The Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released on August 2nd and has been a mixed bag of good and bad. Despite all the testing of preliminary versions, there have been a number of reports about update failures when installing the Win10 Anniversary Update.
Fortunately, I did not have anything go wrong with the upgrade itself — all my hardware still works without having to update drivers. My issues all fell into the category of stupid things that Microsoft did, like turning off System Protection (restore points) and not turning it back on), and making me reset many of my privacy settings.
Other people haven’t been so lucky — I’ve read stories of vanishing drives and mid-update failures. If you have a Brother printer, check out http://support.brother.com/g/s/id/os/windows.html as you may need to uninstall your Brother software and reinstall it.
Some articles are recommending that you wait before installing the Anniversary Update. That’s going to be a challenge, since we generally don’t have the option to delay updates. On the other hand, if your network connection is wireless, you can change one of the Settings to indicate that you have a "metered connection" even if you don’t have one. That will prevent most updates. If you connect via Ethernet, however, that option does not apply and you’ll get the update when MS wants you to get it.
If you want to get it now, perhaps for one machine but not others, you can get it and install it as I did. The Windows blog tells you how to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update now.
One option is to just let it come via Windows Updates whenever it arrives — possibly weeks from now, as it is planned to roll out across the world in phases.
The first "now" option is to open Window 10, go to Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update. Then click on Check for Updates. However, even triggering them manually, it won’t give the Anniversary Update to you if Microsoft isn’t ready to give it to you. It didn’t work for me on the morning of August 2nd; however, I understand now that the update may not have been released until later that day.
The other option shown is also to open Window 10, and go to the same place (Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update). Below the Check for Updates button, there’s a link that says "Learn more." routes you to the Windows 10 update history page.
According to the Microsoft "How to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update" web page at which you arrive, there should be an ISO file of the Anniversary Update available on on the support page to which this page links. Unfortunately, there isn’t one.
The "Get the Anniversary Updatge now" button downloads a small .exe file, which is the Windows 10 Update Assistant (Windows10Upgrade28084.exe) for you to run.
This program downloads and runs the update…
- When the program starts, it advises you that it has reset the default app for .htm to Microsoft Edge to make sure all steps run compatibly — and to enable you to use new features of Edge (as if I really wanted to use Edge).
- it evaluates the system for compatibility and then triggers the download.
- "Downloading the windows 10 update. Please wait.
Percent complete xx% "[good touch — you can keep track of how it’s going, so you don’t think it has crashed.]
- "This will take a while. You can keep working."
- "You can choose when to start your update."
[EXTREMELY MISLEADING — You’ve already started. It’s already in process, and it automatically triggers the actual updating after the download completes — no option to start that later.]
- "Your files will be right where you left them." [they were]
- "It’s easy to go back if you don’t like it." [this may be left over from when the update assistant was the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. Going back may be possible to recover from a problem. However, "Going back" doesn’t make sense for any extended period, since WIndows 10 is an automatically updated operating system for which you can not refuse updates.]
- buttons for "Cancel update" and "Minimize"
Upon completion of the download, the updating process started automatically. The new screen reported "Updating Windows 10. Please wait. Percent complete: xx%"
When you get to the Get Going Fast (Settings) page — be sure to pick "Customize" — this will forces you to go through the same "accept or change all these Windows 10 settings" screens that we had to do when upgrading to Windows 10, but you are otherwise likely to get Microsoft’s choices overriding your current ones.
Plus, it resets many of the user-controlled settings. Check everything.
When I thought about it, I realized that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, like the WIn10 Upgrade, has to turn off System Protection (system restore points) to protect the system (and the hard drive space). The changes occurring are too large.
More so, without deleting the restore points, you could accidentally create a huge mess by trying to restore a pre-Anniversary Update restore point at some time after the Anniversary Update has been applied. Turning it off deletes all existing restore points, so that part of the issue is solved.
With only a tiny bit of effort, Microsoft could make note of the System Protection status before the Update (whether it is on or off, which drives are protected and how much space on each is allowed for restore points) and set it back to those values after the update finished.
Unfortunately, just like the Windows 10 Upgrade, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update turns off System Protection (restore points) and doesn’t turn it back on. Be sure to turn your System Protection back on (left-click on Start, type Create restore point, select the option, and turn on System Protection for your boot drive (usually C:).
After I completed my Anniversary Update, checked, and fixed, my settings choices, I made a new image backup with Acronis True Image 2016. While I can always do a clean install of Windows 10 and do the Anniversary Update again, I’d have to reinstall all my software, my backed-up data, and customize my softwares’ settings.
Now, if something happens — even a hard drive failure — it will be simple to restore my drive. Acronis also makes a differential backup (changes made to the drive since the last backup) once a week, so my backups stay relatively current.
What’s my current take on Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Unless you want to try it on one machine, most people should wait until it comes to them. Maybe Microsoft will have worked out some of the remaining bugs by then. The update bugs probably would not affect you, but they might.