This week’s “Preview” patches led to some weird, unexplained, and self-contradictory habits. Here’s what we’ve been capable of piece collectively, elegant on what truly occurred – not on what Microsoft says is supposed to occur.
Two common units of “Preview” patches arrived on Tuesday:
- Optional, non-security, C/D Week Cumulative Updates for Win10 variations 1809, 1903, 1909, and varied Servers, however not Win10 model 2004. Microsoft stopped distributing the C/D Week patches in March due to the “public well being state of affairs,” however began pushing them once more this week.
- July 21, 2020 Cumulative Update Previews for .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.eight on varied variations of Win10. These are optionally available, non-security Preview patches launched later within the month. Microsoft pushes Previews for .NET patches on Win10 sometimes; this 12 months we’ve solely seen two, considered one of them in January, the opposite in February.
They’re Previews, which suggests the fixes on supply are nonetheless in testing. Normal customers shouldn’t go anyplace close to them.
In the previous, the Preview patches (for each Win10 and .NET) have appeared as a jumbled mess within the Win10 updating scheme, resulting in a common cry to keep away from clicking “Check for updates.” Not way back, doing so gave Microsoft carte blanche to put in something and every part within the replace queue, together with any of those “Preview” take a look at patches mendacity round.
Starting with Win10 model 1903, although, Microsoft modified its wayward methods by including an necessary new function that means that you can Pause Updates. At about the identical time, Microsoft applied (however didn’t hassle to doc) the Download and deploy immediate that we now take as a right. The immediate forces you to approve an optionally available replace earlier than it is put in.
Microsoft confirmed off a model of that choice in an article final week (see screenshot).
Don’t count on to see that Download-and-install immediate in your machine any time quickly. Microsoft hasn’t even launched the “2020-07 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10 Version 2004.”
The Download-and-install intermediate step is an necessary one. It retains regular customers from by chance putting in take a look at variations of upcoming patches – the Preview updates.
Download and deploy? Not.
With Microsoft’s new-found (and significantly appreciated!) implementation of the “Download and deploy” block on optionally available updates, you may count on that the 2 new Preview patches would seem as Download-and-install choices on Win10 model 1909 (and 1809 and 1903) machines.
As I defined earlier this week, that didn’t occur. Working on two creation Win10 model 1909 machines I discovered that, a lot to my shock, the Win10 Preview and the .NET Preview behave fairly otherwise – and neither triggered the well mannered “Download and deploy” immediate.
The .NET Preview behaved more-or-less like an old style Windows patch:
- On a Win10 model 1909 machine with Pause Updates set, clicking on Resume Updates put in the .NET Preview KB 4562900. That’s habits per (however completely different from) the previous Check for updates sandbagging – in the event you Resume Updates, you get the optionally available, non-security .NET Preview put in whether or not you need it or not, with no warning. Bam.
- On a Win10 model 1909 with out Pause Updates set, the .NET Preview seems within the wushowhide checklist. Thus, you’ll be able to manually block putting in the .NET Preview, if you realize the methods. Clicking on Check for updates installs the Preview, similar to within the not-so-good previous days.
The optionally available, non-security, C/D Week Win10 model 1909 Preview didn’t present up in any respect on my machines. Try as I’d, with Updates Paused or Resumed, clicking Check for updates with wild abandon, I couldn’t get the Win10 Cumulative Update Preview KB 4559004 to put in, and couldn’t even get it to point out up, with or with out a Download and deploy immediate.
That left me scratching my head.
The bifurcated Update
It seems that Windows Update isn’t the only, monolithic system that’s marketed in Microsoft’s Download and deploy bulletins. As @abbodi86 factors out:
- .NET, Flash and CPU Microcode updates (together with this week’s .NET Preview) are dealt with by the legacy “blast them in the event that they test for updates” Windows Update program
- Cumulative Updates (together with this week’s Win10 Cumulative Update Preview), model adjustments (“function updates”) and Chromium-based Edge updates at the moment are dealt with by the brand new, well mannered “Download and deploy” Windows Update program.
It appears that the parents at Microsoft didn’t know in regards to the schizoid habits, both. In the unique Knowledge Base article for the .NET Cumulative Update Preview, beneath “How to acquire and deploy the replace,” Microsoft’s directions used to say:
Go to Settings> Update & Security > Windows Update. In the Optional updates out there space, you will discover the hyperlink to obtain and deploy the replace.
That would correspond to the brand new, well mannered approach of doing issues. But someday prior to now couple of days, that KB article has been modified to say:
To obtain and deploy this replace, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, after which choose Check for updates.
That’s correct – it’s the previous “blast them in the event that they test for updates” strategy. There’s no file of when that change was made.
The lacking optionally available, non-security, C/D Week Preview
On your machine, are you able to see KB 4559004, the Win10 model 1909 (or 1903) cumulative replace Preview? (For Win10 model 1809 clients it’s KB 4559003.) Neither can I, as you’ll be able to see within the screenshot beneath.
The Preview ought to seem as a Download and deploy choice – no less than, that’s what Microsoft’s Chris Morrisey described a week in the past:
In response to suggestions, these validated, production-quality optionally available releases will likely be now known as “Preview” releases for readability, and will likely be supplied just for Windows 10 and Windows Server, model 1809 and later…. To simplify replace administration for IT, these “Preview” releases will likely be delivered within the “C” week solely…for these within the Windows Insider Program or Windows Insider Program for Business, in-development variations of those non-security updates will likely be launched to the Release Preview Channel within the “B” week.
Which contradicts virtually every part we noticed this week.
Once once more, @abbodi86 got here to the rescue, clarifying:
You will solely see the Win10 Cumulative Update Preview on machines which have joined the Release Preview Channel. As of Friday morning on this “C” week, meaning Win10 1809, 1903 and 1909 machines within the Windows Insider Release Preview Channel will get the Preview supply in well mannered “Download and deploy” style.
You gained’t see the Preview supplied to Win10 model 2004 machines. It isn’t out but – Morrisey’s remark about “B” week however.
There’s additionally some (undocumented) relationship between the GoalReleaseVersion group coverage and whether or not the Preview patch exhibits up. I talked about Win10 model 2004’s GoalReleaseVersionInfo in June. Apparently the coverage now has some impact on variations 1809, 1903 and 1909.
Perhaps some day Microsoft will doc some of these items. But I gained’t maintain my breath.
Windows Update – the consumer interface, the group insurance policies, the registry settings, and interactions inside the spaghetti code – has been an unholy mess for years. With new definitions, new settings, (partially) deprecated settings, conflicting settings, and fully inscrutable – generally demonstrably improper – documentation, it’s a marvel that we get any work finished.
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