Windows 10 1903 problems: Now Microsoft reverts change that muffled audio

Microsoft's attempt to squish one bug exposes several more. Fixes are coming but users struggle.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft's bad run of updates for the latest edition of Windows 10, version 1903, continues. The company has now walked back changes it recently introduced that ruined audio for millions of gamers. 

Microsoft last week released the security update KB4515384, which also fixed an annoying bug caused by a Cortana process SearchUI.exe that triggered abnormally high CPU usage. 

However, the fix didn't deliver and ended up causing more problems with Windows Search. And then gamers around the world who'd updated Windows 10 1903 had to persevere with weird audio issues that muffled sound in hit games like PUBG.       

The Windows-maker now says it has rolled back a change that affected audio and has blamed its "audio partners" for the issues, 

"Microsoft has received reports that audio in certain games is quieter or different than expected after installing this update. At the request of some of our audio partners, we implemented a compatibility change that enabled certain games to query support and render multi-channel audio," Microsoft said in a known-issue update on its post for the KB4515384 release.  

"Due to customer feedback, we are reverting this change as some games and some devices are not rendering multi-channel audio as expected. This may result in games sounding different than customers are used to and may have missing channels."

The issue is also acknowledged on its Windows 10 1903 page, which offers steps to mitigate the problem and states that a proper resolution is scheduled for late September.

Users can open settings in the impacted game and disable multi-channel audio, but only if this option is available. Users can also search in the Windows 'Control Panel'for third-party audio device control panels and "disable Multi-channel audio or Virtual Surround Sound", again if this option is available.  

Microsoft, with the help of Japanese tech company NEC, has also found compatibility problems "with Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards when running Windows 10 version 1903 on specific models of NEC devices". 

In a day and age when connecting to a Wi-Fi network should be a given, NEC devices updated to Windows 10 version 1903 can't use any Wi-Fi connections. To protect users against this fate, Microsoft has blocked affected NEC devices from installing Windows 10 version 1903.  

Affected users can mitigate the issue by "disabling then re-enabling the Wi-Fi adapter in Device Manager". But this measure will only ensure that Wi-Fi works until the next reboot.

"Microsoft and NEC are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release," Microsoft said. 

"We recommend that you do not attempt to manually update using the 'Update now' button or the Media Creation Tool until this issue has been resolved."

Microsoft has also acknowledged a separate CPU spiking issue affecting Chinese language users that's caused by a bug in the Windows 10 Input Method Editor (IME). The bug affects all supported versions of Windows 10 and Windows Server. 

"Some Input Method Editor (IME) may become unresponsive or may have high CPU usage. Affected IMEs include CHS (Chinese Simplified) and CHT (Chinese Traditional) with Changjie/Quick keyboard," Microsoft explained. 

However, the company does have a workaround outlined on its support page for the issue and is promising a proper resolution in "an upcoming release". 

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