Windows 10 V1803 Feature Upgrade and AVAST damages

[German]Users of Windows 10 are reporting massive issues during feature ugrades to April Update (Version 1803), if AVAST has been installed on the system. Microsoft had stopped delivery of the Windows 10 April Update (version 1803) for all machines running AVAST as virus protection. Finally AVAST identified the root cause and released an update of it’s anti virus software. Here’s an overview.


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I need to confess, I read about that issue with a devilish joy. Within my blog post Windows 10 Fall April Update – Upgrade Tips I recommended uninstalling existing third-party virus scanners to be prepared for a feature upgrade. This recommendation results from several years of community moderation at the Microsoft Answers forums. My German blog post Windows 10 Fall April  Update – Upgrade-Tipps received comments from ‘professional Windows connoisseurs’ that uninstalling antivirus software before upgrading is a ‘complete bullshit’.

However, the AVAST forum already had this thread from late April 2018 with the note that not all AVAST products may be compatible with Windows 10 version 1803.

Upgrade trouble on systems with AVAST and AVG

In the last few days I read reports that users with AVAST and AVG antivirus solutions had a lot of trouble upgrading to Windows 10 version 1803. Woody Leonhard summarized it here.

The installation of the Windows 10 April Update ended with the first restart with a blue screen of the system. Then the user is asked for the keyboard language to be selected. After their selection there is another Blue Screen with a selection menu:

  • Windows Rollback
  • Windows 10 on Volume [x]
  • Windows 10 on Volume [x]

If the user selects the first option, the system will restart for the rollback. If the other two identical options are selected, a subsequent error occurs.

Update install ends with a black screen

Windows boots, but ends with an empty, black desktop, which does not contain any icons other than the recycle bin. The message, that the desktop file was not found, is displayed. 


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The photo from the tweet above shows such an error message with the text:

C:\Windows\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop refers to a location that is unavailable.If the location is on this PC, make sure that the device or drive is connected or the disc is inserted, then try again. If the location is on a network, make sure that you’re connected to the network or Internet, then try again. If the location still can’t be found, it might have been moved or deleted.

Woody Leonhard has also published this within this article. At that time the root cause was still unknown – now we know, that the issue is caused by an installed AVAST product. A user left this comment, claiming that the registry entry for the path to the desktop was incorrect. In the Microsoft Answers forum there is this thread where the error message:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\systemprofile\Desktop is not accessible
Access is denied. -OK

is mentioned. 770 users already have checked ‘I have the same question’ and the thread is quite long. In this article, Softpedia already suggests that it may be related to AVAST as a virus scanner. 

At reddit.com there is the article The latest update debacle: Windows 10 1803 upgrade and Avast Antivirus break everything…, which also addresses the issue. In this article the authors write at Softpedia that AVAST is to blame as a virus scanner. Users are advised to uninstall AVAST before upgrading.

AVAST denies the cause (firstly)

Shortly after Softpedia published the above article, the authors published a statement by AVAST. The manufacturer rejects any blame and writes:

“We have tested this and couldn’t identify any problems affecting Avast Antivirus consumer users specifically. Online user comments show that many are unfortunately experiencing problems updating to Windows 10 ‘1803’. We cannot rule out that a small number of Avast users may be having difficulties updating, too, but we don’t see any indications that this is caused by Avast,”

Microsoft confirmed the black desktop issue

A few hours ago, Microsoft has confirmed the black desktop issue in the US Microsoft Answers forum within the thread Windows 10 April 2018 Update may boot to a “Choose your keyboard layout” screen or to a blank screen with a Recycle Bin. MVP colleague Susan Bradley had noticed this. Microsoft’s advices ranges from ‘going back to the previous version of Windows 10′ to’waiting to be fixed’.

Microsoft blocked upgrade on systems width AVAST

Within this MS-PowerUser article (and at askwoody.com) you will now find information that Microsoft has stopped the rollout of the function update to Windows 10 April Update (version 1803) on all machines on which an AVAST product is installed. The information can be found in this post of Moderator MartinZ.

Microsoft temporarily disabled the updates on version 1803 on PCs with Avast. We are working together with MS to find out the cause of this issue, but unfortunately right now neither MS nor us are able to reproduce the issue.

The recommended to uninstall AVAST virus scanner before upgrading to Windows 10 version 1803. 

Avast confirmed the root cause

In the AVAST forum you can now find a post, that AVAST found the cause in cooperation with Microsoft. 

In cooperation with Microsoft we have identified an element of the latest Windows 10 1803 update that is incompatible with the Avast Behavior Shield, causing the aforementioned update to fail in some instances (related to a timing issue, Internet connectivity issue, etc). Luckily, we have found a way to prevent the problem and are now automatically pushing a VPS update to all customers which makes sure that the problem doesn’t happen.  The VPS number is 180524-08; all users running this version (or later) should be 100% safe.

Similar articles:
Windows 10 Wiki
Windows 10 V1803: Remote Assistance connect
Windows 10 V1803: Update KB4100403 (with SSD fix)
Windows 10: Micro code updates (May 21, 2018)
Windows 10: ‘An App default was reset’
Windows 10: Issues with WSUS and Store (V1803)
Windows 10 V1803: Fix for Explorer Timeline crashes
Windows 10 V1803: (Boot-) issues with update KB4103721
Windows 10 V1803: Rollout stopped for Intel SSDs
Windows 10 April Update (Version 1803): Upgrade FAQ
Windows 10 Fall April Update – Upgrade Tips
Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N Version 1803


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