Windows 10: Anyone know if MS are addressing Insider build upgrade issues?

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  1. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       04 Jul 2017 #11

    The update delivery and upgrade methodology is at the heart of Windows program to switch from big new Windows versions every few years to bi-annual feature updates, delivered as build version upgrades, with much reduced learning curves compared to the Windows 7>8>8.1>10 upgrade series.

    Ever since 2015, when Windows 10 was released, the process has been punctuated with problems centered around the upgrade process itself for non-Insider users.

    The move away from user-initiated download, upgrade or clean install, then rebuild the users system with programs and apps, towards a non-invasive background process for download and installation with the automated restart and post-installation processing done out-of-hours has been given to the Insiders to test every new variation, and it's not arrived there yet, I think everyone will agree.

    The Insider Preview program tests the delivery and the content of new builds, and every failure to download, install update and upgrade gives Microsoft telemetric data for the developers to work on to improve on the delivery system.

    Incompatibilities are now pretty well known, and people will know which of their favourite programs they will have to reinstall after upgrade, and which devices should not be connected during the process.

    It's not as simple as your smart TV getting a firmware update, because to update Windows on PCs and laptops and tablets that are made up of a huge number of permutations of devices and drivers, not to mention installed 3rd-party software and user customizations, the knowledge base that Windows Setup would have to consult to get everything right, would just take too long.

    Upgrade problems are a major point of focus for the developers, and funnily enough there are a bunch of us Insiders who report that we have found the most recent five or so Insider build updates to have no issues apart from the known ones mentioned when the new builds are announced, contrary to the OP.

    To be fair, I had a spate of upgrade problems earlier in 2017, before 1703 was released. Perhaps the telemetry from those failures has been acted upon and has made way for the current smooth patch I see now.

    The eventual aim is to make a (general availability) Feature Update build upgrade no more painful than a large Patch Tuesday "Quality Update" as Microsoft would now like the cumulative updates to be called.

    I'd like that painless experience too, and that's why I'm sticking with the Insider Program, through thick and thin.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2. martyfelker's Avatar
    Posts : 1,541
    Triple Boot Windows 10 IP Build 17711/Windows Server 2019 IP Build 17692/Debian Unsttable
       04 Jul 2017 #12

    A simple fix for insider testing is for MS to release (on their Insider site - which you have login to) the ISO for the current Insider Build. You only need to download the ISO, mount it, and run setup.exe. I'm perfectly OK with MS gathering all the install logs from my PC. But for some reason, they don't do so.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       05 Jul 2017 #13

    martyfelker said: View Post
    A simple fix for insider testing is for MS to release (on their Insider site - which you have login to) the ISO for the current Insider Build. You only need to download the ISO, mount it, and run setup.exe. I'm perfectly OK with MS gathering all the install logs from my PC. But for some reason, they don't do so.
    I guess that your install logs wouldn't tell Microsoft anything they don't know already from hundreds (thousands?) of internal testers - that you can install/upgrade successfully from an ISO of the latest build. It must be one of the first tests internally performed on any new candidate build.

    What Microsoft want to know thru the Insider program, is if their upgrade delivery fails, so that they can work towards making it work better next time.

    Once that is fixed, the rate of Insiders testing fully automatically delivered, installed and updated systems will increase, less folk will drop out of the Program, and nobody will see a perceived need to circumvent their delivery system using an old and tested method - the ISOs of the last Feature build will still be available in the event a clean installation is required for whatever reason, and the registered Insider can just rejoin the fast ring on that installed system.

    ISOs released for every build would be an ISO hell for Microsoft - it would invite modders &c. to develop a product like WinLite to strip out the 'undesired' Features (that Microsoft has developed because MS want Insiders to give a broad spectrum of opinion on them), for each build that comes along, and then distribute them via their personal file-sharing accounts. Imagine the number of takedowns that might generate!

    Repeating the same successful operation over and over is no challenge, but fixing a mistake/problem/failure is an achievement.
    Last edited by Fafhrd; 05 Jul 2017 at 02:25. Reason: added brackets to para 4 for clarity
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    05 Jul 2017 #14

    Let's not start another endless debate on whether MS should release an iso or not. Plain matter is they do not for Fast Ring - end of story.

