Windows 10 Update Issues Solved?


windows-update-okayAlmost every time Microsoft releases updates for Windows 10 we read about more issues caused by these updates. Indeed, one well-known site pretty much makes a living out of reporting all these problems with Windows Updates. I have often gone to bat for the users who are experiencing issues with Windows 10 updates and just as often castigated Microsoft over same. However, what is the truth, are these updates that bad all of the time or are there perhaps underlying problems with the host systems?

I have three different machines running Windows 10, all different ages and each with completely different hardware specs, and have never personally experienced any issues on any machine with any update. Why is it so? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why some users might be experiencing problems with Windows Updates.

Continually Installing And Uninstalling Software

All my machines are kept in a pristine state– well, as pristine as possible. I install my favorite essential software and that’s pretty much it. If I want to experiment with potential alternative software I always install same in a VM (Virtual Machine). On the other hand, I’ve known clients who are continually installing different types of software to try out and, more often than not, uninstalling same shortly thereafter. Contrary to popular belief uninstallers are not great at removing everything and will almost invariably leave some remnants of the software behind. The only uninstallers that are pretty much guaranteed to remove everything are those uninstallers that include before and after monitoring.

This build-up of leftover remnants leads to what I would describe as a messy system that can not only have a detrimental effect on system performance but also potentially interfere with Windows Updates.


Adware And Malware

the-dangers-of-malware

Every time a client brings me a PC to fix, one of the first things I do is scan the system for any nasties. I have never, not once, scanned one of these machines and it has been 100% clean, I always find multiple instances of adware and/or malware, at times in numbers that defy belief. Malware, in particular, can cause all sorts of weird and wonderful glitches and certainly has the potential to interfere with Windows Updates. The problem with malware infections, apart from the obvious, is that even a successful cleanup is no guarantee that damage caused to system files has been remediated.

Old Incompatible Software

How many times have you seen a user comment along the lines of, ”I use such-and-such software, it is old and no longer supported but it does the job and works with Windows 10”. We all have our own favorite software and I can appreciate it is often difficult to move on to something new and unfamiliar. However, while that older software might still work with Windows 10 right now, each and every new Windows 10 Update has the potential to break that compatibility. Windows 10 is under constant development and continually being updated accordingly and so it is only logical that installed software should also always be up-to-date, both for compatibility and security reasons.

System File Corruptions

System files can become corrupted for any number of reasons– an old and failing hard drive (with bad sectors) and malware infections being two of the most common causes. I scan all my machines every two to three weeks to make sure my system is healthy. It’s a quick and simple exercise; open an elevated command prompt (Admin) and type in the following command: sfc /scannow and then hit Enter.
At the completion of the scan, this is the message you want to see:

system-file-checker-result

Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations. If you receive a message that file corruptions were found but not fixed, you’ll need to take further remedial action. Please see this earlier article: SFC Fails To Fix Errors – What Now?


I challenge you all to run sfc /scannow right now and post the result via the comments.

Bottom Line

A few weeks ago it was announced that Windows 10 is now installed on over 1 billion devices. When you factor in this huge number, dozens or even hundreds of users reporting issues with Windows 10 Updates is put into a proper perspective. Furthermore, if almost 100% of my clients are not looking after their operating systems properly, I believe it’s reasonable to assume that a significant number of users globally are also not doing the right thing(s).

When I got my very first car my old man said to me… look after it and it will look after you. I believe the same is true of operating systems. Regular maintenance and a healthy dose of respect will go a long way to eliminating many potential problems, including issues with Windows Updates.

I’m not for one minute suggesting that every issue caused by every update is always the user’s fault. There will obviously be times when a unique combination of hardware and installed software will be to blame. However, it would be very interesting to know how many of these users who are experiencing issues with updates are doing so repeatedly/consistently.


UPDATE:

Since this article was written I have come across an announcement from Microsoft regarding Windows 10 users reporting issues with update KB4549951. This is what Microsoft had to say:

We have seen social media reports related to KB4549951 that mention Bluetooth, blue screens, and other related issues. To date, we have not seen these issues reflected in telemetry, support data, or customer feedback channels ~ (source)

Enough said.


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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

30 Comments

  1. Today there was corrupted files, and they got repaired.
    It is rarely there is problems when i run sfc /scannow.

  2. Hello Jim. Love your car analogy. Sad reality that both cars and computers only get attention when there is a problem. When you started with computers, back in the days, there were fewer users and most became tech savvy in order to survive. Today, computers are tools for the masses with little knowledge of either, use wanting to use this new toy. I am being blunt as I know of friends and family who have not clue other than turn it on and run apps. Even sadder, they do not care about the neglect. “You mean I have to maintenance? I take it in for servicing when there is a problem. No.”, Mindblower!

  3. Ran the scan, no issues found.
    I, too think the MS Updates issue is overblown. I have quite a few computers here and I buy, sell and service laptops as a hobby and I haven’t had any of the issues I see reported in the press and elsewhere every month.
    I tend to be very meticulous with all my systems. They are kept properly maintained. I have only had one issue with a desktop system that I use daily and heavily, where the sfc scannow found errors and couldn’t fix them. My solution was a reinstall of Windows 10 without losing any data or apps. After that, all was fine once again.
    Most of these dire warning sites are just click-bait IMO.

