Friday, November 10, 2017

Stranger Things Happening After Installing KB4041994

I have an HP laptop, with an Intel Core i7 processor and 12GB of RAM. On 11/5/2017, I downloaded the Windows 10 Home update version 1709 (OS build 16299.19). My laptop ran without any problems until 11/7/2017, when KB4041994 was installed through Windows Updates. After that, I could not access the Start Menu by clicking the Windows button on the keyboard. Then I noticed that clicking on the apps pinned to the taskbar did nothing. Right-clicking on the apps would make the menu appear and disappear just as quickly. Pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL did nothing, too. I resorted to doing a force shutdown by holding down the power button.

After waiting a few minutes, I turned on my laptop again. I had the same issues, so I did another force shutdown. Before powering up again, I removed the battery from my laptop. This time, my laptop seemed to work just fine. So I thought the issue was resolved. I completed my work, properly shutdown my computer, and went out of town (without my laptop) for a few days.

On 11/10/2017, I returned home and powered up my laptop. Once again, I could not right-click or open apps pinned to the taskbar, nor could I get to the Start Menu. By pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL, I was able to get to the power icon (in the lower right corner of the screen). From there, I chose Restart. After waiting for a while, I received this error:

Too many other files are currently in use by 16-bit programs. Exit one or more 16-bit programs, or increase the value of the FILES command in your Config.sys file.

I know enough about computer hardware, software, and operating systems to know that messing with the Config.sys file is a bad idea. Instead, I clicked OK to dismiss the error, went back to CTRL + ALT + DEL, and chose Shutdown this time. To my surprise, it shutdown properly.

So I tried the battery trick again. However, this time, without the battery, my laptop would not power on. Disappointed, I put the battery back and then tried to power on the laptop. It started! Since then, I have been able to work without errors.

I’m afraid that if I shutdown or reboot again, I’ll end up in the upside down. And I don’t have a pet demadog to save me.