Buggy KB 3194496 patch redlines Chinese-enabled Surface Pro 4s, Surface Books

If you have the Chinese Simplified or Traditional IME installed on your tablet or laptop, watch out for Windows 10 build 14393.222

Bug in KB 3194496 redlines Chinese-enabled Surface Pro 4s, Surface Books
Credit: Microsoft / Apple / Thinkstock

Microsoft released KB 3194496 on Sept. 29. That patch brought customers with Windows 10 Anniversary Update, version 1607, up to build 14393.222. It also brought to their knees Surface Pro 4 tablets and Surface Books sold outside China that have the Chinese Input Method Editor installed to allow typing in Chinese.

A week later, Microsoft hasn't come up with a fix. The only solution appears to be to uninstall the buggy KB 3194496 patch and manually block it so that it doesn't come back again automatically.

Poster i-am-andrew on the Microsoft Answers forum described the problem on Sept. 30:

I have a UK-configured Surface Pro 4 and have the Chinese Simplified language pack installed for it's keyboard options. Following the "Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB3194496)" on 2016-09-29 the Microsoft IME process is using a large amount of CPU causing my Surface Pro 4 i5 to get very hot, the fan to come on and burning through my battery etc.

I've tried uninstalling the Chinese language pack, rebooting and reinstalling it which has not fixed the problem. The only way to stop the high CPU use is to uninstall the Chinese language pack, end the Microsoft IME task and reboot the machine. I assume this is a bug in this Windows 10 update which is going to need fixing.

There are now four pages of comments from people with both the Traditional and Simplified IME packs installed on Surface Pro 4 and Surface Books. They're showing CPU usage pegged at 30 to 50 percent and batteries draining in record time. 

Poster AnthonyTok offers this twist:

Last night I also heard my SP4 fan on high some time after closing my type cover (PC was in sleep mode). Guess who the culprit was? Having this problem occur in sleep mode is ridiculous.

And kenwu27 adds an extreme counterpoint to the "Edge battery life" ads:

Same problem on my Surface Book. I have US language with UK and Chinese language packs installed, which means the CPU usage is higher 90 percent when only Edge is running. This is unacceptable. Microsoft, not sure how it passed your testing.

Uninstalling the Chinese IME doesn't help. Microsoft employee and Surface forum moderator Jasmine Carr offered a suggested workaround on the Answers forum earlier this morning, but it lands you back in the quagmire.

The only way to get rid of the problem, per poster pp09, is to uninstall KB 3194496, and hide the patch using the wushowhide trick.

Bugs as a service.

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