Windows 10 Update KB3081424 causing issues for some users

Microsoft pushed out the Windows 10 update KB3081424 last week. It is a cumulative update for Windows 10 that contains fixes released previously and new fixes.

The Microsoft Knowledge Base article does not reveal the features that got patched, only the files that change when the update is installed on Windows 10 machines.

While the update did install fine on most machines, a small number of users ran into reboot issue during installation.

Most users describe that their computer goes in a vicious cycle of attempts to install the update, reboots during that process, rollbacks, and more reboots.

The process repeats after the rollback as Windows picks up the update again and since updates are installed automatically by default -- they are mandatory on Home systems while they can be delayed on Pro systems -- the cycle begins anew.

Microsoft's tool to block updates on Windows 10 may be a solution but at least some users reported that the tool is not working properly in this case.

While Windows 10 Pro users may delay the update for the time being by not installing it, Home users have no such option.

Microsoft removed update management options in Windows 10 that were available in previous versions of the operating system.



A solution for fixing the failed update was posted on Microsoft's Answers forum. The issue is caused by invalid user SID entries in the Windows Registry.

registry user profiles

Note: The fix posted below requires editing of the Windows Registry. It is recommended that you create a System Restore point or other type of backup before you make changes to the Windows Registry.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit and hit enter.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt that comes up.
  3. Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList
  4. There you find listed all user profiles that exist on the machine.
  5. The entries S-1-5-18, S-1-5-19 and S-1-5-20 are used by the system and need to be left alone.
  6. If you have more than one S-1-5-21* entry, you may be able to fix the issue.
  7. All that is left is to click on each of the profiles starting with S-1-5-21 to link it to a user account on the system. You may do so by looking at the profileimagepath value after selecting the account.
  8. If you spot an account that is no longer valid, delete its keys.
  9. Restart the computer.
Read also:  Windows 10 KB4015438 fixes crashes and hangs

KB3081424 is the second Windows 10 update (KB3074681 is the first) that is causing issues on some machines either during or after installation. While that happened in the past as well on previous versions of Windows, the forced nature of updates makes it much harder for users and administrators to block and fix these issues. (via Wayne Williams, Betanews)

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Windows 10 Update KB3081424 causing issues for some users
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The cumulative Windows 10 update KB3081424 is causing issues on some machines during installation which results in an endless reboot cycle.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Windows 10 Update KB3081424 causing issues for some users

  1. Nebulus August 11, 2015 at 10:15 am #

    Wow, that was fast! I thought that given the mandatory nature of the updates in Win 10 they would be more careful with testing them before the release! LOL

  2. Nerdebeu August 11, 2015 at 10:28 am #

    I do not know what's scarier.

    Not being able to block the updates? I do not think this is the worst.

    - Make available an OS that is absolutely not over.
    - Correct OS with updates that are not clean.
    - Or hide behind a WaaS to find nicks and anticipated apology ?

  3. Flyer August 11, 2015 at 2:42 pm #

    SInce more then 20 years I use MS products and I say based on experiences-use (if you have to) a new system only for the curiosity but not for everyday work. You don't know how many surprises is hidden, what is still in the beta stage, what is going on in the background, etc.,etc.
    It is more important for people who take care of their privacy.
    Specialy if a commercial company gives something for free :D
    You can remember my words.

  4. peter August 11, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    Hi Martin
    How can you see what updates you have had on Win 10 ?

    • Rich Hartzell August 11, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Peter
      Here is the Win10 path for the update history:
      Settings/ Update & Security/ Windows Update/ Advanced Options/ View your update history

      • Peter August 11, 2015 at 5:39 pm #

        Thanks Rich :) was searching for old style Win updates

  5. Doc August 11, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

    "...their computer goes in a viscous cycle..." I think you meant "vicious," Martin; "viscous" means "thick, like ketchup or maple syrup." :)

    • Martin Brinkmann August 11, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

      Thanks Doc :)

    • George P. Burdell August 11, 2015 at 5:54 pm #

      Doc, I think I liked Viscous better. I pictured my computer in tall boots marching through thick mud trying to get somewhere despite all obstacles, while the sticky ground underneath was grabbing at every step. This imagery is very appropriate to the context.

      What makes you think this was an inadvertent English malapropism by a native German speaker? Perhaps it was a very clever bit of word play, the sort of thing that would annoy literal-minded drudges who lack a sense of humor and are incapable of whimsy.

