KB3074681 highlights why mandatory updates on Windows 10 are not a good idea

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 27, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows Updates

If you run the latest insider build 10240 of Windows 10 you may have already received update KB3074681 which is a cumulative security update for Windows 10 that Microsoft released on July 25.

The update installs fine on machines running the operating system but seems to introduce several Explorer related bugs at the same time which users may notice when executing different actions on the system.

For instance, when you try to uninstall a program using a double-click in the classic "remove a program" control panel applet, you will notice that Explorer crashes right away.

Others have discovered the same issue when they attempted to disable an active network adapter, and it may very well be the case that there are other crash issues that have not been discovered yet.

windows 10 crashes

Workarounds are available for the issues encountered. To remove a program, you may select it with a single-click and then select the uninstall link at the top of the listing to get the uninstallation dialog. This method works for the network adapter as well, so select it with a left-click and then disable at the top to disable it.

Users affected by this may want to consider removing the update from the system. This is done in the following way:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd, right-click on Command Prompt, select "Run as administrator" and hit enter.
  2. Run the command wusa /uninstall /KB:3074681
  3. Reboot the machine afterwards.

Microsoft is working on a fix for the issue according to Gabriel Aul, the General Manager OSG Data and Fundamentals team at Microsoft.

This is not the worst-case scenario, which would be if an update would render the system unable to boot or destroy important files on it, but it highlights why mandatory updates are not a good idea.

As you may know, Microsoft made the decision to deliver updates to Windows 10 Home systems automatically without giving users options to prevent the installation of select updates on the system. While it is not clear right now how this will look in the end, it seems for now that users will have less control over what gets installed on their machines.

Things will work slightly different after the release as Microsoft will push out updates to Insider users first before they are pushed to all systems via Windows Update. While that increases the test sample size to several million machines, it does not guarantee that a bug won't slip by and affect customers negatively.

KB3074681 highlights why mandatory updates on Windows 10 are not a good idea
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KB3074681 highlights why mandatory updates on Windows 10 are not a good idea
A botched security update for Windows 10 days before official release highlights why mandatory updates are a bad idea.
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  1. Mike Sacramento said on February 13, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Windows Update, Malicious Software Removal tool are creeping towards LOCKING OUT users forcing changes on computers to allow ADVERTISING TAKEOVER OF YOUR SCREENS either through Windows 10 updates to Windows 8 or Windows 7 or forcing users into WINDOWS SUBSCRIPTION pay monthly fees to use Windows. Watch out people don’t say you weren’t warned.q

  2. Phred said on August 3, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Can’t wait for the lawsuits to show up in the next few weeks. Microsoft is totally in violation of the law by utilizing YOUR bandwidth to install their programs without your express permission

    The same crap was decided years ago by the courts in relation to Faxes. It is illegal to send a fax to someone that has not given you permission since you are using their equipment and materials without permission. Basically theft.

    For people that have metered and limited access to the net Microsoft with multi-gig patches like the just released failed security patch will be burning up peoples PAID for bandwidth.

    Let the lawsuits begin and hopefully this time their dicks will get totally knocked into the dirt. It probably won’t happen with our liberal pansy judges here in the US but in Europe they will get hammered as they so deserve.

  3. Scott said on July 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    I totally agree with joncr above. Anyone running win10 today is a beta tester. Slow or fast, you will STILL be a TESTER… This is what testers are for. Even with a million testers, it is a fraction of 1% of total users.

    Don’t cry wolf!

    1. Corky said on July 27, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Shouldn’t that be anyone running Windows 10 Home edition is a beta tester also, you could even include the Pro version in that.
      Windows insiders, as has been said, are a very small percentage of the user base and that’s only going to get smaller over time as the novelty factor wears thin.

      It seems Microsoft are going to be using lesser tiered versions of Windows 10 as beta testers for the higher tiered versions, If the lesser tiered users experience many repeated problems I can see Microsoft falling out of favor with people.

