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Dealing with Windows Update and Windows 10

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72 comments on “Dealing with Windows Update and Windows 10”

  1. I’m finding that those of us with low internet speed are suffering from the updates hogging bandwidth to the point that we can’t do much else until the updates have finished. That was particularly difficult with the update that hung at 46 %. My access to the internet was severely limited. My daughter’s access was reduced to almost nill. I thought updates were supposed to stay in the background. Not so.

  2. Leo, I’ve encountered some difficulties with Win10 updates, e.g., both my desktop and laptop PCs froze during the update and stayed there. I did exactly what you recommend, i.e., I had to use my two respective backups using Macrium Reflect to correct this issue, after which I simply let both PCs update themselves without user input. Windows eventually corrected this issue. Thanx for your advice.

  3. Leo, I ran a windows 10 upgrade a couple weeks ago and after the 2 sets of updates went through and downloaded them I lost all my windows functionality. no start menu, Corina, “shopping bag” or even notifications. when I click on those at the bottom of the screen it appears they try and open and then disappear into the clouds somewhere. my machine was shipped a couple years ago with windows7 and it had been working pretty well since March when I upgraded to W10. I took my computer to an IT person and they stripped W10 and reloaded it on the machine, things worked fine in their shop. brought it home and hooked it up and back to the same original problem. any idea’s?

  4. I personally have stuck to Windows 7, but have upgraded several people to Windows 10. There have sure been issues with updates lately but thankfully neither of them use the Logitech webcam or have a Surface Pro 3.

    • hi john, i also am staying with win7. I have had updates off for a year on two computers without any problems. I always run sandboxed and do weekly images. am on all day, everyday and do everything …email, search, stocks, videos, and on and on. never a problem. i run linux as a dual-boot but rarely use linux as i still prefer win7. until MS stops trying to cram everything down our throats i will continue as i have been … its my computer.

      • Ditto here. I went to Win 10 just a few days before the free offer ended, and boy! Was I in for a surprise. My screen profiles all vanished, and the software running the profiles had to be reset, a bit of a laborious problem but doable. The weirdest part of it all is that the profiles were available to load but they didn’t work. Now the screen I am using is a Dell 2412, whose native profile is sRGB but, because the calibration software I had been using does tweak RGB values, I could no longer use Dell sRGB!

        There were other problems as well such as scanner software that “sorta” worked, but after a few days of messing with it all, I gave up and went to the backup. I did backup Win10 before reverting, JIC, but after reading of troubles with the current updates, I’m glad I still am at Win7.

        Oh, I have a second computer on which I tried to upgrade to Win 10, but it wouldn’t run, even as the precheck said it would. Since screen cal problems would have been the same, I abandoned efforts there altogether.

        Machine #2 is a commercial unit running Sandy Bridge, Machine #1 is custom built running an i7 Haswell. I almost used Skylake but Intel’s production was running behind, so I used Haswell. I am really glad I did!

  5. On my desktop, I have had no problems with any update including the Anniversary one. On my laptop, the Anniversary update hung the machine. I powered it off then restarted and the update automatically backed out to the previous version.

  6. Thanks Leo for your insight and suggestions.

    I respectfully suggest that Microsoft (MS) get it’s act together and implement a new function in downloading updates either automatically and/or by personal design. To wit: Before MS updates are downloaded it have a built in an automatic function to implement a system back up file before the update is installed. Then if a problem occurs afterwards we can simply keep going back to an earlier saved backup to fix or await the resolution to a problem in downloading a MS update.

    To remember to undertake a daily system back up manually as you suggest is just not feasible to an individual not as astute in such manners as yourself Leo. Thanks for being there & if possible in your tech language, make this recommendation to MS for all of us. It should be very simple for MS to do, automatically. God bless, and have a safe life, it’s more important to surfing the web.

    • Actually that’d be a great idea, but then they’d have to make sure you had enough disk space, warn you if you did not, and also provide a mechanism for rolling back to that backup. Seriously, I think it’d be great, but it’s not trivial or easy.

      Anyone can set up a daily backup. I have articles and books on exactly how to do so. That’s exceptionally important regardless fo Windows 10 updates – so many things can go wrong.

    • Amen Brother! Have had nothing but problems after the latest Win 10 update. Unfortunately I trusted Windows auto update and failed to do a backup prior. Live and learn!

  7. My wife’s laptop seized up during the update you mentioned – thanks Microsoft, cos I got the blame for that, and I downloaded the update twice in an effort to fix it – 5GB wow that’s a lot out of my download allowance.
    As you say they apparently have fixed it – I’ll wait a little longer before letting it have another go.
    But updates sometimes do stuff that can’t be altered back. Like my clock text went black and is now unreadable. This is seemingly too small a problem to fix, at least they haven’t responded yet. I’d grind my teeth but I’m down to the gums 🙂

  8. From time to time I get quirky Wednesdays. Small things but obviously from the latest update. I just do a system restore from the last point b/4 the update and things work again. I have automatic updates turned on and trust that a new update will come along and fix things.

