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  • Chasing the elusive upgrade for Win10 Pro v1803

    Posted on December 8th, 2019 at 14:45 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I have been doing some testing on my Win10 Pro v1803 machine. I wanted to see if the pulldown deferral settings in the Windows Update GUI under Advanced Settings really work.

    My Win10 Pro v1803 Windows Update Settings are as follows:
    + In the GUI, Semi Annual Channel, Feature Update deferral=365, Quality Update deferral=0, NO Pause.
    + In Group Policy under Windows Update\Configure Automatic Updates=Enabled, value=2 (notify download/install)
    + Fully up-to-date 2019-11 CU KB4525237 Build 17134,1130
    + wushowhide shows NO available updates.
    + There are no pending updates in the queue and it is reported “Up to date”.
    + There is NO “Download and install now” section/link because the updates are deferred thus not available.

    Testing:
    1. Set deferral=230 days, rebooted, wushowhide shows Feature Update 1809 (2019-1113)
    2. Set deferral=200 days, rebooted, wushowhide shows Feature Update 1809
    3. Set deferral=180 days, rebooted, wushowhide shows Feature Update 1809
    4. Set deferral=150 days, rebooted, wushowhide shows Feature Update 1809
    5. Set deferral=120 days, rebooted, wushowhide shows Feature Update 1903
    6. Returning to deferral=365 days, rebooted, wushowhide shows NO available updates.

    Observations:
    + Perhaps the 180 deferral for v1903 is too large by the 60-day one-time extension MS allowed for the change in updating (eliminating SAC (Targeted).
    + Settings between 230 days and 150 days deferral make v1809 available in wushowhide
    + A setting of 120 days deferral make v1903 available in wushowhide.
    + Returning to 365 days deferral eliminated the availability of the upgrades.
    + I did not run “Check for updates” because I did not want to do the upgrade at this time and that would have initiated the download/install.
    + Because I did not wait for the system to check for updates on its own, there were no available Feature Updates, so I did not see the “Download and install now” section.

    Conclusion: The deferrals seem to be working as expected.

    NOTE: the deferral days listed here are as of Dec. 8, 2019. If you are upgrading at a later time, add the appropriate number of days to the deferral periods going forward from 12/8/2019.

  • Should you upgrade or stick to the MS-DEFCON rating?

    Posted on November 26th, 2019 at 09:32 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I created a lot of confusion with my Computerworld post yesterday. In a nutshell, it goes through the pro’s and con’s of upgrading to versions 1809, 1903 and 1909 and, once you’ve chosen the version you want, gives detailed instructions on how to get there.

    To put this in perspective with the MS-DEFCON rating you see above…

    I published that article knowing that many of you in the US will be visiting with family and friends over the next few days. If you’re going to upgrade your Deranged Uncle Darth this year, many of you will want to get the dirty deed done while everybody else is watching football. (American football, of course – and I say that with apologies to my Sainted Aunt Martha.)

    I should’ve made clear that, if you’re concerned about bugs this month – of which there are a few, but not many – you should wait until the MS-DEFCON level goes down before you move from one version to another. (Note, in particular the fix for the Access bug hasn’t been completely rolled out.) But if you’re under some pressure to get things sorted out in the next week or so, it’s OK to upgrade now.

  • Here’s how to control the upgrade from Win10 version 1803 or 1809

    Posted on November 25th, 2019 at 12:54 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yes, you can choose which version you want to run — 1809, 1903, or 1909.

    There are direct methods from moving from 1803 to 1809, 1903 or 1909.

    And there are direct methods from moving from 1809 to 1903 or 1909. You do have control, with either Win10 Pro or Home.

    A discussion of options and upgrade details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • What’s the best way to move from Win10 1803 or 1809 Home to 1903?

    Posted on November 20th, 2019 at 08:07 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I just found a conversation that has me wondering if there’s a better way.

    Right now, if you have Win10 version 1803 or 1809 Home that’s been held that way with a metered connection, when you turn off the metered flag, Windows installs version 1909 Home.

    While version 1909 Home isn’t a terrible choice — I’ve heard of very few problems with 1909 that aren’t also present in 1903 — many people, quite reasonably, would rather move to 1809 or 1903.

    So… what’s the best way to:

    • Move from Win10 1803 Home to Win10 1809 Home?
    • Move from Win10 1803 or 1809 Home to Win10 1903 Home?

