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  • Microsoft yanks buggy second monthly cumulative update for Win10 version 1803, KB 4467682

    Posted on December 6th, 2018 at 13:33 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Remember the buggy Win10 version 1803 patch that bluescreens Surface Book 2 machines?

    Microsoft urged Surface Book 2 owners to boot around the bluescreen and uninstall the patch. Which is just what you want to tell your boss about her brand new, expensive Surface Book 2, right?

    Looks like MS has retracted completely and pulled the patch. The KB article now says:

    After installing this optional update some users have reported getting a blue or black screen with error code, “System thread exception not handled.” As a precaution, we have removed this optional update from Windows Update and Microsoft Update Catalog to protect customers. Fixes and improvements will be available in the December 2018 security update release and will include a resolution for this issue.

    One can only hope that Microsoft will test this patch, for a change, before it appears.

    And that “optional” stuff. That’s just a fig leaf. The second monthly cumulative updates are “optional” in the sense that you have to click on Check for Updates. Which isn’t exactly optional, to my way of thinking.

    Thx Günter Born, who promises to have a blog post tomorrow that describes a second bug in the same cumulative update.

  • Last month’s second Tuesday cumulative update for Win10 1803 is bricking Surface Book 2

    Posted on December 4th, 2018 at 09:44 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    See what I mean about testing cumulative updates before they’re rolled out?

    KB 4467682, last month’s second cumulative update for Win10 1803 (the “non-security only” patch from Nov. 27) is bricking many Surface Book 2 machines. I’ve been rallying for Microsoft to start testing its “C or D week” cumulative updates before they’re released. Here’s an excellent example of why that’s crucial.

    Richard Speed at The Reg reports:

    Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) first began occurring shortly after the update, KB4467682, was dropped on 27 November.

    The BSOD headache manifests itself by throwing a SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED error and rebooting the computer. Some users reported seeing the error repeatedly, while others are luckier, losing their work only three times a day or so.

    Liam Tung at ZDNet reports that:

    People on Microsoft’s answers forum and on Reddit are complaining about Blue Screen of Death, or BSOD, issues that began occurring after installing cumulative update, KB4467682, released last Tuesday for Windows 10 version 1803.

    Permit me to repeat, for emphasis. Microsoft should be testing these patches before they’re pushed. I’m not talking about employee-tested dogfood. I’m talking about real, live testing regimens, out in the real world.

    The only way that’s going to happen is if Microsoft has a real testing method set up. Leave the ninja cats and cute narwals to the marketing folks. I’m talking about targeted tests, for people with skin in the game.

    The Windows Insider Release Preview Ring is made to test cumulative updates before they’re installed. But that only works for one version of Win10.

    As of this moment, the Release Preview Ring is only for Win10 1809. There should be similar test rings for all supported versions of Win10 — at the very least, 1709, 1803 and 1809. And then, gosh, Microsoft should actually use them.

    I really don’t understand what’s so hard here.

    Thx @MikeFromMarkham

  • You may have received the upgrade to Win10 1803 last night

    Posted on November 7th, 2018 at 09:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just a quick note. Those of you running Win10 version 1703 or 1709 who have “feature update deferral” set to 120 days should see 1803 in your Windows Update chute this morning.

    Win10 1803 hit “Semi-Annual Channel” (formerly known as “Current Branch for Business”) on July 10. Add 120 days to that and you get Nov. 7.

    Thx, @zero2dash.

  • On beyond Win10 version 1703 – Is 1803 ready yet? Really?

    Posted on November 4th, 2018 at 06:03 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m sitting in the horns of a dilemma, and figured I’d toss this one out for discussion.

    Lots of folks are still on Win10 version 1703. I’m one of them — on my main machines, anyway. With Microsoft claiming that it won’t issue any more security patches for 1703, I’m pretty much forced to move on. (Yes, I know I can stick with 1703, but the volume of patches we’ve seen for Win10 argues volubly in favor of moving on.)

    Thus the dilemma (trilemma?). Assuming I stick with Win10, do I jump to 1709, 1803 or wait a bit and go with 1809?

    I’ll rule out 1809 just out of hand. Microsoft’s obviously working hard at making it a worthy version of Windows. But it ain’t good enough for Microsoft yet, and if it isn’t up to Microsoft’s standards, it sure as shootin’ isn’t up to mine.

    I’ve heard recent reports that the long-lingering problems with 1803 have been fixed, by and large. But in the once-burned-twice-shy tradition, I’m highly skeptical.

    Version 1709 has been stable for a while — and Microsoft has plugged a lot of holes in it, with a huge bunch arriving just a few weeks ago. But if I  move to 1709, I’ll have to move again in six months. If I jump to 1803, it’ll be patched until a year from now.

