Mandatory Windows 10 Updates Hit By Glitches

John Lister's picture

Microsoft's patch process for Windows 10 is going far from smoothly, with some PCs locked in a constant reboot. It's reawakened the debate about how the new Window 10 update system will work.

With Windows 10 intended to be the final "brand new" edition of the operating system, Microsoft has ditched its traditional policy of a monthly 'Patch Tuesday' security update, including emergency patches in between when needed. Service Packs were also previously released once every year or so after gathering enough patches, along with offering a few new features.

Instead the plan now is to roll out updates, both for security and features, as soon as they are ready. It's the same update model used for most major web browsers, where users don't have to think about updates - they are downloaded automatically.

While the move makes sense for most users (because having an up to date operating system is paramount to preventing online attacks), some analysts have expressed concern that updates might be incompatible with some computer setups and hardware components.

Update Glitch Creates Vicious Circle

The first update for Windows 10 came out earlier this month, but some users reported a major problem: their computer would attempt to install the update, fail, then automatically reboot only to start the installation process again. For some users this happened three times before the machine gave up, while a few reported a seemingly endless reboot loop. (Source:

Microsoft then issued an attempted fix - ironically on the same 'Patch Tuesday' as updates for previous editions for Windows came out, but that didn't seem to do the trick. That led to another update just a few days later. (Source:

New Update Regime May Be Flawed

While teething troubles are only to be expected with a new system, critics are pointing to this incident as highlighting three problems with the new update process. The first is the mandatory nature of the updates: more cautious users can no longer hold off on installing an update until they are confident it isn't going to cause a problem.

The second potential problem has to do with the new update schedule. While this theoretically means Microsoft only sends out updates that have been completed and fully checked, that may not be the case. Instead, software engineers could be tempted to push an update out sooner than later, safe in the knowledge they can quickly issue a fix if needed rather than have to wait a month.

Thirdly, combining security and feature updates into the same mechanism may make it harder to check that all the changes work well together and don't cause any unexpected conflicts.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you had any problems with Windows 10 Updates? Do you prefer to have the new system make changes "in the background" without you having to make any decisions? Or do you prefer having more control over which updates to apply and when?

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ConnieB's picture

I decided before the Win10 launch that I'd wait a few months to see how things go before I upgraded. This is another reason I'm glad I'm waiting.

jamies's picture

Well, I powered up the PC - Win10 64 Pro installed last week on this development and user support system - runs MS Office, and Programming and database facilities as well as lots of help-the-user facilities such as PDF to Excel.. a 7 hour process.

The screen stays black - for long enough for me to get worried, and then call my Tech support - at which point I get reassured - It's the new fixes being brought in - go have a coffee and call back in an hour if it's still appearing to be a dead system.

OK - It's a Pro version so I can turn off the update service.
BUT if I do that:
Will the Win Defender get it's updates - not just signatures, but also changes to it?
How will I know that there are fixes I should apply, or even
Are there fixes that are deemed almost essential to fix holes in the windows OS

I used to take backups before applying fixes so that I could restore the system if it wouldn't boot, or windows got 'fixed-good' by the MS downloads.

OK - there is that nice Pro facility to specify fixes that are not to be installed -
How do I know the number of the fix I shouldn't install if the new facility installs as part of the download without letting me choose what to install - by the time I read about a problem fix it will already have been applied to my system, and I will have already done a restore from backup and started to reset the data on the system to what it was before MS helped me!
Then, with my email restored - Then I can find out the number of the fix I shouldn't install!

jimbill_3986's picture

Ran the windows 10 beta for quite a while in oracle virtual box. Then upgraded one of my less important windows 7 boxes to windows 10 after it was made available. I've given up on it. I wiped the drive and loaded Zorin, an Ubuntu Linux based OS with a windows 7 like interface. Much better, rock solid stable, faster, easy to navigate and less malware worries. I will probably keep my other windows 7 computers (still a great OS) as long as Microsoft continues the security updates, and then decide what to do, possibly migrate entirely to Linux. I have several other Linux and FreeBSD boxes that I enjoy horsing around with, but I know, there's the problem of software compatibility. My wife and I will also need to decide what to do with her windows 7 computer, she's a little less geeky than I am and would like to keep things simple. Will probably wait until the last minute the free windows 10 upgrade is available, try it, and if she doesn't like it, go to Zorin or Mint. Just my thoughts, regards, jimbill

rwells78's picture

Glad I held off to allow other people to be the beta testers. But looks like passing on this "upgrade" and sticking with Win 7 is the way to go. Now have to see if I can make the switch to a Chromebook and avoid M$ products for future hardware purchases.

philipreeves46's picture

Well, I'm not sure what I will do, even though I bought 2 windows 8.1 machines specifically to be eligible for windows 10 upgrades. I wish they would fix the update mechanism so they wouldn't update until truly ready. I don't think I'm geeky enough for linux and know I'm not rich enough for Apple. Maybe I won't upgrade at all. Support will last longer than my new machines probably will, aand actually with classic shell installed windows 8.1 is quite livable.

best1syn2oil's picture

I had used the Media Builder to upgrade my 8.1 laptop...this went fine until the latest updates. Suddenly, the Windows Store vanished after a reboot along with some of the apps. I tried several standard repairs to no avail, so then ran the Media Builder again and it crashed two times. So, I put in the ISO disk and ran the upgrade from there...all my modern apps and the Store are back and functional...updates are working fine. So, it's malware scan, defrag, chkdsk and image backup time. Oddly, the upgrade did install the same updates that caused the issue, but Event Viewer showed that all of the Store related installs from that update had failed...this time they did not. The most annoying thing is that I don't know why...or if (when) it will happen again.

jwilson1956_4779's picture

Not a problem for me as I still have no windows 10 update icon. Yes my hardware is fairly new with a hefty graphics card, large hard drive and plenty of memory. Yes I have all windows 7 updates. Yes all my drivers and BIOS are up to date. Yes windows update is set to work automatically. And yes my OS is registered and Genuine. I have even run posted fixes thru command prompt. Oh well, I guess I'll have to stick with the best operating system(Windows 7) that Microsoft has ever produced. Still it'd be nice to get an invite to 10, even if I don't go.

gbruce40_3626's picture

I have upgraded my desktop, a fast win 8.1 machine, to win 10 without problems. for me though, I see no compelling reason to have done so. My Win 8.1 machine had Start 8 installed and worked just fine (Like Win 7 with the modern interface hidden, but available). Perhaps future upgrades will improve things for 10. I notice it has many small changes that are superfluous, like 'Sleep' 'Hibernate' ETC being reversed from how it has always been previously. Why silly little things like that? That does not improve a new OS.

I have decided not to upgrade my Windows 7 Laptop for one simple reason. Microsoft Money does not work on Win 10. It did on all other Windows versions including 8.1. MS. Money is a wonderful program that Microsoft abandoned in 2008, prompting Quicken to instantly jack up their prices. I have all my financial information back to 2001 on MS. Money and would hate to lose it. Quicken is a not an alternative in my opinion. Windows 10 will run MS Money Sunset but fails to integrate statements from my bank. So Windows 7 will live on in my Laptop, for now at least.