Windows Update: backups for likely issues are for businesses only, Microsoft says

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We all know that Windows updates can cause issues on target devices during installation or after. Updates in the past have caused all sorts of problems, from data loss related boot issues to broken functionality.

image credit: Microsoft

When Microsoft releases new feature updates for Windows, it uses Machine Learning and a feature called Safeguard Holds to reduce the risk of disaster.

Feature updates are distributed in waves through Windows Updates, but those waves aren’t just randomly selected. The first wave affects devices considered least likely to be affected by update issues. Microsoft uses Machine Learning to choose these devices.

All Windows machines benefit from backup locks. These block updates on machines with known issues. Known issues are confirmed by Microsoft engineers. Devices with issues cannot receive updates; this is one of the reasons why updates are offered to some devices and not to others.

The probable problems are different in several respects. Microsoft describes a probable issue as unconfirmed issues its machine learning service has identified on the millions of unmanaged home and work devices it scans daily.

These problem indicators may be rollbacks during updates, a faulty application or driver, graphics, audio or connectivity issues, or other types of problems that have appeared in significant numbers after installing a update.

Unlike known issues, which cause updates to be blocked on all unmanaged Windows devices, probable issues are only blocked for business customers. Specifically, the feature is only available to “organizations with Windows 10/11 Enterprise E3 or higher, including Education variants” according to Microsoft.

Machine learning puts devices that would be affected by likely issues on hold to prevent the issue from occurring on those devices. Likely problem backup hangs vary over time according to Microsoft; they give administrators time to “make an informed decision on how to proceed with the update”.

Probable issues that are confirmed become known issues. Backup blocks affecting known issues affect all unmanaged Windows devices, which means home users benefit as well. Probable issues can also be considered false positives or more widespread in nature. Backup blocks are then removed for devices that are not affected by the issue.

Learn more about SafeGuard Holds on the Microsoft Tech Community website.

Closing words

Microsoft does not disclose why it is limiting likely Safeguard crashes to business customers. Home users would also benefit from blocking updates if their devices are identified as having likely issues. In fact, you could say that Microsoft is putting these devices at risk by now blocking updates.

Now you: Should Microsoft block likely update issues on home devices? (via Deskmodder)

Summary

Windows Update: backups for likely issues are for businesses only, Microsoft says

Article name

Windows Update: backups for likely issues are for businesses only, Microsoft says

The description

Microsoft uses Safeguard Holds to block Windows updates on machines that may be affected by confirmed or probable issues.

Author

Martin Brinkman

Editor

Ghacks Technology News

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