Windows 7 Black Screen of Death
an Echo Chamber Hoax

  • Comments: 16
  • Written on: December 7th, 2009

black_screen_of_deathBeginning over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend and continuing until recently, a report by security company named Prevx published a blog post stating tat a coming Windows Update will render millions of Windows 7 PCs inoperable suffering from a “Black Screen of Death.”

Today, ZDNet has published an article explaining the details and the time line of events that lead to industry giants like PC World Magazine picking up the story as fact.

After further investigation and a near heart attack at Microsoft, Prevx recanted the story and claimed they were not responsible for the damage that was caused to Microsoft by its initial report.Their statement reads:

Regrettably, it is clear that our original blog post has been taken out of context and may have caused an inconvenience for Microsoft.

According to ZDNet, it looks like Prevx’s initial report was titled with the headline, “Black Screen woes could affect millions on Windows 7, Vista and XP.”

Major Tech Publications Punked

Computer World and PC World Magazine noticed the headline and without waiting for any corroboration or comment from Microsoft, ran with the headline “Latest Microsoft patches cause black screen of death.”

The fact of the matter is that after investigation, there is no problem and this is a prime example of how the Internet echo chamber can lead to an inflated story – especially when there is competition to break the story first online where seconds matter to search engines.

No Takebacks, No Way

The most shameful thing of all is that PC World and Computer World both refuse to change the old headlines that they now know to be wrong.  That means they will be present in search engines for years to come, continuing to mislead and misinform the poor Windows 7 user with a VGA cable that fell out.

  1. Laptop Briefcase said on December 7th, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    This goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read online. People often don’t verify facts and ensure they are reporting the truth. With blogging and other similar platforms, people are in a rush to get news out quickly. As a result, the quality of that news may suffer.

  2. free beats said on December 8th, 2009 at 7:05 am

    wow… interesting

  3. Thor said on December 8th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I agree Laptop Briefcase. There was a serious echo chamber going on here.

  4. tile adhesive said on December 16th, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I have a desktop PC, when i said i installed to my desktop i mean that i saved the download able file to my desktop, not in any other specific location, and then ran it, there is no other screen behind the black one or anywhere else, it just stays stuck with the watermark on the bottom right.

  5. flexible tile adhesive said on December 16th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    “Microsoft has investigated reports that its November security updates made changes to permissions in the registry that are resulting in system issues for some customers,” Christopher Budd, Microsoft’s security spokesman, said.

  6. levelling compound said on December 16th, 2009 at 9:16 am

    Since that initial report, Prevx has called out a pair of updates, one in late November and the other from last July, as the cause of the black screen lock-out.

  7. gry planszowe said on December 16th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    It’s silly that they make app/patch and such a big company like Micro$oft doesn’t test it properly before issue on the market.

  8. free beats said on December 17th, 2009 at 6:22 am

    wow… interesting

  9. health problems said on December 17th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I also recommend that if you haven’t already backed up your data that you do so on an external source before trying anything else. You could confuse directory’s sources an data organization and dramatically compound the problem you currently have.

  10. health problems said on December 17th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    This W7 Free Upgrade Program started on July 1st, 2009, and the Fullfilment companies are shipping W7 based on “First in; First out”. So July orders ship first, then August, etc.

  11. flexible tile adhesive said on December 29th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    As long as the download or borrowed CD is the same version of XP you can use your product key (found on sticker on your computer) so you would still have a legitimate XP installation.

  12. flexible tile adhesive said on December 29th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    If you are choosing to upgrade you will not have to format your C drive. Just follow the on screen instructions for a standard upgrade. No need to do a custom install. I strongly encourage you to back up all of your important files and applications before installing as a safety measure.

  13. flexible tile adhesive said on December 29th, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    vista ultimate and windows 7 are completely different operating systems windows 7 is supposed to be vista without all the cracks and there is a windows 7 ultimate coming out with the rest of windows 7 stuff

  14. amazing architecture said on January 4th, 2010 at 2:20 am

    So it seems that instead of blue screen of death we will now have black screen of death? That is a revolution in OS.

  15. Webmaster Tips said on January 6th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Ah man, I hate hackers, what kind of self accomplishment do they get from doing this to other people. It’s not like they can get any credit for doing this kind of stuff.

  16. sağlık haberleri said on August 1st, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I also recommend that if you haven’t already backed up your data that you do so on an external source before trying anything else. 😉

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