Windows 8.1: Update KB4537821 kills also user profiles

[German]Update KB4537821 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, released February 11, 2020, causes some users to load a temporary user profile after installation.


KB4537821 for Windows 8.1/Server 2012 R2

Update KB4537821 (Monthly Rollup for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2) was released on February 11, 2020 and contains improvements and fixes that I described in the blog post Patchday: Updates for Windows 7/8.1/Server (Feb. 11, 2020)).

This update is automatically downloaded and installed by Windows Update, but is also available in the Microsoft Update Catalog  and via WSUS. In case of a manual installation, the latest Servicing Stack Update (SSU KB4524445) must be installed before.

There are problems with the user profile

Within my German blog post Patchday: Updates für Windows 7/8.1/Server (11. Februar 2020) there was quite quickly a comment from blog reader BossaNova:

Concerns KB4537821
Did this today on 8.1, after that the user profile was corrupted and could not be brought to life even with the registry tip. After system reset everything was OK again. Wanted to know it then exactly and repeated the procedure 3 times, always the same result. The KB4524445 was already installed.
Does anyone else have a tip?

Then there was the German blog post Windows 10: Update KB4532693 killt Benutzerprofil, in which I describe this effect for Windows 10. There blog reader Sebastian K. posted the following comment

I can add that I am seeing something similar under WIN8.
Run the last WIN update, restart and voila: temporary user profile.
Very annoying :-(

So it's not just a single case, but at least some Windows 8.1 users are affected. Possibly it also occurs on Windows Server 2012 R2, which will get the update. At this point the question: Are there other affected people?


Similar articles:
Patchday Windows 10-Updates (February 11, 2020)
Patchday: Updates for Windows 7/8.1/Server (Feb. 11, 2020)
Patchday Microsoft Office Updates (February 11, 2020)
Windows 10: Update KB4524244 pulled
Exchange Server 2013 Mail issues after Feb. 2020 Update
Windows 10: UEFI Update KB4524244 is causing issues

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25 Responses to Windows 8.1: Update KB4537821 kills also user profiles

  1. D. Klimes says:

    Hello, the same problem as described above in Windows 8.1. It helped bring the computer back to the previous restore point. I then disabled this update KB4537821.

  2. Kenan says:

    Yes, I was also effected from the temporary user profile changing thingy…

    I also tried to install uninstall several times but "Windows update KB4537821" seems to have a problem with my Win 8.1 x64 operating system.

    I used the "Windows restore point" to get back my latest working Windows.
    Or "Systemwiederherstellungspunkt" in German.

    I guess I will have to sit this one out.
    Maybe more luck next time?

  3. Jacobien says:

    Yes, I had the same problem. After installing the updates for windows 8.1 I got a temporay profile.
    After days of trying to figure out what was going on (scanning disk, recovery and so forth) I removed the updates and blocked windows to automaticly install the updates. Now my computer is working fine again.

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  5. EP says:

    I have not experienced the user profile problem when manually downloading & installing the KB4537821 update from MS Update Catalog on a Win8.1 system.

    maybe it only occurs when installing KB4537821 from windows update rather than manually doing it from ms catalog

  6. GJ says:

    Yeah–had this issue on a Win8.1 system. Tried the registry fix which seemed to work at first but then after a reboot revereted back to the temp profile. Created a new user, copied files and had to reconfigure apps to work. VERY ANNOYING!! How could MS release something like this? It would be pretty freaking obvious it was screwed up. Wasted nearly a whole Sunday getting things fixed and MS still hadn't seemed to acknowledge it by the weekend. Sometimes you wonder if MS is worse than a virus.

    • EP says:

      how did you install the KB4537821 update, GJ? thru WU or thru MUC (ms update catalog)?

      -read my previous comment above yours

  7. EP says:

    new Win8.1 preview rollup released Tue 2/25 – KB4537819:

    don't know if it will fix the user profile problem

  8. Yankeese says:

    I had the same problem on my PC running Windows 8.1 x64 pro. (Did not happen on Surface Tablet or Lenovo laptop.) I lost a week trying to fix it, and never could. (Activate Administrator account, registry tweak, copying old profile to a new profile, etc. etc.) Every time I tried to install the update I got the temporary profile and either had to restore to previous point or uninstall the update. Obviously MS, in its rush to push Win 7 out the door, broke Win 8.1 in the process. No acknowledgement from them about the issue. The 2/25/2020 Preview Rollup did the same thing, so also obviously, they have no intention of fixing this. At this point I have to consider Win 8.1 dead, EOL, three years before its scheduled demise. I have many complex programs that require a huge amount of setup, which I will have to reinstall in a new profile, if I want to continue getting Windows updates. I think not worth it. And I will not be updating to the monstrosity called Windows 10 either. I'll use Windows 8.1 the way I used XP for years — take it offline when I'm not actively doing internet work. Hibernate the PC whenever I take a break. Shut off the router overnight. I never had any malware in XP. Fortunately I work alone, and not in a company or a group, so I can control the computer's environment and usage.

