Big Windows 10 KB 3035129 patch also fixes Fast ring option

The patch rollup for Windows 10 build 9926 appears to also fix a peripatetic Fast ring inconsistency and adds a new branch option

Yesterday Microsoft released a big patch rollup for those of you who run the latest Windows 10 January Technical Preview, build 9926. KB 3035129, also called the Windows 10 Technical Preview Update Rollup: January 27, 2015, treats a host of ills, as documented in the KB article:

  • Reliability improvements for virtual machine live migrations
  • Reliability improvements to prevent some system crashes in SettingsSyncHost.exe
  • Reliability improvements to prevent possible data corruption
  • Increased power efficiency to extend battery life
  • A fix for an issue that prevents the new Windows Store (beta) from appearing on the taskbar
  • A fix for an issue that could cause users to remain at the "Please Wait" screen when attempting to sign in with a smart card connected
  • A fix for an issue that could cause virtual machines (VMs) to lose connectivity to virtual hard drives (VHDs)
  • A fix for an issue that could cause error 0x8E5E05E2 when installing apps
  • A fix for an issue that could cause a delay when opening a new tab in Internet Explorer
  • A fix for an issue that could cause the system to fail to resume from sleep when connected to multiple monitors with some graphics drivers
  • A fix for an issue that could cause the Start menu to be improperly registered and fail to launch
  • A fix for an issue that prevents launching Xbox Live enabled games that require signin, and would incorrectly result in the message "To use this app, you need to sign in with the Microsoft account that was used to download it."
  • A fix for an issue that could present the user with the incorrect End-User License Agreement (EULA) during upgrade

There's another fix, though, that isn't mentioned -- one that I found to be both interesting and useful.

Microsoft lets its beta testers choose between "Fast ring" and "Slow ring" updates, with slow being the default. As Brad Sams at Neowin reported, as of last November, only 10 percent of all beta testers had made the effort to join the Fast ring. That struck me as a stunning revelation, as I would expect most beta testers are interested in looking at the latest. Apparently 90 percent of the testers at that time were not aware of the option, or couldn't figure out how to change it.

Build 9926, which appeared last week, has an interesting anomaly. On some machines, if you try to change to the Fast ring — Start > Settings > Update & Recovery > Windows Update > Advanced Options -- there's no dropdown option letting you "Choose how preview builds are installed." Two of my build 9926 machines have this Fast ring option available. One does not: The area that should contain the dropdown option is blank.

After installing KB 3035129, however, all three PCs have the Fast ring dropdown option. They also have an option to "Choose what branch you'd like to get new preview builds from." You might recall that switching branches was the purpose of KB 3025380, about a month ago.

Although it's still very early in the game -- in fact, your build 9926 PC may not have found KB 3035129 just yet or rebooted to make the patch take effect -- I haven't heard of any problems with the patch.

Two notes. First, if you look for Windows Update in the Control Panel, it isn't there any more. You have to go through the Universal-style Settings app (Start > Settings). Second, as Sams reports, people who installed the patch on Tuesday night might have seen either Windows 10 build 9931 or 9932 available for download -- although repeated attempts to install the builds failed. That was a mistake on Microsoft's part. In response, Windows 10 spokesperson Gabe Aul tweeted, "@bc3tech @AnXboxDude @bdsams Yep, looks like this is on us -- we're exposing some build offers that we shouldn't -- sorry, only MSFT can get."

This is the first big wheels-running patch for 9926 (there was also a small patch for IE running on build 9926, and the original KB 3034229). With two million registered testers, that's a whole lot of moving parts.  Let's see if Microsoft can patch it and not break anything.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.