back to article Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

A broken software update for Windows 8 and 10 is knackering internet connectivity for users of several ISPs in the UK, Europe and quite likely beyond. Virgin Media in Blighty is the latest provider to confirm the dodgy code is knocking a number of its customers offline. Proximus in Belgium also says a Windows 10 update is …

Anonymous Coward

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

@Brewster's Angle Grinder

'Out of date information is sufficient to flaw El Reg's readers Microsoft haters.'

I'm not an MS hater, but have become more and more frustrated/pissed-off/angry with what MS have done to what was generally a very good operating system. Instead of giving us a consistent and logical upgrade to Windows 7, they forced an ugly and non-intuitive UI on us with Windows 8. Then after an almost universal 'WTF?' from users, they gave us 8.1 which still didn't fix the fundamental UI issues. Then they went all 'as-a-service' with 10, forced almost everyone to upgrade to 10 whether they wanted to or not, gave us a still broken UI with forced updates we have no control over, rampant telemetry which is almost impossible to suppress, common networking issues (seriously, how do you break the implementation of a standard network protocol which has been used by all previous versions of the same OS for almost 20 years?) as well as other shit.

MS could have avoided all this quite easily by giving users what they actually needed in the OS, rather than forcing illogical and unnecessary changes on them for no good reason. Unfortunately, for the majority of those same users there is no alternative available to them because they are not technically minded and have only ever used Windows, so they will just suck it up and muddle through regardless even if they now detest using Windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

>MS could have avoided all this quite easily by giving users what they actually needed in the OS, >rather than forcing illogical and unnecessary changes on them for no good reason. Unfortunately, for >the majority of those same users there is no alternative available to them because they are not >technically minded and have only ever used Windows, so they will just suck it up and muddle >through regardless even if they now detest using Windows.

I thought most of that lot had splashed out on Macs, or given up on desktop computing altogether

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Bronze badge
Linux

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

> Would that be the box thats from a 3rd party site, about the windows Technical Preview, about upgrades written "MARCH 18, 2015 6:50 AM"

So we don't need fake news. Out of date information is sufficient to flaw El Reg's readers Microsoft haters.

Oh really?

https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msnz/en_NZ/pdp/Windows-10-Home/productID.320414600

Requirements

Required Processor : 1 GHz processor or faster

Required Memory : 1 GB RAM for 32-bit; 2 GB for 64-bit

[..]

Required connectivity : Internet access (fees may apply)

5th item down on the list. As appears when visiting microsoft.com from NZ, then looking at the "learn more about windows 10" link (under the left hand pic in the second row of ads), then to "Shop now" (way down under a massive wankfest of "how great this shitpile is", then a second "shop now" button (coz, like, we're MS and we're to fucked in the head to realise you've already chosen to go to our shop and don't really need to chose to go there again), then Windows 10, then Windows 10 home, then "requirements" (I have adblock+ and NoScript in Firefox on Mint 17.1. APB was untouched, but I turned on "temporarily allow ms.com, msstore.com and digitalriver", left a lot of other scripts (like a hell of a lot of 3rd party scripts - MS to stupid to even write their own website and have to rely very heavily on others?) off)

Looks like current information, nothing outdated about it. If it is outdated, then MS needs to fix their shop page. They also got the price wrong - "NZ$199.00" - should be "you'd be an idiot to pay even 1cent for this when so much better, non-slurping OS's are available completely free"

El Reg, can we have a flying pig icon, text something like "the OP is telling porkies" (or "the OP works for MS or somesuch will do).

(Gotta remember to use more rat poison when feeding these MS trolls...)

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Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

That's to purchase a download only version. I'm not sure how you imagine you would be able to achieve that without internet access.

Windows 10 will function perfectly well without an internet connection - albeit with very limited utility, in this day and age. And by 'perfectly well', I mean with a dog's dinner of a Start menu.

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Mushroom

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

Genuine LOL. GLOL?

"The new iThing 9000: Dance madly with us on the lip of the volcano! And everytime someone falls into the molten glory hole of terrible engineering practices, we just accept this, like it's normal or something."

Volcano icon.

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Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

Microsoft is a landlord who simply wants you to move out. I was able to take most of my stuff with me but I had to leave behind my beloved MS Access. Moving away from MS is the end of an era and although I am a little sad I have made a lovely new home in Mint Linux. I am encouraging my Windows customers to come to Linux too.

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Bronze badge

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

"Info box at the top of the page, above the results: "A Microsoft account and Internet access.""

In my experience that's to install it, rather than use it. My laptop works fine offline.

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Bronze badge

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

That's to purchase a download only version. I'm not sure how you imagine you would be able to achieve that without internet access.

Really?

So why, then, on https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Windows-10-Home/productID.319937100, with the USB flash drive option checked, does it still state you need an internet connection to run Win10?

You don't normally download USB drives. At least, I haven't yet found any method to download them.

And why would you need 20g of HDD space to "purchase a download only version"? I know MS stuff is a waste of space but surely even they don't require 20G to dl a <4g file?

