Windows 10 Quick Tips – Update 1803

Crossing the River Styx


In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon (/ˈkɛərɒn/ or /ˈkɛərən/; Greek χάρων) is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. ~ Wikipedia

Windows April 2018 Update

It is a sad thing when one gets a knot in their stomach while updating their Windows systems. Generally, I avoid these gambles for at least a time until I feel certain most of the bugs have been found and repaired. This time, however, I weakened. I was afflicted with a malady known as Impatience, and suffered from symptoms of the dreaded need-to-know-if-this-will-mess-up-my-computer syndrome. There is no proper remedy for either of these conditions.

About a week ago I bit the bullet and allowed my computer to be infected with yet another bi-annual Windows cumulative update delivered by Microsoft. The 1803 update is particularly large and took a while to complete its task. During this time, there was a gnawing sensation in my gut reminding me that I may have made a terrible mistake. As it turns out, it was a mistake.

Over the years I have had great luck with updates basically suffering no ill-effects whatsoever. Not so this time. I should have listened to Woody Leonard, and Martin Brinkman, and to all the other informed writers out there who said, “Don’t do it…”

This week’s Quick Tips article is going to suggest that you to do as I say, and not as I do.

The Gamble vs Limited Rewards

When people trudge off to the casino it is probably with the idea in mind that they will “invest” a Pittance and be rewarded with a Pound. Updating Windows should not be an experience akin to gambling. Updating Windows should be a painless and relatively fast procedure. Updating Windows should incur no risk at all.


The sad truth these days is that whenever you update to a new version of Windows, you are gambling with your computer. It may or may not work very well afterwards. Some things may work while other things fail. Most of the time, the potential gains are not worth the risks involved. Many of these so-called updates offer new features without having locked down the existing ones. Many of the new features, people couldn’t care less about. They just want things to work without adding new things that probably won’t.

There is an order to things that Microsoft doesn’t seem to get– make it work. Then, and only then, move on to that bright, shiny new feature you’ve  been dreaming about.

1803 Features Giveth

  • Timeline adds history to the familiar Task View switcher
  • The Settings app continues to expand, gets a new look
  • Windows Defender Application Guard protects you by “sandboxing” your browser
  • More control over when and how updates are delivered
  • Many Control Panel sections have been copied over to the Settings App
  • The Nearby Sharing feature is powered by Bluetooth 0r Wi-Fi
  • Cortana gets a Notebook and new skills
  • Lists sync with Cortana on iPhone and Android
  • Use Focus Assist to eliminate distractions
  • Password recovery is now supported on local accounts
  • A few Edge browser improvements

And it goes on…

The above information was gleaned from this ZDNet article: Here’s what’s new in Windows 10 April 2018 Update

1803 Features Taketh Away

  • Connect to suggested open hotspots removed
  • Language Settings moved to the Settings application
  • Conversations in the People App no longer work while offline…
  • Groove Music Pass service for streaming music and music sales tracking
  • HomeGroup feature
  • People suggestions
  • XPS Viewer is not included by default anymore

And it goes on…


The above information was discovered in this Martin Brinkman GHacks article: Windows 10 version 1803: removed or deprecated features

My Voyage To 1803

As the ferryman, Charon (aka, Satya), rowed me across the River Styx towards 1803, he comforted me…

He said, “Let’s go to 1803!”

“It’ll be fun!!”, he said.

Upon arriving at 1803:

  • My Internet connection failed to work properly
  • Edge no longer wanted to play my beloved Netflix movies without completely and utterly locking up the computer
  • I had graphics card issues that didn’t exist before this excursion into the Darkness

The experience held true to the mythological trip from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead. I ended up using a previous backup in order to return things to a semblance of sanity. (You are making regular backups, aren’t you?)

Some Advice

If you have already taken the plunge into the realm of 1803 (or it has been foisted upon you by the great “Update in the Sky”) and everything is working fine, then consider yourself fortunate and move on.

