Report: Windows 10 Anniversary Update Causes Lockups

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has confirmed some Windows 10 computers may freeze up after the latest update. It says starting in Safe mode is one way to get round the problem while a permanent fix is developed.

The problem comes with the Windows 10 "Anniversary Update" (Build 14393.51), which is the recently-released biggest set of changes since Windows 10 was released. In previous editions of Windows, this significant update might be considered the equivalent of a Service Pack.

According to Microsoft, the Anniversary Update problem only affects computers with a specific set-up, namely that the operating system itself is stored on a solid-state drive (rather than a traditional hard drive) and that apps and data are stored on another drive - whether it's on an SSD or traditional drive.

Exactly how many people are affected is unclear. However, while that set up may only be used on a small proportion of PCs, it's enough to affect a large number of users given how many people run Windows 10. Furthermore, some users claim the problem is happening even on computers where everything is on the same SSD. (Source:

Safe Mode Key To Workaround

While Microsoft has no fix in place right now, and no timescale for releasing one, the good news is that the freezing doesn't happen while Windows 10 is running in Safe Mode. That gives several options for workaround.

One is to simply always run in Safe Mode. In Windows 10, however, the traditional 'tap the F8 key before Windows starts' to get into Safe Mode has been disabled. One way you can get around this is to semi-permanently set Safe Mode using the msconfig utility. To do so:

  1. Click start and type in "msconfig" (no quotes); wait for msconfig.exe to appear and click it.
  2. Go to the Boot tab, and under the Boot Options heading, click the "Safe Boot" option, then select "Network" underneath, the apply, and OK.

These changes will remain in effect until they are reversed - simply follow the instruction again but un-checkmark everything in Step #2.

Rolling Back Update Still Possible

Microsoft also notes users can simply roll back the update. Doing so in Safe Mode is a little different to the normal process, so Microsoft has published the following steps:

  1. Restart your PC. When you get to the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down while you select Power > Restart.
  2. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
  3. After your PC restarts, you'll see a list of options. Select 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode.
  4. Open the Settings app.
  5. Select Update & security and then the Recovery tab.
  6. Under "Go back to an earlier build", click the Get started button and follow the instructions.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you suffered freezes since the latest Windows 10 updates? If so, what is your hard drive setup? Should - and could - Microsoft do more to test updates on a wider range of PC configurations?

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (3 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

Since the mid 1990's, I have always used my C drive for Windows and D drive for all my installed programs. This type of setup makes sense if you want to make disk image backups of the C drive regularly, as it keeps the size of the disk image very small because the only thing you're imaging is Windows. I make an image backup my D drive too - just not as often.

As for the Anniversary Update causing issues with this type of set up - so far, I haven't had any problems, and I'm using two SSD's in RAID-0 configuration. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones.

dan_2160's picture


I imagine that installing your programs on the slower D drive makes sense for your particular setup, but for most PC users it makes plenty of sense to install both Windows and programs on the SSD "C" drive and keep data separate on a conventional "D" hard drive. With the cost of SSDs so low these days, you can pick up a solid 480-512 GB SSD in the $100 to $130 range -- which is plenty of room for the operating system and programs on the vast majority of PC users. I've been doing this for decades (well, with separate partitions or physical drives before SSDs came into the picture) and it has served me well on our own computers and the 70 or so I've built for clients and friends. I just regularly create a backup image of the "C" drive for safety's sake -- and these backup images have come in mighty handy. And the data is safe and sound on the "D" drive (which I regularly clone). To each his own, obviously, but I suspect that for most computer users installing Windows and programs on the SSD "C" drive and keeping data on a separate "D" drive works pretty darned well.

Dennis Faas's picture

I'm not sure why you thought my D drive is slower - everything is on the same unit (SSD). The drive is partitioned - so it runs just as fast as the "C" drive.

dan_2160's picture

I didn't realize that you had simply partitioned your SSD into a C and D drive. I just assumed you kept your data on a conventional hard drive. I don't know anything about RAID configurations, so I didn't realize how you had set up your computer drives. Sorry.

dan_2160's picture

The Win10 Anniversary update has caused Logitech's webcam software to malfunction -- pretty much across the board. While one's webcam will work fine with Skype, Logitech's webcam software crashes for users -- when it crashes varies by individual computer. For a lot of folks, it just won't run at all. (I'll list other Anniversary issues below).

Logitech reported today (Aug 17 2016):

"We have discovered that this is linked to a change Microsoft made in the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition where support of compressed MJPG and H.264 streams for webcams was dropped.

