Why You Should Install KB3000850: Explained

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'Mike' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thanks for your helpful site. I enjoy reading your advice and keeping up with the news. My question relates to the KB3000850 patch, which is a major update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems. It is a whopping 775 MB download; it first appeared as an 'optional' download, and then later as 'important'.

I've tried installing KB3000850, but it has failed to install on 4 separate occasions. Googling KB3000850 gets into stuff way beyond my understanding, but one page by Woody Leonhard said not to install it. I'm not sure if that advice means I should never install it, or just wait for now. I'd value your advice on the topic.

I keep my Dell Windows 8.1 laptop fully patched, malware checked (Avast Free, plus Malwarebytes from time to time) and full image backed up. I'm just a bit concerned that this update might be something I really need, but also worried when I read what it's done to others when first issued back in November. What's your take on this? "

My response:

Generally speaking I always install all patches even if I don't need them. I say that because of two reasons; the first is that I backup my operating system every day using Acronis True Image, so I don't have worries of whether or not a patch is going to break my system. If it does, then I can revert my system back to the way it was the previous day and go about my business. That's the magic of disk image based-backups.

The second reason I install all patches is because as a general rule of thumb, it's best to have the most up to date version of software (especially when it comes to an operating system) because patches usually address vulnerability, stability or security issues. If you choose not to apply a patch, then it will most likely have a domino effect on your system somewhere down the line. That said, almost all patches are cumulative, so if you choose not to install one patch, you may not be able to update your software later on because certain programs rely on previous patches and won't install without them. Also, there's an extremely high probability that your system will be vulnerable to security issues if you choose not to install a patch.

Should you install KB3000850?

The best advice I can give you (and this applies to any and all patches) is to backup your system using a disk image every day. You should then test out your backup strategy by issuing a restore to ensure that your backups are working. Then, you can choose to apply the patch and see of it takes; or, you can choose to wait a bit and try again later. There appear to have been widespread issues with KB3000850; however, the patch was released in November of 2014 and if there were any major issues back then, then the general rule of thumb is that Microsoft would have ironed out the bugs by now. It has been 5 months since its initial release (as of the time of this writing), so it's a safe bet that installing this update should be relatively safe, and even more so if you make a disk image backup first.

As it stands, KB3000850 is still available for download on Microsoft's website and it is still marked as an "important update". It is a 775 megabyte download, so it is a major update to the operating system; furthermore it is labeled as an "Update Rollup" that targets "performance and reliability issues". While it does not specifically say that this update targets security or stability issues, it's more than likely that future releases to the code will. If you ignore this patch, you will most likely be met with further implications in the very near future. As I stated previously, other programs or components of the operating system will most likely rely on this patch, and as such, you will most likely not be able to update your operating system later. In other words, it is a domino effect.

What to do if KB3000850 Fails to Install

As with your case: if KB3000850 fails to install, then I suggest you backup your system (using disk images), then proceed with the instructions below using the Clean Boot technique. I have further instructions if it fails after that, also listed after the heading "How to Install KB3000850: Using a Clean Boot".

How to Install KB3000850: Using a Clean Boot

From what I've read online, many users are reporting that certain programs (such as antivirus programs) may have interfered with the KB3000850 installation, causing it to fail. Some users also reported that disabling antivirus and installing KB3000850 worked. As such, I suggest you to a "Clean Boot" whereby you disable all programs in the Windows Startup and have the absolute minimum Windows Services running in order to facilitate an ideal environment for the installation of KB3000850. Here are the steps on how to perform a clean boot:

a. Click Start and type in "msconfig" (no quotes) and press Enter.

b. Go to the Service Tab and checkmark "Hide all Microsoft Services".

c. Next, click on Disable All, then click Apply.

d. Click the Startup Tab and then "Open Task Manager" link (if present)

e. Select all items in the Startup tab list, then click Disable.

f. Click OK and have Windows reboot your computer

Note: once you have Windows Update working properly you can reverse these changes (if desired) by following the instructions in reverse.

Optionally (and highly recommended): I suggest you also run chkdsk on the system drive and also check to ensure that your system files are not corrupted before attempting to install KB3000850 even after the clean boot. Instructions on how to do that are here; follow steps #1-3 and also #7.

What to do if KB3000850 fails to Install after a Clean Boot

As a last resort, I suggest you do a Windows Refresh, then initiate a clean boot, then download the patch again to see if it will install. If that doesn't work, do a Windows Reset, then clean boot, then download the patch, and try again. The difference between the two is that Windows Refresh will keep your data in tact, while a Windows Restore will put the system back to factory settings by formatting the hard drive. Note that during a Windows Restore, you will lose all your data, so you should backup your system (using disk images), first. If it still fails after that you can always revert back to the point before you attempted to install KB3000850.

To perform a refresh, proceed with the following steps:

a. Click the Start Menu and type in "PC Settings" (no quotes); when the PC Settings Icon appears, click it.

b. Click the Update and Recovery link, then click Recovery.

c. Under the option 'Refresh your PC without affecting your files', click Get started.

d. Attempt to download and install all the Windows Update again.

As I mentioned above, you can also reset Windows. Resetting Windows will effectively nuke the hard drive and reinstall Windows factory fresh, but you will lose all data on the drive in the process. You can achieve this using the same steps as Refresh (described above), but choose "Remove everything and reinstall Windows" (Reset) instead.

Additional Help Installing KB3000850

If all of this is over your head and you would prefer I do it for you, I am able to assist you via remote desktop support. Simply contact me using the contact form and we'll set up a time to meet.

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About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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graham_a_4374's picture

Hi Dennis, The bad experience I had with the KB30000850 update installed last month on a new pc running Windows 8.1, was that after the installation and reboot, I had a black screen. It appears that this is one of the issues that may occur. Uninstalling the update fixed the black screen problem.

MouseGoddess_4377's picture

With the screen black, there is no way to get to anything to uninstall it that I could see. I finally got to the troubleshooter and did a refresh and that took care of it. I've never in all the years I've been using a computer seen a patch so thoroughly mess up my system. And I hope I never see it again!

Dennis Faas's picture

I've read online from various websites that KB3000850 fails to install because of a conflict with some antivirus programs. As such I recommend doing a clean boot and attempting to install the patch again. I've amended the article to include steps on how to do that. I also recommend performing chkdsk as well as sfc /scannow and DISM to ensure all system files are in tact; info on that is also linked to in this article.