How dangerous is it to be a 'Dev Channel' insider vs a 'Beta Channel'

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  1. Posts : 10
    Windows 10 Home Premium (Latest insider build).
       #1

    How dangerous is it to be a 'Dev Channel' insider vs a 'Beta Channel'


    My Windows 10 Home 64-bit version number is: 20H2 (OS Build 19042.782)

    I am just wondering how much more hazardous it is to be on the Dev Channel than the Beta (I've done it before without problems but this time around my back up drive is no longer functional).
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  2. thomaseg1's Avatar
    Posts : 13,331
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 19042.804 & 21327.1000
       #2

    Rammstein420 said:
    My Windows 10 Home 64-bit version number is: 20H2 (OS Build 19042.782)

    I am just wondering how much more hazardous it is to be on the Dev Channel than the Beta (I've done it before without problems but this time around my back up drive is no longer functional).

    Well I would wait till you have a backup drive.
    The Dev channel is chancy any anything could go wrong, from hardware not compatible
    to software no longer running . BSOD or in the DEV GSOD can occur at any time.
    If you aren't good with diagnosing computer faults ,or installing and reinstalling I would say leave it be.
    The Dev channel is for testing .
    It isn't a necessary build for average folks.
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  3. hdmi's Avatar
    Posts : 375
    10 Home (20H2)
       #3

    They can be equally as dangerous because both can cause one's hair to fall out permanently.
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  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,501
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #4

    When joining the Technical Preview, later called the Insider Preview, there was a strong warning to not install on an only computer or production computer just because of the possibility of something failing. I have the IP Dev channel on 2 computers that I had rehabbed rather than put in the landfill [Recycling/eWaste transportation got too expensive].
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  5. EdTittel's Avatar
    Posts : 4,092
    Windows 10
       #5

    Other posters here are absolutely right: you want to install Insider Preview stuff in a test machine or a VM, so you don't have to absolutely depend on that specific Windows image to work well, all the time. By definition, that's a role for a production image which should be from the production version of Windows 10 (20H2/19042.xxx builds). Many businesses, in fact, run one revision behind the current production version (20H1/19041) or even two versions back (because 19041 and 19042 are more alike than different) which is 1909/18363.
    I have been running Insider Previews back to the days when they were called Technical Previews in October 2014 well before the first production version of Windows 10 came out as 1507. I've never had any of the 10 or so test machines I've used fail or leave me in the lurch (maybe more than that, even, now that I think about how long Win10 has been around). But I still don't run Insider Previews on PCs I use for everyday work or laptops I plan to take on the road to do likewise (though that isn't happening much these days).
    HTH,
    --Ed--
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  6. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 53,028
    Multi-boot Windows 10 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #6

    Dangerous may be not be the right word, maybe error prone would be better. It's not going to physically blow up in your face!

    Seriously, Dev or Beta, or RP ..... they all are subject to minor and major burps. That's why backups were invented, for when things go south really bad. And never, never run them as your main everyday working OS. Aside from the painful possibility of losing data, they are "hardwired" to call home to MS and spill the beans on telemetry. Can't be set to "none".

    Wait till you get a backup drive, and do the Dev channel, I still refer to it as the Fast Ring.
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  7. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,012
    Windows10
       #7

    These days the DEV channel should be renamed the SNAIL channel as its release of useful features is so slow. The biggest danger is dying of boredom. In reality, in my experience, it is the actual frequent updating process that is risky, more than the actual updating content.
    With our good friend Macrium Reflect to make backups, the risk of Dev Channel is not that great.
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  8. Posts : 94
    W10
       #8

    It's not that dangerous. Some rough edges, they say? Obviously there are UX bugs, sometimes serious annoyances - like few weeks back, that new gaming toolbar just launched itself upon login and i couldn't close it bc. due to a bug, it "locked" the entire desktop. I had to kill that thing from task manager.
    Reported it and they fixed it in the next build. I also found a bug in the disk defrag util, luckily UX only. It didn't do any damage, just a nonworking checkbox.

    What you will want to watch out, is beta drivers, which the insider builds will happily deliver to you. You would want to be extremely careful with those. All hell could break lose if a malfunctioning driver is installed, including, a non booting os that you would have a hard time repairing. (of course, recovery menu or a system rollback would do the trick)

    You really should disable automatic WindowsUpdate-brought driver updates in group policy. You don't have to turn off windows update entirely, you can just disable driver updates. You can still manually install driver updates.

    Or, leave them on but then make sure to have a weekly or daily backup so you can roll back.

    Let me give you a counter example too so you see, it's not at all that bad. I actually prefer these new drivers because FINALLY i have up to date Intel + amd drivers on my lenovo IdeaPad 330s-15ikb 81f500gyhv. This baby comes with hybrid switchable graphics. Intel core i5-8250u cpu with Intel UHD 620 graphics and AMD Radeon 540 graphics. These are standalone separate chips, which means they need their own drivers and the Intel one is customized to allow special wiring and pass-through for the AMD. You know this is from 2018, there are now newer models in which Intel houses an amd chip inside their processor. This one I have is NOT like that yet however. So therfore i have 2018 and 2019ish drivers from lenovo and from windows update because for a really long time, no one seemed to bother to release and test new drivers for this rig. Even though this very same setup was fairly common 2 years ago...

    But finally the ice broke and thanks to windows 10 insider Dev ring, i have new drivers brought by windows update. They are preview drivers and they are very new. They are from 2020 October and November. The AMD one finally has a detachable UWP GUI control panel, you know, MS-Store-style. Intel has had that for years, AMD just begins to do it for these series now.

    Apart from these, nothing serious. Make sure to have regular system image backups and a recovery tool, a flash drive or bootable entry option to be able to roll back on the go. If you have it,, you should be good to go. It's nice to see how windows evolves. I actually need to see it as i do software development and i need to test my stuff for the latest and greatest upcoming release. Otherwise my users would complain that my software doesn't work on day 1 when the new windows version is released. This is how we prepare for that. But it is nice even for non - developers. And the feedback data you can provide, along with the telemetrics that is automatically provided, helps MS a lot. This is why you can't and shouldn't disable that in the test builds. This is the whole reason they have those builds. Telemetry helps them and it's great to be able to help them, because they can now develop better software than before. It's great to be part of it. Good luck.
    Last edited by ish4d0w; 28 Jan 2021 at 18:25.
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  9. Posts : 16
    Windows10 - when it works
       #9

    It's terrible if anyone makes a post that detailed on it sorry lol

    Expect weird unexplainable problems intermittently, or worse, PERSISTENTLY when u mess with channel changing and have auto updates on. Without doing it right it can mess up a lot of whatever you're trying to achieve outside testing new stuff and not know they're related or feature , code gets changed no and sometimes you're stuck with it or it removes files/errors that only get displayed under specific conditions or readable only as X in a specific directory .. it sucks. Make things extra challenging with all the Cross Platform security and services stuff they're pushing on everyone imo.
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  10. f14tomcat's Avatar
    Posts : 53,028
    Multi-boot Windows 10 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #10

    Make things extra challenging with all the Cross Platform security and services stuff they're pushing on everyone imo.
    It's Insider. It's test. It's optional. No one is making you run the OS. MS is not holding a gun to your head.
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