  9. I’m the Dinosaur in the room.
    Still with Windows 7 for all my laptops and love it .
    Will only give in to 10 when I must.
    Regarding updates, I’m at: “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them”.
    So, every day, when I boot the machines up, step one is update the ‘Kaspersky Total Internet Security’ data base, and step two is open windows update and check and/or download important updates.
    This process has worked for years and forces me to become more familiar with the individual updates.
    So, as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

  10. I have my desktop PC set for automatic updates and run Windows 10 Pro 64Bit. I didn’t want Windows 10 in the beginning, when I first downloaded Windows 10 last year, during the free year, I lost all of my casual games that I play. I then tried Windows 10 after the first big update in Nov. 2015. Wow, what a difference. So when the Windows 10 Anniversary update came, I was looking forward to it.

    Well, I downloaded the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and was enjoying the new benefits. About 2 or 3 or 4 days later, after I updated the Anniversary Update, I started my PC and was in Safe Mode. I couldn’t get out of Safe Mode, either, no matter what I tried or checked within my PC. I finally, had to re-install my Windows 7 Pro 64Bit operating system. I was really stuck on what to do next. I wanted Windows 10 back, but, didn’t know how to do it.

    Finally, on a different forum, a member told me what to do. My free Windows 10 Pro had been activated by Microsoft and that was my saving grace to get back Windows 10 at no cost. I was sent to this Microsoft web page – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 – Read the whole page, figured out how to re-install Windows 10 Pro at no cost, because my Windows 10 had been activated by Microsoft. I also learned how to make an ISO DVD of Windows 10 Pro installation disk. This was the first time I had ever made an ISO DVD disk. I finally have a really good backup for Windows 10. :O)

  11. The updates seem to cause havoc with the network in my office. The last update changed the share settings from the pc we use a server so no one could connect to it. It also stopped that pc sharing two of its printers. I am still struggling to get things working properly again.

    • my scanners software was changed also by win 10,but works diffreently,try to get a driver from printer manufacturer.

      updating software is scary

    • Every single time my computer does a Windows 10 update the update changes my default programs (or apps as they’re now called, which is stupid, but I digress)..so I have to spend time trying to reset my default programs! The update last changed my AVG firewall to windows firewall and it would not let me access the Internet! It took me 2 hours to figure out what was wrong! The last update stopped Chrome from working because I left it open overnight when Windows ran another update! I had to reinstall Chrome to fix that one!
      SO SICK AND TIRED of Windows telling me what I need and forcing their apps on me! Now I get a constant notification that I have to fix my Microsoft account and I have no idea what that even means. And again today it’s messing with my AVG!

  12. Leo, we are “in the cloud” so to speak with a hosted site running our POS system. The last Windows 10 update caused the RDP connections to fail. We found out this was only on 32bit versions of Win10, but the two units we were running were critical to our operation. We have changed the RDP settings to connect only through the VPN tunnel, and that seemed to work for now…from what the Managed services people say, Microsoft has not acknowledged any issue with this yet, but the web is full of

  13. I uploaded Windows 10 Pro to an old Windows 7 machine 6 months ago, liked it well enough to update 2 others for free at the last minute, and bought a refurbished PC with Windows 10 already loaded. The Anniversary Update killed most of them before I could make backups, but I wanted to stay with Windows 10 instead of restoring Windows 7.

    Reading “Ask Leo” for several years has given me the confidence to be “master of my domain,” as it were. So, after clicking them off-and-on several times, I searched the problem online enough to connect the newest PC to an old monitor, which allowed it to start up. Then in safe mode I scanned with the free version of Driver Booster and updated video driver(s), which Windows updates probably do not. I’m not enough of a techie to know if this is anecdotal, but it worked and I suspect that there is an element of truth to it.

  14. You offer sage advice Leo. I welcome Windows updates and haven’t had any problems downloading and installing them. I also have a second internal HDD that is a clone of my first, disconnected after cloning (Macrium Reflect Free Version) in the event I have any problems with the primary drive. A person can also revert to an earlier restore point in the Recovery section of the Control Panel should difficulties arise. Restoring to an earlier point has always worked for me and I frequently create restore points after system changes. Restoring to an earlier point does take some time to complete so be patient.

    Resisting Windows updates is a bad policy to follow and to many people express that sentiment.

  15. Tech Preview Windows 10 experience. Usually no problems with this update and review program. The latest offering (14942-rs) will not complete the install of this particular review. But if I turn to other work, the review will continually be offered (& enter install) then fail. Hard on my internet bandwidth for sure.
    If I could indicate to MS that NONE of my available computers will complete the update, my life would definitely improve. You have to force-ably turn the PC off, then reboot at which time a Restore to Previous release takes effect. Computer comes back up and does work as expected. So I trudge on hoping for a forthcoming resolution. Z

  16. Updates for security fixes is one thing but when they launch Windows 10, let you get used to it for a very short period of time and then launch an “Anniversary Update” that totally changes the look and layout of what you previously had that to me is just inconsiderate. Why not give an option, explaining what the changes will be and then an option to only accept security fixes and to opt out of the anniversary update. That to me would be a company that actually cares about their customers wants, likes and needs.

