Microsoft Windows – Major Update 1803 (Spring Creators Update)

It’s happening again! Another major update to Window 10.

Version 1803 (AKA Redstone 4) due for release soon*.

Over the  life of Windows 10 we have seen these versions:

  • The original 1507 (July 2015)
  • 1511 (November 2015) – “November Update”
  • 1607 (August 2016)  – “Anniversary Update”
  • 1703 (April 2017) – “Creators Update”
  • 1709 (Seprember 2017) – “Fall Creators Update”
  • 1803 (March 2018) –  “Spring Creators Update”

* So, you may ask, “Why have I not seen the latest update (1803) if it was due March 2018”. Well it has been delayed! At the last moment a bug was found that caused a number of BSOD (blue screen of death) on certain hardware configurations so Microsoft (wisely) halted the release of the update to fix it. As of end of April there is still no firm word on its release date, but it will be rolled out to users over a 2 month period.

UPDATE 8th May : First installation of 1803  – my experience (see below)

UPDATE: May 8th

I have just completed my first update to Windows 10 version 1803 – here’s my experience. I was building a fresh installation of Windows 10 for a customer on a brand new ASUS all-in-one PC. After installing Windows 10 1709 on the SSD I was offered Windows 1803 in the Update section of Settings. The PC was quite a low power device but had a very fast 256GB SSD, also I have a fast broadband connection in the office. Bearing this in mind, the whole process took over 2 hours.

Stage 1: Downloading the update – You can still use the PC while this is happening

Stage 2: Installing – Again you can still use the PC.

Stage 3: Rebooting – You will be asked when you want to apply the update. During the update the PC will reboot several times. PC out of action while this is happening.

Stage 4: Accepting the new settings for Windows 10 1803. Some fairly “worrying” options here – I suggest you think carefully about whether you want to send Microsoft all your voice commands and typed text!

After that the PC returned to normal and everything appears to be working well. I ran the new disk space recovery tool and recovered 27.7GB of space!!!

Advice on preparing for the 1803 Update

Backup

Before doing any major update to your PC it is always a good idea to backup your data. In Power Music Professional go to File/Backup and make a backup onto a flash drive or external hard drive.

Recovering Hard Disk Space

Before and after doing the update you should do a hard disk cleanup to recover space used by previous updates. This is especially important on tablet PCs and Stick PCs which tend to have relatively small SSDs – often 32GB.

If you are not going to revert back to your previous version of the operating system these files can safely be removed to free up space on the hard drive.

  • In File Explorer go to “This PC”
  • Right click on the Windows hard drive (usually C:)
  • Click on “Disk Clean-up” and wait for it to check for files.
  • IMPORTANT! Click on “Clean-up System Files” and wait for it to check for files.
  • Tick the boxes for old Windows installation files.
  • Click OK and wait for it to recover up to 12GB of space!
Doing the Update

Set aside enough time – don’t start doing the update on the afternoon before you are performing at a concert in the evening!

Quit all applications on the PC and plug it into the mains supply.

If you are using WiFi move the device close to your router to get a strong WiFi signal and so the fastest download speed.

Unless you have good broadband (>10mB/s) don’t watch the latest episodes of Suits on Netflix at the same time!

The download and installation of the updates usually goes smoothly – but it can take a couple of hours to complete (for example on a low spec tablet or laptop).

Windows 32 bit Issue

This next bit ONLY applies if you are running 32 bit Windows 10 (NOT 64 bit)

To check your Windows type got to Start menu/Settings/System/About and look at the “System type”.

If you are running Power Music Professional on 32 bit Windows 10, after doing the 1803 Update you may need to activate Power Music Professional again.  You will not lose any songs or other data in Power Music but you may be asked to re-register when you run Power Music after the install of the update. You should check that you have an available activation by going to “Manage my Product Key” on the Power Music website. Please contact Cambron via our help desk to request a deactivation at support@cambronsoftware.co.uk  or phone +44 (0)1355 246832. If you want to know more about how Product Keys work read the blog: How to Manage my Product Key

Check Settings

After the update check your Settings for “blanking the screen” and “going to sleep”. You find these in Start menu/Settings/System/Power and sleep. Also if you have changed “active hours” check that as well. More on this later.

