A Windows 10 update that arrived over the weekend is causing endless reboots on some users' computers. Unfortunately, thanks to Microsoft's new way of handling updates, it's almost impossible to avoid and very hard to fix.
In its new Windows 10 operating system, Microsoft decided to make security and system updates install automatically when they become available. This move was aimed at people who never update their computers, which leaves them vulnerable to viruses and other threats. So, it was supposed to work to everyone's benefit.
While Microsoft's motive was good, anyone who's ever dealt with a "bad" update immediately recognized that this new policy could be a problem. And that's exactly what happened.
Over the weekend, Microsoft rolled out "Cumulative Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems (KB3081424)." On an unknown number of systems, this update starts an endless reboot.
Computers effected have to take certain steps. We've outlined them for you.
Fortunately, the update only seems to cause the endless reboot on computers that have specific Nvidia drivers and settings left over from previous installations of Windows. Your odds of running into this problem aren't high.
On computers that do have the drivers, the update installs to a certain point and senses there's a conflict. In a smart move, Windows uninstalls the update to prevent a major problem. Then, in a stupid move, when it reboots it automatically tries to install the update again, and the cycle repeats.
Obviously, Microsoft needs to tweak the update code so that failed updates don't try to install again right away. Hopefully, that will be coming soon.
If you are experiencing this problem, there isn't an easy fix right now. Stopping the reboot loop involves tracking down the problem entries in the Windows Registry and removing them.
There's an entire thread on Microsoft's forum devoted to this problem and some solutions. Just be careful because editing the Registry incorrectly can damage your computer.
Microsoft is also probably working on a fix and will have an updated version of the update out soon. You could shut down your computer for a day or so and then turn it on to see if the update installs correctly.
If you're running Windows 10, and want to see if this update installed correctly, go to Start>>Settings and select "Update & security."
Then in Windows Update, click "Advanced Options."
Then click the "View your update history" link and see if "Cumulative Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems (KB3081424)" is listed. If you're running Windows 10 Home, it should be already installed.
If you're running Windows 10 Pro, don't forget than you can enable the "Defer upgrades" option so you have a little warning about bad updates. However, there still isn't much you can do to stop them aside from unplugging your computer from the Internet.
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