  17. I started in the IT business in 1970, and have watched the most amazing improvements over the years. For all those years I always felt I was in control of my fate. With the advent of Windows 10, which I think is a reasonably good O.S., I feel that I have suddenly lost control. This makes me very uneasy. The very large updates which we now receive could very easily put me over my limited download allowance, and cost me a lot of money. That is a surprise I do not relish. I am lucky enough that now that I am retired, I can achieve 95% of my needs through Linux. And I am willing to forgo the other 5%. I think it’s the fact that Microsoft arbitrarily took this control from me that worries me most of all.

  18. No! I prefer not to accept any auto updates. In the past and now they have been disasterous. Add this to the fact that I see nothing of value in Win 10, I’ve installed Win 8.1 where I control updates. Besides I am not going to be doing an image back up everyday. I prefer to operate with two machines, one for online and one for offline with my critical information. Blowup my online machine if you wish, if you can and I’ll just swap a drive with the same backed up image. Unfortunately its come to this with all the A-hole hackers that are out there.

  19. In the video, you mention using an incremental daily backup of the system image. I use Macrium and do a monthly image backup. Weekly, I do a full File and Folder backup of my data (documents, email, photos, etc.) and a daily incremental of these.

    If I were to start doing a daily incremental backup of system image, 1) would it interfere with the file and folder backup and 2) would it even be necessary to do a File and Folder backup?

    By “interfere,” I’m referring to the method that Macrium knows a file has been updated. In older OSs there was a byte that showed that a file had been changed and an incremental backup would find the file and reset the byte. In this case, there would be two separate backups (“Image” and “File and Folder”) looking at the same file and that byte (if it exists) would be turned off by one backup and then the file would not be found by the next.

    • 1) No conflict.
      2) Maybe. There, of course, would be an extra layer of security having your files backed up additionally in case your system image or incremental backups have a problem. I use Dropbox (One Drive, Google Drive etc. are all similar) as my file and folder backup, I get the advantage of a file backup combined with the fact that if I lose all of my computers and drives, my files are all there. And in my case I can pick up any of my computers and resume any work I started on another.

  20. I will stick with my update to W10 but an old saying which I did not adhere to “do not buy a car in the first year if it is a “new” model wait until they iron-out the kinks”—-I updated in May for the “free-bee” with lots of problems until Sept. I am at peace now since I really do not ask much work from my laptop it it only for my enjoyment in my retirement. Thanks Leo for your “sage” advice—truly appreciated!

  21. I have been on holiday for the last two weeks so when I get home I will fire up my Windows 10 64-bit PC (AMD 10 enhanced quad core with Radeon graphics). I have had no problems with AE on the machine. My Samsung laptop, which Samsung told me to wait to update to W10, currently awaits the AE upgrade. Your advice to backup often, and before chunky updates, is wise.

  22. I just bought another Windows 7 computer. These are going to be valuable collector’s items.
    Sorry to hear about all the Windows 10 problems, but for anyone who’s not yet been violated by Windows 10, heed this long standing advice about any Windows OS: Don’t use it until about 5 years after it’s been released.

    • I’ve heard very similar talk about XP. Eventually, the computer world moves on and the older greatest OSes become obsolete and give way the next OS which everybody previously hated until they work out most of the bugs. I totally understand people staying with Windows 7 till Windows 10 matures, but in after a little more than 3 years when extended support expires, Windows 7 will fade away like XP did 2 1/2 years ago.

      • For me? Not fade away.

        I have six laptops: two each with Windows 10, Windows 7, and XP.

        I use one Windows 10 machine solely to host a virtual machine. I never use the other. Leo says, “So my first recommendation is to leave Windows Update on.” I beg your pardon!? On most Windows 10 machines YOU HAVE NO CHOICE unless you never connect to the internet or lie about your Wi-Fi bandwidth.

        I stopped all Windows Updates on my two Windows 7 machines after Microsoft decided to (1) trick – or even force – Windows 7 users into installing Windows 10 and (2) have Windows 7 machines violate privacy and call home to report your activity as do Windows 10 machines. I also uninstalled many previous Windows 7 updates. Yes, I do backups.

        My XP machines are humming along quite nicely, thank you. They’re my favorites. They boot up faster than my Windows 7 and 10 machines. They do everything I need: email, Skype (older version), documents, spreadsheets, and surfing. In fact I’m considering wiping the hard drive of my 2nd Windows 10 machine and installing XP and no-ribbon Office 2003. If you’re not a gamer, XP is still the best.

        It’s been downhill ever since. And today Microsoft cannot be trusted. MS even started using “security updates” to force its malware onto your system.

