top of page
  • Writer's pictureJohn Cook

Microsoft Resolves Windows Server VM Issues Caused by October Updates


Within the rapidly evolving realm of technology, even the most dependable systems may experience unforeseen malfunctions. With the release of the cumulative update KB5031364 from last month, Windows Server administrators recently encountered a bewildering problem. Windows Server 2022 virtual machines (VMs) running on VMware ESXi hosts experienced blue screens and boot problems because of this upgrade, which was meant to improve system operation.

The Conundrum Unveiled

Following the implementation of the cumulative update, Windows administrators promptly reported problems with virtual machine initialization. The issue was limited to guest virtual machines (VMs) on VMware ESXi hosts that had an AMD Epyc physical processor installed. When Virtualization Based Security and System Guard Secure Launch were enabled in Windows Server 2022, along with the VMware option "Expose IOMMU to guest OS," the issue became apparent.

Microsoft's Acknowledgment and Solution

A few days after it first became apparent, Microsoft formally acknowledged the issue. More importantly, they provided a remedy in addition to identifying the impacted configurations. This month's Patch Tuesday saw the release of the cumulative update KB5032198 for Windows Server 2022, which addresses the fundamental cause.

"This update fixes a known problem that affects virtual machines (VMs) that run on VMware ESXi hosts," Microsoft said in a statement. When the problem existed, Windows Server 2022 would not boot up, and impacted virtual machines would display a blue screen along with a stop code: FINAL ERROR DETECTED BY PNP

Temporary Workarounds

Microsoft also offered temporary fixes, acknowledging that not all administrators would be able to deploy the upgrade immediately. One way is to turn off the "Expose IOMMU to guest OS" setting in the virtual machine configurations that are impacted. However, because some situations necessitate having this option enabled by default, this workaround might only be applicable to a small number of PCs.

Administrators who are experiencing issues with virtual machine booting might try deleting the KB5031364 upgrade as a last option. Although this fixes the boot issues, there's a big catch: it removes all security patches that were installed along with the upgrade.

Historical Context

Microsoft has previously experienced problems as a result of cumulative updates. The business published out-of-band Windows Server patches in January and December 2022 to address issues that were preventing Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) from launching and caused issues when building new VMs on hosts. When a similar problem was identified earlier in the year that affected VMware ESXi virtual machines with Secure Boot enabled, VMware and Microsoft responded quickly.

Addressing Community Concerns

Concerns concerning the veracity of the material supplied have surfaced in response to community criticism. A few people bring up inconsistencies within the page, raising doubts about whether the provided links truly capture the breadth of the problem. Concerns have also been expressed over the issue with HyperV 2019 affecting Intel processors in addition to AMD processors.

The following reports are important to notice since they attempt to illustrate different scenarios of virtual machines (VMs) failing to start after applying the October upgrades. Microsoft acknowledged the issue and rectified it particularly for a set of hardware and settings. This suggests that the reason of boot troubles varies among platforms or that they were unable to verify the issue for further affected setups.


Problems will inevitably come up in the dynamic world of virtual environments and software updates. Microsoft's quick fix for the Windows Server 2022 virtual machine issue shows their dedication to finding solutions quickly. Administrators must keep up with upgrades and short-term solutions offered by the tech giant as they navigate these troubleshooting waters.



bottom of page