Windows 10 failing to patch properly? You are most definitely not alone

It looks like you're trying to update an operating system. Shall I be spectacularly unhelpful with that?

Microsoft's legendary approach to Windows quality control is on show again with yet another update that is struggling to complete installation, this time on Windows 10 machines.

The Register saw the update, KB5001716, appear on a Windows 10 test rig overnight and it triggered a sense of déjà vu.

We checked the update history and, sure enough, there was another update already installed in October: "2023-10 Update for Windows Version 10 22H2 systems for x64-based Systems (KB5001716)."

A problem detecting that the patch is already installed appears to be what's causing the issues, and some users are reporting a 0x80070643 error when Windows 10 tries to install it.

The update itself is relatively minor and tweaks the Windows Update UI. Once installed, Windows might attempt to download and install feature updates, said Microsoft. Windows might also send users a pop up notification or two warning them of problems stopping the operating system from keeping itself up to date.

Microsoft gave an example: "You may see a notification informing you that your device is currently running a version of Windows that has reached the end of its support lifecycle, or that your device does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for the currently installed version of Windows."

It sounds like all it needs is a link to a vendor selling hardware that Windows 11 will run on.

The error is not a critical one. Some affected users have reported they fixed the issue by simply uninstalling the update from October and then trying again.

However, the issue speaks of a greater malaise within Microsoft and the Windows team. Problems in patches are becoming all too common, and getting mixed up about what is already installed – if that is indeed the cause, Microsoft continues to publicly insist that there are no known issues with this one – is yet another symptom of quality issues.

Microsoft has yet to acknowledge problems with the update, although its AI representative, Copilot, was more forthcoming and admitted, "Many users have encountered problems with this update." Then again, users could say that about a lot of Windows updates. ®

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