        I’ll keep using my XP and Windows 7 machines until they go belly up due to age or malware. Then it’s on to SUSE, Mint, X/Ubuntu, or Mac.

      • “I’ve heard very similar talk about XP.” – And about every other operating system. There’s always a brouhaha with people proclaiming “The only way they’ll get me to switch is to pry Windows 95/98/ME/XP/Vista/7/8 from my cold dead hands.” But at some point down the road, almost all of ’em do switch.

  23. I have a background with “big iron”. Our approach at that time was to update 1)only if you really need the function OR 2) if it has properly aged- 6 months+ in those days. It kept us out of trouble.
    I agree with a frequent image backup.
    I have been burned with W10 updates – several hours wasted, impact to my scheduled activities, etc. Look at some of the previous comments to this item.
    In addition to image backups I suggest the following:
    1) MS to allow deferring of updates on a timed basis – 3 days – 1 week – 2 weeks – at the user’s choice. Give MS a chance to discover problems was well as minimizing impact to their customers.
    2) A central poll of successful vs unsuccessful tried to each update sent by users and available to all. Perhaps on answers.microsoft.com.
    Many companies have had to humble themselves in the past – Samsung, Blackberry, IBM, to name a few. I suspect an MS change of approach soon.

  24. I have a Notebook (laptop) low end processor, 2 GB RAM, which worked reasonably well with Windows 8.1, which is what it came with, but since upgrading to Windows 10 it has been a dog. Windows 10 simply has that many processors running in the background, including Windows update, that on a low end machine like this it simply makes it crawl at times. Sometimes the HDD is churning away continuously for many minutes and the machine simply becomes unusable. So much for an upgrade. For me this was a big fat downgrade. To get this machine back to a reasonable running state I have gone through the Windows Task Schedular turning off any background services that are not needed including Windows Update and other software update services. This improved it somewhat but to make it better I purchased a copy of AShampoo WinOptimizer and went through the modules section of this adjusting settings as needed and deactivating more services that it gave me access to. This has got the machine back to running nearly as good as it was on Windows 8.1. Of course Windows Updates are important as are other software updates so I manually update all the software including Windows every couple of weeks or so. I have to turn the Windows Update Service back on when I do the Windows Updates manually, as otherwise they fail, but I switch it off again once completed. I run up to date Antivirus/antimalware software continuously which deals with any security risks (note this is not Windows Defender as that requires the Windows Update Service to be on to be able to update its definitions). Running the updates manually every couple of weeks does take a while (much longer in fact than it was with Windows 8.1), which is still a pain, and is why I have seriously considered switching to Linux which suffers from none of these ridiculously problems. Unfortunately I have software which I absolutely need which only runs on Windows and I know will not be fully functional using WINE in Linux. I guess I could try using a Windows Virtual Machine in Linux to run this software but that would probably be a stretch on a low end Laptop. I guess if I could afford to purchase a high end Laptop the problems would largely disappear, but that is outside my budget.

  25. I’m an early uptaker of Windows 10 and I’ve always allowed the updates to go through and by and large there hasn’t been a problem. Like Leo, I have a number of computers running different operating systems including several versions of linux, Apple’s latest one – Sierra – and a couple of machines running Windows 10. The anniversary update is the first one to cause me some inconvenience. There is an issue writing to external hard drives which has been a hot topic for a couple of months now and I’m feeling the consequences of this. In my case it is a drive formatted with Fat32 which it refuses to load; I rolled back once to see if the problem disappeared and it did so the anniversary update has the problem. As it is important for some of my entertainment equipment to be formatted this way I cannot change it, so now I’m forced to add extra steps to copying the information over to it. The one that amuses me is actually doing it via my Mac which makes me feel I’m making a point to Microsoft about their slowness to fix this issue. A Microsoft employee made a point of recognising the problem on a public website back in August. It is almost mid October as I write this and the problem is still there. Now I’m interested in seeing how long the problem continues before it is fixed.

  26. Hi Leo! My mother attempted to update to Windows 10 from 8 a few months ago and for some reason, every time she would sign into that particular laptop, it would kick everyone else off the wifi. Finally, we had to remove it for her and then, she had other issues with her computer. After a lot of research and frustration, I finally figured out that there was an issue with her virus scan (due to the change?) and had to resolve that issue too. It was such a huge mess and now I want to purchase a new laptop for her and I’m a little worried that if it has Windows 10, she will have issues again; on the other side, she hates Windows 8. I’m just curious if maybe purchasing a laptop with Windows 10 already installed might eliminate some of the issues that people were having when upgrading to it in the past?

    • For people who hate Windows 8 or 10, ClassicShell is a tiny program which restores a Start button very similar to the XP or Windows 7 Start button. It won’t fix any other problems, but it makes the experience of using 8 or 10 much less frustrating.
      https://askleo.com/classic_shell_regain_your_start_menu_in_windows_8_and _much_more/

      As for whether a new computer with Windows 10 pre-installed will eliminate some of the issues. Definitely, it should eliminate many of the issues on a machine designed for Windows 10. That’s not to say, however, that it’s guaranteed to eliminate all problems, because there just might be something which breaks after an update.

