Some AV programs are incompatible to the Spectre & Meltdown patch – Here is how to fix it

The 3. January Patch provided by MS might causes some failures, reboots or even BSOD’s caused by your installed antivirus program, in this article we will find a way to fix this issue.

Windows Update

Some AV blocking the download of the download itself or you get some problems after you applied the Spectre & Meltdown patch, the compatibility issue arises when antivirus applications make unsupported calls into Windows kernel memory. These calls may cause stop errors (also known as blue screen errors) that make the device unable to boot. To help prevent stop errors that are caused by incompatible antivirus applications, Microsoft is only offering the Windows security updates that were released on January 3, 2018, to devices that are running antivirus software that is from partners who have confirmed that their software is compatible with the January 2018 Windows operating system security update.

Affected systems

  • Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016 Customers
  • Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Customers (depending on which AV was installed because these OS doesn’t include an AV)
  • Customers without Antivirus (depending on which AV was installed)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\QualityCompat]
"cadca5fe-87d3-4b96-b7fb-a231484277cc"=dword:00000000

The official article to this workaround can be found here. Usually it’s not needed to update the registry tweak manually, but in case you might face the mentioned problems you could try it, keep in mind to do a backup before you start to make a change on your registry.

The official Microsoft article also provides a FAQ to answer the most questions. Popular programs like Kaspersky, ESET Nod32 getting a bigger update after the next Patch-Tuesday to fix some compatible problems.

It’s not the first time that antivirus programs are incompatible to a Windows update, Microsoft is changing more and more on their OS and this might pisses AV developers on because they need to merge their changes more faster which means more work. Some experts not recommend AV programs at all because their mostly causing more issue, slowdowns and security complications instead that there offering a real benefit.

Personally I prefer to work with GPO instead, which I will explain and cover in future article series. Most security mechanism can already changed within Windows since a very long time, most people are only not aware of this fact.

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