If you want more details on Windows Settings when running Power Music have a look at my previous blog: Hints and Tips for Performing Musicians

On-screen keyboard button disappearing after update

If you are using a touchscreen device, you may find that the on-screen keyboard button (beside the clock) has disappeared. To make it reappear:

1: Right click on a blank part of the taskbar or right click on the clock

2: Choose the option to show the button.

This will show the on-screen keyboard again. You might want to change the settings to make it “float” and select the small keyboard so that is does not cover half the screen!

Windows Media Player Issue

Users who are running the “N” edition of Windows 10 might find that the Windows Media Player has been uninstalled after applying the update. This happened with 1709. This causes Power Music Essentials and Professional to crash when entering full-screen mode. The fix is simply to reinstall Windows Media Player as follows:

  • Go to Settings/Apps/Apps and features
  • Select Manage optional features
  • Scroll down to see if Windows Media Player is installed – if not…
  • Click on Add a feature
  • Find Windows Media Player
  • Click on it and click Install.
  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet when doing this.

What’s new in 1803?

The first thing I would say I am taking this information from various developers’ blogs. As I said before, Microsoft don’t seem to be in much of a hurry rolling it out to users. I personally have not received notification of the update on any of the PCs we use here in the Cambron office and as of the end April 2018 it’s not on the Microsoft website. However if you don’t want to wait for Microsoft to offer you the update, when it becomes available, you can go directly to the Microsoft Download page and install it manually.

The URL of the Creators Update Download page is:

https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows10

If you want to read one of the developers’ blog posts, this is the one I found most helpful (other blog posts are available!).

This is a fairly long post so I have summarized what I think are the changes that will affect Power Music users below:

Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803): All the new features and changes

Changes in 1803 that might affect Power Music users

Nearby Sharing

In the update, you’ll also find a new feature called Nearby Sharing that allows you to share any type of files and web links with minimal efforts wirelessly to nearby devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity (similar to Apple’s AirDrop feature). This could be useful for sharing Power Music songs, using the PMZip file format, between musicians in a band.

Timeline

Timeline is an expansion of Task View, and it’s a feature that allows you to find and resume activities you were working on in the past. It could be from a previous activity you were working on your Windows 10 device, or another PC, Android, or iOS device connected to your Microsoft account. Basically, Timeline enhances Task View allowing you to pick up where you left off any activities in the last 30 days, as well as activities on apps that are currently running on your computer. I can’t think of an immediate use for this with Power Music but it is an interesting feature.

Bluetooth

Although Bluetooth pairing isn’t a complicated process, with update 1803, Windows 10 will detect when a Bluetooth device is in range and ready to pair and it will pop a notification with a Connect button to quickly complete the setup. Could be very useful for pairing PageFlip and AirTurn pedals.

Display

In the Advanced scaling settings page, there is a new “Let Windows try to fix apps, so they’re not blurry” option to allow Windows 10 to fix blurry applications automatically without having to sign out when changing settings. If you are using a display which is HD or greater, and a Windows scaling factor (125%, 150%), then sheet music in Power Music could appear slightly blurry. This should fix this issue.

Quiet hours (Focus assist)

Quiet hours becomes “Focus assist”, and now, it has a new page in System. While Quiet hours has been a feature of Windows 10 for a long time, Focus assist is much more customizable. This will be very useful for performers using Power Music as you can now switch off notifications and reminders etc, very easily to stop interruptions while performing.

Storage

The Storage page, under the “Storage sense” section, has a new “Free up space now” link that allows you direct access to the page to delete temporary files and files left over from previous Windows installations. This more or less, replaces the Disk Cleanup option you used to get from the Properties page of a storage drive. Very useful if you are using a tablet with a 32GB SSD.

Ease of Access

In 1803, Ease of Access is getting numerous tweaks to make Windows easier to use depending on your requirements. This will be useful for visually impaired musicians using Power Music.

Diagnostics & feedback

The Diagnostics & feedback page now includes an option to review and delete the data that your device sends to Microsoft to improve the overall experience on Windows 10. (Worryingly IMHO) Microsoft also collects typing data to improve next word prediction, spelling collection, and auto correction. However, if you don’t want the company collecting your typing data, you can now disable this option turning off the new Improve inking & typing recognition toggle switch. I think I will be doing that!!

So that’s my pick of the changes you will find in 1803 (when it comes along).

I hope you found this useful and feel free to leave a comment.

 

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