"Microsoft is working on an update to address the issue, but at this time we do not have an estimate for when it will be available."

The Anniversary Edition may change many of your default applications. It did this on two computers upon rebooting the second time after the update was fully installed. It did this on a third computer about 5 days after installing the update. It hasn't done it yet to the fourth computer in our small office. This is probably the most irritating set of changes the Annivesary Edition makes simply because it takes a long time to restore all of these file associations.

It also resets where your windows\temp files are located.
It also restores shortcut arrows to desktop icons if you had removed them and it undoes other tweaks (like if you widened the narrow scroll bars.) These are easily fixed by using the Ultimate Windows Tweaker program available at
It turns off System Protection.
It sometimes changes the location of your indexing files if you had customized the location (like to the "D" drive).
It rearranges the icons in your taskbar.
Sometimes it resets the User Account Control (USC) to the most restrictive level.
If the default file location for pictures wasn't named "pictures," it renames the directory "pictures."
On one computer it appears to have affected emptying the Recycle Bin, slowing down the emptying process.
On two of our computers, it took the computer out of the homegroup.

Otherwise our computers are working just fine.

jpbleau_7629's picture

I installed the Anniversary update on my laptop that has only a SSD and an external USB drive for backups. This one worked like a charm and no problem.
On my desktop, which is SSD and a D: drive for data (like My documents) So, the C drive mostly only has the OS and Apps.
The Desktop froze after about 2 minutes running the upgrade. Absolutely nothing was responding. Had to hard power off...
I then rebooted with the Shift-Restart at the login screen and revert back to the previous build. Everything is back and working fine again.
My version of Windows 10 is French, but I use it in English, because most of my clients are. This setup gave me some troubles. Maybe it is related.
Will wait until the fix is found! I would really like to upgrade, because I have another desktop with the Windows preview and the new features are really good.

nate04pa's picture

I find it hard to believe that some of these issues did not show up in Pre-Release testing what with the Insider preview availability as well as in-house testing.

Or, did they know of these things but, having committed to the Aug 2 release date, pushed it out the door knowing of these issues.

I was going to use a downloaded installation package to update my systems but will hold off for now. When I do decide to update, I'll download a (hopefully) revised package.

Rusty's picture

I hired Dennis to use his expertise to help me with an upgrade to Windows 10 (pre-Anniversary Edition). He did outstanding work with that, as well as with some related and unrelated work and advice. He performs with great integrity and his pricing is very fair. I would encourage readers to utilize his great services for this or any other remote technical needs they may have. (Please excuse the digression.) While checking things out for me, Dennis noted my hard drive as the weakest link in my system and he encouraged me to purchase and install an SSD. I did that, first migrating everything from the old hard drive to the new one. There was no fresh install of Windows 10 in this process, by the way. Shortly after that, I updated to the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. After the update, just my libraries of personal files were moved back onto the old hard drive (now D). I am not at all sure whether the sequence of events could have contributed to my not experiencing this lock-up problem. Something seems oddly to have slowed down my system a little (notwithstanding the anticipated snappiness of the SSD). I can't pinpoint that to Windows 10, especially since thrown into the mix have been a move, a new home network and a new ISP. Perhaps eliminating the slowdown will simply be a matter of fine tuning some Windows settings for the new SSD (through more help from Dennis?). Then again, it could be internet related since it seems slightly more noticeable while I am online. After just learning about the Windows lock-up issues, I feel very fortunate that at least so far, those aren't happening to me.

kitekrazy's picture

MS and Apple like to copy each others' bad ideas. I use a lot of cross platform software and would get emails warning Mac users not to upgrade to El Capitan. It's not unusual to read stories of the latest iOS bricking a iPad2.

Now on cross platform forums both Mac and Windows users look for the guinea pig before they upgrade.

mark.c.hein's picture

Hi Folks,
Well, I fit the profile to a "T"! Main harddrive is SSD and I have a portion of my APPS on a secondary HD.
Hopefully (as my Subjects says) this will be fixed with some expedience!!
I can say though, that if I do a restart things do work as normal thereafter. The problem is that it started after the Anniversary install and mandatory restart, and continues to be a foregone condition every time I "fire-up".
One would think that Microsoft would have played such a scenario as this in the lab BEFORE release. But then this lesson has yet to be learned even after all these years <VBG>.

SRBacher1_7725's picture

I have tried several times to upgrade but it keeps failing after running for a couple hours.
Error code is 0xC1900101-0x3000D. Has anyone seen this?