Windows 10 build 9860 gets two rapid-fire patches, KB 3008956 and KB 3010668

Microsoft is advising users to install the updates to fix problems with missing text and a power/sleep issue

patch bandage scissors first-aid kit
Credit: Pixabay

Yesterday -- one day after Windows Technical Preview build 9860 shipped -- Microsoft sent two new 9860 patches down the Automatic Update chute. As of early Thursday morning, one of my test machines reports it hasn't yet installed the patches. The others are awaiting a reboot to finalize installing the patches. Talk about a rapid release cycle.

While Microsoft hasn't documented the patches -- two more are floating around, somewhat mysteriously -- the official advice is to install them to fix problems with missing text and a power/sleep issue.

As best I can tell, KB 3008956 fixes a widely reported problem where blocks of text "disappear" or appear garbled in several Metro apps, including PC Settings, as well as in Internet Explorer. While Microsoft has not yet posted a Knowledge Base article on the subject, those users reporting problems in the Microsoft Answers forum and the TechNet social forum almost universally say that installing KB 3008956 fixes the problem. But make sure you reboot.

It's not clear what causes the problem, but apparently it occurs with various video drivers. Oddly, the same characters seem to be missing on very different systems.

Microsoft spokesman Gabe Aul also advises that users need to install the other patch, KB 3010668, to fix a "power/sleep issue." Tellingly, he tweeted the advice. There's no Knowledge Base article, and I wasn't able to find a more detailed account on the forums, although one poster says that installing the patch makes Explorer crash less frequently.

While you're applying the updates and rebooting, ponder this patching puzzle.

Early Tuesday morning, before Microsoft released build 9860, somebody at Microsoft accidentally put three 9860-specific patches in the Auto Update queue -- KB 3008956, which is the font fixer described above, as well as two unknown patches, KB 3008931 and KB 3008968. I don't see Knowledge Base articles for either of those phantom patches, but at least one poster on the Windows10 Forums claims that both were installed on his machine.

It would sure be nice if Microsoft could keep us posted on their Windows 10 patches. Folks looking at gaping holes in their text would be less likely to clog up the complaint lines if there was an admonition to apply the patches manually and/or reboot. Searching through the Answers forum and watching an individual's tweets -- much as they're appreciated -- aren't exactly high-profile notifications.

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