    If a user really wants that, user should use Feedback mechanism and by all means post link.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. martyfelker's Avatar
    Posts : 1,541
    Triple Boot Windows 10 IP Build 17711/Windows Server 2019 IP Build 17692/Debian Unsttable
       05 Jul 2017 #15

    I don't think it is the end of the story. I can't see the ISO hell you refer to. Surely MS has created ISO's of the upgrade in order to upload them to buildfeed. It is known that employees of MS look to buildfeed for the latest releases. So I'm just saying they release the ISO they are going to put to the fast ring on the offical Insiders web page. I don't see the problem. It would be nice if Dora could explain it. If MS itself has a valid reason why they don't release the ISO then it just for us to burn our own and share (yes using PM) amongst ourselves. If in fact MS is not collecting installation logs from Insiders then I may as well turn telemetry off either using group policy or a 3rd party software like shutup.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       05 Jul 2017 #16

    I would guess that the MS line is that they provide ISO files to Insiders on Download Windows 10 Insider Preview Advanced

    and that ISO can be used to clean install to rejoin the Fast Ring for Insider Previews, with an upgrade to latest Insider Preview build following shortly thereafter.

    That would be my line too.

    I guess, Marty, that Microsoft will do what it wants to.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  7.    05 Jul 2017 #17

    Yes I reported it to the hub several times over the months. I've also tried every trick in the book from these forums!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 3
    Windows 10 Build 10576
       10 Jul 2017 #18

    brianwall said: View Post
    I have been an Insider since its inception. Until a few months ago I never once had an issue with an upgrade. Now it is a continuous cycle of fast ring upgrade failures for me and judging by the number of posts by others across a whole range of forums, it is a growing and serious problem.
    Microsoft can not be unaware of this yet have remained silent, offering only simplistic boilerplate solutions which never work.
    Can some organisation with a bit of clout not grill Microsoft and let us know why their engineers seem unable to solve this problem which has recurred for the last half dozen fast ring updates?
    I am on 16199 now only because I reinstalled an earlier ISO and went through the upgrade process from there. I don't intend to repeat that exercise as reinstalling all my software, their settings and configurations and updates is a royal pain.
    On that point, is it beyond MS to devise a way to replace the operating system and then reinstall the user's software? It used to be done I believe in the good old days!
    I feel your pain - After several updates without issue, I am stuck on 16199 for several releases now. Dona Sarkar stated back on build 16232 that Microsoft was "looking into the issue" but with release 16237 I saw no further comment, workaround or even acknowledgement that they had indeed started looking into it.

    I think these upgrade issues are likely related to the UUP process they started using but I'm sure it will improve with time. The biggest issue with it right now is that the upgrade time has dramatically gone from minutes to hours upon hours. That makes it especially painful when a failure occurs. My latest attempt (Build 16237) took 5 hours (on a 3.5Ghz, 16GB, SSD system) before it failed (0x80070643).

    All the workarounds I've tried (documented here and other places) have failed as well. Someone in this thread suggested that upgrading from an ISO prevented the issues but that has not been my experience. They still ultimately fail. My system runs great otherwise but I think the failures may be because I have chosen to move my User Profiles to a non system disk, or possibly because I have half a dozen HDD's. Those two facts are the only non-standard things about my PC. I'm pretty sure the only reliable workaround is to do a clean install from an ISO, painful as that may be for some of us.

    Some folks here get a bit defensive on Microsoft's behalf and they do have a valid point - the Insider Program was established as an early adopter program and pre-RTM test platform. These kinds of issues aren't welcomed by anybody but we need to accept that they will sometimes occur. That said, you also raise a valid point in that Microsoft needs to pay attention to these upgrade issues as well as new features and stabilization of the OS. This deserves discussion as much as other OS issues (maybe moreso).

    Microsoft could have done better by looking into the upgrade issue or at least communicating status by some means; it's been an issue for more than a couple of builds now. And I have to admit - I'm happy there aren't kids around my office when my upgrade runs for five hours before f8!$#ng failing and I'm remembering from the release notes that MS is announcing important new features like "People pops" and more emoji's. Really? These upgrades are killing me and you're working on People Pops? I end up yelling foul things at my PC and I'll bet you do too. You just gotta laugh!

