I have no mouth and I must scream: You can add audio to wobbles in latest Windows 10 patch

Users find PCs silenced while Microsoft looks into search fix

Young man without mouth

Microsoft seems unable to catch a break with its Windows 10 updates. No sooner than it acknowledged that its CPU usage fix borked desktop search for some, users complained that the patch has also caused audio issues.

Released on 10 September for Windows 10 1903 (aka the May 2019 Update), KB4515384 is a security update that included a fix for Cortana's CPU-munching habit. Alas, it turned out that the fix left desktop search a tad broken for some users.

While the support page for the update resolutely states (at time of writing) that "Microsoft is not currently aware of any issues with this update", the company's handy health page for Windows 10 did receive a quiet update on 11 September to indicate that it had acknowledged the issue and was looking into the problem.

It appears that we can add audio to the borkage. A glance at Reddit shows a groundswell of grumbling as some long-suffering Windows 10 users have found their audio inoperative following the update.

While a few have had some success with a reinstall of drivers or other workarounds, a worrying number have resorted to simply uninstalling the patch in order to restore sound.

The problem is that unlike the KB4512941 snafu – which was an optional update – KB4515384 contains important security fixes, including protection against a subclass of speculative side-channel vulnerabilities.

Microsoft is to be applauded for getting these security updates out. However, if the quality of the patches is getting to be so whiffy that users start blocking them for fear of what might end up broken, then all that effort will be for naught. ®

Updated to add 15:46 UTC 16/09/2019

A Microsoft mouthpiece eventually got in touch to say: "We're aware some customers may be experiencing audio differently on their devices and we are working on an update to address this. Visit the Windows Release Health Dashboard for updates."

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