Bugs caused by Windows updates aren't really new things, there are plenty of users available who aren't necessarily excited with Patch Tuesday rollouts.
However, Microsoft seems to have reduced the probability of issues in the most recent updates for the supported Windows versions (Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10), and also the July 2019 Patch Tuesday fixes caused only minor glitches which have already been acknowledged by the software giant.
But however, third-party updates may also cause problems on Windows devices, so when security software is involved, situations are far worse.
This is exactly what happened on July 10, a day after Microsoft shipped its July 2019 Patch Tuesday fixes, when McAfee released an update that eventually locked users out of their Windows devices.
The botched update, that was targeted at McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) 10.2 or earlier, was designed to update the Exploit Prevention module to version 94 on devices running this software. Worthwhile to learn is that ENS 10.2 is not supported since December 15, 20, but it remains utilized on a lot of enterprise devices.
After installing this update, users could no more sign in for their devices, and lots of thought that to blame was a botched Windows update.
However, McAfee quickly acknowledged the problem, and explained within an advisory that users must manually correct the problem by removing a particular file from their devices.
The larger problem is the issue itself blocks users from logging in for their computers, so deleting the file isn't as simple as it appears at first glance.
The only method to go is to boot to Safe Mode. Instructions regarding how to do that change from one device to a different, and you're recommended to check on your manufacturer's website for additional info on this.
If disk encryption software is also running on your device, additional steps might be required, and again, you have to follow the steps supplied by the developer to successfully boot to Safe Mode.
When you manage to sign in to Safe Mode, what you need to do is delete the next file iexcl;sect;C note that the product you must remove depends upon your system's architecture, as follows:
64-bit - C:\Program Files\McAfee\Endpoint Security\Threat Prevention\IPS\HipHandlers64.dat
32-bit - C:\Program Files (x86)\McAfee\Endpoint Security\Threat Prevention\IPS\HipHandlers.dat
Next, you are able to reboot towards the desktop normally, so restart the machine and allow it to start normally. Next be able to log in successfully, albeit you should know that at this time, McAfee ENS is no longer running the latest version.
This isn't an issue, however, as McAfee has already released a more recent version of the Exploit Prevention module which you can update from inside the app. The correct version is 9419, also it should then bring all of the latest improvements without locking users from their devices.
A reboot from the device isn't required, albeit you can try one to make certain everything is working correctly.
There's two points that need to be highlighted relating to this issue.
To begin with, it's not related to Windows updates, so regardless of the Windows version that you run and also the installed patches, the problem is only brought on by the latest McAfee update. You shouldn't remove any Windows updates to correct the bug.
Second of all, ENS 10.2 is not supported, and you ought to update to security software that hasn't yet reached the end of life. McAfee too includes a alternative to ENS 10.2, and even though it's a costly move, it could help prevent similar issues from happening again in the future.