If you have not yet been infected by this 1803 menace, then hold off. Defer this update for as long as it takes for Microsoft to actually get it to work. This might take weeks or maybe months. Heck, the 1809 Fall Update may roll around before that happens. Who knows at this point.

Here are two resources I use to decide when that time arrives:

If these guys say it’s safe, only then do I begin to believe it.

In my opinion, this whole bi-annual update situation has gotten totally out of control, and we can no longer trust it to have our best interests in mind.  The “ring” mechanism is obviously not working, either. There are several of these so-called “rings” which are set in place to protect the masses from Windows update bugs. The idea is to have millions of free beta-testers acting as a filter so the bugs don’t reach us. On the face of it, the idea seems reasonable, but in practice it doesn’t seem to work– not at all, in fact, in light of this 1803 debacle.

Deferring updates has become the rule, not the exception. No more gambling nor late-night river crossings for this guy… thank you very much.

As always, if you have any helpful suggestions, comments or questions, please share them with us,

Richard

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About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.

29 Comments

  1. Sadly MS has turned Win10 in to Vista 2018. I’ve had strange problems with this “update” also. My SSD is acting strange, some games just lock up. Firefox freezing at random times and on and on…

  2. Hi Richard,
    My family and friends/clients agree that the first-year apprentices are now running the ‘factory’ at Microsoft and don’t even know which door handle opens the door to the building when they arrive to start work.

  3. my epson scan stopped working or works sporadically right from the last win 10 update and the newer one didn’t fix it – one more disaster and i am off to mac land

      • re installed the software twice – i have 2 epson scanners v850 and earlier v700 which started to play up software freeze and then scanner not connected put that one on my film scanner PC win 7 = not a problem – i will check the epson site again but i do have the latest epson scan for my win 10

        • Hi Kevin,

          If all else fails, try uninstalling the driver in Device Manager, and let Windows reacquire it. I’ve read that sometimes helps.

  4. Hi Richard,
    Furthermore to Windows 10 and the problems.
    “How To Fix”…..roll in by an unknown quantity and I disagree that users have to waste time to ‘fix’ a problem created by Microsoft.
    Would anyone in their right frame of mind buy a new car and when there is a malfunction in the operation of the ‘machine’, caused by the manufacturer to be told by knowledgable mechanical specialists on web sites, aka DCT et al, to re-load, download, remove and re-install a fix from ‘Mr You Beaut’ in order to download a private ‘fix’ or an extra ‘app’ to stop Manufacturer/Microsoft forcing ‘muck-up and messy’ downloading, which takes up enough time to go for an afternoon outing while Microsoft///Manufacturer mangle the mis-toothed gears in the machine.
    Is it time now during the severe Microstorm to protect ones sensible computer use by purchasing a Mac and throw away the tatty old broken Windows which allows the freezing applications to destroy the once-loved comfortable ‘Home’.

  5. It wasn’t the upgrade to 1803 that got me, but the second cumulative one a couple days ago that did me in. Now I get random freezes that literally require a forced power down. So far I am not able to find any errors or others reporting similar issues that relate to my experience. My notebook is basically a run of the mill Inspiron 5567 no dedicated graphics, no third party apps no Avast or other AV software just Defender. Does have a Hynix SSD but not a Toshiba, Samsung or Intel model. With Win 10 Home I am rather forced to accept these buggy upgrades when Microsoft deems my PC ok to install them. I guess I wonder if Microsoft really knows what it is doing these days? Leaves me wondering if I must move past Windows to another OS and not worry every six months about the dreaded upgrades from a company that obviously pushes out these upgrades well before they should.

  6. I did not have (at least nothing’s happened yet) any problems with upgrading to 1803 on my laptop and my wife’s PC. My gripe with Microsoft is installing “features” I do not want nor are my machines capable of using (i.e. Mixed Reality Viewer). And, every time I figure out how to remove unwanted apps, Microsoft puts them back with next upgrade.

    • I’m with you, Mark. At the very least they could get existing things working before trying to add new stuff.

