Do you remember the good old days? Back when Windows 10 was a reliable operating system? When updates worked? Yeah... me neither.
What a shame it is to have an OS that “almost could.” An OS that apparently is so broken even Microsoft has given up on it, though I’m sure they’d say otherwise. I’ve written plenty of articles about Windows 10 updates breaking and, in some cases, even bricking everything from desktops to laptops. So much so, it became tiring to keep up with all the things that have happened during updates.
The biggest problem for me is that it effectively bricked my wireless Vive HDM when a feature update made it impossible for Windows on that computer (HP Omen) to recognize the headset, controllers, or base stations. Something to do with the Bluetooth I expect, but all the ‘net fixes haven’t worked so far. Neither have the “Expert” fixes.
I’m not anti-Microsoft, even though it sounds like it. I’ve made a living using Microsoft products, as Apple barely exists in my part of America. Also, the 3D industry I’m involved in is Windows-based, so I had little choice. I’m using Word to write this article.
I started with 3.11, survived Windows ME, embraced Windows 7, and dove into Windows 10 like it was the second coming only to have that confidence shattered.
What will it break next? It’s not just a question, as it becomes a mantra after time.
While I realize this is apples to oranges, I’m a bit concerned about Microsoft getting any kind of government contract when it can’t get Windows Explorer to function properly for many users. Having to rely on third-party software to view files on Windows 10 Pro systems are... well... unacceptable to some users.
While I must admit that I do wonder how some of the things like the Windows Explorer bug can happen at a company that is loaded with talent, I also know it is a herculean task to update a wide range of computers. Its user base is so vast that there will be problems somewhere for someone.
It just gets old seeing a functioning computer broken in some manner because of an update. The Update Roulette game is beyond tedious. Just on my side of the household, there are several times on different platforms that Win 10 Update has broken something or even bricked the system, requiring a reinstall.
I might have to step back from the opening statement of this article. Maybe there was a time when Windows 10 functioned something like a stable OS. I can remember forgetting about Safe Mode and all that stuff for a while, then a feature update introduced gremlins that seem to have propagated in mass.
If my desktops were old or low spec, I could cut a little slack here, but one is a Dell XPS and the other is the HP Omen (with one of the coolest and most functional computer cases I used in a long time). They are getting on to 4 years old but c’mon... they are i7’s with plenty of ram and good graphics cards that probably cost more than the computers themselves.
In the past few years, I have deteriorated from a confident Windows 10 user to a “scared to look at the computer during or after an update” user. My confidence in Microsoft isn’t down. It's gone. Unless you count confidently predicting that something else will break in the future.
I dare say… the not wanting to look at it during the update thing is making me superstitious. Next thing you know I’ll be holding my left hand up with my right hand out rubbing a talisman or rabbit's foot while repeating an Ode to Bill Gates (yes, I know he’s gone, but I can’t let things go).
Today I woke up to an update that broke my audio on a bedroom desktop, a casual net cruiser but still an I7, with no audio device found. All drivers are updated, Device Manager shows all is well, and many hoops jumped through including rollback of the update but alas, Windows 10 has stymied me again.
Look in device manager and everything is fine. Try to update the driver and it tells you that you already have the latest version and no way to roll back as the button is greyed out. Manual removal and replacement are just as fruitless.
Here is a novel thought... more like a utopian dream, but just imagine:
A world where the computer that worked last night when you went to bed... still works in the morning when you get up.
Wow... just imagine.
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.