What's been fixed and what's still broken in Windows 10

Microsoft has provided some relief for well-known bugs, but there are still big problems, especially with the Anniversary Update

What's been fixed and what's still broken in Windows 10
MIT News (Creative Commons BY or BY-SA)

Two weeks ago I posted a short list of the major bugs that continue to bedevil the Windows 10 versions. With all the updates released this week, you'd think the problems would be solved.

Of course, you'd be wrong. Here's what I've found.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update -- version 1607

Sept. 13's cumulative update, KB 3189866, brings Win10 Anniversary Update, version 1607, up to build 14393.187. It's another massive update, the fifth since 1607 was released on Aug. 2. Yes, that's five major updates in six weeks. No wonder Microsoft's holding off on the Anniversary Update rollout.

The KB article for the cumulative update now sits at "Revision 2.0," revised Sept. 14, although there's no indication what might've changed. The Win10 update history page has no mention of the revision, and the build number hasn't changed. There's a chance that problems that appeared on Sept. 13 -- there were many -- may have been fixed under the covers on Sept. 14.

In addition to the many complaints about the installer hanging at 45 percent and 95 percent, I also see reports of corruption (CRC errors) when admins try to download the patch to their update servers. In both cases, a manual download and install seems to fix the problem.

A couple of the bugs from two weeks ago have been resolved. The plug-in-a-Kindle-and-blue-screen-your-system problem has been solved. The double-printing bug has also been fixed, as best I can tell, although Seagull Scientific support hasn't yet officially confirmed the fix in the afflicted BarTender bar-code printing program.

But other bugs remain.

The misidentified RAW format partition problem, which I discussed on Aug. 3, and updated in more detail on Sept. 13, hasn't been fixed. That bug has led many people to reformat perfectly valid drives simply because of a bug in the Anniversary Update.

Microsoft reports that it's made some progress. There's a thread on Reddit where Microsoft employee maheshrd says:

As some of you have gleefully posted, the issue is fixed for you. And I am very glad that you are happy now :) I do understand that there are another set of folks who have applied KB3189866, but still cannot access their drives. We are still working on those variations. So please wait for those fixes to hit Windows Update. Trust us, we are actively working on that.

There's also a nasty bug that affects creating and renaming folders on a network share. On the TechNet forums, poster T Jahns describes it:

When I create a new folder on a share (e.g. \\contososerver\Company) that is hosted on Windows Server 2012 R2 running on a VM (in my situation hosted by Windows Server 2012 R2), File Explorer hangs for about 30 seconds then pops up a message that reads "An unexpected error is keeping you from renaming the folder [...] Error 0x8007003B: An unexpected network error occurred".  The error also occurs when I attempt to rename a folder.  After dismissing the error message, I am then able to rename the folder as desired.  Note that any network file transfer traffic (which happens be running in the background) is stalled until the operation times out (after 30 seconds or so).

No word on when that bug will get fixed.

There are still intermittent reports of Win10 AU freezing sporadically, although the Aug. 31 update appears to have fixed most of the freezes, and it isn't clear if the extant problems are caused by Win10 AU or by something else. No word on whether this patch fixes the infuriating, intermittent malfunctioning of Ctrl-C for simple copying. I haven't hit it yet with this patch, but it's hard to cross your fingers and hit Ctrl-C simultaneously.

Skype remains an enigma. Plenty of folks reported problems using Skype with a Logitech C920 camera after installing the Anniversary Update. Since then, we've seen a registry hack to fix the problem, a workaround that involves running screen sharing for a few seconds, and lots of buck-passing between Microsoft's Windows Camera and Skype teams. If there's a Microsoft-sanctioned solution to the Skype on 1607 problem, I haven't seen it.

I continue to recommend that you actively block the Anniversary Update. And for Pete's sake don't manually download and install it.

Windows 10 Fall (November) Update -- version 1511

Tuesday's cumulative update for the Fall Update, KB 3185614, brings version 1511 up to build 10586.589. That's the 16th cumulative update since 1511 was released 10 months ago. (Some now call this the "November Update" instead of the hemispherically challenged original "Fall Update." Wonder what'll happen in November 2017?)

Unlike the KB article for the Win10 Anniversary Update, which says "Revision 2.0," this patch's KB article now declares it's "Revision 3.0," originally released Sept. 12, last revised Sept. 14, although there's no indication what changed in either revisions 2 or 3. The Win10 update history page has no indication of the reason for the revision, and the build number hasn't changed. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

Generic problems with 1511 have largely disappeared, although several admins report that KB 3185611 won't download, with a CRC verification failure. It looks like the double-print bug in MS16-098/KB 3176493 has been resolved, but again, Seagull Scientific support hasn't yet officially confirmed the fix.

The KB 3185614 patch blazes new ground in an interesting way. As far as I know, it's the first Win10 cumulative update that was preceded by a "hotfix" -- KB 3186988, a patch for the double-print bug that was specifically released for version 1511. I don't see any admonitions about removing the hotfix prior to installing this cumulative update, and that's a very good sign. Perhaps we'll see more hotfixes in the future. Since there's no Insider Release Preview ring for older versions of Win10 (the only Insider Release Preview ring right now is for 1607), hotfixes may become an important part of our patching regimen in the future. Of course, Microsoft won't call it a "hotfix" -- it'd be hard to sell Hotfixes as a Service -- but if it works, I'm not complaining.

Microsoft employees (and my personal heroes) johnwinkmsft and jenmsft are tracking the main Reddit thread on the updates. That's a good place to go if you want to ask a question. And if you hit any new significant problems, drop me a line here or over on AskWoody.com.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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