Managing Hardware and Software Upgrades
To minimize memory consumption, Windows encourages applications to use a common set of libraries. Some of these libraries are provided by Microsoft (e.g. MSCOMM32.DLL), whereas as others a provided by application developers (e.g. PSKCORE.DLL). Thus you may have multiple applications installed on your PC all using the same instance of MSCOMM32.DLL to send and receive characters via a serial port, and you may have multiple applications installed on your PC that all use the same instance of PSKCORE.DLL to modulate and demodulate PSK. Occasionally, these libraries are updated by their authors. A Windows Update from Microsoft, for example, might include an improved version of MSCOMM32.DLL. Installing a new PSK application, or upgrading an already-installed PSK application may install an improved version of PSKCORE.DLL on your system. New versions of shared libraries are supposed to be backward compatible with their predecessors, but occasionally this isn't the case. When this happens, installing a new application or upgrading an installed application can cause other installed applications to stop working.
Sometimes hardware device drivers contains defects that can prevent Windows from starting up. Installing a new hardware device and then powering up your PC can produce an unpleasant surprise: a screen full of error codes instead of the Windows logo.
Sadly, the incidence of Windows Updates causing serious adverse impacts is on the rise.
To protect against the above possibilities, practice safe computing:
Configure Windows and Anti-Malware applications to automatically download updates, but to not automatically install them. When you see that updates are available, terminate all applications, backup critical files, and direct Windows to create a restore point. After installing the updates, verify that your mission critical applications, devices, and services continue to work correctly; this is best accomplished by executing a written test plan that you've prepared beforehand and keep up-to-date. If one or more of your critical applications, devices, or services fail to function correctly, direct Windows to revert to the restore point you created. Out of the box, Windows 10 cannot be stopped from downloading and installing updates, but you can configure it to wait for your authorization:
This article explains how to use the Local Group Policy Editor to configure Windows 10 Professional to download new updates and notify you of their availability, but wait for you to initiate installation
This article explains how to remove problematic updates that have already been installed, and how to prevent specific updates from being installed. The Show or Hide Updates tool mentioned in this article is available from Microsoft via https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3073930.
Before installing or upgrading any application on your PC, direct Windows to create a restore point; after installing the application, verify that your mission critical applications, devices, and services continue to work correctly by executing your test plan. If they don't, direct Windows to revert to the restore point you created.
Before installing new hardware on your PC, direct Windows to create a restore point. After installing the new hardware verify that your mission critical applications, devices, and services continue to work correctly by executing your test plan. If they don't, direct Windows to revert to the restore point you created.