      • It’s not just about the Start menu. It’s true that a new computer with Windows 10 already installed is likely to have fewer problems, but it’s also very likely (almost a certainty) that it won’t stay that way. Once the updates start, the original Windows 10 that you purchased will change – with unknown side effects. If you really want your mother to continue in a familiar environment, you can still purchase a Windows 7 computer from some big name computer manufacturers. I really hate to see a senior citizen being subjected to the hassle of constant change or being surprised by failing tasks.

  27. The Anniversary Update on my Windows 10 Pro (Skylake 6500 microprocessor, 1 TB SSD, 16 GB DDR4 RAM) erased four folders and emptied the contents of a fifth. So far I have discovered four uninstalled programs. Fortunately I happened to back up three hours before I left the machine in hibernation and came back to find the Anniversary Update rolling along. However in those three hours I lost quite a bit of data. God love me if my backup had been a week old.

    Microsoft, as usual, wheels their latest and greatest out the door long before it has been thoroughly tested. As a 69 year old PC user who still programs for the heck of it, I know that if I had been as incompetent as MS I would have been fired.

    Automatic Update is now unchecked and never will be allowed again.

  28. I want to avoid the HP Printer update that makes using any ink cartridge other than an HP branded ink cartridge, impossible. If a Window 10 updates includes an update of my HP Printer, there is not a way to stop it. In Windows 7, I can review the updates and decide not to install that update.

  29. Hi, I have stopped win 10 auto update. All of a sudden skype stopped working (desktop and preview versions). After many hours on google etc, uninstalling and reinstalling, I found it was a win 10 update problem. Then a patch appeared to fix it. But then the problem came back (process runs, interface doesnt appear). Following advice on skype community I uninstalled latest (version 7…) and installed version 6… It now works again. Problem with Leo’s auto update with daily backups is that you need to know its win 10 issue – it may not be, or may not be apparent as above. Reinstalling an image is time consuming and may/may not fix the issue.
    Regards, Don.

  30. “So, that’s my strategy. Take Windows Updates. Please, take them all the time.” That’s your strategy, Leo?

    Leo, the fact that you have a good experience with updates in Windows 10 does not mean others will. And for those who have crippling problems due to faulty updates, even once is too much. Here are some examples : http://www.brucebnews.com/2016/08/updates-from-microsoft-spiral-out-of-control/

    Personally, I just don’t agree with your proposition of accepting any and all updates. In fact, my strategy starting October 2016 is “Set Windows Update to Never Check (I use Windows 7 and not Windows 10 and there is no way in **** I will use it for work at least for the next 3 years. I am thinking of continuing to use Windows 7 well beyond the end of extended support in January 2020. Like NotAMicrosoftShill above who continues to use XP to this day.) and never install another update from Windows Update again, except possibly the Malicious Software Removal Tool.”

    As to the reason why I am taking this approach?
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3128983/microsoft-windows/how-to-prepare-for-the-windows-781-patchocalypse.html

    I don’t know if you are aware of it. But starting this Patch Tuesday (October 11 2016, at my place updates will be visible on October 12) Microsoft will no longer offer separate security patches for Windows 7 / Windows 8.1 / Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows Server 2012 R2. Instead there will be a “Rollup” patch for all the security and non-security updates issued in each month. And the rollup will be cumulative, meaning the rollup for November 2016 will contain all the updates issued in October and November 2016, and so on. Just the same as the “Cumulative Updates” in Windows 10. And starting from early 2017 the older updates will also be added to the rollup in steps so that eventually the rollup will be “fully cumulative” as Microsoft said.

    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/08/15/further-simplifying-servicing-model-for-windows-7-and-windows-8-1/
    https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/10/07/more-on-windows-7-and-windows-8-1-servicing-changes/

    This month’s rollup goes by the nice name of “October 2016 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7”.

    Sounds all good on the surface. But just imagine what would happen if any updates in the rollup, security or non-security, cause significant issues. Then to avoid problems the user will have to uninstall the rollup (for the time being) and stop it from reinstalling (setting Windows Update check but not install updates will do), meaning that he/she will be vulnerable to any security problems fixed by the rollup. And if the problem is still not fixed by the time the next Patch Tuesday arrives, then he/she will have to avoid installing the next month’s rollup (since it contains this month’s updates), exposing him/her to more vulnerabilities. This is the same situation as in Windows 10, but in Windows 10 it is even worse since (1) in most Windows 10 machines you just cannot stop updates from installing (unless when you can use tricks like setting your connection as “Metered”, and yes I know that we can set it not to automatically install updates by Group Policy, but Home version users don’t have that), and (2) Windows 10 will automatically attempt to reinstall any updates the user has uninstalled due to any problems (unless the update is pulled by Microsoft), causing the problems to resurface again and again.

