The crashes are affecting users who have installed the July security update for the latest version of Windows 10 (version 2004, or the “May update”). The bug causes the system to crash with the infamous Blue Screen of Death – a full-screen error message on a blue background that forces you to restart the computer, losing all work in the progress.
The flaw appears to have been caused by Windows’ biometric software (the software that controls things such as fingerprint readers and face recognition) conflicting with Lenovo’s own Vantage utility. The bug only appears to affect Lenovo laptops released since 2019.
In layman’s terms, the July security update introduce new controls that restricted how software could access what’s called the “peripheral component interconnect (PCI) device configuration space”. It seems that some version of Lenovo’s Vantage software was continuing to try and access that space, causing the PC to crash with an error message stating “SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED”.
How to stop the crashes
Microsoft and Lenovo are putting their heads together to work on a fix, which should be rolled out automatically in either Windows or Vantage software updates in due course.
In the meantime, however, users can work around the problem by disabling biometric security on their laptops. This does mean that you’ll be forced to rely on less secure passwords or PIN codes for the time being, but that’s almost certainly preferable to a laptop that crashes!
To switch off the Enhanced Windows Biometric Security, users have to enter the UEFI configuration, which you normally enter by pressing the F1 button on your keyboard when the Lenovo logo is displayed after the computer is first switched on. When you reach the UEFI controls, visit Security then Virtualization and switch off Enhanced Windows Biometric Security. Lenovo’s support page details the process.
Version 2004 of Windows 10 has been dogged by a series of problems since it was first made available for public download. Microsoft is on the cusp of releasing another of the biannual Windows 10 updates, which will hopefully prove less bothersome.