Re: M$ should be paying us!
"MSI CR630 is the one on the desk here currently ... ONLY W10 clean install from the W1608 disk ... nothing else installed again as yet. First thing it does is try to apply W1709 build ... and we are stuck in a loop of try - fail - restore old version."
What can I say - while AMD laptops are a minority I haven't heard or seen any other problems with Athlon II family except of the Meltdown/Spectre updates that caused failures last winter.
Have you asked at e.g. MSI forums? Have you installed from 1709 media? (or the 1804 just released). Basic diagnostics like Memtest86+ and such would be the very first thing to run, but this wouldn't explain why you have hordes of computers failing to update - unless they're all MSI CR630 laptops...