Grab October Windows 10 Update Now Or Wait?

Category: Windows-10

The October 2018 Windows 10 Update (to version 1809) is rolling out now. Should you grab it, wait for it, or dodge it as long as possible? Here's what you need to know...

Should You Postpone the October Windows 10 Update?

It seems like we return to this question about every six months. That’s because we do face two annual major updates to Windows 10. These major updates are different from the monthly Patch Tuesday bug fixes and security patches.

Major updates add features to an already complex piece of software. They also update the list of hardware platforms that Windows 10 will run on. You didn’t really think that 20-year-old PC sporting a Pentium-III processor was going to last forever, did you?

One thing that never changes is the price spectrum of hardware. For just under $500 you can have a machine that runs Windows, barely; it will be a serviceable but painfully slow ride. Between $501 and $1000 is the “respectable” neighborhood. $1001 to $2000 will get you envious looks. Anything over $2000 and you’re either a hardcore gamer or an Apple fan.

How to postpone the Windows 10 Update

It’s funny how that works out every time, isn’t it? But no so much when you consider how closely Microsoft works with Intel, AMD, and the major PC OEMs.

Another thing that never changes is the “early reports of problems when the latest update is installed.” Yes, twice a year the folks who get the major update earliest run an increased risk of data loss or system failure, the kind that only a full backup can repair. That leads to the question, “Should I grab the update now or wait until the bugs are ironed out?”

An article in ZDNet warns that some users have experienced the loss of documents, photos and music after being updated to Windows 10 version 1809. It also advises that you should abort the update if you get a warning about Intel drivers.

Microsoft is trying hard to make that choice for you, by rolling out the latest updates in stages that may span two or three months. At each stage, the company collects feedback and fixes bugs before rolling out the next stage. The most modern hardware gets the updates first, while older, more fragile systems get it last. So if you have an old machine that is compatible with the latest Windows version, your safest bet is to wait for the update to come to you via Windows Update.

You needn't worry about losing important files if you make regular backups. See my article Why Backup? Here Are NINE Good Reasons for answers to your questions about backups, and my advice for getting it done.

What's in the October Windows 10 Update?

If you see something in the list of new features that you just cannot wait a few weeks to have, you can get it now simply by running Windows Update and telling it to check for updates.

Hmmm, there's the "Your Phone" app, which gives you "instant access to your Android’s most recent photos on your PC," and the ability to tweak the settings for your "wireless projection experience." They tossed in some security and registry editor improvements, and some stuff for business customers. Personally, I am not in dire need of any of the new features; they are “nice to have” but not “must have right now” features for me.

Some people do manual updates to control when Windows installs a major update. One’s system is always unusable for a significant amount of time during an update, and that drives some people crazy. Microsoft has made meaningful strides in reducing update downtime, cutting it by 31% versus the April update, the company says. But if you want the update now instead of when you are doing something important, then check for updates via Windows Update.

Even the automatic update is less likely to interrupt your work this time. Machine learning enables Windows to better recognize patterns in your use of your PC, and choose a time slot in which to update when it will be least intrusive.

Windows S and Windows Home edition users cannot postpone installation of feature updates. If you have the Pro or Enterprise edition, you can postpone such updates for up to six months by configuring the delay in Windows Update.

So those are your options. As for me, I intend to just let nature (and Windows) take their own courses. I've got multiple redundant backups, do you?

Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Grab October Windows 10 Update Now Or Wait?"

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

Tried the Windows Update option on two computers yesterday, one old, one still newish. Both attempts failed. Tried again, with same results. Went with the Media Creation Tool option later, and it worked on both machines. No weirdness in the successful installations, although both took quite a long time. Things appear to be working normally the day after. Perhaps this experience was unique to me, but if anyone asks I will NOT recommend using Windows Update to get version 1809.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

I never had an issue with an Ubuntu update. You really need to take a look at Ubuntu. It even has a desktop theme that looks just like Windows. And I do think it is much easier to maintain than Windows. Lastly, it is absolutely free!

