For many users, upgrading to Windows 10 meant that future revisions of the operating system would be smooth sailing. Over the past few releases, we have seen the opposite in a lot of cases. It’s becoming common for a new release of Windows 10 to break hardware drivers or applications. Some users are also experiencing issues where the Windows 10 Creators Update is unstable or malfunctions after an upgrade.
It turns out, although Microsoft would like all us of to upgrade to each revision, the reality is, we don’t live in a perfect world. That’s why the software giant announced yesterday that it will be adjusting its rollout plan based on its customer feedback, moving to a new phased rollout approach.
Phased rollouts of Windows 10 is not new, in fact, the November and Anniversary Updates used this method of delivery depending on certain factors. Hardware that met requirements such as TPM 1.2 support, UEFI BIOS, and support for Windows Hello biometrics are ideal candidates.
Microsoft Phasing in Windows 10 Creators Update to Supported Devices
Our Windows 10 Help forums have chronicled some of the current issues users might experience attempting to manually upgrade or after installation. Some of these issues can easily be resolved using the guidance in our 12 step prep article. For others, avoiding the upgrade until Microsoft deems it fit for your system is the best recommendation. In a recent blog post, Microsoft detailed how it’s planning to deliver the Windows 10 Creators Update to hundreds of millions of devices over time.
While it is fantastic to see all the positive feedback on the new features and update experience in the Creators Update, we actually focus more on the issues users are reporting so we can improve the overall experience over time. Depending on the individual issue, we do one or more of the following:
- Document the issue and provide users more information on the issue, potential user impact, and (in some cases) specific guidance including troubleshooting or workaround/remediation guidance. You can find more information via our support channels, including the Windows community forum.
- Update Windows itself, or work with a PC, accessory, or ISV app partner to post a driver or compatibility update.
- Deploy a “block” to prevent further rollout of the Creators Update to impacted devices until an issue is resolved. Source
Microsoft provided the usual channels for upgrading such as the Upgrade Assistant and Media Creation Tool. I personally have noticed a number of users experience problems upgrading using the Upgrade Assistant; a small 5 MB installer, which kicks off the upgrade immediately. Switching to the Media Creation Tool or downloading the ISO file, then mounting it has proved more successful.
These alternatives are not guarantees everything will go well. The Upgrade Assistant and MCT only does a basic check to determine if your system meets the minimum requirements. If you own an exotic configuration with a line of business apps, it’s not gonna necessarily tell you what’s incompatible. The MCT is a little bit better, but not perfect either.
So, what’s the best way to upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update?
1. Wait until Microsoft offers it to your system through Windows Update. This has been the primary method since Windows 10 was launched in 2015. Delivery through Windows Update also guarantees that Microsoft has likely tested your configuration.
2. Check the manufacturer’s website for your model. If an OEM vendor such as Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer or Samsung say its compatible or not, follow their advisory.
3. Backup your system before initiating the upgrade. I can’t say this enough, yes, you are already running Windows 10, but it’s still Windows; it’s the complex 30-year-old code base. That means, just like previous versions, a successful upgrade is not guaranteed for one reason or another.
Microsoft is hoping to use its vast user base of 10 million Windows Insiders to help find problems before they release to the mainstream customer base. The company is also working with third-party hardware and software vendors to ensure compatibility. In the meantime, we just have to accept that, a slower pace is actually better in the long run.
Have you upgraded to the Windows 10 Creators Update yet? Let us know in the comments.