Earlier in the week, we asked you to share your worst Windows 10 update horror stories on Lifehacker and Gizmodo. We were expecting horrible anecdotes. You delivered.
The Windows 10 Anniversary update is big. So big, that it has been causing widespread havoc to workplace productivity around the globe. Over the weekend, it even took out Antony Green in the middle of the ABC’s coverage of the ACT state election.
In addition to being a massive, compulsory download, the update can also do "funny" things to system network settings — we've heard stories of it changing LAN from private to public, switching on password protected sharing and re-enabling auto installs of network devices, all without so much as a by-your-leave. With that in mind, we asked you to share your worst experiences with Windows 10 updates. Your best responses are below.
But first, here's a life hack for people who like to live conveniently yet dangerously: you can totally disable Windows update in Services. Simply go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services, double-click on Windows Update and under 'Startup Type', select 'Disabled' and click OK.
Just bear in mind that you are now flying completely unprotected in terms of security updates and the like. Make sure you re-enable updates regularly when you're not using your computer to keep it up to date. Now, onto the horror...
ninereed: I've had lots, but the best was a client who had traveled to China, left it running overnight because it was doing the update, got up in the morning and found it had finished but also somehow uninstalled ALL of his software. There were 3 entries in Programs and Features - all microsoft runtimes - and no restore points to go back to. Fun......
Dan Zammell: I've not seen so many bricked systems since Windows ME. ME made Vista look good. Microsoft are trying to respond quickly to updates. However, this is leading to increased instability.
lightyear: I was working as a contract developer on site with a client. I charge by the day and came in one day to find a unstoppable update on the only machine provisioned for my use. Together with a slow network and a slow computer, I was helpless for 4 hours. I charged them half a day to watch a progress bar.
kie723: Mine did it 10am on Monday. It's set to update 3am on Wednesdays. THIS WAS NOT 3AM ON WEDNESDAY. The random time changing was probably one of the critical security risks it was fixing.
shaunock: A recent update completely broke my system due to having two SSD's. Had to roll back the update then reinstall a newer one. It was annoying but it's the only issue I've had since moving to Win10.
humphreymurray: Pretty sure it's broken my computer. It's now telling me I don't have a bootable drive in the computer. It stayed on the "updating..." screen for ages so I'm assuming it was the anniversary update.
DrWeirdo: The last W10 update blue screened my laptop twice and I had to roll back. I've set my Wifi connection to metered now so no more updates.
Pickledfishlips Anniversary update downloads, gets to 18% then crashes. Reverts, then restarts again... over an over and over. Countless: gigabytes have been wasted. F.U. Microsoft!!!
goodthankyou: I work in a busy restaurant and we were getting pretty smashed one weekend with people pouring in through the doors, which was exactly the time Windows decided to update, so we were down one computer and just had to work around the whole system! Ten years ago this kind of thing would have made me mad. But nowadays I just kind of shake my head and live with it.
CTO: My windows 10 computer quit connecting to my Network and Homegroup AGAIN after this latest update. It happened in the summer and then one day, miraculously worked. I updated again and it stopped working again. Great.
Karlos51: I still have win98, win2k, NT, XP and 7 on various computers all performing tasks from scanning stations, print servers, MAME boxes, gaming machines, video + photo edit suites. They're all relatively new machines and they all do their jobs perfectly. I trialed win7 as a prerelease and loved it, although the actual release had too much DRM crap. Win 10 I loaded, took a look around, secured it from MS and then thought no way -I don't need this OS and wiped it. I still need windows though for all the software I use - just not 10.
edthecow: I updated 5 pcs to w10anniversary and - 1 the pc did it by itself in middle of night - 2 I did it manually and man it felt like it took forever - 1 gave me a hard time until I cleared the log file from the recovery partition which had 2 out of 100mb free - 1 silently removed my beloved Media Centre and that pc was promptly re-installed with win 8.1 pro with media centre and will probably never be changed to 10.
R3: So many times I've wasted valuable seconds troubleshooting an app and found that Windows 10 was updating. I regularly shake my fist in Microsoft's general direction.
imahippy: I rolled out 200 Surface Pro 4s at the new year and 200 Macbooks. Guess which ones I prefer. Guess which ones work without any hassles.
Ever been in Windows Update hell? Share your own stories in the comments!