Old problems linger with new Windows 10 Anniversary Update, build 14393.222

The drive freezes, install failures, and network lockups continue, but many little bugs are finally gone

Last night Microsoft released KB 3194496, the latest cumulative update for Windows 10 Anniversary Update, version 1607. Those who are able to install it find that their build number (type winver in the Cortana search box) stands at 14393.222.

This is the seventh cumulative update for Win10 Anniversary Update in the past eight weeks. With all that patchin' goin' on, you might think Win10 AU would be pretty well plugged by now. Many folks would disagree.

If that KB number looks familiar, it's because the patch was released to the Insider Preview ring on Sept. 27. Earlier this week I talked about how the patch was misidentified in the mainstream patch. Now it appears the patch has been released to the world at large in spite of reports of significant problems with the Insider Preview release. For example, poster JVJerman on the Microsoft Answers forum said:

I have three machines, and this update has failed on each of them multiple times. It goes so far, then says "we cannot install update" and reverses itself. Am good at following directions, however cannot find any definitive advice on this one. Now what???

The problem report was repeated in a different thread on the Microsoft Answers forum, where poster CrazyKats said:

I'm also having an issue with this Update. I'm on build 14393.187. This update fails during install for me and pops an 0x800736cc error.

John Wink, the Microsoft avatar who tackles such issues, started asking for copies of installation log files on Sept. 28. Apparently they weren't deemed dire enough to prevent Microsoft from unleashing the cumulative update on the world on Sept. 29.

Predictably, there now have been reports all over the web that KB 3194496 refuses to install for normal people -- the ones who aren't in the Release Preview ring. For example, poster Maxdec94 on Reddit says:

Third time, no dice. This update really doesn't want to install for me. Event manager shows error code: 0x800F0922.

The Windows 10 update history page lists dozens and dozens of fixes in this patch.

One bit of advice: If it looks like the installer is freezing, wait a bit. That bug was supposed to be fixed in the last cumulative update, dated Sept. 13, and many people report that if they simply wait at 45 or 90 percent for 20 or 30 minutes, the patch installer will sort itself out.

Among those users who can get the update to install (it proceeded fine on my test machines), some old problems still haunt the fix.

One is the continuing problem with freezing and randomly disconnecting external hard drives, which I discussed on Aug. 4, again on Sept. 13, and again on Sept. 15. The problem is still there.

Another is the cumulative updates' infernal tendency to change settings and muck with taskbar icons. The updates aren't supposed to touch settings, but the track record shows otherwise.

A third big bug affects the creating and renaming of folders on a network share. I talked about that problem on Sept. 15 as well. The bug is a showstopper for many network admins.

Until Microsoft fixes those three big bugs, I continue to recommend that you actively block the Anniversary Update. Based on reports from readers on AskWoody.com, Microsoft has accelerated the rollout of the Anniversary Update; what was a trickle has become a flood.

Version 1607 isn't ready yet. If you want to use Windows 10, stick with the Fall Update, version 1511, until these big bugs get squashed. Perhaps the eighth time will be the charm.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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