Microsoft fixes issue causing 0xc000021a blue screen crashes

Microsoft has addressed a known issue causing Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crashes with 0xc000021a errors after installing the Windows 10 KB5021233 cumulative update released during the December Patch Tuesday.

The issue was fixed in the KB5022282 update issued today for all Windows 10 versions currently under support.

Redmond acknowledged it following a stream of user reports on Microsoft’s community website [1, 2, 3] and Reddit [1, 2, 3], one week after KB5021233 was released.

The known issue is likely caused by a mismatch between hidparse.sys file versions in system32 and system32/drivers in the Windows folder, “which might cause signature validation to fail when cleanup occurs.”

“This update addresses a known issue that might affect startup on some Windows devices,” Microsoft said. “They might receive an error (0xc000021a) and have a blue screen.”

The list of affected platforms includes only client Windows versions, from Windows 10, version 20H2 to Windows 10, version 22H2.

While Microsoft is yet to share any info about Windows 11 systems also being affected, the KB5022287 Windows 11 21H2 cumulative update released today says it addresses this same issue.

0xc000021a blue screen after installing KB5021233
0xc000021a blue screen triggered after installing KB5021233 (Twitter)

​Workaround also available for affected systems

For those who cannot immediately install today’s cumulative update, Microsoft provides a temporary fix to work around this blue screen issue and revive impacted systems to start as expected.

This requires affected users to copy the hidparse.sys file from the system32drivers folder into system32 using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) to ensure that the file signature validation no longer fails to trigger the blue screen crashes.

To apply this temporary fix, you need to go through the following steps:

  1. You will need to enter Windows Recovery Environment. If your device has not automatically started up into WinRE, please see Entry points into WinRE.
  2. Select the Troubleshoot button.
  3. Select the “Start recovery, troubleshooting, and diagnostic tools” button.
  4. Select the “Advanced Options” button.
  5. Select the “Command Prompt” button and wait for your device to restart, if needed.
  6. Your device should restart to a Command Prompt window. You might need to sign into your device with your password before getting to the Command Prompt window.
  7. Run the following command (Important: If Windows is not installed to C:windows you will need to modify the command to your environment): xcopy C:windowssystem32drivershidparse.sys C:windowssystem32hidparse.sys
  8. Once the previous command completes, type: exit
  9. Select the “Continue” button.
  10. Windows should now start up as expected.

Microsoft said it’s “not recommended to follow any other workaround” than the one recommended on its support website.

“We do not recommend deleting the hidparse.sys from your WindowsSystem32 folder,” Microsoft added.

Update January 10, 14:18 EST: Added info on Windows 11 potentially being affected.

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