Microsoft pulls Windows RT 8.1 update

Windows 10 blue screen of death

Microsoft has pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update from its app store after Surface RT users reported that devices were being bricked by the software.

Surface users took to the Microsoft support forum to ask why the Windows RT 8.1 update had disappeared from the store.

A Microsoft representative told users that it was "investigating a situation" affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices.

"As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store," Microsoft noted.

Some reports have said that the update to their devices was swiftly followed by an updated version of the Blue Screen of Death with a message stating: "Your PC needs to be repaired. The Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information."

The update was pulled from the store late on Friday and Microsoft said that engineers were working on fixing the problem, however it was unable to give any indication on when the update would be available again or what had caused the problem in the first place.

Another website, Kick That Computer, has looked into the problem and said that it believes that issues around boot configuration are to blame for the bricking.

The blog suggested that a fix would involve creating a bootable USB recovery drive, booting the device from the recovery drive and entering the star-up repair menu in order to get the device back to a workable state.

While the problem affects ARM-based Windows RT devices, x86-based Windows 8 tablets and PC remain completely unaffected by the snafu.

The Windows 8.1 upgrade was released last week with updates to a number of features including the partial return of the start button within the desktop part of the OS and a host of other features designed to stem the number of users moving away from the platform to other devices such as the iPad and Android tablets.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.