Windows 10, Part Deux: Anniversary Update


It’s been about a year since my last post about Windows 10, and the arduous process it took for me to get my computer up & running smoothly on Win10.

The Windows 10 Installation TL;DR:

  • Win7 –> Win10 Upgrade
  • Win10 “Reset” to get rid of everything & start fresh.
  • Win10 “Reset” failed and killed itself, because Win10 loaded the drivers for my hard drives from Win7 (in the “windows.old” folder), and deleted those drivers without copying them over to the Win10 installation.
  • Endless boot errors @ BIOS, unable to find hard drive, etc.
  • Reinstalled Vista (my latest copy of Windows on disk, after losing my 7 disk).
  • Reinstalled 7, activated 7.
  • Reinstalled 10, this time fresh (no “upgrade”), activated 10.
  • Reinstalled everything (apps, games, etc).

The Anniversary Update: Fuck Your Bootloader (8/9/2016):

Now, fast-forward a year or so, and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been rolling out to users. I was one of the lucky ones to get the update super early in the roll out (for someone not on a Dev/Fast update ring). Well… let’s just say that the process once again bricked my computer.

In the year or so since installing 10, I also dual-booted Ubuntu, and in doing so, Grub was installed as my bootloader. Ok, sounds good, no big deal, just select Windows at startup whenever I want to boot to Windows (90% of the time, thanks to gaming). Haven’t had a problem since. Anniversary Update appears in my Update window, “about time” I think, and hit update. Looks like it’s going to take some time, so I go to bed and it’ll be done by the time I’m up in the morning.

Well, when I wake up in the morning, it looks like something went wrong. Sitting at the BIOS, “bootloader not found” displays on screen. Pressing all sorts of keys to try to illicit a response from my system does nothing. Reboot the PC, thinking maybe I just need to select Windows again from the Grub Bootloader, and no dice. Turns out, the Anniversary Update decided to fuck with the bootloader and destroyed Grub. At the same time, the Windows bootloader is non-existent at this point as well. Load up my Win10 bootable USB, and it can’t find any Windows OS or hard drives. There’s nothing to repair if it can’t anything to repair. You’ve gotta be kidding me. Another full reinstallation like last year? Wonderful. I don’t have time for this, I need to go to work. I’ll deal with this later.

I don’t know why the fuck they decided to mess with the bootloader during the update process. I mean, what are they changing in the kernel that requires making changes to the bootloader? Oh, wait, I know why. It’s because of some major system level changes that require the device to restart multiple times, so it’s best to partition off a small section of the drive for the update’s setup files, like in a regular full OS installation. Either way, it’s fucking frustrating. I don’t remember any of the traditional Service Packs from XP/Vista/7 doing any of that, but I digress.

Anyway, once I get home from work and relax, it’s time to reinstall Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 10 (in that order, just like last time). Now that Ubuntu is gone though, that partition is just sitting there, useless. But, Windows can’t format it and/or expand my Windows volume to take back that space. Not even Disk Management in the Computer Management window can fuck with that volume.

Sigh.

cmd, DiskPart, list disk, select disk 0, list partition, select partition 0, delete partition 0 noerr override

Now, I can extend my Windows partition to take up that unused space. Yay. Finally, Windows 10 is reinstalled, and all of my apps & games are reinstalling or finished installing.

The Anniversary Update, Part Deux: Fuck Your Multiple Hard Drives (8/23/2016):

Now that I’ve got all of my things settled and ready to go on my computer, I figured, it would be better to get the Anniversary Update installed now rather than later. Thankfully, all of my personal stuff (docs, pics, music, movies, tv shows, projects, etc) are on my external drive, including common app installers (Steam, Battle.net, Discord, Chrome, etc), so I’ll be ok if anything happens, just another momentary annoyance if that hard drive thing happens again and the bootloader somehow dies again.

But, now, Windows Update doesn’t want to give me the Anniversary Update, despite being one of the first roll-outs before The Great Bootloader Disaster of 2016. Looks like I’ll have to wait till MS decides I am allowed to have the Anniversary Update, or force the update by downloading it from their website and installing it over my existing copy of Windows. Thankfully, this process was relatively straightforward and easy to do, not like I needed to mount an ISO or anything. Run the EXE and let the computer do it’s thing. A few hours later, it finally finished.

All the new features are here, it runs just as well as before, maybe even a little better? The Start Menu & Explorer seem to be more responsive and neither seem to have any of the hang-ups they used to have when working in them. I especially love the new Start Menu. Scrolling right into “All Apps” right off the bat instead of just my “most used” apps is fantastic. All of my “Most Used” apps are pinned as live tiles or pinned to my taskbar. Most Used apps were a waste of space in the Start menu, until now.

Well, anyway, time to play some gam– wait, where’d my D:\ drive go? Where’s Battle.net? Where’s Steam? Even Origin is gone? What the hell? Oh you’ve gotta be fucking kidding me. The entire drive is gone? What the absolute fuck? God damn it. Even with a hardwired cat5e 300mbps connection, this is going to take hours to reinstall all of my games. But before I can even do that, I have to create the volume in Disk Management, as it’s not even recognized by File Explorer. At least this time, Disk Management can format it real quick, unlike that issue with the other drive & partition.

The Anniversary Update, Conclusion (8/24/2016):

It’s been less than a day, and while all the games are reinstalled, and the new features are nice, so far it seems like everything else went over smoothly. But both times trying to get Windows to work properly, were a pain in the ass. The first time, just getting Windows 10 installed, and the second time, when trying to update to the Anniversary Update. It feels like the whole OS is still in Alpha or Beta, at least based on my experience.