Windows Update Is Causing Blue Screen Crashes, Here's A Workaround To Restore Your PC

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Stop me if you've heard this one: Microsoft released a Windows update recently, and it's causing the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) on some systems. Yes, it's a story almost as old as Windows itself, but Microsoft says it's investigating the issue currently plaguing Windows 10 systems after this month's Patch Tuesday. Luckily, there's a workaround to get your affected computer back up and running.

The issue stems from an update dubbed KB5021233. After installation, some Windows 10 machines will start up with an error (0xc000021a), accompanied by the BSOD. The problem is a mismatch between file versions of the hidparse.sys in the system32 and system32/drivers folders. Microsoft says that "might cause signature validation to fail when cleanup occurs."

The problem only occurs on Windows 10, but it appears to affect at least from Windows 10 20H2 all the way to the latest Windows 10 22H2. Microsoft is working on a fix and will release it soon. That doesn't do much good for anyone whose computer is broken following this update. You can, however, fix the problem yourself with a little legwork. Microsoft has provided a step-by-step procedure for eliminating the signature mismatch. Here's how to do it.
  1. You will need to enter Windows Recovery Environment.
  2. Select the Troubleshoot button.
  3. Select the "Start recovery, troubleshooting, and diagnostic tools" button.
  4. Select the "Advanced Options" button.
  5. Select the "Command Prompt" button and wait for your device to restart, if needed.
  6. Your device should restart to a Command Prompt window. You might need to sign into your device with your password before getting to the Command Prompt window.
  7. Run the following command: xcopy C:\windows\system32\drivers\hidparse.sys C:\windows\system32\hidparse.sys (note, you must change this path if Windows is not installed on the C drive)
  8. Once the previous command completes, type: exit
  9. Select the "Continue" button.
  10. Windows should now start up as expected.
Microsoft stresses this is the only workaround anyone should use. An attempt to fix the issue by, for example, deleting hidparse.sys will cause more problems than it solves. If you have not installed KB5021233 on your Windows 10 Machine yet, you might as well wait until there's a complete fix for this issue.