSIWYG e-mail client… Let’s try that again:

      Still longing for the good old days of Word Perfect’s “reveal codes”… 🙂

      P.S. Happy Once-In-A-Century Pi Day everybody 3/14/15 — details at:
      Saturday is the Pi Day of the century! Here’s how to celebrate – LA Times

  11. Dan

    This latest pack of updates caused my W7U rig to BSOD 0xF4 – about 4 minutes after EVERY boot.

    Narrowed it down to the “Windows Search” Microsoft service.

    Just unchecked it and rebooted.

  12. Hans

    Are security updates for Windoes necessary? And if so, why.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. SeymourB

      They’re completely unnecessary for systems that are never connected to the internet and never have removable media (e.g. CDs, DVDs, flash drives, etc.) connected to them.

      Otherwise, yes. You need updates. Because criminals are not going to take pity on you for not updating.

  13. Hans

    Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3033929)

    Download size: 43.7 MB

  14. CooloutAC

    I finally got some info about trying to get a replacement disk from Dell, since MS took down the digital river ISO links last month again, like they did in October.

    “You can try to call Dell for a new Windows 7 Reinstallation DVD but it seems Microsoft is now imposing quotas on OEMs such as Dell making them extremely reluctant to send out Reinstallation DVDs especially for out of warranty systems.”

    I figured thats what they were going to say now. People are also now telling me to borrow someones disk and use my key, or get one on ebay. I’m still in shock.

  15. Bee Doob

    Automatic updates began this week of KB303392 and after restart I.E. cannot browse, launches but will not find sites. So must SYSTEM RESTORE to revert to pre-KB303392. Rinse and repeat everytime restart due to KB303392 reinstalls. Called microsoft support and was told that it would cost $150 for their assistence. First they break it, then they own it, then I have to pay!

  16. Who is it?..... Candygram

    I’m turn off auto-install. Microsoft is no longer trusted.

  17. david

    Recent updates cost me about 24 hours of problems; lost audio etc. Whom should I bill for lost time?

  18. ray tesluk

    I too, had the same problem. After several attempts to boot up and sometimes having various screens would come into play but never solve the problem, I stumbled upon holding down the START button and powering up the laptop (I had shut it down completely) to which the computer responded and took me to my password screen and then unto the rest of the boot up.

    I won’t install another upgrade until such time i hear that this problem has been fixed.

  19. J

    I’m running Windows 8 on a 4 month old PC. This Friday my computer updated and went into the reboot loop which killed my OS. I can’t even access the recover partition.


    It’s the final nail in the Microsoft coffin for me.

  20. Richard Steven Hack

    Microsoft has had an enormous number of botched updates over the past year, starting with the infamous Windows 8.1 update.

    Generally speaking, your ONLY solution in these situations – because Windows 7/8 vaunted “automatic repair options” generally fail miserably at repairing boot issues and even less so with update and driver issues – is to have a bootable DVD or USB drive loaded with either the Windows 7/8 install programs or BETTER one of the several “Windows Live” utilities that run the stripped down version of Windows 7. These usually come with a plethora of utilities that can enable you to make much more extensive repairs than any Windows install DVD and also allow you to get online to research the problems.

    Just Google for “Windows 7 Live CD”.

    Even with one of these “live CDs”, it can be a matter of some research on how to reverse out the update – or even discover which update – did the damage. So get one that allows you to go online to do that research.

    An equal solution is always make an image backup of your system before applying Windows updates. Then if the update bricks your system, you can restore the image and then go find out what’s wrong.

    1. Tombie

      You will get the File Shortly From a High Performance Linux Cloud Server..!! ==D This figures the problem …. Use Linux <3

  21. Tombie

    in windows 8.1 you can enter to SafeMode by tapping Shift-F8 on boot.

  22. oceanis

    This is rapidly turning in to a disaster. From a stable Win 7 environment to this combination of problems. First the boot recycle with yellow/green screen along the way to an eventual startup. Then random memory problems (even after swapping out DIMMs and checking them on another system). System restore won’t work because of a “missing file. Even booting from an installation disk is causing problems.

    I wonder whether the Windows problem is having knock on hardware effects (overheating if the CPU or a graphics processor is in a tight loop somewhere.) System seems to stay up longer on battery power-i.e. running at slower clock speed. Am I just unlucky or have Microsoft opened Pandora’s box on this one?

  23. roberto carlos

    I never had a problem with my computer till this update. I use Dell XPS with original Win7.
    Now I can’t get out it at all, what is Microsoft going to do about this?????

  24. Blinkie

    Hey I have the same problem but this is the second time for me it’s hit me both times and I’m struggling to recover as cannot access f8 to get into does or safe mode so I dnt no what to do

  25. arnoud

    Same problem here. I don’t know what they are doing at microsoft, but for at least 1 year now, almost every major MS Tuesday update causes a bsod on my pc.
    1.) (almost) Never had this before
    2.) it’s only and always MS itself that causes this problem on my pc. What a great OS… not…

  26. roberto carlos

    Apparently we, OEM Win7 users, need to use unofficial copies of windows from now to keep our PCs running. Shame on you Microsoft. Is it your official support to customers? What do you keep us in the future?

  27. Lori Schuster

    Has Microsoft issued a fix for this yet? Is it safe to go back to Automatic updates? Thanks.

  28. RegrettableMe

    Someone up there in the comments //\\ either quoted Sophos or said you were safe and not affected by this Update wierdness if using Windows 7.

    One of the two KBs listed above is described as for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems — of which I am one.

    Long before I found this post here – this happened to me but my experience after install/reboot the list of updates – **my fault-I had on auto-update-silly me-I should have known better** – was that something at the case level was causing the random-stuck-character to type a kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkey so many times (it was a zero twice, the enter key once, etc…) fast enough all else stopped in the system. I would reboot again-to find mouse and keyboard fine until I opened any program at a passive desktop. Then 0000000000000000000h how I hate this again kind of thing. When it was the [Enter] key it was really problematic as windows would pop up and [Enter] would choose [OK] in window and settings were being changed. I run on a new system with MS Security Essentials obsessively updated – it found nothing on a scan. Disconnecting everything from case and it still kept doing it! Amazing. Did it in Safe Mode! Finally I said shesh took a screencap of the windows updates, used System Restore from Safe Mode, not a problem since. Let me say that again: Not a problem since.

    I, like my fellow traveler in comments above, have disabled automatic updates. I’ll take my chances for awhile until MS announces they got things under control. I lost two full days to troubleshooting this. And I’m on all the time – why did it suddenly have 21 updates come across to me??? That made it problematic for me to narrow it down to which update.

    I find it absolutely amazing that different people have experienced coincidentally a deal-stopping issue in so many different ways, with the same list of updates, around the same time, and all report including me the issue not fixed by other attempts but completely fixed by just reverting/uninstalling these/this group of updates.

    Sure there’s a chance there’s something else that caused my malady. There will always be that chance at everything, even if a minute chance. But how is it I am looking at my screencap of updates, and the two KBs listed above are on them, and uninstalling fixed my problem.

    Mistakes will happen — but why is it I can count on Krebs, but not on MS to find out? Thanks man, and its not the first time you were on top of things that helped!

  29. Emwe

    I am not sure, if my problem is because of this Win update, but on my Lenovo E530, I got black screen after loading screen and then the computer was stucked. There was the arrow you can move with, but the startup process was not continuing. So I did uninstall this KB 3033929 in the safe mode and Windows are working again.

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