Windows 10 update is causing lots of problems – including nasty crashes

Windows 10 users are suffering at the hands of some fresh bugs introduced by the latest update for the OS from Microsoft.

That would be KB5026361, the cumulative update for Windows 10 for May, which was released a couple of weeks back, and appears to be causing a bunch of glitches and more serious problems.

In the serious category we can file some Reddit users who are complaining on two counts of the patch ‘bricking’ their PC, and also reports of Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) crashes post-update.

Some of those BSoDs offer up an error that reads ‘Process1 Initialization Failed’ and as Neowin, which spotted this, explains, this seemingly occurs due to the Bootcat.cache file becoming corrupted (or its size having changed since the last time the PC booted).

Other Windows 10 users are encountering a problem that’ll sound familiar, no doubt – the failure to install the update, often accompanied with a meaningless error code (such as ‘0x800f0922’ which appears to be one of the more prevalent occurrences in this case).

On top of that, there are scattered complaints such as someone’s Windows 10 mouse settings being reset after the update (and some previous updates too, we’re told).

Others have lodged complaints about bugs with KB5026361 in Microsoft’s Feedback Hub, and another report from a Redditor states that their laptop’s Wi-Fi doesn’t work, and that the ‘windows bar is locked’ (presumably the taskbar is unresponsive) after the update.

Analysis: Another update and yet more problems

Given that there are only two reports of bricked PCs, we can’t jump to conclusions – there could possibly be other issues at play in those instances. Still, it’s worrying to see such reports, even if this clearly isn’t a widespread problem. BSoD crashes are a nasty thing to be happening here, too.

It’s not surprising to see installation failures with the cumulative update for May, as this bugbear is one Microsoft just can’t seem to shake, in Windows 11 as well as Windows 10.

As for the ‘Process1 Initialization Failed’ problem, Neowin does point out that Microsoft has a cure for that particular error – though the catch is that it’s for Windows 7 officially (via an old support document).

The method suggests booting with a Windows installation USB drive, then deleting the problematic Bootcat.cache file, before restarting the PC. We’re not sure that’s a good idea, though – and certainly not something for those less confident with PCs to try – but more tech-savvy types could always attempt it as a last resort if desperate.

Hopefully, Microsoft will be looking into these issues, and fixes will be implemented as needed. Although these days, we get the sense that Microsoft is focusing far more on Windows 11 than Windows 10, what with the latter getting no more features from now on (save for, perhaps, the odd very minor tweak).

Still, on the brighter side, no more features should mean fewer bugs being introduced – in theory, anyway.

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Nasty AMD driver bug tanks RDNA 3 GPU performance in Windows 11

AMD’s new GPU driver is reportedly causing serious performance issues with RDNA 3 graphics cards under Windows 11, though the bug is a rare occurrence from what we can tell.

Another point to note carefully here is that apparently the problem is only affecting 3DMark runs, specifically the TimeSpy benchmark (we’ll come back to that later).

VideoCardz broke the news that a software engineer at Google (Osvaldo Doederlein) running an RX 7900 XTX with the most recent version 23.3.1 of the Adrenalin driver ran into trouble with much lower TimeSpy results than should have been produced.

Indeed, Doederlein’s results came out at more than 50% slower than normal, a massive performance loss.

One of the developers at UL (which makes 3DMark) replied to Doederlein to say that they raised the issue with AMD, and it appeared to be related to the latest driver version.

The dev observed: “We also looked at our [3DMark] database to compare results on the previous driver vs. new driver on any result using 7900XT or XTX and can confirm that this appears to be a real, if very rare issue.

“Among all results with the new driver, approximately 3% of the results show abnormal (very low) scores on Time Spy. No similar group of very low scores appear on the results with the previous driver version.”

Doederlein went on to clarify that they are running a test version of Windows 11 (Release Preview – so the most stable build), which the 3DMark dev noted isn’t supported by the benchmarking suite.

The developer added that AMD did eventually manage to reproduce this severe performance glitch and that “it is starting to look more and more like a driver issue,” with the best course of action for those bothered by the gremlin being to roll back to the previous driver. Or alternatively to just sit tight and wait for the fix to be deployed.

Analysis: More than meets the eye

There’s a bit more to this than meets the eye, as further in the thread on the Steam forums replying to the original complaint from Doederlein, there’s an RX 6800 GPU owner saying they’re affected – so maybe it’s not just an RDNA 3 issue – and that rolling back to the previous AMD driver version did not help. (The 3DMark dev seems pretty sure that the problem does pertain to the most recent AMD driver, though).

Furthermore, a couple of Nvidia RTX 4090 owners have chimed in saying they have been hit, too – but that’s just two scattered reports, so add seasoning there. Still, the commonality here appears to be running test versions of Windows 11. Indeed, one of those RTX 4090 owners lays the blame at the feet of the preview version of the next big update for Windows 11 (Moment 2).

Despite that, AMD still believes this bug to be a driver issue, so we’ll stick with that as the most accurate diagnosis so far – although it’s possible that the problem is also wrapped up in using a preview version of Windows 11, too.

The more positive news is that whoever is being affected here, it’s seemingly a rare bug. The broader concern for those encountering this issue is that maybe it’s slowing down games as well as 3DMark benchmarks, and it’s easy to see how folks might get paranoid about that possibility.

