Microsoft, like many of us, cannot be perfect. Windows updates can not only be an inconvenience, but they can also cause issues with your computer. Throughout the last year, Microsoft has had some major issues with updates. These issues usually only affect devices with certain hardware configurations.
August 30th, 2019 Updates
An update was released on August 30th, 2019, to resolve CPU usage and Start Menu loading issues. This update caused further CPU usage issues and turned the displays on some Lenovo computers orange or red. To resolve CPU spiking, this update needed to be uninstalled, and to resolve colored desktops, the display temperature settings need to be reset.
October 3rd, 2019 Updates
On October 3rd, 2019, Microsoft struck again. An update was released to improve security. It resulted in computers that wouldn’t boot, the start menu not loading, or an inability to print. To resolve these issues, this update had to be uninstalled. This was one of 3 updates from October 2019 to January 2020 that caused boot issues or blue screens.
February 11th, 2020 Updates
February 11th, 2020, also had an update problem. There were no boot issues or blue screens, but this security update created temporary profiles on login that resulted in either moving or deleting files stored on the desktops of some users. For those users whose files were deleted, data could be unrecoverable.
March 10th, 2020 Updates
While updating security in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, the March 10th, 2020 update caused blue screens, audio issues, app crashes, and even disconnected some computers from the internet. This update also required an uninstall if any of these issues popped up.
March 24th, 2020, Updates
The update on March 24th, 2020, failed to install on some workstations, which may have been a blessing. This update bricked some computers so that they would no longer boot at all, and caused Windows boot issues on some other devices. This update also caused a spiking in CPU and disk usage. All just to improve the security in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.
April 14th, 2020, Updates
April 14th, 2020, brought back some of the issues with a security update. This caused computers to crash into that all too familiar blue screen. Once you get your computer to stop frowning, you may be missing your data. Sometimes after uninstalling this update, the data would return, but again, some data may be unrecoverable.
Now we must all have the same few questions.
Who is in charge of quality control with these updates?
Let’s consider that in 2020 there are about 1 billion devices running Windows 10. These devices total millions of different hardware configurations. Most of these update issues occur for less than 1 percent of Windows 10 devices. It is impossible for a new update to be tested on every possible hardware configuration before it is released. Many updates come out with no issues at all. It seems like quality control is doing pretty well.
Why do we install these updates if they are causing so many issues?
Well in short, Microsoft makes us, but in reality, they are for our own protection. The updates are often for security reasons. These help to protect us from malware. The updates that are not for security are for improving features.
How do I prevent my computer from becoming the victim of a bad update?
Putting off non-critical/optional updates may be the best way. This allows for any issues with the update to be found before you install the update. This also gives Microsoft time to redact updates, or release further updates to fix any issues an update may cause. It is also best practice to create a system restore point before installing an update. This is done by searching the start menu for “Create a restore point,” this will open a “System Properties” window, click “Create.” You can then restore to this if there is any issue with an update. As part of all Managed Services Agreements with CompuSys, we will delay security and urgent updates by a few days, and all other updates for 30 days. We also take the time to confirm that there are no issues with an update before it is installed. We automatically install those updates overnight weekly. By performing restarts to apply the installed updates outside of business hours, we prevent users from being forced to wait for their computer to be ready in the morning. All the while ensuring your workstations are receiving the security and protection your business requires.