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Win10 1809 Publicly Available

As of December 17, the latest version of Windows 10 is publicly available. Its version name is 1809. This indicates September 2018. After a trouble-wracked initial release on October 2, MS took 6 weeks to start dribbling out 1809 to a subset of users once again. Now, the latest word from the Windows 10 Update History page is “the taps are open!” Thus, it’s finally safe to proclaim Win10 1809 publicly available. Here’s a snip from the afore-linked Web page:

As of Monday (12/17), anyone who manually selects “Check for updates” in WU will get the 1809 upgrade. It’s been a long time coming.
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Win10 1809 Publicly Available, Now What?

Just because this update is available, does this mean that wholesale upgrades are a good idea? As with many interesting questions, the real answer is “That depends…” There are still enough potential gotchas out there — see Martin Brinkmann’s GHacks story for a good summary — to make “try it and see” the right approach to this upgrade. In other words, I wouldn’t recommend jumping on the upgrade without first making an image backup. Then, if something goes sideways, you’ll also want to have a bootable USB flash drive (UFD) with backup/recovery capability ready for action. Should the upgrade fail or manifest issues, use the UFD to restore the previous version and wait for the next Cumulative Update to 1809 to try again.

For me, this approach is SOP for Win10 feature upgrades anyway. I use the excellent Macrium Reflect Free. It includes a Rescue Media facility, which builds a bootable UFD with built-in backup recovery capability. I generally make an image backup just before applying a feature upgrade. Then, if the upgrade doesn’t complete (or the PC bluescreens or won’t boot), I can simply boot to the rescue UFD and tell it to restore that backup and keep on trucking. And FWIW, if the upgrade does succeed, I make another backup after I clean up Windows.old and the system disk. That way I can get back to a pristine image of the latest version any time I might need to. Please consider doing likewise yourselves: this strategy minimizes downtime and inconvenience.

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