In part one we ran through some of the built-in tools to diagnose and fix issues after Windows updates. What else can you do to fix the Windows 10 Go-Slow after updates?
Perform a Clean Boot
A clean boot means starting a device with minimum drivers and start-up applications. If you strip Windows back to a minimal setup, you can start to diagnose what impact individual drivers and applications are causing the problems.
To perform a clean boot:
- In the Windows search bar, type msconfig
- Click on the System Configuration App
- In the Services tab, select Hide all Microsoft Services, then click on Disable All.
- In the Startup tab, click on Open Task Manager.
- In the Startup section, select and disable all the apps listed there one by one.
- You can also right-click on the background process and select Disable from the menu.
- Close the Task Manager.
- On the Startup tab of System Configuration, click on OK.
You can now select restart from the main menu and the device will restart with a clean boot, allowing you to investigate if any of your apps causes a slowdown in combination with the latest updates
Run Windows System Restore
The system restore features allows you to rollback Windows to a point where it was working ‘normally’ (if you can define what ‘normal’ should be for your device.
System Restore is a type of backup utility that saves snapshots at a point in time of Windows system files and the registry. You can use these Restore Points to roll back your Windows configuration to a previous working state.
NOTE: you have to have Windows System Restore turned on AND to have saved some Restore Point snapshots to be able to roll back. It is usually enabled by default in Windows 10 and if you have the disk space to store the Restore Points, it is recommended not to disable it.
To manually roll back to a previous Restore Point:
- In the Windows search bar, type “system restore“
- Click on Create a restore point in order to get to the System Restore tool
- A System Properties dialog box will appear.
- Select System Protection
- Click on System Restore. The main System Restore dialog opens.
- Click on the Next button.
- Choose an appropriate restore point from the list and click on Scan for affected programs; this will list apps that were installed after the restore point date. Rolling back will effectively uninstall these applications along with the Windows updates. Remember the Restore Point is a snapshot in time, you cannot selectively roll back Windows without removing apps that were installed after the Restore Point was taken.
- Click on Next to get started with the restore.
- Click on Finish.
Perform a factory reset
The last resort for the Windows 10 update issues is to use the Windows Factory Reset. This rolls back the entire Windows install to the state it came off the production line. Factory reset is a clean slate that will wipe all updates along with everything else. You will lose all applications you installed and all data files.
The first thing it will want to do is run Windows Update, but this will be selective based on the best combination of updates the updates service believes is applicable to your device. It may skip a lot of intermediate updates, simplifying the update process and the number of layers in the software stack. It will take a while to complete.
It also may not solve the performance issues if the later updates in the stack are the culprits for the slow performance – driver issues in graphics, networking and storage are often at fault. A factory reset is a drastic way to arrive back at the same point.
Scoping up Steth
This feels like a cop-out, but for want of a better Windows 10 stethoscope, these tools should give you a starting diagnosis for all the variables that can go wrong in Windows Update. If you can identify which update is causing persistent problems then you can start doing some research on the Internet as to how to resolve it. There are so many updates on so many variations of devices, it’s impossible to be more specific.
There are further measures you can take to improve the performance of a Windows 10 install if the issue with updates is unavoidable. AJS