Windows 11 22H2 causes some problems here and there, primarily for gamers with Nvidia graphics cards – although that issue has been fixed – and now we’re hearing about the nasty blue screen of death (BSoD) crash plaguing some unfortunates.
BSoD is a crash that completely locks your computer, requires a full restart, and the issue is with Intel Smart Sound Technology (SST) audio drivers. In particular, this is the problem of incompatibility of the Windows 11 update with some versions of the Intel SST drivers on the 11th generation processors (Rocket Lake, generation before the current Alder Lake chips).
Not everyone needs to be touched but some do, with the result that Microsoft has actively blocked Windows 11 22H2 on these computers (as well as Windows 21H2 upgrades for people migrating from Windows 10).
In a recently updated help document noticed by Latest Windows (opens in a new tab)Microsoft explain (opens in a new tab): “The affected driver will be Intel Smart Sound Technology (Intel SST) Sound Controller under System Devices in Device Manager and will be named IntcAudioBus.sys and the file version will be 10.29.0.5152 or 10.30.0.5152.
“This issue only affects devices with 11th Gen Intel Core processors and Intel SST driver version 10.29.0.5152 or 10.30.0.5152.”
Fortunately, there is a solution, and as you might have guessed, it is to update the Intel SST driver in question. Microsoft recommends that you contact the device manufacturer for a new driver as you must update to 10.30.00.5714 or 10.29.00.5714 (or later). Note that the 10.30.x versions are no necessarily newer than 10.29, but these are the last four digits you look at to determine release time, so whichever version is right for your needs must end in ‘5714’ (or later).
Once the correct driver is installed, Windows 11 22H2 will be available for installation (although it may take some time before it is actually offered on your PC).
Analysis: Is a hotfix coming for Windows 11 itself? Probably not
Of course, it’s nice to see a solution here, even if it messes a bit with driver updates (and a slight complication of those strange different version numbers).
It is unclear whether Microsoft will correct the 22H2 update to address the compatibility issue on the operating system side, but that seems unlikely given that the bug is now marked “mitigated” in the support document. There’s also the fact that this gremlin in the works has been around since November 2021, so it’s actually not new – it just raised its head from 22H2.
Whatever you do, Microsoft explains that you shouldn’t try to manually apply and force 22H2 updates on your PC if the Intel SST driver is not updated as then you may encounter these nasty random crashes in the BSoD form.
BSoDs are definitely more of the past – turn the clock back a decade or more, and they’ve happened, well, not regularly, but often enough to be a nuisance – and now they’re generally pretty rare. However, sometimes such errors are still felt in Windows 11 and Windows 10.