    Yes, if you downloaded and saved a copy of Win10 1903 (as I recommended weeks ago), moving to 1903 is easy. But what if you didn’t squirrel away a copy while it was easy?

    Yes, you can download a copy of Win10 1903 from Heidoc.net (as @PKCano suggested) and go from there. And if you have an old copy of the 1903 Media Creation Tool, MediaCreationTool1903.exe, you can use it (as @wavy confirms).

    Moving a Pro system to a specific version is easy. But what if you want to move to Home 1903 (or 1809) using Microsoft’s officially sanctioned software?

  • Have you been pushed from Win10 version 1803?

    Posted on November 15th, 2019 at 06:12 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m seeing more reports of the way MS has said it will start to push people off of Win10 1803 – but I have yet to hear from anyone who’s been pushed.

    I have one report from someone whose 1803 machine got upgraded to 1809, but I’d be willing to bet he had the Pro feature update deferral setting dialed up. In other words, I’m reasonably certain the Win10 updater just followed its instructions, delaying the version upgrade for the specified number of days.

    Do you have a Win10 1803 machine that, without prodding, turned into a 1903 or 1909 machine?

    Do you know anyone who has?

  • Are you being pushed from Win10 1803 to 1903? Tell me about it.

    Posted on July 18th, 2019 at 03:41 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft officially started pushing Win10 1803 machines onto version 1903 two days ago. Apparently the push doesn’t respect your Pro settings to “defer feature updates.” At least, that’s what’s been promised.

    I have a honeypot machine that hasn’t been pushed as yet.

    If you get the nudge, I’d be very interested in hearing how it arrived — in particular, are you given a link to “Download and install now” or do you just reboot and BAM! 1903 comes along?

    I think it’s rude of Microsoft to push 1903 on machines that don’t hit end of life until November 12, but that’s just me.

    P.S. For those of you who have asked, no, I don’t think 1903 is ready for prime time. Microsoft hasn’t given the go-ahead for broad deployment of version 1903 among paying customers — and it isn’t clear how that go-ahead will be communicated. There are many acknowledged problems, and a background noise level that’s still disconcerting to me. That said, many people are using 1903 with no problems, but the Nervous Nelly in me still thinks you’re better off with 1803 or 1809.

    Overview now available in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Microsoft issues new cumulative updates for Windows 10 1803 and 1809

    Posted on May 21st, 2019 at 15:02 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    On Tuesday, May 21, Microsoft released Cumulative updates for Windows 10 v1803 and v1809.

    v 1803 KB 4499183 Build 17134.799
    v 1809 KB 4497934 Build 17763.529

    Starting with update [KB4499183 and KB4497934], we are introducing functionality that allows you to decide when to install a feature update. You control when you get a feature update while simultaneously keeping your devices up to date. Feature updates that are available for eligible devices will appear in a separate module on the Windows Update page (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update). If you would like to get an available update right away, select Download and install now. To find out more about this feature, please go to this blog.

    When Windows 10 devices are at, or within several months of reaching, end of service, Windows Update will begin to automatically initiate a feature update. This keeps those devices supported and receiving the monthly updates that are critical to device security and ecosystem health.

    The changes to v1803 and v1809 will be available in the June Patch Tuesday updates.
    These Cumulative Updates are Previews. You don’t need to install them.

  • KB 4487017 Feb Cumulative update for Win10 v1803 causing BSODs

    Posted on March 19th, 2019 at 14:57 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    @weedacres reports that the Feb 2019 Cumulative Update KB KB4487017 for Win10 v1803  is causing BSODs.

    One of my customers called yesterday reporting BSOD’s on their two HP AIO’s. This KB is the 2019-02 Cumulative update for 1803. This apparently started on or about 3/8 when the update was installed.

    I found that they’re getting 001a BSOD’s and after some research saw that many others are having the same problem. I saw several failures while working on both PC’s and finally uninstalled the update last evening. I hid it with wushowhide and so far all seems well.

    My question is how long with wushowhide keep it hidden? Am I going to have to hand tend this thing until the March updates install?

    Is anyone else seeing this problem?

    This is a correction to an earlier report. It was not KB 4023057 causing the problems.

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

    Posted on December 6th, 2018 at 13:33 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 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 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 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.