Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 19H1 And 20H1 Previews, Retooled Sandbox But Its Servers Are Slammed

Windows 10
Microsoft is rolling out two new Windows 10 preview builds to members of Windows Insider program. One is a test build for next major update to Windows 10, codenamed 19H1, and the other is a very early build of what comes after that, codenamed 20H1. it is the first time this year that Microsoft has released two Windows 10 preview builds at the same time.

Starting with the former, build 18343 (19H1) is being pushed out to Windows Insiders who are subscribed to the Fast ring. It mostly comprises general changes, improvements, and fixes, rather than add any new features as some builds do. Importantly, Intel fixed an issue that caused it to block PCs with certain Intel processors.

"We fixed the Connected Standby issue that resulted in us blocking PCs with Intel64 Family 6 Model 142 and Intel64 Family 6 Model 158 processor model. If your PC was unable to take Build 18342 from earlier this week due to having one of these processor models, you should be able to take this flight," Microsoft says.

There are still some known issues, a couple of which can affect gamers. One is that launching a game that uses anti-cheat software could trigger a bugcheck (GSOD). The other is an issue with Creative X-Fi soundcards—Microsoft says it is working with Creative to resolve the issue.

Looking further down the road, Microsoft is pushing out build 18841 to Windows Insiders who have opted to receive Skip Ahead releases. Interestingly, Microsoft is skipping all the way to 2020, leapfrogging 19H2 and testing 20H1.

This build also is focused on general improvements and bug fixes, several of which are aimed at the retooled Sandbox. Those specific fixes include the following:
  • Windows Sandbox now supports configuration files! These files allow users to configure some aspects of the sandbox, such as vGPU, networking and shared folders. A blog post to explain this new feature is available here.
  • Windows Sandbox now captures hotkeys in full screen.
  • Fixed an issue where Windows Sandbox would not start on localized builds.
  • Improved error reporting in Windows Sandbox. Now the error dialog includes the error code and a link to the Feedback Hub.
  • Fixed an issue where Windows Sandbox was unexpectedly throwing an error due to referencing a deleted file under Windows.old.
To go along with all this, Microsoft has been encouraging users to frequent its Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 update history page. This dedicated page emerged after the October 2018 Update that caused so much trouble for users. It has over 1 million hits.

The most recent issue chronicled on the support history page is one that was causing some users not to be able to fetch Windows updates.

"Windows Update customers were recently affected by a network infrastructure event caused by an external DNS service provider’s global outage. A software update to the external provider’s DNS servers resulted in the distribution of corrupted DNS records that affected connectivity to the Windows Update service. The DNS records were restored by January 30, 2019 (00:10 UTC), but downstream effects continued," Microsoft explains.

Microsoft believes the issue is now fully mitigated. However, anyone still seeing download failures should contact their local ISP, Microsoft says.