Windows Server 2022: Update KB5034129 kills Browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

Windows[German]I got reports from some administrators of Windows Server 2022. After they have installed the KB5034129 update from January 9, 2024 on this OS platform may no longer be able to use a browser. This actually affects all known browsers such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox. The browsers crash with a white screen when the security update is installed and can no longer be used. However, there is a workaround, which has also been discussed by administrators in comments on the blog. And I got a report, that Windows 10 22H2 may also be affected. I will summarize the situation below.


Windows Server 2022 Update KB5034129

For Windows Server 2022, cumulative update KB5034129 was released on January 9, 2024 (mentioned in the blog post Patchday: Windows 11/Server 2022 Updates (January 9, 2024)). The linked support article contains a long list of bugs that Microsoft claims to have fixed with this update. It is also a security update that addresses a number of vulnerabilities.

Browser crashes after update installation

I had only vaguely noticed it so far from comments within my German blog. But German blog reader 1ST1 pointed out the problem to me in this comment (thanks for that).

Reports I received within my blog

The issue has already been addressed by administrators within my German blog post Patchday: Windows 11/Server 2022-Updates (9. Januar 2024). In the German comment here, Thomas reports problems on a Windows Server 2022 that provides remote apps. The reader observed an extremely high CPU load due to the .NET Framework Optimization Service.

But even more serious is the observation that the Edge no longer starts. Only a white screen is displayed. After uninstalling KB5034272 and KB5034129, it runs normally again Thomas supposed that KB5034272 (January 9, 2024-KB5034272 Cumulative Update for .NET Framework 3.5, 4.8 and 4.8.1 for Azure Stack HCI, Version 22H2) is the culprit.

Kai-Uwe Dziala then confirms the crash problem with a white browser screen for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome in this comment. He states that uninstalling the Windows Server 2022 security update KB5034129 fixed the issue with the browser. Further confirmations from Frank Seidel, Stefan and other affected persons are now available as comments. And I read somewhere, that also Firefox has this issue.


Affects only Upgrades?

According to the comments I received for my German blog post, only Windows Server 2022 instances that have been upgraded to this OS version via (inplace) upgrade seem to be affected.

Also Windows 10 Disk2VHD VMs affected

In addition, Julian Mooren contacted me on X and wrote that he had also noticed this in a customer environment on Windows 10 22H2. This is reproducible from 2023-12 CU and higher (i.e. since the December 2023 update). The search service is also corrupt.

However, the issue mentioned by Mooren only occurs as soon as a virtual machine is moved from a physical system to a VHD image using a tool such as Disk2VHD. The use case is the creation of a golden image for a VDI environment. The master VM is not affected by this at any time, he writes. Mooren has been opening a support case with Microsoft for over two weeks, but has not yet received any reasonable feedback.

A workaround for the problem

In this German comment, Kai-Uwe Dziala describes a workaround to bring the browsers (Edge and Chrome) back to life. To fix the crashes with white screens, delete the following entries in the Windows Server 2022 registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\chrome.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\msedge.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Image File Execution Options\msedgewebview2.exe

The entries above are the cumulative information from several comments. In this comment, Michael Blöchinger then pointed to this Google Support post, where this information can also be found. Deleting the entries for the Image File Execution options seems to fix the crash problem. If Firefox is affected, simply check whether there is also an entry for the browser in the above registry branch and delete it.

Similar articles:
Office update KB5002500 from January 2, 2023 fixes OneNote 2016 sync problem
Microsoft Security Update Summary (January 9, 2024)
Patchday: Windows 10 Updates (January 9, 2024)
Patchday: Windows 11/Server 2022 Updates (January 9, 2024)
Windows 7/Server 2008 R2; Server 2012 R2: Updates (January 9, 2024)

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5 Responses to Windows Server 2022: Update KB5034129 kills Browser (Chrome, Edge, Firefox)

  1. Lisa Spears says:

    THANK YOU!!! This saved me! I had to do this on 27 servers! Thank you Microsoft, NOT!!!!

  2. John F says:

    Many thanks my friends for the great assistance.

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  4. Erik K. says:

    Thanks! Saved me and 3 servers. ;-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    You just saved me so much time!
    I was thinking about reinstalling my servers, when I found your post.
    Thank you!

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