Windows Server 2022: Nov. 2023 update KB5032198 fixes VMware ESXi bug caused by KB5031364

Windows[German]October 2023 update for Windows Server 2022 (KB5031364) causes an issue in connection with VMware ESXi. Windows Server 2022 installed in virtual machines (VMs) running on VMware ESXi hosts can't start no longer and ended in a blue screen. Microsoft has now fixed this problem with the November 2023 cumulative security update KB5032198.


Issues with VMware ESXi hosts (KB5031364)

Microsoft has acknowledged problems with VMware ESXi hosts in the Known Issues for Windows Server 2022 in connection with update KB5031364 as of November 8, 2023 (see Windows Server 2022 VMs running on VMware ESXi hosts might fail to start for more details). After installing update KB5031364 on virtual machines (VMs) running on VMware ESXi hosts, Windows 2022 (as guest operating system) might fail to start. Affected VMs return a blue screen with the stop code : PNP DETECTED FATAL ERROR. This issue only affects guest VMs with the following configuration on VMware ESXi hosts:

  • Physical AMD Epyc processor
  • The option "Expose IOMMU to guest OS" is activated in the VMware settings for the VM.
  • "Enable virtualization-based security" is enabled in Windows Server 2022
  • "System Guard Secure Launch" is enabled in Windows Server 2022.

I reported on the issue in the article Windows Server 2022: VMware ESXi problems confirmed by Microsoft update KB5031364, temporary fix. It was said that Microsoft is working on a solution and will make it available by mid-November 2023 (Patchday). As a temporary workaround, Microsoft suggested disabling the "Expose IOMMU to guest OS" option.

Fix with update KB5032198

Microsoft has released the cumulative security update KB5032198 for Windows Server 2022 on November 14, 2023. I reported on this in the blog post Patchday: Windows 11/Server 2022-Updates (November 14, 2023). The support article KB5032198 mentions in the list of fixes:

This update addresses a known issue that affects virtual machines (VMs) that run on VMware ESXi hosts. Windows Server 2022 might fail to start up. The affected VMs will receive an error with a blue screen and a stop code: PNP DETECTED FATAL ERROR.

So Microsoft has fixed the bug mentioned above, which was introduced in October 2023 with update KB5031364. Was anyone in the readership affected by this problem?

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