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Windows Update Problems

scams

#1

If you do have a problem with the Windows 10 update, whatever you do to try to fix it, don’t get caught out by Speedyfixer as I did.

If you are Googling for solutions and you get an item from an Asian man claiming to be a Microsoft VP who states that Speedyfixer will fix your problem, avoid it like the plague.


The "Never Never Broadband Network" - NBN complaints
#2

For those who are not aware of the issue, Windows 10 does biannual ‘feature’ updates in addition to its monthly bug and security updates.

The October 2018 update was released, and millions raced to download and install it before it was pushed to computers. Unfortunately, testing had been insufficient; among other problems, about 1 in 10,000 users were affected by a bug that deleted their documents! The details are discussed in the following Microsoft blog post.

Microsoft quickly recalled the update before it was pushed out, and having hopefully fixed it is re-testing it with Windows Insiders. (These are people who elect to get the latest stuff first, and are essentially testing it for the rest of us. Anyone can enrol in the Insiders program - just you probably shouldn’t use it on your main machine.)

It is unclear why the Insiders program did not identify the issues earlier. If you are affected, Microsoft’s advice is basically ‘stop using the computer and call us’. This is because your files may be recoverable, unless/until overwritten.

As a general guide, if you are not desperate to get the newest Windows 10 features before a few hundred million other people have tested them for you, you can postpone feature updates unless you are on Windows 10 Home Edition (I am told):

  1. Open the Start menu and select ‘Settings’
  2. The second-last item on this next screen should be ‘Update & Security’. Select this
  3. You should now be on a screen titled ‘Windows Update’. On the left is a menu, on the right, you want to select ‘Advanced options’
  4. Scroll down to the heading ‘Choose when updates are installed’. This will probably be set to ‘Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)’. Use the drop-down to select ‘Semi-annual channel’
  5. You can also defer a feature update, by setting the number of days you would like to defer it in the next selection box. The maximum is 365.

Hope this helps someone.


#3

#4

Does this suggest to the those of us who turned down the free upgrade offer from 8.1 to 10.0 are better served by MS?

Or are we at greater risk for being on the older system?

In our instance the issues of updating our laptops due to lack of full driver support from the OEM was the one compelling reason not to advance. Perhaps MS only provides essential security updates and core compatibility fixes without adding tweaks that makes it less of a problem for 8.1 users?


#5

From my experience, Windows is at the stage of being able to provide all necessary drivers, including those for the mainboard, either as the various other manufacturers’ original drivers or Microsoft generic drivers, even on a new installation of Windows.

When I did a clean re-install in March of our Sony Vaio laptop and the desktop which I built, the Device Manager showed all drivers were correctly installed.

Long gone are the days of having to run the support DVD for your mainboard after installing Windows and then downloading the drivers for all other devices which needed them.


#6

I am no longer across all these issues but I suggest from a limited exposure the answer is no, there will be problems with all versions and you cannot say in advance version X will have them and version Y will not. Overall I quite like Win10 and find that progress is happening steadily, although not uniformly, towards stability with each version. There was a time some years ago when Windows would “rot”, it would become unstable over time and require a clean install to reset everything. This is no longer the case. In the last few years I have had more problems when updates did not happen than when they did. YMMV.


#7

It’s reassuring to have some feedback for Windows 10 that is positive.

Both our laptops have Radeon dual graphics. Happy Sony when it abandoned this business drew a line in the sand and left both out in the cold. Great thinking at the time to go to a big brand with good design and - well that turned out to be a poor choice. :weary:

As @Fred123 has indicated MS is pretty good with drivers, however the Sony bios blocks the update of the Radeon graphics drivers. There is a possible work around for one if you turn the onboard Radeon card off, and there is no attempt to turn it back on. It will blue screen without much provocation. I’ve tried. The full quad core i7 is still great for video editing with the support of the graphics card, and the occasional strategy game.

The key question is whether there is a risk in staying with 8.1 for the near future, before buying new again with no legacy issues. Providing the updates keep coming and installing, and there are no future unfixed security issues it is an option.


#8

The mantra used to be ‘don’t upgrade if you don’t have any problems’. This applied to software updates, hardware firmware and operating systems.

Unfortunately, the world has changed. Many/most updates to software are to fix security holes, and as soon as the update is released there are black hats working to see what it fixed and then find victims before they have installed the update.

If you have a MicroTik router, for instance, by default they are open to logging in from the Internet. Researchers discovered several months ago that there was a way for hackers to get past the routers’ security, gaining access to all your traffic and being able to use your devices as part of botnets. The researchers notified the company, and it issued a patch - but owners have to download the patch manually. Many devices remain unpatched.

As for whether to stay with Windows 7 or 8.1, that is something for the individual user to decide. Windows 7 would apparently not be a good choice, as mainstream support for it has ended in 2015 (refer below for ‘mainstream’ vs. ‘extended’ support). Windows 8.1 mainstream support ended in January of 2018.

What this really means to Windows 8.1 users is unclear to me, as I upgraded to Windows 10 some time ago. If you still get security patches, then you should still be fine using Windows 8.1. Make sure your browser has Adobe Flash disabled (and preferably remove it from your computer), and if you have Adobe Acrobat make sure it is kept up-to-date (the latest update apparently fixed dozens of ‘critical’ security vulnerabilities). Foxit apparently also has a lot of vulnerabilities patched in its latest update.

Of course, the way Microsoft describes its ongoing support for Windows versions is incredibly confusing. That said, it does have a fact sheet about it that may be handy. You will probably also require this table to translate what ‘mainstream’ and ‘extended’ support actually mean.