    Microsoft will also release a “Security-only Rollup” each month, starting from October 2016, that supposedly contains only the security updates released in that month. This rollup will not be cumulative. If the update does not have any problems and does not contain any “rubbish” updates from Microsoft, then I will install it manually on my systems after typically waiting several weeks. If the rollup is found to have problems or contain “rubbish”, then it will not be installed. If the security-only rollup don’t work for me then I will probably never install another Windows update again. I would rather deal with possible vulnerabilities than to deal with problems caused by faulty updates.

    I agree with you, however, that making an image backup is important. In fact, I have patched all my Windows 7 computers up to the September 2016 level and make image backups of all of them. I will keep these image backups for the next few years at least.

    • Please understand that my strategy is based not only on my own experience, but the successful experiences I hear of from many, many others. People having problems make noise (and rightfully so), but the majority are silently going on because things just work for them. That’s my impression from my various and sundry sources of information ranging from media consumption to the comments and questions I get every day.

      One clarification to your concern: “Then to avoid problems the user will have to uninstall the rollup ” – that’s not at all what I’m recommending. They would simply revert to the prior day’s image backup. A much easier task, in general.

      • If I have problems, I would also revert to an image backup to solve it. So you are right in that.

        Let me ask you again then : What do you recommend we do if in the future one of these new “Security Monthly Quality Rollup” cause problems for many users? I am asking from the perspective of the “many users” you are referring to, those who are not aware of the “Security-only Rollup” and won’t know how to download and install updates manually themselves.

        Remember, since these new updates are cumulative, if you hold up on installing this month’s rollup, you have to hold up installing the next month’s rollup as well, and so on, until after who-knows-how-long until Microsoft fixes the problems, assuming it will fix them. In the meantime the users who hold up on installing the update will be vulnerable to security vulnerabilities, the longer they hold up the more.

        And please do not tell me there will be no problems in the future. Just look at the problems faced by many users of Windows 10 1607 : SSD freeze, webcam not working, Kindle blue screen etc.

        • As I said, the general approach I recommend when there is a problem is a) revert to last night’s image, b) wait for a fix before taking more updates. If the fix is a long time coming (where “long time” is undefined but probably dependant on the urgency of the issue), then the steps to take next will depend entirely on the specific issue being faced. And yes, “not taking more updates” is both difficult, since Windows REALLY wants you to take updates, and can leave you open to security vulnerabilities, so it is most assuredly a tradeoff.

          • Leo, given this nightmare of constant updates and frequent backups, how long will it be before a user discovers that all the backups are corrupted with junk updates? In order to ensure that your backup is any good, you’ll need to test every application and many tasks on your computer after every Windows update to ensure that the update didn’t break anything. So, this forces consumer users to maintain a corporate level of backup strategy to ensure that their backups are good. Would you say that this is practical or consumer friendly?

          • I’d say it’s somewhat of an extreme overreaction. Most updates work for most people, but most failures are fairly immediate. Traditional consumer level backups are plenty good enough. That being said, retaining backups for a while longer might make sense for issues that might remain hidden for a while. Even then, my traditional recommendation of keeping a months worth of daily backups ought to be plenty. If you find yourself 30 days down the road finally realizing that there’s a Windows issue you want to roll back for it’s not a simple process anyway – you want to rescue any data updated prior to performing that rollback.

      • I agree on both counts. We just need to be reminded that it actually works for most people, but since there’s enough of a failure rate it’s wise to be prepared.

  31. G’day there Leo,
    I do much the same as you advise here except I only backup once a month and I tell you why. I have my main drive O partitioned C + D … i.e. C for OS and D for data, and I keep nothing of value on C. All my data is on D partition, even as I write it is being saved on D partition. I also have a 128GB pen drive basically plug in all the time, and I have a program “Free File Sync” that backs up all data to that pen drive daily. So even if the Data drive bites the dust along with the OS… I still have that data safe on my Pen drive. As well, I do an image backup to a 2 TB ext drive once a month, and a backup of the pen drive to another ext drive. I also use mostly portable apps that are kept on the Data drive with short cuts in a side-bar folder for instant access all the time. I have had 2 crashes over the years where I lost everything with the first one, and this taught me a good lesson, and when the second crash came.. I simply gave it the middle finger salute and was up and running in less than an hour. Beat that hehe. I learned to be safe and so far have not been sorry.
    Keep up the great work there mate…. Mike

  32. What aa1234aa wrote above is exactly what I say: “heed this long standing advice about any Windows OS: Don’t use it until about 5 years after it’s been released.”
    After the 2016 anniversary mess-up I had enough: Could not access external Harddiscs anymore even if they had the correct and vacant letter, could not even open simple .txt files anymore without clicking word-wrap, task bar items responding only when they wanted and numerous more. I will switch back to Win10 when Win7 will not be updated anymore, then the 5 years are about over. Until then, I recommended what I did since years already and now again to the whole Microsoft crew: Suicide, all of them, they could never do it, just proved again that they can not do it and will never be able to do it!

