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Stylized_Violence

Windows as bad as they say?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've been skimming the news in recent months and it seems that Windows keeps getting slammed for their lack of fixes to their updates, or they fix one thing and break another. I've even heard of some people getting their whole systems bricked because of a particular update. My question to the community is, have you experienced these issues?

 

For me personally, knock on wood, I have yet to have ANY issues when it comes to updating my system. It hasn't restarted on me while I'm doing something important, hasn't caused any mishaps or issues with my programs or games, or even caused any kind of slowdown at all. I seem to have avoided everything that people are calling them out on, so I wonder if these issues are actually widespread or caused by a small minority making a lot of noise. Thoughts?


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I believe it depends on your rig and what you do with it, I use Windows 7 and I've never bricked it with updates. A friend installed an update and it bricked everything, his PC was stuck in a boot loop with bluescreens and the only way to fix it was reinstalling the whole OS.

 

On the other hand I also use Linux and, well... things tend to get complex whenever I try to update it or change some settings in my BIOS setup like the CPU or Memory frequency, anyway it looks like I've hit the overclocking wall already so I won't be changing any setting anymore.


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My question to the community is, have you experienced these issues?

Nope...because I switched to Linux before the s*** hit the fan...

 

As for other people or me running Windows in a VM I think Microsoft is too aggressive with the updates. It's true they can't account for every single hardware combination and that an update won't brick one thing or another but it does seem like a bit more than just an isolated few cases it's fairly widespread right now.

 

Something that I've seen a few times now is people having poor Internet speeds on otherwise good connections. Stranger yet it only affecting Internet bound traffic. Other devices on the network unaffected. It seems like an issue rooted in the OS.


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For the last years or so (1803 and 1809) there were widespread reports of issues of one type or another, and repeated delays as they tried to fix things, but since then as far as I can tell the general sentiment has returned to normal.  Whether that's good enough for you, or you feel like even the idle background level of complaints is higher than it should be is sort of up to you.  Some people seem to always have far more issues than others regardless of version, but personally I've not had any issues with updating or bugs and I've used Win 10 since launch.  Granted, because of the aforementioned issues I skipped the updates above lol but I'm not aware of any big outstanding problems at the moment.  It doesn't hurt to delay a big feature update by a few months though just to let its problems come to light before jumping on it.  Don't confuse this with regular security updates though, these should always be installed asap.

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26 minutes ago, Stylized_Violence said:

My question to the community is, have you experienced these issues?

I've been using Windows 10 since it was launched and the worst thing that has happened has been....Windows restarting automatically to install updates while I've left my PC sitting idle because I've gone to make myself some food, watched an episode or two of this or that show, or because I've had to help my hubby with something. I've lost some work due to it, but nothing major, and it has only happened a couple of times over the years. Doesn't even seem to be doing it anymore, or at least Microsoft has tweaked it to be a lot more careful.

 

I have never experienced any other issues, though. No broken updates, no random slowdowns, no corrupted filesystems or anything like that. I happen to have a bunch of PCs around the house with Windows 10 installed and this applies to all of them. (I'm also counting my hubby's PCs, even though they are his and not mine, because I'm the one maintaining them)


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Honestly, probably the biggest issue I've had (on my own PCs) the past half decade is broken DirectDraw emulation when I upgraded to Windows 10. Most amusingly, Windows 10 installed flawlessly on my old 2010 laptop with hacked-together AMD drivers (basically, OEMs sucked at supporting their Switchable Graphics implementations), whereas my desktop required some bit of troubleshooting and reinstall of the Nvidia drivers before it would work properly.

 

Back in college though, Windows Update was so frequently eating battery life on my laptop that I wound up disabling Windows Update entirely. Had I wanted some additional dead weight, I'd have carried another overpriced textbook instead. Textbooks are much more durable as bludgeoning implements anyway.


