Windows 10, KB5021233 can crash your PC, solution

Cumulative update KB5021233 is causing problems for some Windows 10 users. The failure is serious with the result that the PC crashes. Microsoft is releasing a workaround pending a fix.

The last Patch Tuesday of the year brought several cumulative updates including KB5021233. It targets PCs under Windows 10 21H1, 21H2 or 22H2. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned. Microsoft announces that a bug can crash the computer. Clearly, Windows 10 devices can fall victim to the infamous BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) aka Blue Screen of Death.

The giant is working on a fix. While waiting for its publication, a workaround is proposed. It is described in detail on this page. The firm explains

After installing KB5021233, some Windows devices may boot with an error (0xc000021a) and blue screen. Tech Note: After installing KB5021233, there may be a mismatch between file versions of hidparse.sys in c:/windows/system32 and c:/windows/system32/drivers (assuming Windows is installed on your C: drive), which may cause signature validation to fail during cleanup.

This failure affects all supported versions of Windows 10 including 22H2. For now Redmond advises to apply the recommended workaround and not try any other fix. They can make the situation worse and make the PC unusable.

It is not recommended to follow any other workaround than those recommended above. We do not recommend deleting the hidparse.sys from your Windows\System32 folder. Next steps: We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

Windows 10 and KB5021233, solution against the BSOD bug

If you’ve been cautious in waiting a few days before allowing the December 2022 Patch Tuesday updates to install, we recommend that you delay the installation of KB5021233. Note that its content addresses the correction of 26 security vulnerabilities including 22 important, one moderate and three critical. These affect PowerShell CVE-2022-41076 (flaw allowing remote code execution) and SSTP protocol CVE-2022-44676 and CVE-2022-44670 (Flaws allowing remote code execution).

Regarding the Microsoft solution, you must use the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). If your PC after the crash is not automatically launched WinRE you will find the details to get there here.

In WinRE, select

Dépanner >  Démarrer les outils de récupération, de dépannage et de diagnostic > Options avancées

Then throw Command Prompt and wait for your device to restart, if necessary. It is possible that a request to login with your password will appear before accessing this command prompt window.

Finally run the following command (If Windows is not installed in C:\windows, you will need to modify the command to suit your environment)

xcopy C:\windows\system32\drivers\hidparse.sys C:\windows\\system32\hidparse.sys

Once the command is executed type “exit” and select the “Continue” button. Windows should start as expected.

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