Windows 10 Updates May Not Work Due To A Weird Bug That Microsoft Is Still Working To Fix

A weird bug in Windows 10 has been preventing several computers running the operating system from updating. Incidentally, Microsoft is well aware of the issue and even has a rather simple solution. However, the bug is still present as no permanent solution has been developed and deployed to ensure updates are delivered and installed on a PC running Windows 10 OS with 1809 Update.

PCs running Windows 10 version 1809, and are up for an update to the Windows 10 May 2019 1903 update, are facing a bug. The bug either prevents updates from being installed or doesn’t even allow an update to be seen on the Windows Update page. Although the bug might appear serious, it is rather simplistic in nature. Moreover, the bug is easy to bypass. However, Microsoft, despite being aware of the same, has yet come up with a final working solution. Moreover, Update Assistant, the utility in Windows 10, which is supposed to offer an understandable reason, throws up a rather cryptic error message, which doesn’t indicate what is stopping the updates to work in Windows 10 1809.

The bug that can prevent updates from arriving or installing becomes active when the PC running Windows 10 1809 has removable storage attached to it. In other words, any removable storage, if attached to the Windows 10 PC, could hinder the update process. Essentially, the bug affects the PCs and prevents Windows 10 updates, that have either a USB storage device or SD card connected when checking for updates or during the installation.

Evidently, Microsoft is well aware of the rather simple but still cumbersome bug. The company noted it expects to fix the problem in a future cumulative update for Windows 10 version 1903. Additionally, on June 11, Microsoft updated its support document to announce that the bug has been fixed temporarily. Fresh fixes were reportedly included in Windows 10 Build 18362.175. Incidentally, the latest stable update was also released on Tuesday last week at the same time when Microsoft updated the doc.

Interestingly, despite Microsoft’s assurance, the bug can pose problems during the update process. In other words, the ‘Upgrade Block’ continues to remain in place, and is reportedly causing updates to not appear or fail to deploy. While the USB storage devices bug seems to have been partially fixed, the upgrade block is still in place. In other words, Microsoft is still recommending Windows 10 users to remove or eject any and all removable or external media, including USB drives or SD Cards. Once all the removable media is safely ejected, users can check for updates or begin the installation.

Microsoft assures that users who follow the procedure before checking for or installing updates, should not face any issues. However, it does caution that should a removable drive be still connected, Windows 10 1809 users may not see the update on Windows Update page. If that’s not bad enough, Update Assistant will display a cryptic error message. The difficult to decipher message essentially concludes the PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10.

Users who have faced the weird bug noted that Update Assistant shows the error: “Your PC has hardware that isn’t ready for this version of Windows 10. No action is needed.” Needless to say, this message doesn’t even appear as an error, and instead, assures the users that there’s no update, even when there are quite a few.

Microsoft first acknowledged the weird USB bug that prevented updates back when the May update was still in testing as part of the Windows Insider program. Back then, Microsoft had notified that the process of Windows 10 May 2019 Update could fail with the error: “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” because of inappropriate reassignment during installation. The company managed to resolve the bug partially on June 11, but still put out a cautionary note that stated, “To safeguard your update experience, we have applied a hold on devices with an external USB device or SD memory card attached from being offered Windows 10, version 1903 until this issue is resolved.” Incidentally, the update KB4497935 attempts to fix this problem.

It is not clear why Windows 10 updates fail to arrive or deploy on PCs with removable storage media attached. It could be a security measure to prevent USB storage possibly hosting virus from infecting the system during reboot. Irrespective of the reason, it is always recommended to pull out any and all removable storage before updating Windows 10.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.