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Whoa! The Win10 Build "Hat Trick"

Confounding all expectations, MS followed up the wham, bam sequence of two Windows 10 builds on June 30 (10158) and July 1 (10159) with a third build yesterday (July 2: Build 10162). I’m hopeful this will be all for a while because it’s been time consuming and a bit frustrating to grind through the process so many times and so quickly of late. I always follow a new build with driver updates, which have fortunately been mostly nugatory with this last three builds on both of my test machines, and with image backups for each system which take an average of half-an-hour to complete on each of those systems.

Here we go again: I get mixed results from the install of Build 10162 on my test PCs.

As always, my i7-4770K desktop has been quietly stellar in absorbing the upgrades. I had no trouble with Builds 10158 and 10159 on the Dell Venue 11 Pro, but hit a snag yesterday on 10162. It hung on the download from Windows Update twice, at which point I gave up trying for the day, resolved to try again this morning first thing. I’m not sure if my patience was rewarded, or if the cold start I forced upon the machine did the trick, but the third try may turn out to be the charm for that machine, which is currently 28% through the “Upgrading Windows” process as I’m writing this paragraph, and just successfully rebooted for the second time while working through installation.

So far, I can’t really tell much difference between the three builds. MS claims that each one fixes issues (hundreds of them for each new iteration. Here’s what Gabe Aul of MS has to say about this hurry-up sequence in the latest Blogging Windows post, aptly entitled “Welcome to the faster fast ring!“:

We just released Build 10159 with our new wallpaper and logon UI on Tuesday, but this is a holiday weekend in the US and we thought that some of you might want to get an even fresher build on your PCs to play with over the long weekend. Build 10162 is another great one. In fact, our testing and internal telemetry metrics show it has better reliability, performance, battery life, and compatibility than any Windows 10 Insider Preview build so far.

And now, I have experienced a driver failure on the Dell PC at about 50% complete during installation, so it looks like the Windows Update version of 10162 is not going to work out on this machine. I also lost my touchpad at that point in the process, and had to install an external mouse (a Logitech 325 with external Unifying receiver, which worked immediately, thank goodness) so I’m guessing it’s the driver at fault here. My next move is to download the ISO files for 10162(which MS has already released even though 10162 has yet to hit the slow ring) and see if those don’t do the trick for me on this machine. I don’t relish rebuilding my usual image after a clean install, but that’s the way the Windows mop flops from time to time. Sigh.