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  • Patch Lady – a bunch of little things

    Posted on Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Patch Lady – a bunch of little things

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      • #1961977 Reply
        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        The other day I was reading comments to blog posts and one of them in particular resonated with me.  The gentleman was lamenting that it was difficult
        [See the full post at: Patch Lady – a bunch of little things]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1961978 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Susan, It is true that older machines may be too underpowered to follow that well the twists and turns of Windows 10 perpetual development and the patching of its patches, but I wonder if that might not also be true of machines with plenty of RAM, HD capacity and the fastest processors and widest buses of the day when they were made, years and years ago (my 8.7 year-old, now running Windows 7 Pro, for example). Does anybody have an informed opinion on this?

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • #1962031 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          It depends entirely on the specific hardware.  I have a laptop here, an ASUS ROG 17″ from 2011. It came with 12GB of memory, a quad-core i7, and an SSD, which was still pretty rare in those days.  The built-in monitor stopped working recently (I think it’s a cable short, not a dead screen) but otherwise it still runs nicely.  This thing had strong specs for the time, both for CPU and GPU, and even in 2019 compares favourably to some low-spec but completely serviceable machines you can buy.  It runs 1903 without any trouble, and if anything, it feels faster, not slower.  (Also, Bluetooth works properly, unlike in Windows 7 and 8 where it would randomly cut out for a few seconds at a time.  I think this was fixed around Anniversary Update.)

          The devices that will struggle the most with Windows 10 are the ones that had a poor GPU when they were brand new 10 years ago — Intel GMA chips, the first Intel HD generation, and the like.  There’s no helping those machines now.


          • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by warrenrumak.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1961996 Reply

        I don’t think that machines upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 experience more issues because the hardware is insufficient or old. In fact, Windows 10 updates should be faster than late life 7 due to efficiency improvements. Rather, it’s because of software bloat and oddities accumulating that would not be present in a clean install. Even on old hardware, you’re much less likely to run into issues if you perform a clean install.

        Should a clean install be necessary to have 100% confidence? Of course not. It’s certainly not necessary in any Linux distribution I’ve used. But the reality is it’s still the safest way to go for Windows.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1962034 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          People say this a lot, but the way Windows does upgrades these days is completely different than in the olden days.  Installing a Windows 10 Feature Update is, in fact, a completely new install in a brand new Windows directory. Your settings are migrated over from the previous copy.  There were many teething problems with this approach, both with various Windows settings getting lost after an upgrade, and with poorly-coded third-party Windows applications, especially from AV vendors, VPN providers, and enterprise software companies like Citrix.

          It’s taken a few years, but it’s a lot better now.  It’s one of the things that the constant Windows Insider upgrade cycle & 6 month release cycle has helped to shake out.  Companies have been forced to fix their junk software.


          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1962537 Reply

        Look on older laptops and it’s usually the discrete mobile GPU drivers that have the most issues with any newer OS/OSs and that includes plenty of AMD discrete mobile GPUs that are of the Pre-GCN graphics generation and GCN has already been through 5 generations and AMD now has moved on to the RDNA Graphics Micro-Architecture that supplants the GCN Micro-architectural generations.

        So for Windows 7 that’s mostly the WDDM(Windows Display Driver Model) 1.1 and for Windows 8/8.1 that’s WDDM 1.2/WDDM 1.3 respectively with Windows 10 having WDDM 2.0, WDDM 2.1, WDDM 2.3, WDDM 2.4, WDDM 2.5, and WDDM 2.6 revisions(1).

        So just read that Wikipedia WDDM entry and look at the feature sets added under windows 10 and that’s more revisions for windows 10 than all the previous WDDM combined revisions for all the older WDDM capable Windows OS versions, and WDDM started with Windows Vista.

        And any OEM laptop is only going to be certified by that OEM for the OS that was in mainstream support at the time of the laptop’s design/manufacture. So for AMD there are still many laptops that are using AMD’s Terascale GPU Micro-Architecture and that predates AMD’s GCN generations, and its newest RDNA, GPU micro-architectures as well. Nvidia’s older generations of GPUs as well have had issues with newer OSs.

        The Terascale GPU micro-architecture is considered a legacy/deprecated GPU micro-architecture by AMD and that’s rather too old to expect to be supported on any OS but Windows 7 or 8/8.1. And laptop OEMs have a marketing department habit of asking AMD to rebrand some older generation GPU micro-architecture generation with some newer marketing branding naming/numbering so consumers think that they are getting some later generation graphics.

