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Windows 10 Feature Updates

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft now provides “feature updates” twice a year. These feature updates add new capabilities to Windows, including security improvements. To take advantage of these security improvements and to stay within the one-year support period for Windows, Drexel IT will soon manage the upgrade process for university-owned computers so that computers are not left running with old software 

When Microsoft publishes a feature update, Drexel IT will test it for compatibility with other university-licensed software. Feature updates are expected to be automatically installed on most university-owned Windows computers within five months of release. Faculty and professional staff wanting feature updates sooner may choose to opt in to receiving the updates prior to the rest of the university. Information on how to opt-in to this program will be available shortly.  

When automatic updating begins, computers will update overnight so that workdays are not interrupted. Those who choose to manually install a feature update via Software Center should be aware that the process can take one to two hours, during which they cannot use their computers. 

To maintain a more secure environment, feature updates are required for all Drexel-owned computers that run Windows 10. Computers that skip two consecutive updates, may need to be erased and set up again. Although data files are preserved during the process, non-standard programs aren’t re-installed, customizations are lost, and the computer is out of service for several days.

Feature Update FAQs

How long does the Feature Update take to install?

The automatic install happens at night so there is no loss in productive office time.

Manual installations may take 1-2 hours, and during part of this time you will not be able to use your computer. 

How do I manually run the Feature Update?

Open the Software Center application, and click on the Operating Systems tab on the left hand side. If a feature update is available, you can select it and start the install at your convenience.

A step-by-step guide can be found in RemedyForce (Drexel log-in required).

Is there a way to opt-out of feature updates?

No, except in the case of some specialized devices with embedded computers. Feature updates ensure that computers at the university are kept secure, up-to-date, and supported. Without this, the personal information that Drexel faculty and professional staff work with on our computers could be at risk.

How do I know which version of Windows 10 I am running?

Click on the Start button, and in the search box, type winver. Press Enter on your Keyboard. The second line of the pop-up screen shows your Windows 10 version number. Note that Microsoft also gives “friendly” names to each version. When Microsoft writes about the Fall Creators Update, that’s really Windows 10 version 1709, which was released in September 2017. 

Currently Drexel supports 1703 (Creator’s Update) and 1709 (Fall Creator’s Update). Support for 1803 (Windows 10 April 2018 Update) will come in the Fall quarter. 

My home computer received the latest feature update from Microsoft, but my Drexel Computer has not. How can I get the latest update?

Drexel's Windows feature update follows Microsoft’s by several months. During this time, we test key Drexel-licensed applications, such as Sophos SafeGuard and Banner, to ensure compatibility. Testing is usually complete in two to three months, and made fully available to the university community shortly thereafter.

What happens if my computer cannot install the feature update?

If a feature update is unable to be installed, Drexel IT or your local IT support will make an effort to troubleshoot why the install did not complete. However, if all options are exhausted your computer may need to be set up again or, if it’s very old, replaced.

What should I do if the Feature Update is stuck/not responding?

If your computer appears to be "stuck" on the Windows 10 Feature Update, please contact the Help Desk or your local IT support as soon as possible for guidance. Unless instructed, do not restart your computer. You may be asked to provide a picture or detailed information as to where your computer is in the process for appropriate next steps.

What happens if an application I use no longer works after a feature update?

While this is almost always a rare case, do let us know right away so we can look at compatibility options. You may also want to check with the software publisher to see if they have a new version that works with the latest feature update. 

We are aware that printing reports from Hyperion is no longer an option with these newer Feature Updates. A workaround has been issued by AIS and is available on their website under their troubleshooting documentation.

My start menu customizations appear to be missing?

It is possible that some Start Menu customizations may be reset after the Feature Update, especially if your computer was on an older release of Windows 10. It is a good idea every once in a while to take a screen shot of your customizations should you need to restore your computer's configuration to exactly the way you would like.