  9. TM says:

    have the same promlem and the same story to tell…, for me to, seems to be the end of Win 8.1 :(

  10. Pedro says:

    I did bring up this topic in Twitter and Microsoft didn't even flinch. So , yes, they want to damage your windows 8.1 version so you go to the 10 version. pretty much like airplanes, they give you crappy seats so you upgrade and pay more. It is a tactic. It is the same as apple did when they released an update to slow down your phone so you uy the new 10 version. We did pay for windows 8.1, it is our system , why is windows screwing us as if they own us?

  11. Lesley Richards says:

    FIXED ;) On Win 8-1 Been having same problem since 14 Feb, Leaving it in Sleep mode after doing system recovery 6 times. So contacted Mircosoft last night. Chat could not solve it got put onto a Microsoft Advocate. Chloe….She did it by Remote Access, Downloaded and intalled Driver Upater. ( Driver Booster 7.3 ) This updated 15 Drivers indeed. Laptop working Better than ever today. After Reboot. ;) Windows updates set back to on…..

    • Yankeese says:

      Is there a link through which this Microsoft Advocate function can be accessed without going through chat, etc.? Is there a way just to download the Driver Booster 7.3?

      • Lesley Richards says:

        If you google Driver Boost 7.3 . . I think it was this It has a red and black logo. (Red setting button and Red arrow on black background)
        Whole process took about 2 hrs from first contacting Microsoft. Free Download, save run and scan, she turned 'install windows updates' back on. Beware of your Virus protection interfering with updates she noted. My Laptop is running better than before. I was impressed by the remote access speed I was wary but ran with it, she was fast. Thought it was for the Scrapheap. Please let me know if it works for you. ;) Videos this Driver 7.3 on it on Google .

      • Lesley Richards says:

        Google Driver Booster 7.3 . The is a Logo Circle ( Red settings button & Red Arrow on Black Back ground ) There are videos on You tube also. Not Sure if I posted my previous answer correctly. Free,Download. ;)

        • guenni says:

          @Lesly: Two remarks – the first comment went to the moderation folder of my blog due to the link – I check such posts for SEO spam.

          The 2nd: As a long time Microsoft answers community moderator I don't recommend tools. It's snake oil, that seriously damage a system (have had a couple of such cases), so I wonder, why this is recommended from MS (I have no prove, that your post isn't a fake, but I can't rule out that MS recommends such crap).

          Go to device manager and check, whether there are driver updates.

          • Lesley Richards says:

            Thank you for your reply. In Microsoft chat I asked for help, they put me through to a Microcsoft Advocate called Chloe. She asked for Remote Access, She went to control panel, windows updates then put this Driver Booster on, said I could stop remote access at any time. I can assure you I would not put a fake post up. I haven't got the knowledge to check Device Manager. Only managed the recoverys/restore by trial and error and pure Luck! Spent days on this. Had a 3 day reprieve, will be more careful in future. Any ideas please do let me know. Nana age 63 ;) Techno Dinosaur.

  12. EP says:

    bad idea to be using most 3rd party driver update tools like driver booster (and I agree with guenni's recent comments)
    I dumped most of IOBit products like their start menu 8 program, which sometimes causes active program windows to minimize at random times on my Win8.1 machine

    the KB4541509 update for Win8.1 was released on 3/10 – so far no problems encountered with that one

    • Yankeese says:

      I can confirm that it doesn't work for me. I spent all day trying to get past one driver update (Broadcom 802.11ac) that hung the system. I had to reset the system and go to restore points three times. It successfully installed a couple of drivers, but after the hangs, all that was lost in the restoration. I tried once to install only that driver, and it still hung. Can't trust this, I'm afraid. It may work in some cases, but not mine. Too many of my drivers are specific to the motherboard or to other hardware, and aren't covered by the generic drivers on the iObit site. In the case of the Broadcom driver, for instance, the Windows driver property box reports that I have the most recent driver. IObit tried to install a later one that must be incompatible with 8.1.

      So I'm still unable to log into my profile after a Windows Security Monthly Rollup. At this point I give up. Win 8.1 is EOL for me. Now I have to decide whether or not I want to play Russian Roulette. I actually have work to do and can't spend my life messing with a cranky OS, or installing a new one that promises to be just as cranky.

  13. Lesley Richards says:

    So Sorry I am a total amateur at this, Only found your Forum and the German one on this KB4537821 update. User Profile killed. Thank you for your comments I will uninstall Driver today. Rather gullible of me trusting Microsoft Advocate on this, short fix as it has just done it Again today! Had to use recovery to get back in. So frustrating. Don't know what to do now if I should contact Microsoft again or invest in an ipad. I will watch your Forum with interest as you guys are more astute on these technical problems than I. Again, Apologies for any inconvenience caused. ;)

  14. tim says:

    Same issue w 8.1 KB4541509 loads temp profile. Came across this explanation & solution

    Let me know is it works for you

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