        There are millions of laptops with Discrete Mobile GPUs that are based on the AMD Terascale GPU micro-architecture that was last updated around 2011(Terascale 3) before that Micro-architecture was supplanted by AMD’s GCN micro-architectural generations. Since Windows 7 and 8/8.1 have relatively the same OS kernel and a similar, less iterated, WDDM revision history most of the older Terascale GPU hardware will mostly work fine for windows 7 and 8/8.1. And I’m running an HP Probook with an AMD 7650M discrete mobile Terascale Micro-Architecture GPU and do not let that 7000M series numbering fool you into thinking that that’s GCN 1.0 graphics as it’s a Terascale rebrand and laptop OEM marketing departments do request that all the time and AMD has to go along or maybe not make a sale.

        Laptop OEMs are not very well known for their software/graphics driver support after the sale anyways with business grade laptops getting the best longer term support. But even on business grade laptops the OS that was is mainstream support at the time of purchase is the one that was actually tested and vetted/certified by that OEM and Microsoft to work with that devices hardware, CPUs, GPUs, etc.

        PC users have less issues with GPU hardware and Windows 10 support because PC owners can update their discrete GPUs to the latest generation whereas on most laptops the discrete GPU is BGA and soldered onto the laptop’s motherboard. Now most integrated graphics on AMD’s APUs and Intel’s CPUs get better levels of support on newer OSs but still there can be issues. And there are not many laptops that are using AMD’s integrated graphics compared to Intel’s integrated graphics. It’s only been recently with AMD’s Zen CPU micro-architecture based APUs that come with Vega/”GCN 5″ integrated graphics that AMD has made more inroads into the laptop market with Zen CPUs and that Vega integrated graphics, but that’s been certified from day one for Windows 10.

        And actually it’s rather difficult to get earlier 7 and 8/8.1 OSs to run on AMD’s Zen/Vega based APUs, and CPUs, as the driver support is not there and the parts are not officially whitelisted for any MS OS but Windows 10, Linux/BSD support as well, and ditto for Intel’s newest CPUs as well. AMD’s Windows 8.1 GPU driver support is sorely lacking even on newer CPU/GPU hardware even when 8.1(ended in January 9, 2018 for mainstream) was still in mainstream support.


        “Windows Display Driver Model”

      • #1962819 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I agree with Susan’s take.

        I manage a small government agency (state based) and our staff, due to the nature of our agency, are older users (average age in their 50s). Until a year ago, we had run Windows 7 with Office 2007. We have now upgraded to Office 2016 (we depreciate the licence over five years, way cheaper than the subscription model), but our SOE was refreshed with a clean Windows 7 re-install. We only did this to shake out the gunk Windows accumulates over time, but we require that the user interface and experience stays as stable and unchanging as possible. We have limited SOE rebuilds to once every two years at most.

        Now as EOL for Windows 7 approaches, we are forced to re-examine how we do the refresh cycle under Windows 10. We cannot have feature updates roll out every six months, we will settle on an annual cycle (keeping things at bay with WSUS). Because of the mix of non-Microsoft software we use, we are requiring to build a SOE fresh every time there is a refresh coming up, with extensive testing. This all being managed by a single person, me, for a fleet of 70 odd PCs. We have tested doing feature updates, and it’s just a mess to get it right, resulting in far too much downtime for users. WDS and MDT it will have to be with a full rebuild each time.

        I am not even looking forward to all the issues these older users have with the new OS look and feel. These are not tablet/phone users, they don’t get the messy new Start menu format. These are people who have literally every single space on their desktop covered with a shortcut to a file or directory.

        Thankfully I notice that on WSUS I can still see new monthly cumulative updates for feature releases all the way back to 1607 (and 1703, 1709, etc.), so running a 2-year cycle should still be possible, even when you wait rolling out a feature update until it’s been shaken down for serious bugs for six months.

        No matter where you go, there you are.

      • #1964722 Reply
        Chris B
        AskWoody Plus

        Any word on whether the September patches will fix the bug in 1903 that hides the update deferral settings in Win10 Pro? It’s annoying because, although my settings are still there (I think – 250 days for features and 28 for patches), I can’t “release” the patches when Woody gives the go-ahead by by winding back the delay without a registry hack.

        (No – I did  not intend to go to 1903, but it is a brand new machine and I did not have the option.)

        Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

        • #1964732 Reply
          Da Boss

          The deferral settings in the Settings GUI are gone, not coming back.

      • #1964745 Reply
        Chris B
        AskWoody Plus

        Oh dear.

        Do we have recommendations in this brave new world as to how best to defer updates till they are safe?

        Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

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