Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Workarounds: Windows Update KB4535996 boot issues and crashes

Like a lot of folks, I too was plagued with serious issues on my Lenovo Legion Y540 laptop with the recent windows updates.

Namely:
  • High CPU usage and overheating
  • Random crashes
  • Sleep and boot issues (black screen)
  • Windows Search function not working/loading
  • Stuttering / slow system usage
I've recently did a Disk Cleanup too, so I couldn't revert back to an older Windows version (nor am I inclined to go that route often either). If you can, you should uninstall the update and block it through the Windows Update Troubleshooter. There was a KB4540673 update last night, but that's just security updates, didn't fix my issues.

After going through the Event Viewer and the Task Manager to figure out what the problem was, here are the fixes that worked for me. Please do note that the problems you have may be different, and these fixes may not work for you. The Event Viewer can be helpful in diagnosing the problem.

Uninstall Xbox

Even though my Legion is used for work, it's still classified as a gaming laptop. Perhaps that's why Microsoft decided to stick a Beta version of the Xbox on my computer for some stupid reason (I don't have this laptop for beta testing, so I'm not signed up as a Windows Insider). From the Task Manager I see my CPU usage skyrocketing as soon as login to Windows, didn't even start any app yet. And lo and behold, an Xbox (beta) process was taking up all my CPU resources.

As soon as I uninstalled that and any other Xbox software (I only left the Game bar for screen recording, although come to think of it, I don't really need that either), the CPU usage gone back to normal and overheating subsided.

Disable Fast Startup

Windows 10 comes with a Power Option called Fast Startup. After going through the timeline on the Event Viewer where my sleep and boot issues occurred, (as well as the random crashes) I've realized that the Fast Startup was causing the issues.

After disabling it, all the above issues seemed to have finally stopped.

To disable it:
  1. Open Power & Sleep Settings.
  2. On the right, click on the Additional Power Settings.
  3. From the left list of links, click on "Choose what the Power Button does".
  4. On the Shutdown Settings section, uncheck the "Turn On Fast Startup" option.
  5. Reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

Fix corrupted system files

The System File Checker is always a good tool to use, and it turns out, I did have corrupted system files. To run a scan:
  1. Type cmd in the Windows Search bar. 
  2. Right-click on the Command Prompt and from the context menu, click on Run as Administrator.
  3. On the command line, type sfc /scannow and let it run. It might take a few minutes to finish. It will attempt to correct any corrupted system files.
I will keep testing it out to ensure the problems are indeed gone, but my laptop was practically unusable before these fixes. Now I can finally get back to work!
Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only. You are solely responsible for verifying the information as being appropriate for your personal use.

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