MS to Fix Broken Windows Update with New Rollout

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is trying a new method for releasing and managing Windows 10 updates. The aim is to reduce the number of bugs where an update doesn't install properly.

The plan involves combining two types of updates: cumulative and servicing stack updates, which were previously released separately.

The cumulative update contains new content and fixes for Windows. Cumulative refers to the way the updates are designed to be downloaded and installed in order, meaning each individual update can be a relatively small file size. 

Unfortunately, the cumulative updates are also part of the reason Windows 10 has sometimes got into a problematic cycle of an update introducing a bug, a new update fixing that bug but introducing a new one, and users having no ideal options when it comes to rolling back to remove problems.

Update To Update Tools

The other updates are for the servicing stack.

This is part of Windows that handles any updates, fixes or other changes to the system. It's what makes it possible to update Windows while it is still running instead of having to reboot to update. Servicing stack updates can also avoid glitches like the cumulative updates previously did.

In theory the servicing stack shouldn't need updating that often as the basic "instruction manual" for how to make changes to Windows remains the same.

Update Instructions Out Of Order

Until now Microsoft has issued cumulative updates on a monthly schedule and servicing stack updates as and when they are needed. That makes sense in theory, but in the real world it's led to problems where Windows is trying to install an update before it's had specific instructions on how to handle that update. (Source:

In future, servicing stack updates will come out alongside the cumulative updates to which it relates. The good news is that users shouldn't need to take any action as the servicing stack updates should install automatically and work without needing a reboot. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you pay much attention to Windows updates? Have you noticed an update not install properly? Would you prefer frequent small updates or for Microsoft to simply issue all non-security fixes as a major update once every year or so?

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buzzallnight's picture

and your operating system changing all the time....

Win 7 is stable
and I have never had a problem with it
since I finally gave up on XP
which was even better.....

jamies's picture

For those able to -
Offline update and get the download the fix sets before MS expend the millions of $ on staff time to remove them and all entries associated with older versions of the OS from their servers and KB.
As in - try finding the updates for a WIN-XP SP1 install that you would need to have for an instance on 1GB RAM system - similarly with win-7.
OK - original x64 win-10 had little problems running on a 2GB RAM system - now so little RAM left over from the OS and the background tasks that I need 6 - OK 8GB pagefile and it still takes several minutes to startup win-word - or get a list of files in a folder on the NTFS OS partition.

So much fun trying to rename files when the green progress bar gets most of the way across the window and then changes the selection area - or the selected file entry, or just simulates the use of the delete and then the enter key while I an still typing.
Or maybe just changes the focus to something else as I press the enter key.

So - an XP system with no internet access for the 16 bit stuff
a Win-7 system - again no internet browsing for fast and effective use of the 32 and 64 bit apps
win-10 for the office apps and the web sites that have ben set to NOT work on IE -
no real problem with the workings, and from the US-CERT reports no poorer then EDGE in the security of the code -
BUT - need the win-10 to have a purportedly reported as safe to use environment for the feature enhanced versions of the browser and Office and teamworks etc.

So - this is a multi-PC location:-
win-10 and a backup Win-10 for when the updates make the sacrificial goat version fail to restart again, and a recovery environment one
A win-7 system (not enough resources for win-10)
A win-XP system (runs all the good versions of the apps including those I bought lifetime licences for)

And a couple of spare systems with 2GB RAM and 400GB storage for when the hardware with the older OS environments finally die!

And the new 8GB I7 laptop 2xUSB-A and 1xUSB-c and 125GB SSD , that I now find is not powerful enough to run the current MS software - well only 8GB RAM, and the sandbox for the new browser apparently needs 16GB for itself.

So - probably going to need a 9th system to keep up with the MS development environments
although that will probably make DOSBOX a viable option - to go with running OS instances from USB-3.2 rated storage devices

Probably with the display cast onto a 4K TV - 32" so I can actually look at, and read the display all parts of the screen with it fitted at the back of the workarea.

Oh! and re the fixes - Do you think there is any chance of going back to the days of the user actually being able to see the fix id;;s offered, and actually decide NOT to take those reported as problematic -
As in I don't want to wait until a bad fix is installed and then uninstall it - I believe the old way of just NOT installing was much better.

And a recent experience -
In order to continue getting security fixes, had to Accept the installation of an 'optional feature set' I had deferred as not wanted in the operational environment.