      Faster updates certainly have a novelty factor and some users may even be happy to put up with the odd problem to be on the latest’s and greatest version, others consider an OS a tool, one they just want to work, one that doesn’t carry the potential to change every time it’s used, one that their familiar with.

      When trying to get work done you don’t want to be standing on constantly shifting sands.

    2. JohnMWhite said on July 27, 2015 at 7:33 pm

      Nobody’s crying wolf. Everybody knows Windows 10 is still being tested, and this is a test they failed, demonstrating the concept that pushing mandatory updates is a bad idea because they cannot catch everything before it makes it out to the next ring of users.

      1. Solidstate said on July 28, 2015 at 1:28 am

        Except they didn’t fail, because this is why precisely why the Insider Preview Builds will still exist event after July 29th. They push the updates to the Insiders first. If it fails there, then they pull the update. If it works in the Insider Builds it gets pushed out to the other 99% of the Windows user base that have no concept of the Beta builds are.

        This wasn’t a failure. Far from it, it shows how MS plans on implementing the forced automatic updates. By using the beta testers as actual beta testers.

  4. Bob said on July 27, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    On my spare machine I’m fighting just to get it to boot. Since the last update all I get is a blinking cursor in the upper left corner. I made a Macrium Reflect image on a secondary internal drive and cannot get it to restore. No boot=no fix so far.


  5. joncr said on July 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    After release, update beta testers will be people who have signed up to be update beta testers. Updates will go first to Fast Ring Insiders, then to Slow Ring Insiders, and then to actual users.

    *Everyone* in the Insiders Program is a beta tester, even two days from release. Microsoft explicitly switched Insider updates over to Windows Update with 10240 to test that approach. Not terribly surprising that something went amiss for a few people.

    The vast majority of mainstream users lack the expertise needed to decide for themselves which updates to install and which updates they do not need. Advising those people to avoid or seriously delay updating is bad and dangerous. Mandatory automatic updates won’t be a panacea and it won’t be free of problems, but it is a better approach than letting uninformed people make bogus choices, potentially turning their systems into malevolent bots poisoning the web for the rest of us.

    1. brightspark said on July 27, 2015 at 11:13 pm


      I beg to differ. If users “lack the expertise needed to decide for themselves which updates to install and which updates they do not need”, chances are they would also have no clue as to where or how to change Windows Update settings. All MS need do is leave Windows Update set to automatic by default on every machine with the same options in the same place… problem solved!

    2. hirobo2 said on July 27, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      I suspect these kinds of bugs will be the downfall of Win10. I can’t see any sane user sticking with W10 Home/Pro after the gazillionth bug they will have experienced thru the update process no matter if they’re computer literate or not. Of course the literate ones will most likely switch to Linux, while the other group will gravitate towards Macs.

      1. Phred said on August 3, 2015 at 4:11 am

        Sorry but the Linux train left the station in the early 2000’s.

        Show me the readily available productivity software for Linux (choose carefully which of 135 versions you decide to use).
        Show me all the games supporting Linux

        Sorry it isn’t happening, Even Mac which basically runs a pirated version of Linux is falling farther and farther behind in the software world.

      2. Corky said on July 27, 2015 at 6:23 pm

        What hirobo2 said, 100 percent.
        Windows is increasingly becoming something not intended for tech literate users, who will probably migrate to Linux when W7 reaches EOL, and I don’t see why non-tech literate users would choose Windows over OSX.

    1. chesscanoe said on July 27, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      This is potentially good news, but if and only if it works for Windows 10 Home when released.

  6. Flyer said on July 27, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    The golden rule for MS users-wait a year then think if you really need a new system. If you wanna be a beta tester for your own money, have a lot of time to fight with new problems and bugs and if you love to ask yourself “how should I do it” for all things which were obvious till now in the old system, then install it just after its relase.

    1. webfork said on July 27, 2015 at 5:29 pm

      Agreed and well said.

  7. Jeff said on July 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    It was one thing for MS to force critical security updates on users, but it’s quite another to force what we up until now called optional updates. Forcing video drivers? WTF?

    Absolute deal breaker for me. I’ll be holding on to Win 7 indefinitely!

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