Windows

Microsoft’s Latest Windows 10 1903 Cumulative Update Adds Bugs To The Windows Server But There Are Quick Workarounds Available

Microsoft’s latest stable and cumulative update for Windows 10 OS, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update released earlier this year. Although the deployment of the update has been fairly smooth, several users are facing weird bugs and issues. While such an occurrence is not new for large feature updates for Windows 10, users claim the latest Windows 10 May 2019 or 1903 update is particularly upsetting. The latest bug discovered within the Windows 1903 update doesn’t affect a large number of users. However, no matter how few users could potentially be affected, updates for the latest Windows operating system should address bugs and bring fixes, not add to the issues, lament users.

The latest issue being faced by a small group of users is with their Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) images from Windows Deployment Services (WDS) or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). These are essentially special platforms. In simple words, the issue could be potentially faced by users who use Windows Server, a specialized version of Windows OS that server administrators use.

Needless to add, these are certainly not common Windows OS users. However, for those special case scenarios, when these are needed, some Windows 10 Server users claim the latest Windows 10 May 2019 or 1903 update prevents correct loading of the platforms. Moreover, the issue affects all the stable releases of Windows 10, including 1903, 1809, and 1709.

Incidentally, Microsoft has officially acknowledged the issue. However, the occurrence of this new issue is potentially faced by a very few select users, the fix may not be prioritized, fear a few experts. Still, Microsoft engineers were rather quick at offering a workaround for the issue that users could face on PXE and SCCM.

Windows 10 May 2019 1903 Update Causes Special Case Platforms Like PXE and SCCM To Fail To Boot Up:

After the install of the latest Windows 10 May 2019 1903 update a few users who rely on the Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE) images from Windows Deployment Services (WDS) or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), have claimed the system simply fails to boot. The boot failure results in popping up of the most dreaded and cryptic 0xc0000001 error. This error can be the result of several weird issues, most of which have nothing to do with user actions. Some of the most common causes for the 0xc0000001 error to popup are system file corruption, or damaged memory. This error can also be caused by a missing or damaged SAM (Security Account Manager) system file.

Incidentally, there are several recommended solutions to fix the dreaded 0xc0000001 error. Removing a newly connected hardware component or uninstalling recently installed software is the most popular. Microsoft recommends using its ‘Startup Repair’ tool and that too in Windows Recovery Environment. Needless to mention, this step requires the creation of special boot media. One of the least recommended, but workable solutions that users can try at the end is using the ‘System Restore’ feature that rolls back Windows installation to the last-known stable and working state.

Essentially, the 0xc0000001 error doesn’t offer much clarity about what could have gone wrong. Hence the few users who faced this issue after installing the latest Windows 10 May 2019 1903 update were quite confused. Microsoft has taken cognizance of the issue. The Windows OS maker has added the problem to the list of known issues. Incidentally, the issue has cropped up after Windows 10 users installed the large cumulative update officially tagged as KB4507453. While acknowledging the issue, Microsoft noted,

“Devices that start-up using Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) images from Windows Deployment Services (WDS) or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) may fail to start with the error “Status: 0xc0000001, Info: A required device isn’t connected or can’t be accessed” after installing this update on a WDS server.”

Microsoft Promises Resolution Of The ‘Failure To Boot On PXE and SCCM’ Issue:

The issue is clearly not going to be faced by everyday users. As mentioned above, very few users of Windows 10 OS are likely to encounter the 0xc0000001 error after installing the latest Windows 10 May 2019 1903 update. Nonetheless, Microsoft has not only quickly acknowledged the issue, but the company also confirmed it is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release. Additionally, Microsoft engineers have offered a temporary workaround to ensure the particular platforms boot up the Windows 10 Server OS.

Workaround for Systems On An SCCM Server:

  1. Verify Variable Window Extension is enabled. (This setting is not available on Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1)
  2. Set the values of TFTP block size to 4096 and TFTP window size to 1. For guidance on how to configure them, see Customize the RamDisk TFTP block and window sizes on PXE-enabled distribution points.

Note: Try the default values for TFTP block size and TFTP window size first but depending on your environment and overall settings, you may need to adjust them for your setup. You can also try the Enable a PXE responder without Windows Deployment Service setting. For more information on this setting, see Install and configure distribution points in Configuration Manager.

Workaround for Systems That Depend On WDS Server without SCCM:

  1. In WDS TFTP settings, verify Variable Window Extension is enabled. (This setting is not available on Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1)
  2. In the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) of the imported image, set RamDiskTFTPBlockSize to 1456.
  3. In the BCD of the imported image, set RamDiskTFTPWindowSize to 4.

Note: Try the default values for RamDiskTFTPBlockSize and RamDiskTFTPWindowSize first but depending on your environment and overall settings, you may need to adjust them for your setup.

With Windows 10 May 2019 1903 Update Microsoft Has Essentially Handed Over Control Over Their Installation:

Microsoft tested the Windows 10 version 1903 rigorously for months. The latest Windows 10 feature update spent a few additional weeks in the Release Preview Ring as well, before being released for the general population. In simple words, Microsoft has been exceptionally careful while developing, testing and delivering the latest stable update to Windows 10 OS.

With the Windows 10 May 2019 1903 update, Microsoft has given back the control to the users. It has promised to put an end to the automatic or seemingly forced installation of updates. Windows 10 users now have the ability to explicitly choose if they want to update their device when they click on the “check for updates” button. They can alternatively choose to delay the installation of updates, but for 35 days at the most.


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