Windows 11 22H2 has been causing problems here and there, first of all for gamers with Nvidia graphics cards – although that problem has now been fixed – and now we’re hearing about a nasty Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) bug plaguing some unfortunates.
BSoD is an error that completely crashes your computer, requiring a full restart, and the problem affects those with the Intel Smart Sound Technology (SST) audio driver. Specifically, it’s an incompatibility issue that the Windows 11 update has with certain versions of Intel SST drivers on 11th generation processors (Rocket Lake, the generation before the current Alder Lake chips).
Not everyone will necessarily be affected, but some are, and as such, Microsoft has actively blocked Windows 11 22H2 from these PCs (as well as upgrades to Windows 21H2, for those migrating from Windows 10).
In a recently updated support document spotted by Windows Latest (opens in new tab)Microsoft explains (opens in new tab): “The affected driver will be called Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) Audio Controller under System Devices in Device Manager and will have the file name IntcAudioBus.sys and a file version of 10.29.0.5152 or 10.30.0.5152.
“Only devices with Intel 11th Gen Core processors and Intel SST driver version 10.29.0.5152 or 10.30.0.5152 are affected by this issue.”
Fortunately, there is a solution, and as you might guess, it involves upgrading the Intel SST driver in question. Microsoft advises contacting your device manufacturer for the new driver, as it is necessary to update to version 10.30.00.5714 or 10.29.00.5714 (or better). Note that versions 10.30.x are not necessarily newer than 10.29, but it’s the last four digits you look at to determine the release time, so whichever version applies to your needs must end in ‘5714’ (or later).
Once you’ve installed the correct driver, Windows 11 22H2 will be available to install (although it may still take some time for it to actually be offered on the PC).
Analysis: Is a fix coming for Windows 11 itself? It’s not likely
It’s good to see a solution here, of course, even if it’s a little confusing to mess around with driver updates (and the slight complication of those weird different version numbers).
It’s unclear if Microsoft will modify the 22H2 update to fix the OS-side compatibility issue, but it doesn’t seem likely, considering the bug is now labeled “mitigated” in the support document. There’s that and the fact that this gremlin in the works has been around since November 2021, so it’s not really new – it just reared its head again with 22H2.
Whatever you do, Microsoft makes it clear that you should not attempt to manually apply and force the 22H2 update to your computer if the Intel SST driver is not up to date, as then you may end up experiencing these nasty random bugs in the form of BSoDs.
BSoDs are definitely more of a thing of the past – they used to happen a decade or more back, and they happened, well, not regularly, but often enough to cause pain – and are now pretty rare as a rule. Sometimes, however, errors like this still make their presence felt with Windows 11 and Windows 10.