Forced Windows 10 Update Bricking Some Computers

There may be a critical flaw in a recent Windows 10 upgrade. Reportedly, it’s bricking some computers and is being described as “widespread”.

To say the transition between Windows 7 to Windows 10 is a bumpy one would be an understatement. The controversies was enough to swallow up an entire OS in the process.

Really, controversy began with Windows 8. The operating system pushed a major overhaul of the interface. It removed the start menu and replaced it with a massive tile-based system that filled the whole screen. Some speculate it is to try and integrate a similar system to the touch screen variation of the operating system so people would easily learn Microsoft Surface. The interface was greeted with widespread criticism and demands to revert it back to a much more functional UI. When Microsoft refused to budge, whole programs like Classic Shell were released just to restore the old interface.

Of course, such an issue is only a surface one. Deep into the operating system yielded what many consider to be privacy concerns. While Microsoft did offer functionality to opt out, data still flowed to Microsoft controlled servers anyway.

While many would argue that Windows 8 ended up being an abysmal failure, it turns out that the next operating system would be almost as controversial. Once Windows 10 was developed to a state Microsoft felt was ready, an aggressive rollout took place. The operating system was given out for free as part of a so-called “promotion”. Initially, the upgrade was sold as a simple update to the operating system. After that, misleading pop-up messages saying that the update was ready came out. That, of course, caught a whole lot of additional controversy and helped spark resistance to the upgrade amongst a number of users.

In a subsequent wave of pushing the operating system, closing the update demand window would force the operating system to install Windows 10. Other window notifications would try other methods of essentially tricking the user to install Windows 10. This activity only served to further infuriate those who refuse to move over to Windows 10. With the added layer of telemetry gathering, a number of users simply figured this is confirmation that moving from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is a terrible idea.

In the dying days of Windows 7 support, scare messages were pushed out about how lack of security updates means devices were vulnerable regardless of what firewall and antivirus protections were put in place by the users.

Even for users who did cave to pressure from Microsoft, it wasn’t exactly a bed of roses for them either. For some, once “upgraded”, their computer suddenly became completely inoperative. For others, a reasonable computer suddenly became slow (full disclosure: We have one of those computers). Even when users didn’t experience these performance downgrades, other issues cropped up such as Windows constantly changing the default programs to Microsoft products. Multiple updates breaking various applications also became a returning theme. Some applications even simply stopped functioning once the move to Windows 10 occurred. For some, regret set in making the move from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

In the last update for Windows 7, some computers that used stretched desktop pictures suddenly had their desktop backgrounds go black. It’s a bug that Microsoft won’t be fixing as the updates have expired. Of course, in a recent forced Windows 10 update, a black desktop background is a very innocuous bug by comparison. Reports are surfacing that the Windows 10 update is actually bricking some computers. From Forbes:

First spotted by the ever-alert Windows Latest, a new Windows 10 security update (KB4528760) is causing significant problems and the site notes it “now appears to be widespread.”

Explaining the chain of events, Windows Latest says the installation of KB4528760 first fails to install, issuing “several generic error messages” which don’t give any indication what caused the problem. From there it’s a downward spiral as the next time the computer restarts it fails to boot.

“The recent KB4528760 update for Windows 1909 seems to be causing issues with some computers and stopping them from booting. Presenting the error code 0xc000000e. Increasing number of machines hitting this issue after installing this update,” explained one user on the official Microsoft Community forum.

Interestingly, Windows Latest notes that some users have tied the problem to Microsoft’s “retired” Connect app. While it isn’t the only scenario, users who have the app installed or even had the app but uninstalled it, seem to be particularly badly affected. The site says only a full reinstallation of Windows 10 can fix the problem, aka the nuclear option.

Indeed, one of the many criticisms about Windows 10 is the forced updates. Before Windows 10, trying the latest version was only for the particularly bold. This sort of thing is only reserved for beta testers who try the updates out to see if there are any major issues. Now, with the forced updates, everyone is suddenly beta testers. Instead of a power user trying out the latest build on the Windows operating system, you have grandparents who have enough knowledge to access their e-mail being faced with troubleshooting these problems. It’s a very unfortunate, but entirely avoidable scenario.

For Microsoft’s part, the report says that the update is still sold as an update with no known issues.

If Microsoft is hoping that more Windows 7 holdouts will finally make the jump after ceasing security upgrades, this latest development likely won’t help. For them, this is just another reason to avoid Windows 10 for as long as humanly possible.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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