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Charles Young

I've always avoided using the Windows Insider programme.  I need to able to depend on my computer for my work, and accepting the greater risk of early builds is not really compatible with that.  However, for the first time ever, I decided today to try the service out.  Admittedly, this was not done in the spirit of the programme.  The reason I joined was to get the a stable build of Windows 10 2004 early.  Microsoft has just published what is probably the release version on the Slow Ring.  Why wait a few weeks when I can get a stable release now?

Oh dear.  That is the last time I shall be a Windows Insider.  I made sure I was fully up to date with updates for the current version.  I rebooted and then accepted the Insider download.  The installation went smoothly.  No problems were reported and after a while, I was invited to reboot.  Windows 10 came up...and was totally broken. The first thing I noticed was that all the icons on the desktop where...er...iconless.  No images.  Just white space.  Then I noticed that the Notepad icon had disappeared from the task bar, so I typed 'Notepad' into the search box...oh no, I didn't.  The search box no longer accepted keyboard input.  So I clicked the Start button and looked for Notepad.  Not there.  So I double clicked the File Explorer icon on my task bar.  Nothing happened.  And so on and so forth.  All kinds of things were broken.  The only possible clue I got was when I tried to open Cortana and got a message saying that it is not supported in the United Kingdom.  Could it be that the Windows Insider program only works for people in the US?  Surely, I would have heard about that before now.

Anyway, the roll-back to the previous version of Windows went smoothly and I appear to be in a good place again.  I shall approach the forthcoming release with great caution.  I've unregistered my account on the Insider site.  I never was a good candidate for this programme, as I need stability to do my job. Goodbye, Windows Insider program.  I hardly knew you.

UPDATE 23rd May:

Microsoft released the new 2024 version to developers on MSDN on the 12th May.  I updated using the MDSN release, which should be identical to the general release due at the end of this month.  I got exactly the same behaviour.  The desktop and Start menu icons where damaged.  The task bar didn't work.  You couldn't launch File Explorer, etc..  However, instead of rolling back, this time I rebooted a few times, manually rebuilt the icon cache and generally gave the new version time to sort itself out.  It did, eventually.  Apart from rebuilding the icon cache, I really didn't do anything else.  So if you have similar problems, stick with it awhile before contacting Microsoft support.  Hopefully after 20 minutes or so, and perhaps after a few reboots, you may have a stable system once more. I did notice some ongoing desktop icon issues for a day or so, but they eventually disappeared of their own accord. I've now been using the new version for a week or so, and am not having any further issues.  I can't offer an informed commentary on why I saw this behaviour, but only report the experience.

My comments about Cortana should be ignored.  Although the Cortana icon is still on the task bar, you have to download the new Cortana desperately from the Windows Store before it works. It works in the UK, but very poorly, apparently, compared to the USA - e.g., no integration, as far as I can see, with Office.  At this time, it really isn't much use to the 96% of the world's population that do not reside in that one country.  Personally, I wouldn't bother with Cortana.

Posted on Saturday, May 2, 2020 8:45 PM | Back to top


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