Most major software update roll-outs encounter a hitch or two. If the company is lucky, the bug isn’t too bad. Then there are the cases when things go catastrophically wrong.
Windows 8.1 was released last Thursday and was supposed to provide users with a new customizable start screen, improved built-in and downloadable apps, cloud storage and optimization for new tablets. Sadly, while some users downloaded the update without issue, Windows 8.1 ended up throwing 5+ errors – some annoying, some that flat out broke the system.
PCWorld has a nice recap of the problems and the current state of their fixes. Let’s start with some of the “smaller” one (if there is such a thing) and work our way up.
Error “0xC1900101 – 0×40017″ is one of the more common issues, according to PCWorld. This error doesn’t allow Windows 8.1 to install because of missing data in Windows RT’s Boot Configuration Data. While that’s not a good thing, this error at least rolls the user back to Windows 8. It’s not optimal, but at least it offers the user a fairly easy solution. Sadly, it seems that this error is mostly effecting “DIY builds or higher-end laptops with discrete graphics cards,” in other words, people who really know what they’re doing and have high end machines.
Some users encountered error code 0×80240031 while downloading 8.1 from the Windows Store. The download would stop at 50%. PCWorld reports that some – but not all – users got around this stalled install by downloading all available Windows updates.
Users who have moved their data files from the SDD to the HDD – again, users who are pretty tech-savvy – are unable to upgrade because the “User or Program Files folder is being redirected to another partition.” This one has users particularly angry because undoing their work might not even help.
Some users managed to update and still got an error. This one has a fix, but it’s not something your everyday user is probably used to. From PCWorld:
After successfully upgrading, some users are finding the following message watermarked in the corner of their desktop: “Secure Boot isn’t configured correctly. Build 9600.”
Softpedia reports that the official fix is exactly what you’d think it would be: You need to properly configure Windows 8.1′s Secure Boot functionality. To do that, you’ll need to dive into your PC’s BIOS settings at startup and enable or configure its Secure Boot option.
This one is one of my favorite errors because it could have been prevented with some in-the-wild testing: The update doesn’t work on specific pieces of hardware. Lenovo, Dell and Asus machines are encountering comparability problems, along with SteelSeries Engine. Ironcially, the Windows 8.1 website has the OS displayed on some of the machines it’s encountered problems with. This is something that could have been caught prior to launch by testing on a range Lenovo, Dell and Asus products.
And now the cream of the crop. In some situations, installing Windows RT 8.1 would render a machine completely unusable. The problem has been linked to a bug that causes Windows RT Boot Configuration Data file to lose data. But unlike error code 0xC1900101 – 0×40017 (possibly caused by the same or similar bug), this one doesn’t automatically roll back to Windows 8. Instead, it leaves the machine completely unable to boot up whatsoever. It’s such a bad bug that Windows RT 8.1 was pulled from the Windows Sote and the fix involves a separate bootable USB drive.
Kick That Computer figured out a way to get afflicted tablets up and running, but you’ll need to have created a USB recovery drive before attempting the upgrade. If you don’t have one, Microsoft released a Surface RT recovery image Monday morning, which you can slap on a bootable USB drive and use to get Windows 8.1 running. (Windows RT 8.1 is still unavailable in the Windows Store at this time, however.)
You can read more about all these issues at PCWorld >>>
People seemed excited for Windows 8.1 and willing to give the operating system another chance after the lukewarm reception of Windows 8. But after so many and such devastating issues with this launch, Windows is going to have an even harder time keeping users. They need to double down on testing and explore real-world testing options if they want to keep all their users happy going forward.