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4 hours ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Textbooks are much more durable as bludgeoning implements anyway

You have been to an...interesting college, if that's one of the lessons you learned there.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 hours ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

For the last years or so (1803 and 1809) there were widespread reports of issues of one type or another, and repeated delays as they tried to fix things, but since then as far as I can tell the general sentiment has returned to normal.  Whether that's good enough for you, or you feel like even the idle background level of complaints is higher than it should be is sort of up to you.  Some people seem to always have far more issues than others regardless of version, but personally I've not had any issues with updating or bugs and I've used Win 10 since launch.  Granted, because of the aforementioned issues I skipped the updates above lol but I'm not aware of any big outstanding problems at the moment.  It doesn't hurt to delay a big feature update by a few months though just to let its problems come to light before jumping on it.  Don't confuse this with regular security updates though, these should always be installed asap.

Yeah I know things have gone rather quiet, I was just curious if during that craze it really was widespread. I mean it was reported on most major tech outlets, but for some reason I felt like maybe it was just a minority. I get my updates, even the big ones, the day they become available without issue. I may have one in the future, but it just seems odd that Windows is seemingly slammed constantly for poorly rolled out updates and yet I haven't experienced it. Just  naive I guess :)

 

4 hours ago, Zodiark1593 said:

Honestly, probably the biggest issue I've had (on my own PCs) the past half decade is broken DirectDraw emulation when I upgraded to Windows 10. Most amusingly, Windows 10 installed flawlessly on my old 2010 laptop with hacked-together AMD drivers (basically, OEMs sucked at supporting their Switchable Graphics implementations), whereas my desktop required some bit of troubleshooting and reinstall of the Nvidia drivers before it would work properly.

 

Back in college though, Windows Update was so frequently eating battery life on my laptop that I wound up disabling Windows Update entirely. Had I wanted some additional dead weight, I'd have carried another overpriced textbook instead. Textbooks are much more durable as bludgeoning implements anyway.

And with my laptop, things couldn't be better. Excellent battery life and no issues. Weird, and I guess that's why I'm asking to get some feedback cuz I'm genuinely curious.


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For me it's good and I don't have any issues with Windows. While it's not perfect, but hey, nothing is perfect. Since 10 I reset it (re-install) only once and it's because it was my fault. Windows 10 with current last updates and build seems quite stable and good OS, at least for me.

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It might just be a vocal minority as generally, Windows is good for the average user out there, there have been issues but those have since passed and the dust has settled.

Windows is an alright OS and I have no complaints.


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The start menu button is broken on Win10 1903 on enterprise editions. What is causing it, I don't know, but every machine upgraded to it ends up in the same state and has to be rolled back.

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On 9/18/2019 at 5:36 AM, Stylized_Violence said:

My question to the community is, have you experienced these issues?

My system has never been bricked, but I was "lucky" enough to get the botched 1809 update. I didn't lose any documents (unlike other unlucky people) but the action center was broken (in the system tray it showed as having x messages, but opening it showed nothing at all), and it took a good 4 months before an update fixed it.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, TheDelphiDude said:

My system has never been bricked, but I was "lucky" enough to get the botched 1809 update. I didn't lose any documents (unlike other unlucky people) but the action center was broken (in the system tray it showed as having x messages, but opening it showed nothing at all), and it took a good 4 months before an update fixed it.

At least it wasn't catastrophic. You build your system or was it prebuilt?


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7 hours ago, Stylized_Violence said:

At least it wasn't catastrophic.

It wasn't catastrophic, but it did make me wonder if they even do regression testing.

 

7 hours ago, Stylized_Violence said:

You build your system or was it prebuilt?

Own system, and mostly build myself with some help with the CPU cooler.

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It didn't happen to me for a long time, then all the sudden things started breaking for me quite frequently. I've had it corrupt my boot partition, and it wasn't fixable so I had to reinstall the whole OS. Only a few days after that, on my other machine, Windows decided to do an update during a thunderstorm and the power went out and corrupted the OS. I got tired of always having to reinstall the whole OS, So I went back to linux, because if something did go wrong, it can be fixed without having to do a full reinstall. YMMV, you may not have any issues at all for a long time, but its hard to say

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On 9/18/2019 at 9:56 PM, Kisai said:

The start menu button is broken on Win10 1903 on enterprise editions. What is causing it, I don't know, but every machine upgraded to it ends up in the same state and has to be rolled back.

The culprit is usually the GPU driver. That said, while MS has made efforts to fallback to CPU render (choppy experience but at least it works) when things go bad, it is not yet full proof where it can account for every single possible problem. I would report the issue with the most detail possible for, at least Microsoft can look at via the Feedback Hub, and any support contact you have, if any, via Enterprise channel (which might start out painful, due to basic support level to pass through first). You'll help others. But yes the GPU driver is usually the issue. Either downgrade or upgrade, restart, and hope it works. If it is a desktop, see if adding a dedicated GPU solves the problem (bring one from home or something, just for a quick test)

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2 hours ago, DaftBlazer said:

It didn't happen to me for a long time, then all the sudden things started breaking for me quite frequently. I've had it corrupt my boot partition, and it wasn't fixable so I had to reinstall the whole OS. Only a few days after that, on my other machine, Windows decided to do an update during a thunderstorm and the power went out and corrupted the OS. I got tired of always having to reinstall the whole OS, So I went back to linux, because if something did go wrong, it can be fixed without having to do a full reinstall. YMMV, you may not have any issues at all for a long time, but its hard to say

Actually, most problems in Windows can be fixed without a full reinstall. The problem is that you have a lot of crap being said and spread by sites that tries to be helpful, like saying to execute sfc/scannow command for non system level issues, or that PowerShell app reinstall command for something not related to pre installed apps. Wasting everyone's time or make the situation worse. Windows lacks a strong voice on correct fix instructions. Something you do have under the large OS distro that are Linux based.

 

Oh and MS answer forum is full of "mods" marking their useless or plain wrong answers as answers like if the user picked it, blocking actually discussion and actual solution from being found easily. MS should really scrap it and restart it, properly, with actual MS experts, even company engineers, ideally. But it is understandable why they won't do it, because 1 money, 2 people will associate an engineer response as official MS statement, and we are all humans, and a slip or bad day for an engineer can cause issues from a poor choice of words or miss reprentation of tonality due to language or fast typing due to busy schedule but still wanted to help. Miss understanding can also lead to engineer look silly and looks like he knows nothing, giving a bad image to the company. Many problems from doing this. I guess it would be best to most ignore MS Answer forum first and focus on Reddit or forums for maybe knowledgeable person can be acquired.

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1 hour ago, GoodBytes said:

[...] Windows lacks a strong voice on correct fix instructions. Something you do have under the large OS distro that are Linux based.

 

Oh and MS answer forum is full of "mods" marking their useless or plain wrong answers as answers like if the user picked it, blocking actually discussion and actual solution from being found easily. [...]

omg is this ever true.  So many forums I see are totally useless.  I even made a status update about this once.  You'll see someone ask a question, a mod or someone will reply with something, mark it as best, and move on, then the first reply is "that didn't work" followed by more people saying they also have the issue, and it is never resolved.

 

Issues on Windows can be quite hard to troubleshoot compared with Linux, party for this reason.  More often than not, if something simple and obvious doesn't fix it, the answer is just "reinstall".  I've used both Windows and Linux heavily in my life and one thing that stands out to me is troubleshooting on Linux is extremely logical.  There's always a fix, and you can usually work it out on a forum.  Whether or not you have the patience is another story, but it feels like the system is understandable and controllable.  Windows on the other hand tends to feel more like a magic black box at times.  Whether this is due to architectural differences, or the forum issue, or a bit of both and something else, I'm not sure, but historically, that's been my feelings on the subject.

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5 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

The culprit is usually the GPU driver. That said, while MS has made efforts to fallback to CPU render (choppy experience but at least it works) when things go bad, it is not yet full proof where it can account for every single possible problem. I would report the issue with the most detail possible for, at least Microsoft can look at via the Feedback Hub, and any support contact you have, if any, via Enterprise channel (which might start out painful, due to basic support level to pass through first). You'll help others. But yes the GPU driver is usually the issue. Either downgrade or upgrade, restart, and hope it works. If it is a desktop, see if adding a dedicated GPU solves the problem (bring one from home or something, just for a quick test)

Unfortunately it's not my domain to report and troubleshoot it, I reported it to the IT department and have blocked 1903 from being installed on machines that I update via gpo. All I can tell you is that the "upgrade image" used from Win7, and also a stock 1809 image upgraded to 1903, both with and without nVidia dedicated GPU's all did it. So it's certainly not the GPU, as the desktop doesn't run hybrid graphics, one laptop has hybrid graphics and one doesn't have the nVidia GPU. All the machines work just fine on 1809.

 

It's not the GPU drivers. My desktop and laptop at home, which have very similar configurations (desktop with dedicated nVidia GPU, and a Kaby lake laptop with hybrid graphics with nVidia) upgraded properly, though I'll state that the desktop has had some minor issues with the search box getting stuck. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kisai said:

Unfortunately it's not my domain to report and troubleshoot it, I reported it to the IT department and have blocked 1903 from being installed on machines that I update via gpo. All I can tell you is that the "upgrade image" used from Win7, and also a stock 1809 image upgraded to 1903, both with and without nVidia dedicated GPU's all did it. So it's certainly not the GPU, as the desktop doesn't run hybrid graphics, one laptop has hybrid graphics and one doesn't have the nVidia GPU. All the machines work just fine on 1809.

Intel integrated graphics is a GPU, just saying.

 

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15 hours ago, GoodBytes said:

Intel integrated graphics is a GPU, just saying.

 

And a desktop that isn't using it, isn't using it. It's not the GPU drivers. My equipment at home is nearly identical to that at the office and doesn't have the issue. Unless Windows 1903 specifically breaks on Dell equipment, that's the only thing that is significantly different.

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3 hours ago, Kisai said:

And a desktop that isn't using it, isn't using it. It's not the GPU drivers. My equipment at home is nearly identical to that at the office and doesn't have the issue. Unless Windows 1903 specifically breaks on Dell equipment, that's the only thing that is significantly different.

Even just sitting idle on the desktop, the video drivers are active.  A crash would have some sort of impact.  What depends on what went wrong, how, other factors, etc. but yeah.

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3 hours ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

Even just sitting idle on the desktop, the video drivers are active.  A crash would have some sort of impact.  What depends on what went wrong, how, other factors, etc. but yeah.

I know that. I can't demonstrate the problem because they aren't my computers to do so.

 

Here's what happens.

 

New machine, fresh 1809 image, no dGPU, using iGPU. As soon as it boots up, go straight to Windows Update and feature update to 1903. Two hours or so pass, and now it's on 1903. Click the start button, nothing happens. The search box right beside it works however.

 

Old machine, on 1809, dGPU only, upgraded to 1903, immediately after login, start button doesn't work. Same as above.

 

Old Win7 machine upgraded to Win10 1809 and then immediately to 1903, has hybrid graphics. Start button doesn't work.

 

Meanwhile

 

My desktop at home Win10 machine upgraded from Win10 1809, DGPU is primary, iGPU is enabled. Start button works.

 

Laptop with hybrid graphics, iGPU and dGPU are enabled.

 

dGPU's in all of these are nVidia parts. So the only variables:

Win10 Enterprise vs Pro/Home

Dell vs Asrock/Lenovo

 

Could be some other enterprise program breaking the start button? I don't know, in order to figure that out I'd need to be able to install vanilla Windows Enterprise 1809 on a machine and find out. I haven't ruled out doing this, but I've also not been asked to figure it out, and thus I'd be wasting their time if someone else is already working on it. Presumably whoever does the computer images for the multi-billion dollar company has the resources to for it.

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54 minutes ago, Kisai said:

Snip

Interesting, I'm not seeing any common variables here though, and it's no secret the Win 10 start menu is not as reliable as it once was.  This may not be technically correct but I think of it basically as a UWP app, and it seems to suffer the same delicate, temperamental nature.  Frankly the behaviour seems random.  I've only ever had an issue like that once before, and it was accompanied by other issues so I ended up just reinstalling.  Don't even recall what machine it was on or what version but I think it happened very shortly after installing to begin with because I don't recall being annoyed that I'd have to setup a bunch of stuff again, though I could be misremembering.

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