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Microsoft Patches Are Freezing Older PCs Running Sophos, Avast

Computers running Sophos or Avast software have been failing to boot following the latest Patch Tuesday update.

Recent Microsoft security patches are causing older machines running Sophos or Avast software to freeze or fail to boot entirely after they're applied, both companies report.

The problem affects Windows 7, 8.1, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012, and Server 2012 R2 PCs with "any Sophos Windows endpoint or server product," except Sophos Central Intercept X. It does impact Intercept X Advanced and Intercept X Advanced with EDR. PCs fail to boot when the newest monthly and security-only updates are applied and the computer is restarted.

"Microsoft and Sophos have identified an issue on devices with Sophos Endpoint Protection installed and managed by either Sophos Central or Sophos Enterprise Console (SEC) that may cause the system to freeze or hang upon restart after installing this update," Microsoft reports.

For now, Microsoft has temporarily blocked devices from receiving the update if Sophos Endpoint is installed until a solution is available. Sophos urges users not to perform the update; those who have and haven't rebooted are advised to avoid doing so until the update is removed.

Avast says Windows machines, in particular those running Windows 7, are locking up or freezing on startup when certain security updates are applied. Customers have reported problems with PCs using Avast for Business and Avast CloudCare on Windows. Some are unable to log in; some can log in after "a very extended period of time," Avast warns users. It's worth noting Microsoft has not publicly commented on the Avast issue or blocked updates for PCs.

Read the Sophos advisory here and Avast advisory here to learn more.

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