That’s right. The “Spring Creators” update is no more; Microsoft is now calling its upcoming mega-update to Windows the “Windows 10 April 2018 Update,” and the company is barely locking this name in by releasing the update on Monday, April 30—the last day of the month.
The big update is packed with new features, most of which you can play with right now by running the latest Windows Insider Preview. We’ll get into all of those on Monday when the update launches. What’s more important is how you should prepare your PC for an update of this magnitude. Yes, the update process can and will go wrong for some of you, but you don’t have to leave yourself hanging.
Pause for updates
You probably won’t have to install the Windows 10 April 2018 update when it launches Monday. Like Microsoft’s Fall Creators Update, we’re expecting that Microsoft’s April update will be available for those eager beavers who manually check for a system update on Monday—and, no, Microsoft hasn’t told us the exact time when the update is going live.
Otherwise, Microsoft will start rolling out the update to all Windows users on May 8 and, even then, you’ll probably have a little time before Microsoft pushes it to your system.
To give yourself extra time to check and make sure that your favorite program’s creators have released any and all compatibility updates for their apps (if you’ve had issues with big Windows updates in the past), make a calendar note for May 7. In it, remind yourself to pause Windows’ updates so you can have a little extra time before the April changes hit your system.
To do this, you’ll want to click on your Start Menu button and type in Update. Click on the first entry that appears—“Check for updates”—and click on the Advanced Options link. Flip Pause Updates on to give yourself an extra seven days before the April update rolls out to your system. You’ll only get one chance to pause before the Windows updates start flowing, so make sure you do this as close to May 8 as possible.
We don’t recommending finding some quirky trick to disable Windows updates entirely. It’s one thing to give yourself a little extra time to make sure everything you run doesn’t break with a new big update. It’s another thing to disable any and all useful updates, including security patches and other fixes, from hitting your system. These are good and useful, and we don’t think they’re worth turning off forever.
Update your drivers
Think about all the various devices you’ve attached to your desktop or laptop PC or, better yet, the expensive hardware within it. Hit up the manufacturers of your devices or components to see if they have any updated drivers or firmware you’re going to want to install prior to a manual or forced Windows update.
If your system came with any preinstalled “check for updates” software, give those apps a whirl. Update the drivers for your Nvidia or AMD card, if applicable. Check and see if you’re using the latest drivers and firmware your motherboard manufacturer offers. Need to use a USB webcam for work meetings? Make sure you’re running the latest drivers, too. You get the idea.
Image your Windows partition just in case
One thing you can do to ensure that you have a way to quickly restore your system—pre-update, in case something goes wrong—is to create a full image of your Windows partition before installing the April update (or May 8). The freeware app Macrium Reflect is great for that.
Download it, install it, and run it. Click on the Backup menu and select the Backup Windows option, which will automatically select any and all partitions that need to be lumped into one big image file. Pick a place to save this file—ideally, a spare drive, since you can’t just save it on the drive you’re imaging—and let the program work its magic.
Once done, click on the big icon of a CD in Macrium Reflect’s upper-left corner. This will allow you to create a piece of rescue media on a bootable DVD or USB key. You’ll use this to boot into a standalone environment, should your Windows update mess up your operating system, and you can then restore your previous version of Windows from your backup image.
Since Windows will likely try to reinstall the update anyway, this would be a great time to save all of your work, make a note of the programs you have installed on your PC, and consider reinstalling Windows from scratch. It’s possible that something you’ve installed, or some quirk of the OS, is preventing the April update from succeeding. Starting from scratch could help you fix this. It’s annoying, sure, but it’s only an afternoon of work, and at least your PC will then function correctly—we hope.
Updates: Aren’t they fun?
On – 27 Apr, 2018 By David Murphy