I learned something new today… how to go back to a previous Windows 10 build due to needed hardware not working on the newest feature update.
Oh yes… the rollback was automated… with scary, cryptic messages that seem to have no other reason than to fray your nerves further. I’m starting to wonder… is Artificial Intelligence all that works at Microsoft now because they really need the human touch in those screen messages.
A little background on how I got this point. As many of you know I’ve had my troubles with Widows Updates… particularly the feature update that goes from one “version” of Windows to the next version. I have had a few desktops and a couple of laptops get bricked from these updates in years past but 2019 seemed to be good to me.
Maybe the cyber gods had lost track of me. Maybe gold rains from the sky and money grows on trees too.
Whatever happened the Windows Update bug bit me again. This time it did not find me cowering behind the keyboard wondering what havoc it could wreak. No… by now I was arrogant, almost defying Windows Update to do something.
So… it did.
It trashed my Vive Wireless Adapter connection to Steam VR. It didn’t just trash it… SteamVR couldn’t see the headset, the base towers or the controllers. I got a blank SteamVR window with nothing… I mean nothing…showing up. I reset this and that then rebooted. Finally, I shut the whole damn thing down and rather impatiently waited for it to boot up and fail to load SteamVR again!
To clarify it didn’t really trash the wireless adapter part as that worked fine. It was receiving a signal. The problem was the computer couldn’t see the HMD or any other component. I’d get an error message above the SteamVR window not seeing the HMD. I tried resetting a few times with no success. No update available to SteamVR either.
I tested the other two HMDs, the Rift and the Odyssey Plus to see if they worked which they did. Both are tethered and not relying on a wireless signal. Now what? On to Google and start chasing my tail until I found a solution… if there is one … while hoping to not screw up anything else on the system?
Windows 10 Rollback Message
Nope…uh-uh. Not going there… not going to do it this time. Time to find out about this Windows rollback thing and see if it works. Besides this isn’t my workstation it’s my VR system and all I wanted to do was get back into Alyx without the frustration of herding cats all the way to a solution. I also wanted to know if the update was the culprit.
While it's not my main system it is my backup. I do work on it from time to time because it's in my house and handy. It also has some huge hard drives on it to store games and is continually backed up so back we go.
- Go to Settings.
- Update & Security
- Select Recovery
- Select Go back to the previous version of Windows 10
- Follow on-screen instructions.
This is where you get the cryptic message about “What you need to know” which always fills users with confidence things are on the right track.
At this point, you can sit there and watch it recover or go off and do something else while your PC chugs back along the road to sanity. I went off to do something else... in that strange environment outside my back door. I think it’s called the outdoors.
Before I could do that, I went back the recovering PC to check to see if it had started the process and was very surprised to find it ready to use! This can’t be... what sort of witchcraft is this? Microsoft can't update all your computers successfully, but they can turn back time with no problem???
Well yes... they can, they did and guess what??? Everything worked like it used to. SteamVR picked up the wireless headset and in no time, I was back to fighting head crabs and their zombified hosts in the Quarantine Zone.
I didn’t get bricked nor did I have to reinstall anything, it was still somewhat of a buzzkill wondering if everything or anything was going to work after recovery which so far appears in good order. At least now I’ll have some confidence in the procedure next time I need it... right up to the point Windows Update throws yet another wrench into the works.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.