back to article Windows 11 update blocking some users from logging in

A Windows update issued last month is blocking some users with new Microsoft accounts from being able to log into their systems, a glitch Microsoft says can be remedied either through a workaround or a feature introduced to the operating system last year. According to Microsoft, the update to Windows 11 version 21H2, …

  1. Blackjack Silver badge

    This is almost funny.

    So now you have to see if your old Hotmail account still works to use Windows 11?

  2. Ball boy

    30 years of Windows...

    ...and 'turn it off and on again' is still the fix de jour? My, how we've progressed.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: 30 years of Windows...

      the update to Windows 11 version 21H2 [...] was meant to address a range of issues around USB printing

      And we still can't print reliably.

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: 30 years of Windows...

        The guy who wrote the MS USB stack died decades ago. (Not a joke).

  3. steviebuk Silver badge

    And they want

    to make updates automated. Try fucking testing them first before pushing out Sat Nav.

  4. ITS Retired

    I really think Microsoft does not know how its flagship operating system is put together. I assume it's because they let go, eased out, transferred to elsewhere, everyone that knew and/or understood anything about their OS.

    And it is showing big time.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      I know a former MS programmer, and he categorically states, that they indeed, have no idea how the whole thing works and haven't since Win 95.

      Win 95 being the project he made a very large contribution too and caused him to quit a few years later during Win 98 when they did nothing to fix the problems.

      The reasons were the left hand does not know what the right is doing and there were very large territorial fights between departments

    2. Montreal Sean

      They have a flagship OS?

      I thought Windows 11 was a trash barge drifting aimlessly down a canal.

  5. Swordfish1

    sick and tired of MS so called updates wrecking my computers, over the last 20 years. Perhaps I should be charging MS, for all the time wasted, trying to sort issues out, and then several months, or several years down the line to be told it was us. I thought the idea of beta testing, was to iron, out software issues before being released. But we all know that MS, are ignoring, that, and using the general public as cannon fodder, for testing IMHO of course.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Now you maybe understand why Microsoft marketing and sales people are always keen to do the TCO studies for you: that way, they can omit the biggest expense: staff time.

      The moment you start adding the utter waste of staff time, the operational risk and the cost of entanglement (the lack of options to replace products that fail or are woefully unsecure with better alternatives) to your TCO, anything provided by Microsoft simply falls off the map, and it's been like that from before WIndows Vista.

      It shows just what utter rubbish you can sell if you spend far more on marketing, subverting senior level decisions and getting past honest procurement processes than on actually producing good code.

      The only product they make that's halfway decent is Excel. Outlook would be in the list too if it fully supported open standards, but it does not. The rest is horric junk, and has been that way for decades. All that has really changed are user interfaces, and even there they screwed up.

  6. AlanSh

    It's not that easy

    The s/w is now so convoluted and complicated, that I don't think anyone understand how it all works together. MS had an opportunity to start again with Windows 11 (they've had 5 years since Windows 10 to plan the next version) but just put sticking plaster (and cuts and grazes) onto the existing O/S.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not that easy

      They no longer have to - you're now a subscriber so you have little choice.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It's not that easy

      " (they've had 5 years since Windows 10 to plan the next version) "

      Not really. It;s just patching on patching on patching. There are no new versions as such. When a new "version" is announced, what really happens is the coloured pencil department make visibly obvious changes by adding lipstick to a very slightly genetically modified pig.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a very slightly genetically modified pig.

        Nah, it's more like a heavily overfed, shaved hedgehog.

  7. ecofeco Silver badge

    Relevant

    When first installing Win 11...

    - Disable the Internet connection before starting setup, e.g., by disconnecting the LAN cable or disabling Wi-Fi.

    - Windows will display a "Let's connect you to a network" or similar screen. The upcoming Windows 11 version 22H2 does not allow you to skip this anymore to create a local account.

    - On the screen, use Shift-F10 to open a command prompt window.

    - Type OOBE\BYPASSNRO and hit the Enter-key.

    - Windows will reboot and return to the "Let's connect you to a network" screen. Only this time, you may select "I don't have Internet" to skip this.