  7. Hi Richard,
    I thought my upgrade to v1803 was working but the next time I booted from a cold start I got the “spinning circle syndrome” which went on forever (i.e., I never even made it to my desktop screen). After talking to MS tech support they concluded it was some sort of driver incompatibility (it would have been nice to know which driver(s) caused the failure). Fortunately I was able to get to the recovery screen (which you may want to consider doing a brief article on) which got me back to v1709. So my advice to all out there is to do a full system backup before going to v1803, just in case you can’t get to your recovery screen. Speaking of which, when you make the thumb drive recovery that MS encourages us do to, is that the same as the recovery screen after the boot fails a certain number of times?

    Oh yeah, what did you mean by the “ring mechanism”?
    Dan

    • Hi Dan,

      You know, the “Skip ahead” ring, the “Fast” ring, the “Slow” ring, the “time-for-all-you-suckers-to-download-the-latest-update” ring, etc. All those rings things…

      To be honest, I’ve never used the MS Recovery disk. I always keep up-to-date backups, so have never had the need. For that reason, I have no idea how it works or what it looks like, or how it may differ from the “normal” Recovery method you mention. Maybe someone here who is smarter than I can give us a brief explanation?

      Frankly,I don’t trust MS to “recover” my drives to a state that vaguely resembles the original drive layout. Make backups, my friend. Backups.
      As Dave says, “You can never have too many backups.”
      Richard

      • Hi Richard,
        I thought I was going to have to use my AOMEI restore (BTW, kudos to AOMEI for their wonderful software) but instead, by powering down Windows 5 or 6 times at the (in my case) HP splash screen, on the 6th or 7th boot it finally took me to the Windows RECOVERY screen. I kept pressing F11 (as displayed on the HP splash screen) thinking it would lead me to recovery but MS tech support told me I should keep powering down instead until it appeared. This is what I meant about DCT writing a brief article about this process. After all, if your boot cannot get as far as your desktop window then how are you supposed to use any of your Control Panel restore points?
        Dan

        • Hi Dan,

          Restore Points are fine for simple return-to-previous-state situations, but they are worthless when a true Recovery is needed.
          If you’re having problems getting your OS started, then Restore Points aren’t going to help, anyway.
          System Restore is over-rated and should not be relied on. Even great recovery programs are not enough. Only a current backup is bullet-proof.

          Richard

        • I agree with what you said, just thought it was strange about the power down half-a-dozen times to reach a Windows Recovery screen. Some of you desperate readers may want to try that as a last resort.
          Dan

  8. I’ll agree with the backup strategy. Also, when these big upgrades come down, I find it easier to use the media creation tool to put Windows on a flash drive. Usually, I get the latest build with most of the updates preinstalled. Then, I use the in place upgrade to update my systems. It does keep all my non-Windows programs installed. I haven’t had any issues with doing this. It does keep me from having to wait for the large updates to download on each computer.

  9. I had a hp laptop after update to 1803 that would not boot up did clean install every thing running really good now sometimes after updateing do clean install if you can it seems to fix things

    • Hi Steve,
      As a last resort, a clean installation is sometimes all the fix there is.

      However, considering that a re-installation can take, at best, many hours, or at worst, several days, it is not my first choice by a long shot,
      Richard

    • I had the same issue of not booting after v1803 (“spinning circles syndrome”, if you now what I mean); you may wanna see my previous comments on how (much to my relief) I finally DID get it to boot!
      Dan

    • Hi Steve,

      I do not. I use Acronis to back up my computer.
      I haven’t tried the back up solution in Windows 10, but using that system in Windows 7 was painfully slow. Maybe it’s better these days.
      There are many good backup programs “out there” from which to choose. Many of them have trial periods so you can try before you buy.

      The main thing here is that you don’t wait. Make a full backup today of a good, working system. Then find a backup program you like and schedule it to make backups for you.

      HTH,
      Richard

    • Hi Steve
      I use both Acronis and the free version of Easeus Todo Backup. I do not use the W7 backup that comes with W10, it may work, but I do not know, but I do know the other two works.

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