Windows 10 Update & A Lesson In Troubleshooting

September 22 2017 · 4 minute read · by NavJack27

So, yeah, Windows as a service is a thing pretty much. You pay for a license and Microsoft basically lets you use Windows under the condition that they keep it up to date on their terms. You can’t choose what updates to install, you just check for updates and then install what you are given. Therein lies the problem I’ve experienced over the past couple months. 

My main system runs on the X99 platform with an 5820k CPU on an ASRock Fatal1ty Professional Gaming i7 motherboard. I was a late adopter to this platform once I realized that what I wanted from my computers could only come from the high-end desktop platform. My previous rig was on z97 with a 5775c, quite the exotic and rare CPU if you think about it considering the 4790k and 4770k were both on z97. I knew what I wanted from my CPUs, I did tons of research on things and what drew me to the 5775c was the L4 cache. I wasn’t disappointed in the least with that decision, but I needed more overclocking headroom then the 5775c was able to give me.

Enter the 5820k, where I am currently. I love this system, being able to have 4.6ghz stable with low voltages and 4.4ghz cache is great. Quad channel RAM is a bonus because with what I do with 3d rendering and other random crap I can eat up a ton of memory. Now I never was looking for a replacement for this platform, but I got curious about Ryzen when I learned about the launch date of it. I’ve been following it for a while and I felt like most reviewers wouldn’t touch on things that might be interesting as a current 5820k user. I ended up getting an 1800x and building a system around it to do testing on and MAYBE replacing my current system. The replacement of my rig never happened but now I have an overpowered cryptocoin mining rig that also in a pinch works as a good troubleshooting system.

The reason I went over a tiny bit of my computer ownership history is this tiny little fact; I’m still running the same windows 10 install over all these computers. This windows 10 that I’m writing this article on is the same one that was on the 5775c. Its legitimately activated and everything, nothing crazy there, just buy licenses or call up Microsoft if you moved motherboards too many times. Now there is a little known, or maybe it’s well-known I’m not sure, issue where Windows update fails out on the x99 platform sometimes. This has been going on for quite a while and I’ve been stuck and unable to update and sometimes it would result in my computer being down for a day or two while I figure out how to get it back up and running without a reinstall of Windows. There is also another thing where at boot sometimes my motherboard will drop out a RAM stick and I’d get to Windows with only 24GB total. Yeah, x99 has a ton of issues but I’ll love it for the performance I get out of it.

Well I had enough of the failed updates and downtime PLUS Windows would ignore my requests of just rebooting the computer without applying queued updates. To Microsoft it was merely just a suggestion. My Ryzen rig had no issue updating at all, so I got to thinking about this. What if I just took the hard drives and put them in the Ryzen and ran the updates on that and put the hard drives back when It was done? Well, I did just that and it fixed everything! During the time where I just put up with the issues I wasn’t at a total loss, there was so much that I learned about troubleshooting and patience. I learned about the GUID partition codes because at one point during a failed update install Windows somehow marked my main drive as a Microsoft Reserved System Partition, THE WHOLE DRIVE. I found out that Windows keeps a backup of the registry just in case and used it to fix another broken booting issue that sprang up. So many times, I thought my Windows was just DEAD, but it wasn’t. The performance is normal and fine, nothing is broken, and I’ve never had to lose anything. If I can impart anything on people who read this, it’s this: