Latest Windows 10 Update Fixes Gaming-Related Performance Issues Introduced by “Retpoline” Update

Mar 13, 2019
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Microsoft has rolled out March’s cumulative updates to several Windows 10 versions. One of these updates addresses the in-game performance issue that was introduced by the last cumulative update (KB4482887) delivered on March 1 to Windows 10 October 2018 Update. KB4482887 was an important update since it enabled Retpoline to improve performance of Spectre variant 2 mitigations (CVE-2017-5715).

It appears users can now finally install that update without having to worry about any gaming related performance lags.

Related ICYMI: Windows XP Gets a Rare Update Thanks to WannaCry-Like “Wormable” Vulnerability

“Addresses an issue that may degrade graphics and mouse performance with desktop gaming when playing certain games, such as Destiny 2, after installing KB4482887,” release notes for the latest Windows 10 1809 Build 17763.379 (KB4489899) read.

Windows 10 1809 still has some known issues yet to be fixed

After the last cumulative update was delivered, several gamers reported experiencing lags and performance issues in a few older games, including CoD4 and Destiny 2. Microsoft had then acknowledged the issue, recommended users to uninstall it, and promised to deliver a resolution in a future update.

The fix is now available through the latest KB4489899 update. However, there are still three known issues in this build. These include:

Symptom Workaround
After installing this update, Internet Explorer 11 may have authentication issues. This occurs when two or more people use the same user account for multiple, concurrent login sessions on the same Windows Server machine, including Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Terminal Server logons. Symptoms reported by customers include, but may not be limited to:
  • Cache size and location show zero or empty.
  • Keyboard shortcuts may not work properly.
  • Webpages may intermittently fail to load or render correctly.
  • Issues with credential prompts.
    Issues when downloading files.
Create unique user accounts so that two people don’t share the same user account when logging on to a Windows Server machine. Additionally, disable multiple RDP sessions for a single user account for a specific Windows Server.

Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

After installing this update on machines that have multiple audio devices, applications that provide advanced options for internal or external audio output devices may stop working unexpectedly. This issue occurs for users that select an audio output device different from the “Default Audio Device”. Examples of applications that may stop working include:
  • Windows Media Player
  • Realtek HD Audio Manager
  • Sound Blaster Control Panel
As a temporary solution, select the “Default Audio Device” in the options provided by the application; please refer to the application’s user manual for details.

For example, to set the Default Audio Device in Windows Media Player:

  1. Open Windows Media Player > Tools > Options > Devices.
  2. Select the device and choose Properties.
  3. On the next dialog, from the drop-down menu under Select the Audio Device, choose Default Audio Device from the list.

You can then send audio from the application to the audio device you want in the per-application audio settings found under Settings > System > Sound > App Volume and device preferences.

Microsoft is working on a resolution and estimates a solution will be available in late March 2019.

After installing this update, MSXML6 causes applications to stop responding if an exception was thrown during node operations, such as appendChild(), insertBefore(), and moveNode().

Group Policy editor may also be affected when editing a Group Policy Object (GPO) that contains a Group Policy Preference for Internet Settings.

Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release.

In related news, Microsoft has now announced that it will start automatically uninstalling updates if Windows detects a startup failure and will block those updates for the next 30 days. It is yet to be seen if this new strategy helps Microsoft dial down on the update-related complaints.

– Relevant: Still Running Windows 7? Get Ready for Nagware Because Upgrade Alerts Are Coming…

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