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Daily Archives: March 6, 2019

  • Welcome to Windows Secrets Lounge transplants

    Posted on March 6th, 2019 at 10:54 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We haven’t yet “swallowed the whale” — moved the 40,000 Windows Secrets user accounts and 1 million posts over to AskWoody — but (I’m assured) it’ll be happening soon.

    In the interim, hundreds of Windows Secrets Loungers have already signed up here with AskWoody accounts, and hundreds of additional Windows Secrets Newsletter subscribers have made the leap. Just a reminder: If you’re trying to log on to this site with a username that’s also your email address, you need to go through the (easy!) steps to set up a “proper” AskWoody account. Your old subscriptions will come across with you. You have my word on that — and you know where to reach me.

    If you’re new to AskWoody, check out the Welcome! tab at the top. Some of the information there may help you make the transition.

    So dive in and post away. We have a large group of very helpful people here who just love taking on new challenges.

  • Win10 1809 second February cumulative update, KB 4482887, blamed for “crazy” performance drops in some games

    Posted on March 6th, 2019 at 06:21 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft hasn’t acknowledged the bug yet, but it looks like the second February cumulative update (the “optional, non-security update”) for Win10 version 1809, released on March 1, is clobbering some games.

    Tom Warren at The Verge tweets:

    In the discussion attached to that tweet, @adamlunn points to two Reddit threads:

    One from jlobue101 says that the “severe performance issues” are with Destiny 2. “The issue is not exclusive to NVIDIA GPUs, as there are now reports of systems with AMD GPUs also being affected.”

    One has a comment from rayw_reddit that says “This patch is causing massive lag spikes in older games, like CoD4 and CoD MW2. Right after installing this update, I launch any of the two aforementioned games, moving the mouse around (yes, mouse movement) causes the game to freeze in 1 second intervals every time. If you don’t move the mouse, game appears fine. Does not affect the modern titles I’ve tested: Battlefield V”

    Is the problem confined to games? Highly unlikely, in my experience. It’s just that gamers notice bugs sooner than most of us.

    Moral of the story: Don’t go clicking Check for updates! That’s the only way you’re gonna get this “optional non-security” cumulative update.

    Man, and I had hoped that the extended 1809 testing rounds would catch this kind of junk.

    UPDATE: Microsoft finally acknowledged the problem on Wednesday:

    After installing KB4482887, users may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games (eg: Destiny 2).

    Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

    As a short-term resolution, users can uninstall KB4482887 to regain performance.

  • Win10 1903 Pro Windows Update advanced options — WUH?

    Posted on March 6th, 2019 at 05:54 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Somebody strap me down. I’m about to have a foaming-at-the-mouth episode. The kind only Windows can provide.

    First, an apology. I’ve been very busy swallowing a whale and haven’t looked at the latest beta test builds of Win10 version 1903 — the version that’s due to go RTM any day now. The builds tend to get very boring at this point — all bug fixes and no interesting new features.

    Early this morning, I was looking at Windows Update in the latest beta build of Win10 version 1903 Pro. And I’m about to hit the roof.

    Last time I looked, which was in mid-February, Windows Update had an Advanced Options pane that looked like this:

    At the time I noted that MS had banished the “Choose when updates are installed” selection, which is where you specify “Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)” or “Semi-Annual Channel”. That’s how  you tell Windows 1809 update to keep its mitts off your machine until a new version is declared Ready for Business. Of course, we know that the terminology has changed, and right now we don’t have any idea when/if Microsoft will ever declare Win10 1809 ready for business. That’s a different can of worms, which Susan Bradley talked about in her Monday AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.8.0 column.

    But at least we had the “feature update deferral” setting, which is something.

    I took that screenshot on Feb. 15.

    Early this morning, while poking around the latest beta release, I found this Advanced Options dialog:

    What in the chicken-fired HAIL is going on here?

    All of the old deferral settings are gone, replaced by a stunted “Pause for 7 days” option.

    I was expecting that kind of neutering on Win10 1903 Home. Paul Thurrot warned us about it in a Premium article in January:

    It is now possible—or, will be possible when Windows 10 19H1 ships—on Windows 10 [Home] to pause Windows Updates for 1 to 7 days.

    I filed that in my mind’s “good to know but not terribly helpful” bucket. While this seven day max “Pause” button is better than what Win10 Home has now — which is to say, diddly squat — it’s little more than a fig leaf for the horribly flawed Windows patching juggernaut. As I said in Computerworld last month:

    The current beta test version of the next (“19H1” or “1903”) version of Win10 Home includes the ability to Pause updates for seven days. While that’s certainly a step in the right direction, it doesn’t help much in the real world:

    • You can only Pause once, and only for seven days
    • You can’t Pause again without accepting all backed-up updates in the interim
    • You have to know in advance that a bad update is coming down the pike –  there’s no warning

    All of which makes Win10 Home “Pause updates” a really nifty marketing setting (“Look! You can pause updates in Win10 Home!”) that’s basically useless. Unless you’re Carnac the Magnificent.

    Now, unless I missed something obvious (please tell me if I did!), it looks like Win10 Pro is going to get this same 7-day Pause Updates fig leaf, and the real settings are only accessible in Group Policy (type gpedit.msc, hit Enter, navigate to Computer Configuration >Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business).

    Note that “Semi-Annual Channel” has been neutered — it takes gall to put those settings in a folder called Windows Update for Business — but at least the feature deferral setting is still there.

    Soooooo…. Is this how 1903 will ship? What happened in the past month? What did I miss? Somebody please help before I start going into paroxysms of Windows Update angst.