How about the "1 GHz processor or faster", or the "1 GB RAM for 32-bit; 2 GB for 64-bit"? Is there something about downloading from MS that uses a lot of more CPU cycles than normal? (AV going into overload or something?). And how does downloading a 64bit file require twice the ram of downloading a 32bit file? What about downloading txt files? Do they only require a few KB of ram? What if I was do download a 4K 3D video file to copy to USB and play on my TV, would I need 20G of ram? How does that work?

And how about the "DirectX® 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver" - How do you need something like that to "purchase a download only version"? Or the "Microsoft account required for some features. Watching DVDs requires separate playback software"? Surely purchasing a USB stick with software on it does not somehow require separate software to view DVD's (aside from whatever else you have on your system).

MS's own website says you need an internet connection to run 10 purchased on a USB stick. Forgive me for taking MS at their word1 about minimum specs as published on their website. If the specs are wrong, MS needs to correct their website.

1 No, I wouldn't ever take them at their word... I'm quite sane, my mother had me tested.

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Silver badge

quick fix

It's not a UK-only problem.

I've found that the easiest way to fix this over the phone is to hold SHIFT while doing a system shutdown. This will force a non-fast boot, which clears the issue. Not sure if the fix is permanent, though.

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Linux

Re: quick fix

Not sure if the fix is permanent, though.

For a quicker, and much more permanent solution to your Windows networking/stability/security/privacy woes, see icon :)

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Bronze badge

Re: quick fix

Agree all those woes will be fixed, but I still won't have any decent quality software to use!!

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Pretty sure it has absolutely nothing to do with ISP whatsoever. My users on remote sites get their IP (or not, as the case may be!!) from our SBS2011 or 2012R2 boxes. None of our users at any of our sites get their IP from the router. So I don't see how it can relate to the router, and therefore the ISP. I think it's purely client-side (since our servers haven't been updated/bounced for a while).

And the problem first reared on one laptop on 7th November. Nothing would get it to connect, whilst the rest of the office was happily working. Got said laptop sent to different office and it connected fine.

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Anonymous Coward

funny enough we've been having random DHCP issues with *some* win10 boxes for a while. All are win10 dell OptiPlex 7040AIO or 7040 micros (both have the same Intel NIC chipset) win7 works fine. Symptoms are random but users lose there connection and when you check the machine has picked a 169.x.x.x address up, normally a ipconfig /release renew fixes it or a reboot but not always. This can happen even when the PC is well within its DHCP lease time so shouldn't even be trying to renew its IP.

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Bronze badge

Pretty sure that DHCP is supposed to check in with the server when the lease is 50% complete and renew. So don't trust the Server Leaser Time setting for that.

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Anonymous Coward

that is true, but some of our win10 boxes have been losing their IP after as little as 1 or 2 days of an 8 day lease

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Anonymous Coward

" users lose there connection and when you check the machine has picked a 169.x.x.x address up,"

That's an APIPA address - it's the IP range microsoft PCs give themselves if they detect a network connection, but don't get a response to a DHCP request. It was designed to allow home networks of PCs to have LAN parties back in the late 90's to get all PCs on the LAN to have a working IP address so they could connect to each others PC and play network connected games together.

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Anonymous Coward

Not just UK

I work for a US ISP and can confirm we've been having this issues since last Tuesday. We've got internal alerts up for all agents who can read and every team mangler talking to their people about it.

For us, a plain restart appears to be fixing the issue.

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Silver badge

Re: Not just UK

> We've got internal alerts up for all agents who can read

What do you get the illiterate agents to do?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not just UK

"What do you get the illiterate agents to do?"

they all work for Talk Talk, explaining data breaches

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Re: Not just UK

I believe they're functioning by someone telling them what to do behind them. (Mobile posting is hard, and I checked the anon box by mistake)

Among the senior techs, we're not sure some of our "front line" [i]can[/i] read, at least american english.

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Silver badge
Happy

Oh goody

I knew there was another reason for paying a fiver a month for a static IP.

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Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Oh goody

I knew there was another reason for paying a fiver a month for a static IP.

That would be a WAN IP address. This issue appears to relate to DHCP which manages LAN IP addresses.

In more detailed terms: The issue seems to relate to the way people's routers are handing out addresses to Windows 10 machines on their LAN (or the way those machines respond to that advisement). Your static IP address relates to the way the world communicates with your router over the public internet.

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Silver badge

Re: Oh goody

Unless he meant using the fixed ip for his PC (part of a /29?)i.e. no NAT. Shudder.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh goody

To be fair, there's nothing to stop you putting your ISP router in modem mode, and using a public IP address on your PC. Bit of a strange thing to do, unless you for some reason want to use your PC as a firewall/router, but it can certainly be done.

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Silver badge

Re: Oh goody

Unless the ISP has some weird point-to-point protocol that you just cannot run on your box without reverse-engineering it first out of the modem firmware. (SHUDDER)

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Silver badge

Re: Oh goody

Well he could be using his fixed IP address directly on his PC. I do one some of mine.

The issue isn't to do with the router except is as much that most people use their router as their DHCP server. But regardless of what you are using as a DHCP server W10 was knaggered it. The DHCP server is happily responding to requests and offering configs and it looks like W10 is just ignoring these responses.