    And if somebody thinks that Apple is an escape: No, it is not, same stupids there, just on a higher price tag. Had a MacBook Pro 13,3 from 2010 that several times suddenly “had no wifi card” built-in anymore. Found out that it was a problem of OS-X and that it was not only my problem, many others had it, too, as always. Then the charger did not charge anymore, also a known problem without solution. Some recommended to “keep it warm by sitting on it”, believe it or not! That problem was solved by an early death, after 5 years, main board corrosion, if I saw it correct due to non-existing protective clear laquer on the mainboard, maybe to save weight on this already 2,5 Kilo thing?

  33. My apologies for another update to the same article – however I have new info.
    KB3194798 Windows 10 update is apparently causing many problems over the past 2 days. Go to answers.microsoft.com and key in the update number to see. Fortunately I have 2 PC’s running W10. One needed 3-4 restarts to finally reject that update. I want to avoid it on my other W10 PC since I have a presentation that KB3194798 will reportedly disable. You can disable the downloading of updates by setting your internet connections to Metered. You can also temporarily defer restarts by, every 11 hours changing your active hours to give you 12 hours of reprieve.

  34. I recently updated and lost all my Windows 7(?) games. I’m still not crazy about Windows10. I had to go back to an earlier date to get the games back.

  35. Windows 10 updated yesterday. Cannot find/access my Address Book for emails today. Is this a known problem with the recent update. Microsoft site useless.

      • “Outlook” as part of Microsoft Office.

        Updated to Windows 10 in June. This is the only problem I’ve had apart from having to choose Internet Explorer every time despite having set it as the default for internet connection.
        Thank you.

  36. I had one client on DSL and his computer choked on Win 10 update. Computer went into safe mode. I had to return computer to factory specs. I then updated it and then turned off updates.

  37. Hi Leo,
    After reading an article about keeping Win 10 up to date I made the mistake of manually downloading the 1607 anniversary update. I encountered many problems, email manager (Incredimail) ceased to function, webcam & some of my games stopped working. There were probably other things but did not want to waste time checking so reverted back to my original version 1511. Yesterday I had another update & I had slightly different issues, limited internet connectivity, my email manager would not communicate with gmail, several of my programs requiring internet access would not boot, lost all the personal data in a game I play all the time – interestingly the game was OK apart from that & the webcam was working. After some checking I found the update was for version 1607 & a restart had been scheduled for 3:30 this morning so hit the restart now & went to bed. This morning my PC was still churning away trying to do a restart so cycled the power & everything came back to normal. On checking, a restart has been scheduled for 3:30 tomorrow morning so have deferred it & will keep doing so for the time being. I see from the internet that version 1607 is very problematical at the moment, I will keep automatic updates running but will have to be a little vigilant. At 71 years young I don’t need these sorts of hassles, the only good thing about it all is I’m learning about PC’s albeit somewhat involuntarily.

  38. I never leave automatic updates ‘On’ and never will. I have a slew of reasons for that. I have scheduled through group policy editor to “check for updates, but to let me choose whether to download and install them”. By the same token, I make sure that I have the most recent updates for Windows Defender, which I check at least twice a day for my 2 PCs. As for the others such as: cumulative updates, (Kernel updates or .Net framework updates which are probably part of the cumulative ones), I would wait 3 or 4 days to see if no one is reporting any problems with the latter.

    All in all, I can say I never had any big problems with Win 10 updates, except from time to time I have to do some update troubleshooting before they can install normally, like with the previous 2 cumulative updates..

  39. well all i can say is nothing but problems overall with windows 10 cumulative updates…any other updates from microsoft have downloaded ok…im just tired of playing around and resetting things and jumping through hoops and hurtles just to keep microsoft happy with their one size fits all cumulative solutions…the last straw for me is when they suggested i uninstall my bitdefender anti-virus in order to install the cumulative updates…this is just plain unacceptable to me and the biggest diaper load of crap…microsoft is just going to keep blaming everything else except their own faulty garbage they are sending out in forced updates…THE CURE?…i was so enraged i have now not only stopped ALL microsoft updates…i have actually uninstalled cortana,edge, connect, and internet explorer…ALL microsoft tiles have been uninstalled as well…have also used three different programs to disable ALL telemetry…i have also disabled anything microsoft that is not absolutely essential to booting up and getting online with my slimjet browser…THE RESULT? i now have a totally stable…fast as a blink of the eye OS that cold boots with a regular HD in 20 seconds…if microsoft cant do their job right i will just have to do so myself and use other 3rd party solutions for security etc…im sure there are more people like me doing this as well

  40. I am in my mid fifties and “Not too Old” to keep learning, and Ask Leo has been a great help, and adds to the fun. I am still using Windows 8.1 and followed the advice and have GWX still going. I have my settings at Important and Download but let me decide to Install. It seems to be mostly Windows Defender updates and so I install then almost daily. In the recent past I would look at the Recommended and Optional things and click on descriptions that were way over my head. I hope I am not setting myself up to ruin my laptop. Too poor to get another these days. I am still confused about backing up and what it costs, and how to, but I do keep copies of files on Google Drive. Again My Thanks! And any advice will be welcome.

