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Windows Server 2008R2 Won’t Boot After Installing KB4539602 Update

Got this from Security Now #753.

“Can’t Boot This!”
Windows Server 2008 R2 won’t boot after installing the KB4539602 update!

Believe it or not, on any instance of Windows server 2008 R2 which is lacking those prerequisite
updates I noted above, the consequence of attempting to install KB4539602 isn’t a notice of an
update failure, or a nice mention that some prerequisite updates are missing. No… the result is a
fully BRICKED server!

For reasons only Microsoft knows, attempting to fix the desktop wallpaper stretching issue
introduced the previous month on Windows Server 2008 R2 results in the deletion of two critical
boot files “winload.efi” and “winload.exe” from the server’s C:\windows\system32\ directory.

Security Now! #753 2

Windows 2008 R2 servers have been getting bricked left and right since Friday and the community
finally figured out what was going on. Those two files need to be copied back into the
C:\Windows\System32\ directory from another installation, or the system must be rolled back using
the system imaging command. You can boot into “System Recovery” then issue the following command
against the proper system drive letter:

dism.exe /image:C:\ /cleanup-image / revertpendingactions

Or, boot into System Recovery and, as I mentioned, copy those two files from another instance. But
these are not the only consequences of January’s troubled final update.

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