    • Hey Ken,

      Appreciate your input. And I agree that the sites who are continually writing about issues reported with Windows Updates are pure click-bait. Their information is usually always gleaned from Tweets or postings on other social media. No a great source for factual information.

      Cheers… Jim

  4. Thanks Jim,

    Frustrating it is when I hear, “Oh, I forgot what you told me to do to keep my computer clean.”
    My reply, “It was written by you as I dictated the maintenance methods which are in your computer, the notes are in a binder which I suggested you keep for all advice.”
    That was several months ago, typical of just the four people who call me with a problem, basically ‘switch it on, make it go’ individuals.

    My scan-now ‘Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violation.’ is always the result from 1 laptop (8 years old) and 2 Desktop computers.
    They are maintained with regular runs of Privazer, Emsisoft, Ashampoo WinOptimiser and add Geek Uninstaller Pro for Trace/Install/Uninstall of software, then regular overall scans with tools in the IObit Uninstaller.Toolbox.

    Thanks Jim, the first car advice from my father was the same as yours, also works with other possessions. đŸ˜‰

    Regards,

    Jonno

  5. Jim,
    Ran sfc /scannow. Had to run twice because first run found and corrected some errors. Second run found none.
    A few years ago, I did have an issue after updating from Windows 10 1803 to 1809 on a Dell laptop. After the update to 1809 was complete, everything seemed to be working. Then the Bluetooth mouse I was using quit. While trying to troubleshoot that problem, the Wi-Fi quit also. Connected computer to router via ethernet cable and it quit as well. Then the keyboard and touchpad gave up the ghost.
    Fortunately, I had done a backup before updating and restored the system back to 1803 and everything went back to normal. I waited about 2 months and then tried again. Coincidently(?), Dell issued an update to some of their drivers during that period. The second attempt to install 1809 went without a hitch.
    Other than that one time, I’ve not had any problems with Microsoft updates. And that one incident seemed to point at Dell rather than Microsoft.

    • Hey Mark,

      Yes, admittedly there have been some update issues early on in Windows 10, most of which have been down to outdated drivers. I believe that is all behind us now though.

      Thanks for your input, appreciated.

  6. Recently have been getting the same error message

    0x800f0831

    for both updating to V 1909 and also KB4556799

    failure to install the update

    have done reboots a few times before trying to do the install and have realtime Malwarebytes and Bit Defender running with scans done and turn off any browsers or other major programs.

    No other issues with the system but would like to keep updates current. Any ideas are appreciated.

    • Hey Murray,

      That error message is usually associated with a missing package which is required for the update to install successfully: https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/4477073/error-0x800f0831-when-you-install-an-update

      Your CBS logs can be accessed at System Drive (C) > Windows > Logs > CBS. Open that location and you should find a log that identifies the missing package. Then, follow the steps as per the MS guide I have linked to.

      Have you used some sort of tool to clean up Windows Updates? If so, that is probably the culprit.

      HTH, cheers… Jim

      • Hi Jim — I followed the instructions and found 5 .cab files and opened the last one which then generated a .log file which I looked at and with my small knowledge did not help at all.

        Tried to email and that did not work so back to here. On the same date, there were a total of 5 .cab files and the last one which is the only one I opened it just showed a list of folders.

        If there is something I am missing, please advise.

        TIA

    • Hey Murray,

      You are looking for CBS.log files only, not .cab files. Searching for “missing package” won’t do the job. That is only a generic term because each missing package for each user will have a different identifier. As per line number one in the MS guide I linked to:

      Store corruption, manifest missing for package: “Missing_Package”

      Instead of “missing package” it should have the ID for the missing package so you can then go to the link provided in MS’s resolution, search for the package (using the ID), download and install it.

      If still no luck, I suggest you take this issue to the DCT Forum where we can provide more assistance.

      Cheers… Jim

      • Hi Jim — when I opened the CBS folder, there was no log until I opened one of the .cab. Now I have also found a .log

        CbsPersist_20200516233740.log

        I did a search for both “failed package” and “missing package” in the log file with “no result found “message.

        There are a number of notations related to “package” which basically state that the target and start dates are absent and so therefore it was “skipping package” after evaluating.

        There is also info about inability to detect a parent package.

        I don’t see any ID that I might use when going to the other site.

        I hope this adds not too much to my confusion but it is just beyond my computer knowledge.

        This is one huge number of lines in the log file.

        TI”A

  7. Jim, Dashlane was working perfectly before a Microsoft update. Then it wouldn’t fill in the blanks on blank forms, wouldn’t fill in my log in name or PW. I’m going to transfer my Dashlane info to either Last Pass or 1Pass. Any recommendations? Thanks for your prompt answer before.

  8. My first run of the sfc /scannow command yielded the following:

    Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.
    For online repairs, details are included in the CBS log file located at
    windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For offline
    repairs, details are included in the log file provided by the /OFFLOGFILE flag.

    The second run found no issues.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Hey Homer,

      Excellent! File corruptions are not uncommon and it’s best to keep on top of them. Once these types of corruptions accumulate it is often not fixable by simply running the System File Scanner and the repair process becomes a lot more complicated.

      Thanks for your input, appreciated.

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