  41. Leo, you have to resort to “stop taking updates” (for as long as necessary) as well if any future Microsoft Rollup updates cause problems for you. An expected answer. Perhaps there is no other possible answer.

    I feel that eventually “stop taking updates” may become a necessary thing for me. For now, as a Windows 7 user, this is what I am going to do:

    (1) Change Windows Update to “Never Check for Updates” (already done on all my machines)
    (2) Download the “Security Only Rollup” each month, and then see if there are any problems by waiting at least 2 weeks.
    (3) Install security-only update if there are no problems reported. I will take AskWoody as a reference as to when it is safe to install. If it is not safe to install, then skip that month’s update.
    (4) Continue this policy in the future.

    This policy will undoubtedly cause some security updates to be skipped in the future. I will deal with the consequences myself. What I care is a stable and working system, like Damien above said. I am not telling you to do what I do. If you do not agree, fine. If you think I am overreacting, fine. We will just have to agree to disagree on this issue.

    I believe we can no longer blindly trust ANY Microsoft updates. (Ask the dear CEO of Microsoft why he fired all those testers back in 2014!) I will work on the assumption that Microsoft updates will likely cause problems, and will wait for as long as possible until I am certain there are no problems. Any updates that is known to cause problems, including security updates, will be banished. I hate Microsoft for forcing me to work this way, and I will avoid Windows 10 for as long as possible, even past the “end of support” for Windows 7 and 8.1 if necessary. It is not like “end of support” will matter much to me anyway after Microsoft adopted this new “Cumulative Update” policy.

    • thanks you for your support there 007…what i suggest is that people like LEO, FRED LANGA, WOODY…THE CREW FROM WINDOWS SECRETS as well as WINDOWS CLUB all get together on behalf of we unwashed masses who no longer seem to matter as all seem to be lauding our masters at microsoft who must know what is best for us all as we seem to be microsoft slaves trying to fix our crippled computers for 2 weeks after every cumulative update by jumping through every hoop hurdle suggestion uninstall of software etc…this shows just how much control and power over people microsoft and corporate entities like them have grown accustomed to having and wielding…we can all blame ourselves for going along with this garbage…remember the definition of insanity…doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…leo i know you used to work for microsoft as well as have many others…its time to cast off the shackles and stand up to them…speak out…call them on the carpet ,embarrass them, whatever it takes to make them responsible…they claim they needed telemetry to make their updates properly to work right…well let me know how thats worked out for thousands of us out there if not many more that suffer in silence…telemetry isnt doing it so there must be another purpose altogether for it… so make sure to shut them down on this and remove edge, internet explorer, connect , and cortana since they use these for tracking everything you do as well…if microsoft cant or wont make it work and YOU, the aforementioned most notable and powerful voices of the internet who have the influence to use the bully pulpit ,but cant or wont ,then nothing is going to change because no one will hold them accountable…former slave…slave no longer…but boy does my system work really well now ,fast and stable now that ive shut them out and shut them down totally…ive even blocked the firewall settings…all of them both incoming and outgoing except for my browser and anti-virus solutions…i know leo that you view this as the nuclear option and dont recommend this ,but i see NO other choice…either i own and take control of my own computer which i built with my own two hands and worked well with win 7 win 8 and win8.1…or i just give it up and say that it now belongs to the lords and gods of microsoft…got news for ya…THATS NOT HAPPENING

  42. Hi Leo,

    I am an 80 year old novice user and look after two laptops. Mine and my granddaughters.

    I upgraded both from 8.1 to 10 when it became available.

    To date, touch wood, there has been no problems.

  43. I find it confusing and very disconcerting that we should have to do daily full image back-ups – to protect ourselves from … Microsoft!
    The “new” “Roll-Up PREVIEW Patches” from MS seem to be a rather useless but quite dangerous action by MS, and I can’t see any “upside” to installing them. Now, I’m not talking about the “Security Updates,” but the “Roll-Up PREVIEWs.”

    Hence, my reliance on, my recommendation for daily image backups. It doesn’t have to be complete image every day. There are strategies
    to deal with that. Personally I do a monthly full image back up and then daily incrementals but whatever works for you. As long as you
    have an image back up of the previous day that you could revert to in case a Windows Update causes you a problem.

    I have stayed with Windows Pro 7 and Office Pro Plus 2013.

    I will continue to install and (hopefully) trust the MS Security Updates, but I’m not going anywhere near these non-functional and dangerous “Preview” rolls-of-the-loaded-dice”

  44. Windows 10 is a pain for updates the last update took 5 hours so my work stopped, what a joke, I am considering going back to windows 7 the best O S Microsoft ever made. I am also looking at Linux mint its very fast and runs lib re office.
    I also have concerns about privacy using windows 10.

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