In summary, it appears that Windows 7 will continue to get security updates until January 2020, while Windows 8.1 will continue to receive security updates until January 2023. Neither will get ‘quality of life’ updates in future.

I would recommend upgrading to Windows 10, which is constantly being improved, unless you have specific software that is not supported by it.


#9

Appreciate that feedback - I was aware of the issues with Adobe Flash. There are still sites that expect it to be available, and others that try to install it for you. I make do without.

The upgrade to Windows 10 will also require a hardware upgrade per my prior comment. So be it. It will move up the list.

I too wonder about the vulnerability of routers and software updates for these and the many other smart devices in the home. Our ISPs or RSPs typically supply the main router for home. Most of us for the obvious reason of not being tech savvy or interested are in their hands. Most modern TV’s, printers and even Blue Ray players are just as smart and connected as a low powered PC.

At least MIcroSoft has an ongoing commitment beyond the latest product or model. Many of the consumer manufacturers are contemptuous in how they rely on constant updates to bigger and newer to escape support for legacy products. It might be a useful feature assessment to include with future Choice reviews of smart tech. When will software update support expire for each product?


#10

Thank you for the opportunity to provide another general purpose IT warning - you probably know this, but other readers may not.

NEVER EVER download anything that you were not specifically looking for! Websites (or advertisers on them) can provide you with the promised software plus unwanted malware that installs silently. If you ever decide you need Flash - or any other program - search for it and download it from the official source! (And untick the box that says “Install Ask Toolbar?”)

Sites are also beginning to ask for permission to give you notifications. Just Say No (as Nancy Reagan (in)famously stated regarding drugs that weren’t on her preferred list).

I overlooked your need for a hardware upgrade, which changes my recommendation to “make sure you upgrade before Windows 8.1 stops getting security patches”.

That said, isn’t Radeon supported by AMD? You may want to have a look here before abandoning all hope.

You are absolutely correct regarding device manufacturers’ commitment to security - or lack thereof. Samsung did roll out a patch that stopped some of its TVs eavesdropping full time a few years ago, but otherwise most of them are expected to survive without any updates, even if a vulnerability is discovered.
That said, printers and routers are generally kept up-to-date. Which reminds me of another PSA:

If you have an HP printer, make sure it is running the latest firmware! Many of them have vulnerabilities, that HP has patched.


#11

Totally true, but several laptop makers, Sony and HP being two cause the AMD driver updates to fail on some dual graphics. The AMD update software installs, downloads and then aborts advising you need to get the updated drivers from your OEM. See following if you are interested. Specifically I understand the coding, firmware or drivers that control the switching between the AMD and Intel onboard graphics is OEM provided. I’m not seeking to solve that problem. To do so I need to try and flash the bios with one from a later version of the same laptop model, and hope the MB is compatible. Perhaps that is why it has been left as is.

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/e6231999-f2d6-41e4-8fec-0bafc867eb21/switchable-graphics-locked?forum=win10itprohardware

Sony did a very poor job of support prior to giving up the laptop business. Even the update from Win 8.0 to 8.1 required a bios update first, however the auto update from MS would run if the bios update had not been installed. Sony supplied their own update managing software which would run independently of WU. My first Sony laptop from 2009 was bullet proof and still runs although only on Win 7 pro.

P.s. Choice web site wants us to allow notifications, but you probably knew that also.


#12

I did not recall Choice asking me to permit notifications, but my security is locked down pretty tight so maybe it was disposed of without the popup.

And no - I don’t want Choice to notify me of anything in this manner and would in fact find it quite annoying! @BrendanMays may want to check this policy and consider whether it is in line with Choice’s stated values.


#13

I have boycotted Sony since they put a rootkit on a music CD. Given their long history of problems, I feel it was the right decision.


#14

A post was split to a new topic: Windows 10 update - sleep function no longer working


#15

This is about a new issue concerning Windows Updates. Has anyone been plagued by a problem after the Windows 10 update several weeks ago whereby the Sleep function on their computer ceased to work? Mine just wouldn’t go to sleep; each time I select Sleep the computer would wake up after a few seconds. What is the solution? I have searched the internet for solutions but none of them seems to work.


#16

Just check your “wake on” settings. Some times if the machine has any of these settings enabled in UEFI/BIOS and you have attached a new device eg Wireless Card, Mouse or similar the previous settings may have changed or a major update can revert the settings back to default ie “wake on” settings enabled.

I assume it may be a WoL (Wake on Lan) issue and you need to go into your Devices (multiple) Power Management options and change each of the “Allow this device to wake the computer” off. This will include USB and Lan devices in your Device Manager.

Not sure how to find them? Just send me a message and we can try to Teamviewer into your machine to set them all correctly if you want or I can try to give you more detailed instructions.


#17

There does not seem to be anything on this subject in the support section of Microsoft about this issue yet. It may be an issue specific to the equipment you are using, so search the issue for the equipment. For example, if you are using Acer, search Acer, and see if others are having that problem.

Also check in your device manager. To find this type ‘device manager’ into Cortana and select it when it appears. Ensure that none of the components are marked with an exclamation mark. If they are, try to update the driver.

If you need help checking or adjusting your sleep settings have a look at this


#18

Thank you for your advice. I have tried but to no avail. However I will continue to explore and report back when I finally succeed.


#19

Thank you for your advice. I have tried but to no avail. However I will continue to explore.


#20

Also check your screen saver settings, just in case windows changed them for you :slight_smile: