Latest Microsoft Patch Breaks Windows 10 Desktop Search, Start Menu, Audio

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Microsoft’s efforts to tame the problems in Windows 10 1903 continue to backfire for the company. Earlier this month, we discussed how a cumulative update patch had broken Cortana and SearchUI functionality more generally, causing high CPU usage spikes and sometimes breaking Windows Desktop Search. On Tuesday, September 10, Microsoft distributed a new patch intended to resolve these problems.

That fix, KB4515384, is now confirmed to have its own set of problems. There are reports that Windows 10’s Start Menu may now stop working with one of two error messages, either: “We’ll try to fix it next time you log in,” or “Critical error — Your Start Menu isn’t working.” Meanwhile, Windows Desktop Search may continue to display blank results to any query.

KB-Update-Error

“Microsoft has received reports that some users are having issues related to the Start menu and Windows Desktop Search,” the company said. “We are presently investigating and will provide an update when more information is available”.

There are also reports of audio issues hitting this update as well. There are various reports of audio either missing from games or being drastically reduced. Windows Latest notes that one way to fix these problems is to reduce Windows Audio to 16-bit DVD quality. This can be done by clicking on the ‘Sound’ icon in Control Panel, clicking on your Speaker/Headphone solution to change its properties, navigating to the ‘Advanced’ tab, and selecting the 16-bit 48000 Hz (DVD Quality) option.

If none of that works, you can always uninstall the update.

And that’s where we are these days with Windows 10. The truth is, I don’t even know how big these issues are. That they exist is a given, but how many people are they impacting? I don’t feel as though Microsoft has created a more stable product with Windows 10 — I don’t trust updates not to screw things up — but is that actually what most people experience? The fact that Windows gets updated so much more often now makes it easier to track the various hiccups hitting the OS, but it doesn’t tell us how many people are being impacted by them.

At the same time, Microsoft continues to have some pretty objectively big issues, at least as far as how many people they impact. Not being fully compatible with Microsoft’s own Surface products is pretty embarrassing. Windows also shouldn’t need to block its own updates on systems with external storage solutions — we’d expect that kind of issue to be fixed before any update goes live.

Microsoft has made a lot of meaningful changes to how it approaches privacy in Windows 10 and those changes have generally been good. It collects less data now and has better explained what it does with what it collects. But the much-promised improvement to the OS update model? Hasn’t really happened, at least not to the degree they promised it would. There are still a lot of issues getting through the cracks that don’t seem as if they should be. I’m tired of using pithy images of used car salesman and poorly designed airplanes. Could you just fix the operating system?

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