Latest update to Windows 10 Anniversary causing installation woes for some

Another week, another new Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Anniversary edition. This week's collection of fixes is causing installation issues for some users.

We are aware of an issue with the recent Windows 10 cumulative update that impacted a small number of customers in the Windows Insider Program that were running a previous build of the OS. We expect to have a solution in place for these customers soon, and will be communicating with Insiders via the Feedback Hub.Microsoft rolled out this week the seventh Cumulative Update of fixes to Windows 10 Anniversary Update since the Anniversary (1607) version of Windows 10 began going to customers on August 2.

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This week's Cumulative Update, Build 14393.222 (aka KB3194496), is causing installation issues for some users. I don't know how many are affected -- it's definitely nowhere near "all" -- but reports are coming in on Twitter and in Microsoft support forums from those who can't install the update, resulting (at least for some) in an endless loop of repeated attempts.

(For what it's worth, I just updated my loaner HP Spectre laptop to the latest Cumulative Update and had no issues doing so.)

The failure is annoying enough. But a few of those affected have pointed out that when Microsoft first delivered this update to its "Release Preview" ring of Insider testers at the start of this week, some testers reported the installation failure/reboot issue. Despite those reports, Microsoft still pushed this update out to those not in the Insider program, meaning those like me who are running the RTM (release to mainstream) version of Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

Unsurprisingly, this issue is triggering a round of "What's the point of Insider testing?" questions. It looks to some like Microsoft is just ignoring Insider feedback. As I've noted, Microsoft does collect a lot of data when it pushes out a new build to testers and/or to the mainstream, and gets almost immediate intelligence on what's working, what's breaking and how many people are affected, which enables them to throttle updates and new feature releases. Unfortunately, when you're in the "affected" group, it doesn't feel like Microsoft's paying much attention.

And given the company is about to start rolling up lots of fixes and updates for Windows 7/8.x users as of October's Patch Tuesday, this latest issue is adding more worries to the already-worry-heaped plate of some IT Pros.

I've asked Microsoft if and when the company expects to make available a workaround or patch for this latest Cumulative Update for those on whose machines it won't install. No word back yet.

Here are the key changes included in 14393.222/KB3194496. (Note: As usual with a Cumulative Update, there are no new features, just fixes):

  • Improved reliability of the Windows Update Agent, shared drives, virtual private network (VPN), clustering, HTTP downloads, Internet Explorer 11, Hyper-V platform,multimedia playback, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Improved performance of push and local notifications, Hyper-V platform, and some social media websites using Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue where mapping a drive from an elevated command prompt doesn't work with administrator credentials.
  • Addressed issue causing movies that were ripped using the transport stream (.ts) format to play without sound in Windows Media Player and the Xbox One Media Player app.
  • Addressed issue causing the Movies & TV app on the Xbox to stop working when attempting to play content that was just purchased from the Store.
  • Addressed issue where ActiveX can't be installed when using the ActiveX Installer Service (AXIS) in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue causing "Print all linked documents" to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Improved reliability of downloading and updating games from the Store.Addressed issue preventing some users from changing the default download location in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue causing unnecessary notifications about fixing Microsoft account in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed additional issues with multimedia, Windows kernel, Windows shell, enterprise security, storage file system, Remote Desktop, core platform, Hyper-V platform, Windows Update for Business, display kernel, near field communication (NFC), input and composition, Bluetooth, Microsoft Lync 2010 compatibility, Windows Storage API, app registration, Trusted Platform Module, Group Policy, Internet Explorer 11, virtual private network (VPN), BitLocker, wireless networking, datacenter networking, Cortana, PowerShell, Active Directory, connection manager and data usage, Access Point Name (APN) database, Microsoft Edge, Windows Recovery Environment, file clustering, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, audio playback settings, DShow Bridge, app compatibility, licensing, cloud infrastructure, domain name system (DNS) server, network controller, USB barcode reader, and Adobe Flash Player.

Just a reminder: Not every PC and tablet that is eligible for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has yet received that version of Windows 10. Microsoft execs have said it may take the company until early November to push the Anniversary Update to machines ready and able to accommodate it.

I know some are taking the number of updates Microsoft is making to its latest rev of Windows 10 as a sign that it's not ready for prime time. I don't see it that way. The new reality is there will be a lot of Windows 10 updates that deliver regular fixes and reliability improvements, alongside the relatively few feature updates, coming to the majority of users on a regular basis.

Microsoft also delivered on September 28 another new Windows 10 "Redstone 2" Insider preview build 14936 to PC and Mobile testers. That build included a number of fixes and updates plus some new Edge extensions for testers to put through their paces.

Update (October 4): Here's the latest on the latest Cumulative Update, via a Microsoft spokesperson:

"We are aware of an issue with the recent Windows 10 cumulative update that impacted a small number of customers in the Windows Insider Program that were running a previous build of the OS. We expect to have a solution in place for these customers soon, and will be communicating with Insiders via the Feedback Hub."

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