      English is hard enough for native speakers, many of whom cannot tell poetry from poultry, strickle from strigil, hacek from hat-check, or dipstick from diptych. I am routinely amazed by the high quality of Martin's writing, and see no reason to pick nits.

  6. Alchemist123 August 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

    Perfect, now I'm ready to do the upgrade to Win10! So I can can say 'I'm home'...
    I'm still trying to install KB3033929 on my Win7 and I can't lose my routine with issues. Is not a Microsoft certificate product without trouble...! :-)

  7. Anon August 11, 2015 at 9:06 pm #

    This has been superseded by KB3081436 released 8/11/2015

    • Greekos August 12, 2015 at 2:22 am #

      KB3081424 and KB3081436 not installing (or even downloading) on my windows 10 HP desktop(Upgraded form windows 7) keep getting error 0x8e5e03fa. Why can't Microsoft fix this???

  8. Win10Fail August 12, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    Oh boy!!! I knew it was bound to happen but earlier than expected!!... By the least in Win 8/7/lesser have a month to test out update patches to be applied and the user whether it is a Home/Pro/Ultimate/etc versions are able to control(choose/not/pick to install) their Windows updates before major breakdown of the OS happens unlike now with Windows 10 IT IS BOUND TO HAPPEN EARLIER!!!! Just waiting for MAJOR KILLER BSOD UPDATE!!!!

  9. usgroupie August 12, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

    I have three Dells (2 Desk & 1 Lap). Had upgraded to Win10 from 8.1 on or about Aug. 1. Yesterday Win10 did update KB3081436 on 1 Desk and Lap, after which the Taskbar icons for Start, Search and New Notifications still appear in Taskbar, but do not open. With this, cannot access Settings, Action Center, Windows Update, Search, etc.

    The 3rd Dell Desk had not yet installed the KB and the icons still worked. I went ahead and installed KB3081436 on 3rd Dell, and now have the same problem with icons not working.

    I uninstalled the KB in the Dell Lap, rebooted, and the icons still do not work. Ran sfc /scannow, dism /online /cleanup-image /restore health (and checkhealth), and no issues reported. I then did a manual download and install of the

    Also ran Fix Problems with Windows Update, System Maintenance, MalwareBytes.

    So, I narrowed it to the KB3081436 update of Aug. 11 when the problem started.

    Dear Mr. Gates and oh mighty program effects lady, please do I have one number right? And even if you issue another grand update, how am I to get it and install it if I cannot access Windows Update? Why did “uninstall” of the KB3081436 not restore the icons to original state?

    Thank you.

  10. usgroupie August 13, 2015 at 12:00 am #

    Taskbar Icons Stopped Working Windows 10
    SOLUTION worked for my three Dells ...

    After spending hours searching and trying all of the other crap, I found a post on another forum (NOT Microsoft!).

    Open Windows PowerShell with Admin privileges (see Note below).

    Copy and paste the following command line at the PowerShell prompt C:\Windows\System32>:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

    Hit Enter and let it run its course, then close PowerShell. No need to re-boot, the changes take effect immediately (but I did re-boot to make sure). Did this on three computers.

    Note: Do not use Command prompt (does not recognize command). Get Powershell.exe in Windows\System32, or right click on the Task Bar, then Properties. In the window that opens there is a tab labeled Navigation. This will allow you to change the option to PowerShell instead of a Command prompt. Now you can right click the Start button (Window Pane) and on the Menu List select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Once you're done you can change it back to the default Command prompt. I keep both on my Desktop via Send To.

  11. usgroupie August 13, 2015 at 12:12 am #

    Correction ... Get Powershell.exe in Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\

  12. Levi Pereira August 15, 2015 at 4:48 am #

    Thank you for support. Worked for me.

    In the entries ProfileList I had two entries S-1-5-21* with same ProfileImagePath to C:Userslevi.
    But one entries has a Key "Migrated" probally because I switch my Local Account to Microsoft account.
    I just removed the Folder which has "Migrated" key and worked.
    Just a tip to delete/remove right entries.

  13. John August 15, 2015 at 2:27 pm #

    Finally a solution that works. I upgraded to Win 10 partly because I couldn't get past update problems with 8.1. With this solution I found a user named "UpdatusUser" which turns out to be something Nvidia installs for it's background updater. After removing the profile in the registry my updates all installed. So nice to not see the "undoing changes" message after a month or more.

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