    And if there’s one thing I hate to do, it’s upgrade Windows versions on a production machine.

    What do you think?

    If I were buying a new machine I’d go with a Chromebook, frankly, but that’s a different story entirely.

  • I just downloaded a copy of the Win10 ISO installation file. How can I be sure it’s for version 1803?

    Posted on October 10th, 2018 at 04:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A very timely question just appeared in my inbox.

    I did do one thing today, that had got “timed-out” earlier this month…  downloaded the Win10-1803 ISO.  Or at least, I think it was the 1803 version, which is what I wanted to ask you about.

    The MediaTool download stated it was for 1803 – can I rely on that being 1803?  Is it possible it slipped me a copy of 1809 while pretending it was 1803?

    I’ve just filed it away for future reference, as an insurance policy (not that I think my machines are deemed to be “supported” for anything past 1511?).

    A whole lot of people are going to be asking that question over the next few days. Fortunately, the answer’s easy – if you know the dism trick.

    Check out my full explanation in the Computerworld article Grab a free copy of Win10 version 1803 and save it for a rainy day.

    If you already have an ISO file and want to know for sure if it’s 1803, start at Step 10.

  • Hey, Win10 peeps: Now’s a good time to download and save a fresh, clean copy of Win10 version 1803

    Posted on September 26th, 2018 at 13:29 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s a fairly straightforward process, as long as you have access to a Windows 10 machine.

    Step-by-step details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    Thx for the nudge, @PKCano!

  • Has Microsoft moved the cumulative update cheese?

    Posted on September 21st, 2018 at 10:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    UPDATE: There’s another possibility. Is it possible that Microsoft has pulled KB 4458469 (and possibly the other cumulative updates released yesterday) from Windows Update? It’s still available from the Catalog, but apparently has never been in WSUS. Big problems with the patch? Is MS waiting for a Friday Night News Dump opportunity?

    I’m trying to figure out whether yesterdays Win10 patches are installed automatically by Windows Update. Could use some crowdsourced intelligence. (Or any intelligence, for that matter.)

    Many people are complaining that they don’t see the 1803 patch even if they manually invoke Windows Update. It’s possible (as @PKCano notes) that the difference lies in whether Win10 Pro users have Semi-Annual Channel or Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) selected. Home users don’t have the option of course.

    It’s also possible that KB 4458469 is being rolled out verrrrrrrry slowly.

    There’s another possibility.

    The terminology in the KB article has changed. The Sept. 17 patch says:

    How to get this update


    This update will be downloaded and installed automatically from Windows Update. To get the stand-alone package for this update, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

    Which is what you would expect. On the other hand, the Sept. 20 patch says:

    Install this update

    To download and install this update, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and select Check for updates.

    To get the standalone package for this update, go to the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

    That seems to imply that only “seekers” — people who click on Check for updates — will get the patch. But, demonstrably, not all Win10 1803 “seekers” — users who check for updates — actually get it. There’s no reference to SAC/SAC(T).

    Can anyone shed some light on the availability of any of yesterday’s patches, based on:

    • Whether you’re using Pro or Home. (Both Home and Pro users have confirmed that they’re getting the 1803 update — but both Home and Pro users have said they aren’t getting KB 4458469 .)
    • If Pro, whether you’re set for SAC or SAC(T)
    • Whether you’re a seeker — you manually click on Check for Updates, or just let the Windows Update steamroller jugger your naut.
    • Any other chicken entrails you can discern.

    FWIW, my 1803 machine is Pro, SAC(T) — I have it intentionally at the default update settings — and even when I seek I don’t see the update.

    Observations greatly appreciated.

  • How to upgrade from Win10 Pro 1703 to 1709 — and not 1803

    Posted on August 28th, 2018 at 07:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    There are some interesting discussions in the forum, kicked off by CyGuy, about the precise nature of the “feature update deferral” setting in Win10’s Updates Advanced Options.

    If you’re on 1703 (my production machines are all on 1703) and you want to move to 1803, it’s easy – just set the feature update deferral to 0 days, and run through Windows Update once. As long as you do that before 1809 is released, you’ll end up on 1803.

    But zero2dash has conducted some experiments with VMs that make me wonder if it’s possible to move from 1703 to 1709 by setting the “feature update deferral” to a number larger than 48 but less than 221 (give or take a day or two, as time marches on).

    Can any of you confirm?

    I have a copy of 1709 stuck on a USB stick and can upgrade from 1703 to 1709 that way, if worse comes to worst. But it’d be a whole lot easier to just set “feature update deferral” to 200 days and let Windows have its way.