Windows 10 Anniversary Update woes continue

Problems with last week’s Anniversary Update keep piling up, and solutions remain elusive

Windows 10 Anniversary Update woes continue
Credit: Thinkstock

Late last week, I recommended that you actively block the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The past few days have brought yet another wave of complaints. Here’s a sample.

Last week, I talked about the Reddit post from SoloWingX stating that Windows 10 freezes completely after the Anniversary Update. That thread is now up to 680 comments. SoloWingX has done yeoman work documenting dozens of potential solutions -- and none of them have been successful. He concludes with a TL;DR:

To all affected people, we haven't yet found a definite solution, so the only option to get a working PC at the moment is to roll back to a previous build in case you updated.

As noted last week, you have only 10 days to roll back from the Anniversary Update (Win10 version 1607) to the Fall Update (version 1511).

Edge still has plenty of problems. I’ve hit situations where Edge will not close by clicking on the red X. Also, I can X out of the last open tab and Edge keeps running, when closing the only open tab should shut down the program as a whole. The problems seem to appear after visiting sites with lots of ads -- like the ones linked to from msn.com, for example. Once the problems start, they don’t go away. The only solution I’ve found is to reboot.

Two antivirus manufacturers have reported problems. McAfee states:

Do not [emphasis in the original] upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update without first verifying whether your McAfee product is compatible. This caution affects the products listed in the Environment section above... Microsoft intended to implement an upgrade and installation check to ensure that no incompatible McAfee product versions could be installed or present. Due to time constraints, Microsoft could not implement the intended version check in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update… Microsoft has indicated that a hotfix will be released some time after the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to implement the version check. The Microsoft hotfix will protect against installation of incompatible McAfee product versions; however, this hotfix cannot protect against upgrades to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update from nodes already running an incompatible McAfee product version on a previous build of Windows.

Avast has a similar warning:

On Tuesday, August 2, Microsoft released their latest version of Windows 10 -- the Anniversary Update -- via the Windows Update channel. While the majority of our users didn’t have a problem, certain HW configurations didn't mix well with the update… This occurred during upgrades to the Windows 10 Anniversary edition from previous versions of Windows, and during clean installations of Avast Antivirus on systems already running the Anniversary Update… Neither the Windows Insider program nor the Avast Antivirus Beta channel indicated any forewarning of such behavior.

By the way, to see an excellent example of a bug advisory, look at the Avast announcement -- very well done, clear, and thorough. Kudos!

Sam Machkovech at Ars Technica reports Xbox One controllers and Windows 10 PCs: It’s all a mess right now:

Whether you use a new Bluetooth controller or you upgraded your old XB1 to this week's Windows 10 Anniversary edition, get ready for some road bumps… That being said, the primary compatibility issue is wreaking havoc on various PC games whose controller support used to work just fine. Some games no longer recognize when Xbox One controllers are connected via Bluetooth or through the official Xbox One wireless adapter. Other games, as well as Steam's Big Picture mode, think a single Xbox One controller is two controllers simultaneously… Windows 10's Anniversary update also broke current homebrew ways to get popular controllers, like Sony's DualShock 4, to play with Windows PCs.

The Ars angst for Xbox One controllers on Win10 Anniversary Update goes on for several pages.

In the FUD zone, I’m still unclear about the ability to block crapware tiles. I wrote about the problem a couple of weeks ago: Admins can’t keep Microsoft from pushing crapware Live tiles onto Win10 Pro PCs because certain Group Policies don’t work in the Anniversary Update. My current Win10 Pro AU machine has tiles for Solitaire, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Pandora, Asphalt 8, Age of Empires Castle Siege, FarmVille 2, Minecraft, Twitter, and Get Office -- in other words, about half of my Start menu tiles are unabashed, Microsoft-installed crapware, all on a machine that’s been through the official “start fresh” regimen.

Now there’s a debate raging on AskWoody.com about those tiles and whether individual Win10 Pro customers can block them. Microsoft Engineer J. Decker, writing on TechNet, says:

On all Windows desktop editions, users can directly enable and disable Windows 10 tips, tricks, and suggestions and Windows Store suggestions. For example, users are able to select personal photos for the lock screen as opposed to the images provided by Microsoft, or turn off tips, tricks, or suggestions as they use Windows.

Some interpret Decker as saying “all advertising in the Anniversary Update can be turned off by the user.” I think that’s a great goal and would love to tell people how to do it. But in my experiments, I can’t get the crapware tiles turned off. If you know how, slap me upside the head on AskWoody.

I’m not saying that everyone’s having problems -- far from it. But I'm saying there are enough problems -- some of them severe -- floating around that installing the Win10 Anniversary Update at this point doesn’t make sense. Well-informed customers would be advised to wait until the bugs get ironed out.

I fully expect that Microsoft will include some fixes in this week’s Patch Tuesday. Likely we’ll have fixes for both version 1511 build 10586 (the old Fall Update) and version 1607 build 14393 (the new Anniversary Update) that will reduce problems with the upgrade from one to the other. Equally likely, we won’t see much -- if any -- documentation about the fixes. They’ll be rolled into cumulative updates.

Let’s wait until later this week to see if the complaint decibel level dies down.

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