Windows 10’s big May 2019 Update is blocked on PCs using USB storage

Microsoft hasn’t officially released Windows 10’s May 2019 Update to everyone just yet, but the company is already warning of a very weird bug with it. Microsoft is blocking the update on PCs that have a USB hard disk like a thumb drive attached, or machines with an SD Card in the SD Card reader. “Inappropriate drive reassignment can occur on eligible computers that have an external USB device or SD memory card attached during the installation of the May 2019 update,” warns a Microsoft support article.

This means that if you had a USB drive with the D: letter assigned by Windows, after the May 2019 Update it could have shifted along to E: instead. That wouldn’t cause a lot of headaches for most consumers, but for tightly managed business machines any drive letter change could be a big problem. Microsoft is now blocking the May 2019 Update on machines with this storage attached, and all you’ll need to do is remove any USB or SD storage to complete the upgrade.

Microsoft notes “this issue will be resolved in a future servicing update for Windows 10,” but that clearly won’t be available in time for when the company starts distributing this May 2019 Update later next month. Windows 10 testers on the Release Preview ring can already get access to the final May 2019 Update, and Microsoft is being far more careful with its last-minute testing this time around.

The previous October 2018 Update hit some file deletion issues when it first rolled out, and Microsoft clearly doesn’t want a repeat of any similar issues. Still, it’s strange that Microsoft only detected this USB storage issue late in the May 2019 Update, when it has millions of Windows 10 testers helping flag issues like these.

Comments

*likely only affects a very small percentage of PCs, nonetheless…

SKY
IS
FALLING

A small percentage of 100s of millions of users is still a lot of people.

[…]but that clearly won’t be available in time for when the company starts distributing this May 2019 Update later next month.

Is it coming on the 2nd? Or any time in early may? They could try to fix it and release at the end of the month. No one will care.

If I have a micro SD card inserted in my Surface Pro does that mean the update will be blocked?

Did you even read the article? NOPE.

The article mentions SD not microSD….

The article is badly written it should specifically state ‘any removable media’.

Which could include USB devices, any SD cards, what about mapped network drives with a drive assignment? Or eSATA drives?

"any removable media" applies to floppies or CDs, which doesn’t block the update

I have family members that always travel out of the country right before the W10 Spring Updates, so I’d done these upgrades remotely and hope their laptops don’t get bricked.

they won’t. The article points out that the Drive letter assignment will change. I’m certain there are some edge cases where this could cause bricking… but I doubt that this is one of them.

They might come home and notice their USB stick is now called the E: drive instead of the D: drive. The laptops might be toast.

Well, in this case they do have 400GB microSD cards flush-mounted in their Surface Books for regular incremental imaging backups (Macrium Reflect / StorageCraft ShadowProtect).

So for this year I’ll have to walk them through how to remove the BaseQi adapters ahead of time. Or just wait for the Microsoft fix.

the update won’t install if they have an Sd card so you don’t have to worry.

so I’d done these upgrades remotely and hope their laptops don’t get bricked.

Wait, I missed this gem of a tidbit

In addition to the update being blocked on computers with SD cards, the update is not even available yet. So yeah I’m calling bullshit on your entire story and fake concern lol

Oh if it wasn’t clear, I was referring to past W10 updates (that’s why I talked in the past tense, and referred to updates in the plural).

Some of the earlier ones had various issues at one point or another, that could be challenging to fix remotely…

Not a big deal for many people, and it’s easy to change drive letters.

Still, it’s strange that Microsoft only detected this USB storage issue late in the May 2019 Update, when it has millions of Windows 10 testers helping flag issues like these.

I feel like a large part of the problem is that the Windows Insiders thing is just a Windows Store app, not an actual website anywhere. It raises the barrier for entry in viewing and sharing things reported as bugs, which means they never quite disseminate outside of people with the same issue possibly finding existing entries for that issue in the Insiders app . . . and apparently the folks it doesn’t disseminate to include people at Microsoft with enough authority to actually assign anyone to address them. The same thing happened with the hugely problematic file-deletion bug back in the last Fall update IIRC, where people had in fact reported it earlier but it just never got actually noticed by Microsoft. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing is happening here.

In general, Microsoft’s development process seems really bad. I suspect sometimes that it’s almost just a function of the size of an organization, though; the larger the org, the more likely it becomes that things won’t be managed well.

There’s pros and cons to opening up the bug tracker to the web. It gains visibility for you, but reduces its worth to Microsoft. When you submit feedback through the Feedback Hub, relevant logs and crash data (if applicable) is uploaded for Microsoft to add relevance to your submission. Allowing submission via web loses all of this. Add with just how crap unprofessional (as in, people who don’t do QA for a living) most user-submitted feedback is, web submissions would just become noise to Microsoft.

Apple’s beta programs are the same, at least a few years ago they were. You must submit feedback through a dedicated app so relevant data can be uploaded alongside your submission.

One solution I can see is disallowing submissions via web, but allow viewing and upvotes of issues through the web, with encouragement to really use the Feedback Hub.

A TRILLION dollar market cap and still…

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