back to article VMware confirms Carbon Black causes BSODs, boot loops on Windows

VMware has admitted an update on some versions of its Carbon Black endpoint solution is responsible for BSODs and boot loops on Windows machines after multiple organizations were affected by the problem. The issue – where PCs began booting into blue screens, some of which flashed the stop code PFN_LIST_CORRUPT – was apparently …

  1. Chris Gray 1


    I get that "Carbon Black" is some VMWare product relating to running virtual machines under Windows (or Windows running in a virtual machine, or both).

    But what on earth does "sensor version" mean in relation to any of that?

    (I figured I wouldn't be the only one who doesn't know, so I'm asking publically.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      Carbon Black is a NGAV security product that VMWare acquired, it has nothing much to do with virtualization. For a period VMWare had competent leadership and was trying to diversify and become relevant so was investing in security and various cloud management things. Intel poached Gellsinger back and the VMWare board threw up their hands and took broadcoms' money because it was easier than being competitive. VMWare is a dying ship and these little things will happen since everybody is looking for a life-boat and not minding the boiler.

    2. Dev_Fit

      Re: Huh?

      Endpoint sensors are for threat hunting /security monitoring - you install them on all your client servers, PCs etc. Kaspersky also has something like this. I see they've updated the piece to add info.

    3. jollyboyspecial Silver badge

      Re: Huh?

      I never understood the product name anyway. To me Carbon Black was always a compound used in the industrial manufacture of rubber because it makes vulcanized rubber harder, stronger and more resilient which are obvioulsy desirable properties in rubber. Oh and it also makes the rubber black rather than a mucky brown colour which is apparently another desirable property in rubber products. Not sure why that is the case. I mean yes we're used to tyres (for example) being black but if your tyres weren't black would that make them any less desireable.

      Getting to the point however...

      Why choose a name for a fairly well known product used in the manufacture of rubber to describe a product for virtual machine computing? I mean there's no way VMware can claim they didn't know of the previous and widespread use of the term before they began marketing their product,

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Huh?

        VMWare's Carbon Black is not "a product for virtual machine computing". It can be used on virtual machines, but equally so on physical ones. It's an endpoint security monitor and has nothing to do with virtualization.

        The answer to your larger question, of course, is that someone in Marketing thought it was a cool name, with the added advantage that it claimed nothing about the product.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That didn't take long

    I had commented earlier that merging VMware and Symantec would just degrade VMware to it's level(AKA 10 yards down the bog drain, next to McAffee, the company not the man, though it's possible him too if someone mistook his ashes for drugs, possibly due to their rock star level of residual drug content.)

    Didn't think it would be this fast. Always great when software breaks in a way that needs to be fixed by contacting a cloud server that also prevents it from connecting to said cloud server. Luck there is was to disable in on boot. I'm sure that will be removed when they merge the code base with Symantec AV.

  3. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Uhhh.... Mr. El Reg

    Broadcom has not completed the acquisition of VMWare (and CarbonBlack) at this time. They are still operating as independent companies, per SEC rules.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge


      I love it when people try to be pedantic. Love it to bits.

      The article says the deal has yet to close - so yes, as you say, and as we acknowledge, Broadcom has not completed the acquisition of VMware.

      And don't forget to email if you think you've spotted something wrong.


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "VMware says in its Knowledge Base article that the cause was some updated threat research rulesets rolled out to cloud regions in the US East, Asia Pacific, and the EU, which, it added, hadn't caused any trouble in its internal testing."

    New hiring rule at VMWare - no more offers to ex-Microsoft QA testers for the Carbon Black team...

    1. sniperpaddy

      That's Agile development for you. Fix on Fail.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the positive side

    ... if Carbon Black bricks your machine, you won't have to watch in irritation as everything takes twice as long as it used to before CB was installed.

    Seriously, CB is in close competition with McAfee for the biggest resource hog running on our physical and virtual Windows machines.

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