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What is going on exactly?

Are the DHCP servers messed up? Or the clients? Somehow the latter seems more likely, in which case it doesn't have anything to do with the ISP.

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Silver badge

Re: What is going on exactly?

The ISPs generally issue the router. So if some routers contain a non-conforming server, it could be the ISP's problem.

That said, it looks like Microsoft have screwed up. But even if Redmond are in the right, they'll have to implement the fix.

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Re: What is going on exactly?

It appears to be the DHCP client in Win 10.

Customers with Win 10 and DHCP, as apposed to customers who use manual configuration, have been a headache. It's the ISPs and retailers who are left to pick up the pieces 'cause of Redmond's screw-up. Don't we just love he new update mechanism in Win 10? SPIT, SPUTTER, CURSE! No way in hell!

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Anonymous Coward

The fix is

Enable IPX and browse the Microsoft Network (TM) (c) 1995, so much better than the Internet.

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Silver badge

Re: The fix is

Perhaps the genius 2000 cards have drivers that work too. Try getting a fresh pair of terminators from the terminator robot too.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The fix is

Damn. Should have kept the ARCnet cards & cables. And a modem :).

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Bronze badge

Re: The fix is

Nah, NetBEUI all the way.

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Re: The fix is

To set your connection as metered and say bye bye to broken updates (at the cost of security i admit)

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The ever increasing cost of Free

How long before people realise that the cost of free Windows isn't worth it. End users are now unpaid QA testers and this is only the latest in an ongoing string of borked updates.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The ever increasing cost of Free

'How long before people realise that the cost of free Windows isn't worth it?'

Seeing as most people weren't given an option, probably about 2 minutes after Windows 10 installed itself and rebooted!

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Silver badge
Windows

I knew

there was a very good reason not to 'upgrade' to win10 from win7 while it was free

However, how does the borked update affect someone who runs his virgin(spit) modem in cable mode and uses his own belkin router to connect the computers/printers/backup hard drive to each and the internet?

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Re: I knew

It's a DHCP issue with Windows 8 and 10. It seems that no DHCP servers can solve the problem. It must be solved in the PC.

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Anonymous Coward

Seen this, lots...

....Started seeing it last week as well, although in the first instance there had just been a lot of work done at the customer end, so it wasn't obvious what the problem was. Looked like a CPE issue for some time. Seen this across all sorts of different devices handing out DHCP leases.

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Bronze badge

Nothing new?

Especially when coming out of sleep, I've been seeing both my W10 machines lose internet connectivity. Solution has been to perform the LAN adapter reset. But I've been seeing this issue for months.

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Re: Nothing new?

Try disabling power management on the network adaptor, should keep it alive in sleep:

Control Panel > Network & Sharing Centre > Local Area Connection > Properties

'Power Management' Tab - Untick 'Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power', usually does the trick :-)

(Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!)

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Anonymous Coward

loss of business

so - if an MS update breaks your PC and those of your employees, so they can't work but you have to pay them anyway, how do you recover that cost from MS? If they're using innocent bystanders as beta testers (which they must be, anything that borks things this much would surely not pass a decent ISO-compliant software test/QA/release process), then they should be paying businesses for taking that risk ....

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Silver badge

Re: loss of business

"If they're using innocent bystanders as beta testers"

Dunno about beta. This sounds more like alpha.

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Silver badge

Re: loss of business

You agreed to the EULA which says that you owe MS everything and they owe you nothing. If you want compensation you'd have to convince a court that the EULA wasn't a reasonable contract (it isn't) and that you basically agreed to it under duress (you don't have any choice). Then you might be able to go after the compensation you (and all the rest of us) rightly deserve. However MS will spend more of legal fees than you, so they'll win.

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Silver badge

Re: loss of business

"Then you might be able to go after the compensation you (and all the rest of us) rightly deserve. However MS will spend more of legal fees than you, so they'll win."

Government's should do this, and I'm sure they can take on MS.

EU seems keen on doing this sort of thing.

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Silver badge

Re: loss of business

Government's should do this, and I'm sure they can take on MS.

EU seems keen on doing this sort of thing.

Sadly they don't seem keen on wiping the whole EULA thing off the face of the planet. I really wish they would as no one else it likely to manage. Of course if the judge's PC were to bork part way through the trial it might help. If they felt the pain the rest of us do they might well reach of the black cap.

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Linux

Re: loss of business

Should people who don't know how to re-initialize the network adapter driver really be using computers? That's like expecting someone to drive a car who can't change a wheel.

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Bronze badge

Re: loss of business

Of course if the judge's PC were to bork part way through the trial it might help.

One of those forced reboots while the judge is busy writing the summing-up notes, with no chance to save (and auto-save files somehow wiped), and a 40min+40min shutdown and restart for "installing updates" should pretty much seal it I think.

(Disclaimer : Never inflicted myself with the horror that is 10, so no idea how much actual warning you're given)

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Thumb Up

Thank you Windows 10 freemium beta testers

your free beta testing offer is ensuring nobody else suffers from these windows 10 coding error.s

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Force fed updates still a good idea Microsoft ?

How many more cock-ups will it take before you get the message.

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