    Summary points:

    - Microsoft works hard to produce substantial updates every 1-2 weeks for Fast Ring
    - Things break and we'll need to suck it up sometimes
    - Microsoft has acknowledged the on-going upgrade process issue
    - Microsoft could communicate a little better with Fast Ring Insiders on this and other open issues
    - I'm fairly certain that they are working on it , even if they don't update us
    - Macrium Reflect (free) should be in your toolkit if you don't have it already, it helps
    - ISO's are usually available very shortly after a Build Release (from 3rd-party sources) and can be built from the UUP files as well

    Now I'm off to begin my own tedious clean install...good luck with your upgrade efforts.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    10 Jul 2017 #19

    brianwall said: View Post
    Yes I reported it to the hub several times over the months. I've also tried every trick in the book from these forums!
    If the build will not install it cannot be tested. I have reported issues with sleep in every RS3 build and has MS addressed it? No.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Fafhrd's Avatar
    Posts : 1,928
    Windows 10 x86 14383 Insider Pro and Core 10240
       11 Jul 2017 #20

    The thing about failed installs is that if they rollback to the previous build, the failure codes and logs, as well as the xml metadata from the Panther appraisal during the early downlevel phase of the upgrade can get fed into the Windows error reporting telemetry machine.

    These may then be analysed statistically to discover which elements of certain diverse systems are involved in the failure states across the Insider population that experiences problems.

    I'll point you to this thread, concerning an old device driver that worked until 1703 Creators Update:

    Old computers not yet compatible with 1703 (Broadcom 440x driver) - Windows 10 Forums

    Here's a description of the problem from a user's Point of view:

    DavidY; said:
    Although Anniversary Update (1607) works fine with this driver, currently (30 April 2017), if Windows 10 Creators' Update (1703) is installed, the driver will stop a clean-install from completing (circling dots circle for ever). On an upgrade install, the ethernet driver also takes down the WiFi driver so you can't connect to a network through either route. They look OK in Device Manager but they aren't. Neither can you simply 'Disable' the offending driver in Device Manager - it just seems to hang.
    ...and from a Microsoft Engineer's analysis of the problem:

    First, a brief synopsis of the technical details: The Broadcom 440x is a XP/Vista era driver and hasn't been updated in many years. As you know it has worked faithfully all those years. The creators update introduced some new features that take advantage of some Network Card hardware optimizations that are available on newer models. These features have been available on Server versions of windows for some time. But starting with the creators update the optimizations are now available on client versions. Unfortunately the Broadcom 440x has a bug where it returns incorrect responses when Windows asks it about support for the hardware optimizations. This exposes an additional bug in tcpip.sys which causes the symptoms that have been reported.

    Given the nature of support for the old driver we cannot fix the Broadcom 440x. But we can fix the bug tcpip.sys. Doing so should cause the symptoms (hang during update, no network connectivity, 100% CPU usage in kernel) to be fixed.

    Here is how any fix like this will be released. First the fix will be released to Windows Insiders who are signed up to receive prelease builds. Once we have confirmation from the field that we did not regress anything it will be deployed as an update to non insiders running the Creators Update. Also the links to installation media and upgrades will be switched to the new build that has the fix.

    When will all this happen? I cannot give any dates at this time. I will keep this thread updated when I do know. I can say that in general this process (release to insiders, review results, release to non insiders) usually takes about a month if there are no snags.

    As I said, when there is more I can comment on, or when something is released I will update this thread.
    from page 10 of Problems with Creators update - Microsoft Community

    I know it's no comfort if you can't upgrade to a new build in the Insiders Program on the physical machine you have.

    If you can run a Virtual machine, you may manage to run it as an upgrade on the virtual machine's virtual hardware.

    You may be able to clean install the new build, but hardware problems may still prevent installation.

    If Windows Setup itself is the problem, it may also be able to install if you sidestep the Windows Setup by using DISM as in Kari's excellent tutorial:

    Apply Windows Image using DISM Instead of Clean Install Windows 10 Installation Upgrade Tutorials
      My ComputersSystem Spec

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