It’s certainly something that occurred to Doederlein, who as a result ran a whole bunch of tests on games. That included benchmarking with Guardians of the Galaxy, Horizon Zero Dawn, Dying Light 2, Batman Arkham Knight, Returnal, and more, but Doederlein found no performance hit whatsoever with any of them. So it does indeed seem like a benchmarking-only issue only, fingers crossed – hopefully AMD will shed more light on the bug in due course.

What we can rule out is that it’s any kind of 3DMark problem, because as the dev clarifies, the TimeSpy benchmark “has not been modified for ages”, so the misbehavior is clearly down to the AMD driver or Windows 11 (or both in combination perhaps, as mentioned).

Via Neowin

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Windows 11 gamers will be glad to see the back of this nasty BSoD bug

Microsoft is slowly making progress fixing Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) errors, with another one that could have caused gamers to suffer having been cured in Windows 11.

This fix arrives with the latest preview update for March (KB5011563), meaning it’s still in testing, but the changes will come through in April’s release version of the patch (assuming all goes well with that testing, of course).

As spotted by Hot Hardware, the patch notes state that KB5011563 “addresses a stop error (0xD1, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL) in the DirectX kernel component.”

A stop error is a BSoD, meaning it completely halts the PC in its tracks, and is a crash that requires a reboot to recover. As the message states, the problem pertains to DirectX – and some kind of driver issue, although it’s expectedly vague as to what might have actually gone wrong – and hence this could be an error that crops up when you’re playing games in Windows 11 (or trying to).

Patch KB5011563 fixes a bunch of other bugs, as well as adding something into the mix for Windows 11, namely the ability to display multiple high-priority toast notifications simultaneously – up to three of them, in fact.

Analysis: Windows bugs can still trigger the blues

Thankfully in modern times, Windows sees a lot fewer BSoD errors, but there are clearly some still floating around – we witnessed a BSoD bring one of our PCs to a crashing halt as recently as last month (albeit that was Windows 10).

Another BSoD being squashed is obviously good news, though as noted, Windows 11 users won’t actually get this fix until next month, as part of the monthly cumulative update for April. That said, KB5011563 is available to grab right now as an optional update if you search for it manually (in Windows Update), but as with anything that’s in testing, installing it could have unwanted side-effects.

You may recall that Microsoft was going to change the color of these crash screens from blue to black last year, but decided against that move later in 2021, so BSoDs will remain blue going forward. But with any luck, they’ll fade more and more into the background as Microsoft fixes errors like this one.

Via PC Gamer

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Android app support in Windows 11 comes with a few nasty surprises

One of the most exciting new features coming to Windows 11 is its ability to run Android apps, but Microsoft has revealed a few requirements that may dampen people’s enthusiasm.

According to Microsoft’s new FAQ for the feature, if you want Android apps to run on your PC, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to do so.

So, you’ll need to have a device that runs Windows 11 version 21H2, or later, which is the version that introduces the new feature.

You’ll also need a solid state drive (SSD) and have a modern x64 or ARM64 processor. While these requirements aren’t too bad, and most people running Windows 11 will have them, things then become a little trickier.

Microsoft says you need 8GB of RAM minimum, but16GB is recommended. That 16GB recommendation is quite surprising for a feature we wouldn’t have thought was too demanding (these are apps that are supposed to run on smartphones, after all).

However, the 8GB minimum setting means people running Windows 11 on devices with 4GB of RAM – which is technically possible – won’t be able to use this feature. So low-powered, older, or embedded devices, which may have benefitted the most from getting Android apps, will be left out.

You’ll also need to turn on the Virtual Machine Platform, which is a setting found in Windows 11’s Control Panel.

There’s also one final requirement that may annoy people. As we’ve reported before, Windows 11 uses the Amazon Store for Android apps, rather than Google’s own Play Store.

This means you don’t get the vast collection of apps that you’d find in the Play Store. Nor can you use Play Store credit to buy apps, and any apps or games you’ve bought on your Android devices through the Play Store will need to be re-bought.

You’ll also need an Amazon account as well. While many people probably already have one, due to the popularity of the online store, there will be plenty of people who don’t want an Amazon account for various reasons. Having to sign up for yet another account you don’t want may be too much of an ask.

Analysis: Does this kill the Android app hype in Windows 11?

Are these requirements enough to kill off some people’s excitement for getting Android apps in Windows 11? While the potential of having thousands of apps instantly available in Windows 11, and which can be installed via the Microsoft Store like other Windows 11 apps, remains exciting, we have to admit having our hype has reduced a bit.

The 8GB RAM requirement, for example, means that hopes of making an old, less powerful, Windows 11 device essentially an Android tablet, are less likely now.

Microsoft’s decision to go with the Amazon Appstore also continues to baffle and annoy. Many of us will have a large library of Android apps installed on our devices, and the thought that we’d have to pay for certain apps and games again because we bought them through Google Play instantly puts a damper on things.

If you want to give Android apps a go in Windows 11, you can download the Windows 11 KB5010414 update, which is an optional update that adds an early look at how Android apps will be integrated into the operating system. At the moment, this feature is only available in the US.

Via WindowsLatest

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