For those that didn’t know, Windows 10 now has forced automatic updates (unless you are on Windows 10 Professional, then you can delay Windows Updates). Yes, your PC will now be kept secure at all times, but this isn’t limited to just security updates. In fact, Windows 10’s forced automatic updates cover anything/everything Microsoft wants to put on your PC as part of Windows 10. This can potentially lead to problems, say for example a bad graphics driver.
With just four days left until the official release of Windows 10 (July 29th), the operating system’s policy of automatic updates is already causing headaches for many. The issue at hand right now involves Nvidia’s graphics drivers which Windows Update is automatically installing (first reported by Forbes). This is causing multi-monitor setups and SLI configurations to break, as well as lots of screen flickering. I’ve actually encountered this issue too and didn’t know it was because of the automatic driver update (I typically download graphics drivers directly from Nvidia rather than Windows Update).
“Please pull these off Windows update!!! It makes my second monitor not work and lots of flickering! Please. I roll back and Windows Update reinstalls them :/,” one user has complained on Nvidia’s official forums. “I second this… For multi screen users, that driver is flat out broken and it is beyond annoying that windows auto updates to it,” another user states. Fortunately, an Nvidia spokesperson had some positive news to share. “We have a fix for this issue in our next driver coming next week for the launch of Windows 10.”
The underlying issue here is that Windows Update does not reveal the driver version numbers prior to installation, so it makes it harder to figure out where the issue is coming from. What about devices that come with bundled software that manage driver updates (Lenovo for example)? Clearly it sounds like there will be conflicts and more headaches.
“Consequently unless Windows Update and third party driver management software receive updates at exactly the same time an ongoing battle of upgrading and downgrading can ensue between them. Third party software can be told to stop, but if the driver problem lies with Windows Update (as it does in this case) there’s no way to stop Windows 10 reinstalling it once removed, which causes the problem to come back again and again,” Forbes explains.
This Nvidia driver bug is probably just a slight hiccup and we’ve got nothing to worry about. Or, Windows 10’s policy of automatic updates will cause you come headaches later down the road. Either way, I personally hope to see a way to disable automatic updates in the near future.