Windows 10 In-Place Feature Update

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General Info

Windows 10 Version 1809 is also known as The October Update.

These semi-annual updates are sometimes referred to as "feature updates."

Deployment Dates

This version of Windows 10 will be available to download from Software Center starting May 6th.

Beginning May 22nd the download will become mandatory just like all other standard, monthly Windows update patches.

To avoid possible disruptions, please perform this update before May 22nd.

After May 22nd you may start seeing persistent notifications reminding you to upgrade ASAP.

Notable Improvements

  • Windows now supports a Dark Theme that is easier on the eyes and can improve battery life.
  • This version of Windows supports the latest Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality apps.
  • Improved notifications from the bottom right of your screen
  • The Windows "Your Phone" app can connect to your smartphone device.
    • The "Your Phone" app can mirror Android notifications right on your Windows laptop.
  • Take quick screenshots by pressing WIN + SHIFT + S at the same time.
    • WIN is the Windows Key, which is found on the lower left of your keyboard. It has the square Windows logo on it.
  • Use even more emoji on your laptop via the on-screen keyboard.
    • Emoji skin tones can now be changed in Windows 10 as well.
  • Attached Bluetooth devices will display their battery percentage in the Bluetooth section of the Windows Settings app.
  • Our HP EliteBook x360 laptop screens are capable of displaying HDR video content from Netflix, YouTube, and more.
    • The settings to enable HDR can be found in the Windows Settings app.
  • Several improvements to accessibility options to improve use for users with varying levels of access requirements.
  • Many other under the hood tweaks, fixes, performance improvements, and security patches.

More Information

What's New in Recent Updates

Complete List of Changes in This Version of Windows 10


How do I prepare for the update?

You can perform these step at any time.

  • Ensure that you have at least 20GB of free disk space. If you need assistance freeing up disk space, feel free to contact Tech Support and we can help.
  • Make sure to keep important documents backed up and in a location other than on your computer. For example, on a flash drive, external hard drive, or in OneDrive.
  • While the update process preserves your settings, documents, and applications, it is always a good idea to have multiple copies of important files in secure backup locations.
  • This update is more significant than usual updates. As such, please plan for a minimum of 1.5 hours without the use of your computer. For this reason, we recommend doing this update overnight or at the end of your work day.
  • Launch Software Center from your Start Menu or system tray to view and install this update. If your Software Center application doesn’t load or you do not see the update, contact Tech Support and we will assist.

I’m ready to update!

Starting May 6th, 2019 this update will be available to download from Software Center.

  • Check Windows Update to ensure there are no pending updates. If there are, please install them prior to installing this feature update.
  • Restart your machine to ensure there are no pending Windows updates or other pending software updates, as these may prevent the feature update from installing correctly.
  • Plug in your device's power cord and leave it plugged in. The update will fail if you don't plug in your power cord!!
  • Make sure to save any open files or documents.
  • Close all open programs or applications
  • Go to Software Center and select the Feature Update
  • The update will take a while. This is a great opportunity to stretch your legs!

Why is this update such a big deal?

Microsoft has changed the way it supports its operating systems to improve security while seamlessly delivering new features. New versions of Windows 10 come out two times a year and each new version is supported for 18 months. Cyber-attacks (such as the WannaCry ransomware attack) frequently target computers with older versions of Windows, so this frequent update cycle helps protect users from emerging threats.

Older versions of Windows (Windows XP, Windows 7, etc.) were typically supported for five years or more. That slower update cycle allowed IT departments to upgrade computer equipment (desktops, laptops, tablets) without the need to perform an operating system upgrade on existing hardware. The 18-month life-cycle of Windows 10 (also referred to as "Windows-as-a-Service") is shorter than the life-cycle of our current Windows hardware, so we now support and encourage in-place operating system upgrades.

How long will the upgrade take?

In general, around 90 minutes. Users may experience a range in times depending on which computer model they have, how many programs they have installed, network speed, and how much free space they have on their hard drive.

Will I be able to choose when to install the upgrade?

Yes! We understand that your time is valuable, and we don’t want this upgrade to get in the way of your job or course work. To that end, users will have four weeks to perform the upgrade at a time that is convenient for them. Due to the more frequent update cycle from Microsoft, the version of Windows 10 on many laptops is at the end of its life and is no longer supported by Microsoft, so we must upgrade our computers to stay protected against emerging threats.

What happens if I don’t perform the upgrade?

At the end of that four week optional upgrade period any computers that have not yet been updated will be upgraded automatically.

Will this erase my hard drive or will I lose my data?

No. The entire purpose of an in-place upgrade is to preserve a user’s data and programs while updating the operating system. But accidents can happen, so it is always a good idea to back up your data before performing any major upgrade.

If I have issues with my computer, will this update fix them?

This is a core operating system update and may not automatically resolve/repair existing issues with your computer. If something is wrong with your system please contact WSU Tech Support before starting this upgrade.

Reported Issues

In the interest of transparency, IT is disclosing some of the issues that clients have reported to us while performing this upgrade.

COM Surrogate Error

Upon the first login after completing the Windows 10 Upgrade, some users are seeing a pop up message saying "COM Surrogate has stopped working." This tends to go away with the next reboot, and does not appear to pop up persistently. It just appears one time at the first login. If this issue persists on your device, please contact Technical Support for assistance.

Recent Items Lists May Reset

Some users reported that in the Microsoft Office apps their Recent Items lists were cleared out. Although the items still existed on their computers, users accustomed to accessing these strictly via the Recent Items menu have sometimes had to find the items on their computer by surfing to them in Windows Explorer. Alternatively, use the File - Open options in Office apps. This tends to open your default file location, which expedite the retrieval of items that do not appear on the Recent Items list.

Slowness Immediately After Updating

Some users have reported residual slowness on their computers in the 20-30 minutes immediately following the upgrade. This is common with any major upgrade, as Windows uses background activity to finish setting itself up. Performance tends to improve over time. A few things you can do if your computer is slow is to leave it plugged in, logged in, and turned on overnight. The tasks will finish while the computer is idle. Another thing to try (on laptops only) is to click your battery icon at the lower right and slide it all the way to the right. This enables High Performance mode, which can improve performance. This is not recommended while on battery power, as it will cause rapid battery drain.

There Are Still Updates To Install

Microsoft has released new monthly updates since this upgrade was published. These new updates will be installed automatically just like all other monthly Windows Updates.

How-To Video

Although this video was created for our previous Windows 10 upgrade, the process is the same as the one outlined here.

Technical Support

  • If you need assistance backing up your data you can go to the Digital Learning Commons in Krueger Library 105 where one of our DLC STARS will be happy to assist. If backing up to a flash drive please remember to bring your own flash drive as these are not provided by Tech Support or the DLC STARS.
  • If your upgrade doesn't work or you have other questions about the upgrade you can email or call Phone Support at 507-457-5240 or stop in to Technical Support in Somsen 207 in Winona or in GL 118 in Rochester.