Microsoft has confirmed that certain Windows 10 based computers will not be able to upgrade to the May 2019 update if they have either an external USB device or SD memory card attached. The newly published Windows 10 support document reveals that those computers that already have the April 2018 (version 1803) or October 2018 (version 1809) updates installed will see an error message stating that “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10.”
The reason that error message will give is that the computer has “hardware that isn’t ready for this version of Windows 10.” It further advises that no action is required by the user and the update will proceed automatically once the issue has been resolved.
It appears that Microsoft is blocking the May 2019 update as otherwise it can reassign the drive letters mounting the USB drive or SD card. Interestingly, Microsoft has also confirmed that “The drive reassignment is not limited to removable drives. Internal hard drives can also be affected.”
The workaround suggested by Microsoft is to remove external media, be that a USB device or SD card, and restart the update installation process. Which is all well and good, apart from that statement that internal hard drives can also be affected. Removing that and trying again isn’t going to work, and neither am I if a drive reassignment happens and application software loading gets screwed for example.
I’m a security guy and am used to warning users about threats that could compromise their data, including Windows 10 vulnerabilities. Which is why this particular issue resonates so much. Microsoft is admitting that there’s a problem and will block installations of the update in order to prevent it. Which is good. Or at least it would be were it not for that almost throwaway admission that internal hard drives can also be impacted by the update. Which surely begs the question of whether the May 2019 Windows 10 update should be released at all until this issue is resolved. The pessimist in me, and unfortunately this tends to come to the fore whenever someone mentions Windows 10 updates given recent freezing problems, worries that this could turn into yet another “Microsoft borked my computer” moment should the update decide to reassign my hard drive.
Microsoft says that the issue “will be resolved in a future servicing update for Windows 10. For Windows Insiders, this issue is resolved in build 18877 and later builds.” Which, frankly, isn’t good enough in my books. This needs to be fixed now if there is any chance the May 2019 update can reassign internal drives for which there is no workaround. Either that or the update itself pulled until such a time that it is actually fit for release.