Posted by:

Mark H.
04 Oct 2018

Updated my laptop to 1809 on 10/2. Have Windows 10 Pro on both laptop and PC. Will not be updating PC anytime soon. Update broke Speccy on my laptop and had to reauthorize iItunes. Also, I had to re-verify my license for Macrium Reflect. Still on bug hunt.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

I don't want anything but important updates and patches but Windows have other ideas for me unfortunately. The only way I have found to stop install is to set the computer to metered connection, but it still bugs me to install. And I have to go to the Microsoft Catalog to manually download updates I do want.
The original 1809 went ahead and installed one day when I was distracted and messed up a lot of stuff I had set up how I wanted.
I never thought this before, but I think it is time for me to try another product. I don't want or use all these apps that get downloaded to clutter my system, and in my opinion to possibly open my computer to security risks.
I just want my computer to be secure, to be able to save my photos, to send and receive email and I want to be able to search for items of interest and make a few purchases. I don't need or want social media, I don't need my computer to chat at me or any other "can't live without" apps.
I saw Ubuntu mentioned in a previous post and I hope other readers will be chiming in with what they use, yep, it is time to make that change.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

I went ahead and installed it yesterday. It's from Microsoft, what could go wrong?
(1) 3 blue screens of death...first time in years I've seen it.
(2) Longer load and start-up times...I'm hoping it's just proactively learning my specific system.
(3) Even more intrusive spying...if you mistakenly thought they already collected enough info about you.
It seems we're all just numbered consumers...or hapless victims, whichever way you want to look at it.
A computer chip implanted in all (compliant) citizens is closer than you may think. We're only one step away now.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

Personally, I am tired of Microsoft, Windows, and all their junk. I got an email from Microsoft today notifying me of this major update, and twice they used the word, "MUST" in the explanation. "You MUST download the Android app for the new Windows to your phone." "You MUST link your phone to your new Windows update." I find it presumptuous when a company that I pay money to tells me I MUST do something. It's badly worded and reveals the hubris that Microsoft spews with increasing frequency. If it weren't for so many technical issues and changes needed for other hardware, I would switch to Apple. It looks increasingly more desirable with each passing month.

Posted by:

Martin W
04 Oct 2018

I have two laptops running Windows 10 Home. One told me I had a download waiting to install Tuesday night. The other told me I had a new version I should download Wednesday morning. Both were (rather oddly, I thought) labeled "Feature Update to Windows 10 version 1809" (or something like that). I went ahead and let them do their thing. That took over six hours, actually rather quick (for me) for major Windows updates. After that, both laptops are still working. Just a few icons/links are missing, as are the programs, I presume. A few others say they are fine but refuse to do anything or appear at startup.
I had to (literally was forced to, since nothing worked) change one laptop over to Linux Mint a bit after the last big update. That computer (the oldest of the three) works immeasurably better than the Windows ones. There are a few things I miss, but most have substitutes. So make your own choice.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

From the ZDNet article: "One poor Windows 10 1809 user, Robert Ziko, claims to have lost 220GB of data after updating.

"I have just updated my windows using the October update (10, version 1809). It deleted all my files of 23 years in amount of 220GB. This is unbelievable, I have been using Microsoft products since 1995 and nothing like that ever happened to me," he wrote on Microsoft's user forum."

And, regarding the Intel drivers situation: "'We recommend that you do not attempt to manually update to Windows 10, version 1809 using the Update Now button or the Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft Software Download Center,' said Microsoft." Although it wouldn't be obvious to some people, when the error appears during setup, it is recommended that you choose the Back button.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

I have (at present) 6 Windows 10 computers (down from 7 recently), and decided that if I was going to update them, I did not wish to download the OS 6 times. So I downloaded the Windows Media Creation Tool and placed the result on a USB Flash Drive. I then successfully updated my HP Envy Laptop with no problems. I then attempted to update my Dell OptiPlex Desktop. This Dell is my "backup computer", it has all files from the other 5 computers, and is backed up every night on an external drive.

When the OS update was completed, it rebooted. I signed in and then went back to another computer which I was working on at the time. Eventually, I went back to the Dell and it had apparently rebooted again. I signed on and watched as the machine Blue Screened.

thankfully, there was plently of information on the Blue Screen, "Driver IRQL Not less or Equal" and this "Device that failed: iaStorA.sys". Searching for information, I determined that the problem was with the Intel Rapid Storage Technology. After much searching for the source of the problem, I determined that it was in my External USB Drive. I disconnected it, and began to work on the machine.

I then found that several of the applications, some old (my syncing app, for example, and some new, Snip & Sketch [new with 1809]) were not working or not working properly.

So I knew what had to be done … the drive should be wiped and 1809 installed cleanly. If that did not work, then it was back to 1803, also on a wiped disk.

Thankfully, the clean installation of 1809 worked and I was able to reinstall everything and get my files back on the computer. Gee … it only took 14 hours, but I've got a clean installation of 1809 on 2 of my 6 machines.

I'm thinking, I'm thinking hard about what to do with the other 4.

Posted by:

04 Oct 2018

So I always know when there is an update from Windows. Not the calendar, not even this excellent newsletter. No, it is because once the update has been downloaded silently, the computer slows down. Last night my wife's computer, the better one in our home started to stutter. FB pictures would not load. Tried fb in 3 different browsers on both our machines, my older one was fine. Finally did what the IT crowd always say and switched it off and on again. And there it was. The message that updates were being installed, do not switch off. Magically on restarting all was well. It seems like Microsoft have ways of making us install! It's impossible to delay on our home!

Posted by:

05 Oct 2018

I installed 1809 on our 3 computers at home within hours of this half-yearly major update being released. Only minor issues to fix afterward.
My approach was to bring on the update proactively by downloading the ISO file from the MS website. I made a full back up of each computer first. And shut down as many processes of the anti-virus programs as possible prior to beginning the updating.
Each installation went OK - a 7-year old Asus laptop, a 3-year old Dell laptop, and a 1 1/2 year old desktop. One computer lost a Roxio media program, so only had to run the install file briefly so that all was OK. (All or most of the files were still in the relevant Program folder, but the program would not start).
Having full recent backups available there isn't much to lose except a bit of time.

Posted by:

Dennis Lonsdale
05 Oct 2018

I agree with Lucy who posted earlier. I am tired of the Tech giant Microsoft intruding into, and dominating my computer time. I too want simply to browse for things I need, or for information. To work on my spreadsheets, keep photos, and music. I long for the old days of windows 98 etc. Sure, a slower, less refined system, but also a lot more user friendly. Maybe I a, too old, but doesn't evreything seem to have been so much better a few years ago.......I fear Aldous Huxley, and George Orwell where closer to the truth than is comfortable now !!!

Posted by:

05 Oct 2018

"Windows S and Windows Home edition users cannot postpone installation of feature updates."

Actually, there is another option for installing the updates in Windows 10 Home systems.

Since Windows 10 version 1803 refuses to install on my Windows 10 Home system, I am assuming that Windows 10 version 1809 will also not install.

Problem solved.

Posted by:

Ian Robinson
05 Oct 2018

I decided to go the "grab it now" route for this one! Although I experienced a LOT of trouble with the initial (Fall Creators) Update (which took me 5 attempts before it installed properly!), everything has gone according to plan since then. So it was this time... the latest update installed without a hitch of any sort. Whilst many of the new featurs are of little use to me, it's nice to know that my system is up-to-date again.

Posted by:

05 Oct 2018

I learned to shut off any and all of the Win 10 pro auto updates including security updates after one of the early updates caused my computer to go crazy.
Dangerous ? Maybe. In fact, in the past, I shut off all updates when I had XP and Win 7.
Never a whiff of any kind of problems over the years since, well, the days of the Radio Shack TRS-80 model 3 I started out with.
I'm headache free and a happy "update free" camper.

Posted by:

Russell Dawe
05 Oct 2018

I have always update as soon as update is available. of course I have done this many times in many different ways, Windows Updates, Media Creation Tool etc. I have also clean installed which I think is the best way for a more stable outcome, but I hate having having to reinstall software. I find though it is a good way to clean-up software not really being used and by installing one program at a time you can usually notice any problems. But this time I just run some maintenance did an image backup and then downloaded through Windows Update. The only glitch's I got after reboot was it frozen with some pages open, I did the 3 finger salute and then rebooted and have had no problems since and over the years that is mostly how it has gone.

Posted by:

05 Oct 2018

Bob says: "You didn’t really think that 20-year-old PC sporting a Pentium-III processor was going to last forever, did you?" Actually, YES. My Windows 7 and XP computers work just fine and do everything Windows 10 is purported to do, except WITHOUT crashes, disturbances, every-changing configurations, unwanted file deletions, driver malfunctions, blue screens, forced obsolescence, and spying apps. Yes I know, I'm missing out on all these lovely Windows 10 features.

Posted by:

Charles Cochran
06 Oct 2018

I wasn't really thinking about the major update and was on a fair internet connection while traveling, so I had it check for updates and went to bed. Next morning I was delayed 3 hours getting back on the road. I wish they would tell you in advance when an update will be running for half the day.

Posted by:

06 Oct 2018

*My friend in IT and a couple other folks have had the unsettling issue of missing shortcuts, files, folders, pics & videos with the October update. Our offices are verifying that everyone has the autoupdate feature turned OFF so that we do not have issues. We plan to monitor the situation and then determine how to handle.

Posted by:

Richard Pizurie
07 Oct 2018

I did the update this afternoon. It took an hour and 45 minutes. Of course I backed everything up before. Nothing was lost. Everything works great. Im very happy so far. I been working with some of these features for a while (insider program). Good job Microsoft.

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