Windows 11: Preview update KB5012643 causes display issues in safe mode

Windows[German]Microsoft has released the preview update KB5012643 for Windows 11 on April 25, 2022. However, the update can cause display problems in safe mode, so that this mode can no longer be used. Microsoft has since confirmed the bug and is rolling back the patches via KIR. Here is a brief overview of this issue.


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Preview update KB5012643 for Windows 11

Preview update KB5012643 for Windows 11 raises the OS build to 22000.652 and provides a number of bug fixes for these versions of Windows. I had reported on this update and the fixes it provides in the blog post Windows 11 Preview Update KB5012643 (April 25, 2022). So there are fixes for Secure Boot, fixes for bugs with video playback or display problems with windows and also the 40 minutes boot time with POS terminals was probably fixed. Going through the list of bug fixes, one might conclude to install this optional preview update. 

Display issues in safe mode

I had already seen it this week at the colleagues of deskmodder.de, who reported about a flickering of the display in safe mode (invoked with the function key F4). The mode is therefore not usable – the remedy was to activate this mode via the function key F5, since the network drivers are then loaded as well.

Microsoft confirms the problem, fix via KIR

In the support article for KB5012643 I haven't found anything yet about the problems outlined above. But on the Microsoft status page for Windows 11, in the Known Issues section, there is an entry Devices might experience display issues when entering Safe Mode from April 29, 2022. There Microsoft confirms the problem:

After installing KB5012643, devices starting in Safe Mode might show a flickering screen. Components that rely on Explorer.exe, such as File Explorer, Start Menu, and Taskbar, can be affected and appear unstable.

Devices experiencing this issue can log a System error on the Windows Event Log, with Source "Winlogon" and the following description: "The shell stopped unexpectedly and explorer.exe was restarted."

Workaround: This issue happens when the device is started using the "Safe Mode without Networking" option. If Safe Mode needs to be engaged, please select "Safe Mode with Networking" option as a workaround. Please refer to this document for more details on how to start your device in Safe Mode with Networking: Start your PC in safe mode in Windows (microsoft.com).

This is exactly what the colleagues from deskmodder have already confirmed in the article linked above. However, Microsoft now offers a temporary solution for affected systems. The causing fix is rolled back via the Known Issue Rollback (KIR) feature. On Windows 11 Home systems, however, it may take up to 24 hours for the KIR fix to be applied. On managed systems in enterprises, administrators must download and run the required Group Policy as an MSI installer file to run KIR. 

Similar articles:
Patchday: Windows 10 Updates (April 12, 2022)
Patchday: Windows 11/Server 2022 Updates (April 12, 2022)
Windows 7/Server 2008R2; Windows 8.1/Server 2012R2: Updates (April 12, 2022)
Windows 10 / Windows Server Preview Update KB5012636 (April 21, 2022)
Windows 10 / Windows Server (20H2-21H2) Preview Updates (April 25, 2022)
Windows 11 Preview Update KB5012643 (April 25, 2022)
Windows Server 2022 Preview Update (April 25, 2022)


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