Is Microsoft avoiding the Win10 (1803) upgrade on PCs running Avast?

Several Win10 version 1803 upgraders have raised a red flag about Avast antivirus: After running the upgrade, PCs hit blue screens with nonsensical options. Now, there appears to be an official note on the Avast forum that says Microsoft has blocked forced upgrades to 1803 on machines running the software.

Open windows with billowy curtains

What began as a complaint on Reddit about botched upgrades to Windows 10 April 2018 Update, version 1803, has apparently mushroomed. Now, according to MartinZ, a moderator on Avast’s support forum:

Microsoft temporarily disabled the updates on version 1803 on PCs with Avast. We are working together with MS to find out the cause of this issue, but unfortunately right now neither MS nor us are able to reproduce the issue.

The original Reddit post was updated yesterday.

Poster gcdrm now says:

Multiple users between Sunday, May 20 and Monday, May 21 Tuesday, May 22 have reported receiving a request to "restart and install updates" in Windows 10. This update appears to be the Windows 10 April 2018 update, also known as "1803." Upon restarting, the computer boots to a blue screen asking the user to choose a keyboard language. After doing so, a few options are given, including to 'boot from another operating system'. Clicking here will take the user to another blue screen with three options to continue "booting" to:

  • Windows Rollback
  • Windows 10 on Volume [x]
  • Windows 10 on Volume [x]

The lower two options are identical….

99% of the people reporting this issue confirmed that they are using Avast Antivirus. A couple of outliers claimed to be using AVG (which is owned by Avast), and one has claimed to be using McAfee. We are of the belief that Avast is to blame - this problem has only occurred on systems that attempted the 1803 upgrade in the last two days.

To its credit, AVG seems to have been blindsided by this report and (as best I can tell) has handled it transparently. As noted above, a few hours ago moderator MartinZ mentioned that Microsoft has halted pushed upgrades to 1803 for machines running AVG. Avast employee Spec8472 goes on to say:

For all users with failed W10 1803 update: Can you please provide Windows update logs from "C:\$WINDOWS.~BT\Sources\Panther\" folder.

Microsoft has acknowledged the bugs in the 1803 upgrade with Intel SSD6 solid state drives (including the Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) machines that ship with SSD6) and Toshiba XG4, XG5 and BG3 solid state drives (although the warning only notes “lower battery life,” which ignores widely reported overheating problems). Now, it seems that AVG has joined the list. The bugs with the solid state drives are obvious and manifest with all of the drives. The AVG bug – if it is an AVG bug – is not nearly so obvious.

I think Noel Carboni nailed it on the AskWoody Lounge:

Third party software that cuts deeply into a system using undocumented (or at best uncommonly used APIs) is fundamentally incompatible with a Microsoft policy of re-releasing new major builds of the OS that change the undocumented behaviors upon which such software depends.

Unfortunately, this means that anything you choose to do or add to Windows that’s not from Microsoft or overtly supported by Microsoft becomes potentially a new problem upon update. This is one of the big reasons so many of us complain so often about the ridiculous release cadence of 6 month intervals, where it truly should be 2 to 3 years.

I would note in passing that the Surface Pro (2017) is from Microsoft and, arguably, is supported by Microsoft.

Want the straight story? Drop by the AskWoody Lounge.

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