Okay, so, I noticed I had some Chrome and Windows updates that needed to be installed. So, I figure, during my lunch break, I'll quit out of Chrome and then restart my computer so that they can be applied. I usually let this happen automatically overnight, but was feeling all proactive and shit.
While attempting to restart to finish applying the Windows updates, my computer hit a BSOD with an error ("SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED") and failed the update. It also failed to automatically restart after it reached 100% on the "Just collecting information, we'll restart for you" page and then sat there for ~15 minutes.
After manually restarting it, it BSODs with the same error on restart.
If I manually cycle it 3 times, I can get into safe mode (with networking) (hence being able to post this here). I can attempt to remove the latest updates (apparently, there were 2: KB4549951 and KB4534132, though these were supposedly released last month / February, and I've had numerous updates since, so I'm not sure why I'm getting them now), then my computer says it needs to restart to complete removing the updates. When it attempts to restart, it BSODs again, with an error related to a driver being stopped before requests are finished (rtwlanu.sys). I believe that driver is for the TP-LINK USB WiFi adapter I've got plugged in. So I've pulled that out and gone through the whole process again.
That'll allow Windows to look like it uninstalls one of the updates, except then it BSODs again when starting up. And the updates are still appearing like they're installed. Simply shutting down or restarting results in the same BSOD that started things off.
I've run a Malwarebytes check while here in safe mode and come up empty, just in case.
I noticed that my nVidia drivers were a bit out of date, and did a clean install on them, too, since apparently that's one of the common causes of this issue. Still doesn't fix the issue.
The startup repair tool accessed through the Windows Recovery Environment provides the following helpful advice: "A recent driver installation or upgrade may be preventing the system from starting." Apart from the nVidia drivers I just updated and Malwarebytes for the above scan, the only items installed recently are Steam games, Github for Desktop, and MS Office updates. Discord seems to have an update from the future (install date of 12/14/2020), but I just started it up again and it updated like it normally does.
So, uh ... What's my next step?
I'd prefer to not nuke things from orbit, but apparently I don't have any system restore points available (and I'm not sure why that got shut off).
// PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin