Ever since it launched Windows 10, Microsoft has rolled out updates in stages. First, updates roll to people in the Fast Ring of the Windows Insider program, then the Slow Ring and the Release Preview Ring. Then, when a version drops, you can typically download it directly from Microsoft’s website if you wish. Over time, the company deploys the patch to everyone, provided that it doesn’t detect a fundamental incompatibility in your system hardware. One such incompatibility appears to have raised its head — and it’s a bit of an odd one, at that. According to Microsoft, Windows 10 April 2018 isn’t compatible with Intel’s SSD 600p or SSD Pro 6000p, and attempting to update the OS on a system that uses this storage solution may cause it to hang.
When attempting to upgrade to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, select devices with Intel SSD 600p Series or Intel SSD Pro 6000p Series may crash and enter a UEFI screen after reboot.
Microsoft is working with OEM partners and Intel to identify and block devices with Intel SSD 600p Series or Intel SSD Pro 6000p Series from installing the April 2018 Update due to a known incompatibility that may cause performance and stability issues. If you have encountered this issue, follow the steps to reinstall the previous operating system (Windows 10, version 1709).
You can hit F8 during the boot process to roll back to a previous iteration of the OS, so that shouldn’t be a major problem, but it’s not clear how this issue slipped through QA in the first place. Intel has confirmed the problem to publications like THG and also stated that it’s unique to the 600-series — other SSD models aren’t impacted in the same way.
This is the first time I can recall an OS update not being compatible with certain storage components. There have been cases in which a hard drive wouldn’t run properly with certain operating systems. The first HDDs to use 4K sector sizes had this problem on older Windows operating systems, at least at first (WD eventually released patches to address the issue when using the HDD on an older OS). But even there, the problem caused performance degradation and slowdowns, not a fundamentally crippled OS. The SSD controllers that govern how modern drives function contain a significant amount of logic and “special sauce,” which is why companies like Samsung, Intel, and Micron refuse to reveal much about how these aspects of their drives work. Could there be some kind of incompatibility between the SSD controller and Windows? It’s a thin guess — but right now, it’s all we have.
Microsoft intends to update Intel users on when it’s safe to upgrade to the April 2018 Windows 10 release. Until then, stick with what you’ve got already.
Now read: How do SSDs work?