Microsoft Investigates Taskbar Loading and Bootloop Issues in Windows N Edition

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30 Jun 2024

In an update on its Windows Release Health Dashboard, Microsoft has begun tracking a new issue where the Taskbar will fail to load under certain conditions. Redmond’s investigation has revealed that this problem affects PCs utilizing Windows N edition or machines where the Media Features have been turned off. For those unaware, N editions of Windows are like the standard SKU, but they do not include any media-related technology like Windows Media Player and other pre-installed media apps.

The Usual Suspect: KB5039302

The culprit behind the Taskbar loading issue appears to be the KB5039302 update. This update, which was intended to bring enhancements and fixes, has instead introduced a new set of bugs. Users running Windows N edition or those who have disabled Media Features are finding themselves grappling with an unresponsive Taskbar, a critical component for navigating the operating system.

Microsoft's engineers are actively investigating the root cause and are working on a resolution. In the meantime, users experiencing this issue are advised to revert to a previous system restore point or temporarily enable Media Features if possible.

Great, but What About the Previous Bug?

Notably, Microsoft has updated its dashboard to add more information regarding the bootloop issue affecting certain PCs too. Rather than pausing the rollout of the preview update for everyone, Redmond is just halting it for devices prone to being affected. As such, KB5039302 is not being offered anymore to Hyper-V virtual machines running on hosts with “certain” processor types – the company hasn’t released a list of affected processors yet though.

This selective approach aims to minimize disruption while still allowing unaffected users to benefit from the update. However, it also highlights the complexity and challenges involved in managing software updates across diverse hardware configurations.

Current State of Affairs

Microsoft is currently tracking three open issues on its Windows 11 version 23H2 health dashboard, with two of them being opened in the past few days. This further underscores the need for the company to review its internal testing processes prior to rolling out updates to the public.

  • Taskbar Loading Issue: Affects Windows N edition and systems with Media Features disabled.
  • Bootloop Issue: Affects certain PCs and Hyper-V virtual machines with specific processor types.
  • Unspecified Third Issue: Details yet to be released.

As Microsoft continues to address these bugs, users are encouraged to stay informed through the Windows Release Health Dashboard and follow recommended mitigation steps. The tech giant's commitment to transparency and timely updates remains crucial as it navigates these challenges.

Update: 30 Jun 2024
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