Microsoft yanks a dodgy AMD driver that is bricking some Windows 10 PCs

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AMD chip in motherboard

(Image credit: Future)

Attention AMD users, if your Windows 10 PC recently began having trouble booting up with an error message indicating a problem with your boot drive, it’s likely because of a buggy driver doled out through Windows Update. Microsoft has pulled the driver following numerous reports of boot issues.

The dodgy driver is labeled as “Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. – SCSIAdapter – 9.3.0.221,” and as spotted by Windows Latest, there are numerous reports of it crashing PCs with the blue screen of death (BSOD) error code “INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.”

Members of the Windows Insider program actually brought this issue to Microsoft’s attention a couple of weeks ago when it manifested in a test build. At the time, Microsoft said it was investigating the issue, but the driver still managed to graduate out of the Windows Insider program and cause problems on numerous production PCs running AMD hardware.

A growing number of complaints can be found in a Reddit thread.

“Just had this update pushed to me even though I’m not in any Preview/Insider builds. Ryzen 5900X, X570 motherboard. Same issue as the people above. After rebooting a second or third time it did a automatic repair and it booted to Windows with a message that a update was removed. I don’t know what MS was thinking pushing this update out,” a user wrote.

Some users have found that Windows 10 fixes itself after a few unsuccessful boot attempts trigger the built-in Automatic Startup Repair feature. Others have not been so lucky.

Even more frustrating, for a time this issue could persist through a Windows reinstall, because running Windows Update would reintroduce the buggy driver. However, a software engineer at Microsoft says the driver has since been pulled offline.

So, how did this happen? According to the software engineer, the driver was slowly rolled out to compatible PCs and, during that phase, was not flagged as problematic. But then it started to arrive on incompatible machines because of how it was listed.

“The driver installed on an extremely generic hardware ID, so on certain machines it would put that driver in the wrong place,” they explained.

AMD and Microsoft share the blame on this one, though as the engineer noted, “ultimately MS delivered and installed this driver, so we need to be better about this.”

If you’ve already received the driver and are stuck in a boot loop that is not fixing itself, there is a solution outlined in the Reddit thread. Grab a USB flash drive that is 8GB or bigger and put Windows 10 on it using Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. After you do that, boot from the USB stick and choose Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Startup repair, and let it do its thing.

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD”*”,8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).

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