Software

Windows 10 October 2018 Update broken your network drives? Here's a possible fix

Despite the rollout of the major feature update being halted for a month, bugs in the new build are still causing problems for early adopters.

IT pros are being warned to steer clear of the troubled Windows 10 October 2018 Update after it emerged the latest build can still render network drives unavailable.

The network drive bug was first flagged back in early October, but despite the rollout of the October 2018 Update being halted for a month to fix a file-wiping issue, Microsoft's update history acknowledges the problem still exists in the newly released build.

If you're affected and looking for a fix, Microsoft has produced a number of scripts that can be used as a workaround and many of those having issues are saying the problem was resolved by reinstalling the drivers for network interface cards on affected machines.

If you're affected by the problem, a red "X" appears on mapped network drives in File Explorer and a notification will display the message "Could not reconnect all network drives".

SEE: Windows 10 power tips: Secret shortcuts to your favorite settings (Tech Pro Research)

The issue also affects Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server, version 1809, according to Microsoft.

At present Microsoft says it "is working on a resolution and will provide updates in the 2019 timeframe".

This latest problem prompted an incredulous response from Susan Bradley, a Microsoft-certified Small Business Server and Security Most Valued Professional who moderates the patchmanagement.org email list for IT professionals.

"For those of you in a domain, who have Windows 10 pro versions, please make sure that you have put in place feature update deferrals to ensure you don't receive 1809 until you ... and Microsoft ... are ready for it," she wrote.

"I cannot believe.. well I guess in this era of Microsoft I can believe... that Microsoft would release an update that would impact their customer base like this. Yes, it's documented, yes there are "workarounds" but there is possibilities that line of business applications will not be happy with these solutions given."

Earlier this year, Bradley wrote an open letter to various Microsoft executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, outlining the hundreds of grievances members of the patchmanagement.org group had reported to her about the problems caused by the quality and quantity of Windows updates.

Microsoft recently announced that the annual Fall feature update to Windows 10 will be supported with security patches and fixes for 30 months, giving admins more time before they are forced to switch PCs to a new version of the OS.

However, the 30-month support is only available to those running the Enterprise or Education editions of Windows 10. Those running Home or Pro editions still only enjoy 18 months of support for Windows 10 builds rolled out in Fall.

At the time, Bradley said the longer support window should be available to all editions of Windows 10, warning of the disruption that frequent updates also cause to small businesses and home users.

Following the issues with the October Update, Microsoft has faced fresh calls to slow the pace at which feature updates are applied to Windows 10 and to take time to ensure new releases are stable. In the wake of these problems, Microsoft introduced a way for those testing early builds of the OS under the Windows Insider Program to flag the severity of bugs and said it would improve communications about Windows testing and updates.

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About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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