Like millions of others I updated my computer yesterday with the November “Patch Tuesday” Windows Updates. It all seemed to go well with no obvious problems until I tried to boot the computer this morning.
Pressed the on button as usual and the HP splash screen appeared and then the dreaded spinning disc which stuck there for 4 minutes before it finally booted into windows. I tried to reboot again with the same long, long, long delay.
The only updates yesterday were the Monthly Cumulative update 2017-11 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB4048958) , a Flash Player update 2017-11 Security Update for Adobe Flash Player for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB4048951) and Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2976978)
I haven’t seen a flash player update cause slow booting before so that leaves 2 options. The 2017-11 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB4048958) does fix lots of security risks, so is needed.
The Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based Systems (KB2976978) says “Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 ” and from the limited information on the Microsoft site looks fairly innocuous and harmless, just checking on computer details.
“This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The diagnostics evaluate the compatibility status of the Windows ecosystem, and help Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates to Windows. There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.”
I uninstalled KB2976978, rebooted and after an initial slow boot while windows configured, a second reboot & subsequent reboots has taken me back to the more typical 20-30 second start up time.
I seem to vaguely remember another previous Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 also causing slow booting that was uninstalled and never installed again
What this update does to slow down booting is beyond me. All I can think of, is it must run checks on system specs & functions before booting into windows and sending the info back to Microsoft after boot time. That level of delay in booting is unacceptable to me and to millions of other users.
If Microsoft needs to obtain system details before Windows is fully booted, in the same way it replaces files during an update, then it needs to make it clear on the “instruction” page. Tell users what you are doing and why.
Don’t suddenly change Functionality and User Experience without warning!
It doesn’t seem to be needed, so my advice is Do Not Install it. If you have installed it then Uninstall it, reboot and then hide the update in Windows updates. It is listed in Optional Updates, but marked as “Recommended”
More Info: The same update is available for Windows 7 KB2952664 Although I didn’t install that update on the W7 computer, I seem to remember problems with other compatibility updates for keeping windows up to date. I really don’t think it is needed, so ignore it and play safe.