‘Blue screen of death’ mars Windows RT 8.1 update

Many Surface RT tablet owners reported their tablets were crippled when they attempted to upgrade to the new Windows RT 8.1 operating system on Friday. The complaints prompted Microsoft Corp. to pull the OS from its Windows Store.

“Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Widows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1,” a post read on the Microsoft support forum page on Saturday. “As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store.”

Microsoft said it is working to resolve the situation.

Some customers were finishing up their Windows RT update when they screens displayed the dreaded “Blue screen of death” and an error messaging stating: “Your PC needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information.”

An article in the online technology publication said that the update had effectively “bricked” some users’ device by corrupting the boot configuration data.

Other reported problems with the Windows 8.1 update seemed to be related to device driver incompatibilities. The Windows ecosystem relies on a wide array of hardware components and peripherals, each with its own vendor-built driver.

Microsoft is the only vendor that has stuck with the Windows RT OS. Other original equipment manufacturer partners dropped the operating system from their lineup. Computer maker Dell Inc. said some three weeks ago that it had no plans to refresh its Windows RT tablet line.

While it is rare for a company to pull an update, glitches related to operating system updates are not uncommon. Support forums are typically full of complaints about crashes and bricked devices when Microsoft or Apple Inc. issue updates to their operating systems.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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