Window 10 update can crash your PC — what to do now

Windows 10 update
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Stop me if you've heard this one before: a Windows 10 update is causing serious headaches for users — even crashing their computers. And this time it's tied to an important Windows utility: Check Disk.

Check Disk (or chkdsk, when you're using it), performs a scan of your file system to find and fix issues. You may not know how to perform chkdsk because it exists in the command-line interface, and doesn't have a real app — but as you might guess, it's quite important as a utility. Especially if it's going wrong.

Windows Latest found user reports on a German-language forum, posted by a education system admin, which suggest December's Windows 10 20H2 update has brought back a system-crashing bug — which gives you the green screen of death — when performing Check Disk.

Yes, the utility that's supposed to help your computer could hinder it. Such is life.

The good news? This bug appears to be rare, and has previously been reported — which gives us reason to think Microsoft can find and stop it again, now that it's getting more headlines. In August, one Windows 10 Insider program user (you'll need Feedback Hub access to see their notes), reported the issue as follows: "after the chkdsk ran, my PC restarted again, then tried to run another chkdsk and failed, then tried to diagnose startup problems and failed and then started the recovery screen."

What to do

This one's not especially difficult to avoid. Hopefully, you won't need to run Check Disk while Microsoft quietly fixes this bug in the background. If you need to use it, and your system crashes, a reboot should bring you back to normal. 

Hopefully, you'll be able to run Check Disk — using "chkdsk [drive letter]: /f" in the near future. Since the utility is an important feature to power users, it's not hard to imagine that Microsoft will want to fix it sooner rather than later.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.