Microsoft has seen its share of issues as of late, and now a seemingly simple patch is causing serious issues to certain laptops running the 2016 Anniversary Update. The update was originally released to prevent a zero-day attack on IE.
Per Microsoft, this was the issue being fixed:
A remote code execution vulnerability exists in the way that the scripting engine handles objects in memory in Internet Explorer. The vulnerability could corrupt memory in such a way that an attacker could execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. If the current user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could take control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.
In a web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit the vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website, for example, by sending an email.
The security update addresses the vulnerability by modifying how the scripting engine handles objects in memory.
But now that fix is causing a pretty big problem of its own: it’s preventing certain laptops from booting. The affected machines are part of a pretty small bunch—only Lenovo laptops with less than 8 GB of RAM running the 2016 Anniversary Update (1607)—but it’s still a pretty bad problem to have.
Fortunately, there’s a way to bypass the failed boot by restarting into the UEFI and disabling Secure Boot. It’s also noted that if BitLocker is enabled that you may have to go through BitLocker recovery after disabling Secure Boot.
On the upside, Microsoft is working with Lenovo to correct the issue and will release a fix sometime in the future. I just wouldn’t count on it before the end of the year. Until then, be careful when updating devices, especially if they happen to be Lenovo laptops with limited RAM.