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Latest Windows 10 cumulative update causes network adapter failure for some users [Update]

Microsoft's latest round of Patch Tuesday updates for Windows 10 were released earlier this week, bringing a number of unexpected issues. First, the Redmond giant confirmed that problems with the Start menu and Windows Search were being investigated. Later, reports started emerging from users regarding audio issues including missing audio effects and volume sounding much lower than usual. More specifically, the problems are being faced by those on build 18362.356.

This doesn't seem to have been the last of unanticipated issues, however, as some users are experiencing network adapter failures as well (via Windows Latest).

According to a user on the Microsoft community forum, "After installing the latest update KB4515384, my Intel wireless network card and Intel lan card have stopped working. Device Manager reports a device error and cannot start it. Deinstalling KB4515384 solved the problem."

Another user documented the problem on the Feedback Hub in the following way:

"KB4515384 breaks ethernet and wifi adapters on my PC. Appears to create new devices as they’re labelled ‘#2’ and when exposing hidden devices in Device Manager the previously named devices appear. Uninstalling these / new or old drivers do not fix the issues (i.e. “ethernet unplugged” which it is clearly not). Only option was to uninstall this update."

Meanwhile, users on Reddit have reported facing similar problems, with one user stating that downloading the latest Intel drivers or performing a fresh install did not help in resolving the problem. As such, Ethernet and Wi-Fi capabilities end up being disabled for these users.

Users affected by this bug can attempt to re-enable the network adapter via Device Manager, and then reboot their systems. However, by all accounts so far, it does seem that the only fix for now is to uninstall the KB4515384 cumulative update.

Update: Microsoft has actually acknowledged the issue with some Intel and Broadcom adapters, as opposed to what was previously stated. More specifically, Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards running version 1903 on specific models of NEC devices should be the ones facing the problem. As such, for now, a compatibility hold has been placed on the affected devices.

The firm has also stated a temporary workaround, similar to what we suggested above. Disabling and then re-enabling the Wi-Fi adapter in Device Manager should keep your Wi-Fi working till the next reboot. However, as mentioned before, this doesn't seem to be working for everyone. In any case, Microsoft advises against manually updating to resolve the issue, and instead suggests waiting for a fix to be rolled out in upcoming releases.

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