    - Then you select "Continue with limited setup" to then create a local account during setup.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Relevant

      Or just use something easier.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Relevant

        Indeed, erasing it all and sticking a decent distro on the machine may at that point be the better option.

        That's why Microsoft likes enerprises: they can't do that. They're locked in and are up to their neck in the quicksand of Microsoft products. Every time they try to get out, a Microsoft rep shows up and stands on the heads of those that are starting to escape.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Relevant

          > erasing it all and sticking a decent distro on the machine (emphasis mine)

          Would be the best way to brick your laptop... I do use Linux, but I had to keep the original Windows on a drastically shrunken partition, because without it no updates for the BIOS or the SSDs, and even worse, no thermal management, which means that each time the computer decides to turn into a hotplate (every couple days) you have to go back to Windows and start the Dell-supplied monstrosity application, which reinitializes the thermal management and deigns to fire up the two tiny, tiny fans at last.

          My point is, as hardware gets more involved and thus comes with some kind of companion/helper app, Windows can't be totally ignored. Who would had imagined 10 years ago that one day hard drives would need a TSR app looking after them and updating them... And hell will be frozen solid the day all those apps will get Linux equivalents, so unless your hardware is way too old for updates, you'll need to keep a little Windows around for a monthly maintenance session.

          1. Barry Rueger

            Re: Relevant

            My Dell laptops have run Mint for years without these problems. YMMV

            1. el_oscuro

              Re: Relevant

              I bought an el-cheapo Dell laptop in 2007 - with Ubuntu preinstalled. Kept it for 10 years, upgrading in place to 16.04 without a hiccup at all. Eventually I had to replace it as it didn't have enough RAM for the virtual machines I need to run on it. So I replaced it with a Thinkpad - also with Ubuntu.

            2. LionelB Silver badge

              Re: Relevant

              Ditto my Thinkpad.

            3. ThatOne Silver badge

              Re: Relevant

              > My Dell laptops have run Mint for years without these problems.

              Yes, as did my old Toshiba, and for 15 years too. But you missed my point, old hardware didn't need all those constant updates, usually because it was past the "alpha" testing stage when you bought it.

              There has always been a difference between using older or cutting edge hardware, but as I said, nowadays hardware has changed: Much like software it is released ASAP, in a buggy state, and successive firmware patches are supposed to iron out the worst bugs.

              My new laptop had 2 BIOS updates in as many months and one SSD driver update. And there are clearly a bunch of them still coming, as many things still don't always work as expected. Obviously I could forfeit the fixes and keep it indefinitely in it's current buggy state, but I'd rather not, it's my work computer. YMMV.

              1. 43300 Bronze badge

                Re: Relevant

                Yep - and as usual, it started with the consumer models and is now working its way into the business ranges. We use Dell, and there are always very regular firmware updates for recent models (so far as I know the Command Update utility is not available for Linux - not that Linux is an option for us).

                We use Intune and clean install everything new (which nowadays means mostly laptops). Until the model before last it was simply a case of clean install from a generic USB installer, plug in the ethernet cable, shift-F10 at the region selection screen then run our enrollment script for Intune.

                Now, in order to do the above we have to manually load the SSD driver during the setup (yeah, I could try slipstreaming it but haven't bothered!), then install the ethernet driver from the command prompt before we can enroll it. Then when setup is completed there are always firmware updates, even for a brand new model set up on the day it's delivered!

                Until recently, Windows would recognise pretty much any hard drive / SSD at the installer stage, and in most cases ethernet adapters too. No longer!

            4. captain veg Silver badge

              Re: Relevant

              Same here.

              Relatively cheapo Inspiron 5370, Mint installed immediately after purchase, various Windozes running in VMs. Subsequently RAM and SSD upgraded, case bashed by a fall on to tiles, otherwise still running good as new..

              -A.

          2. ChrisC Silver badge

            Re: Relevant

            "Who would had imagined 10 years ago that one day hard drives would need a TSR app looking after them and updating them..."

            The first HD firmware update I recall doing was back in early 2009, back when I was the "lucky" owner of an early Seagate 7200.11 that'd shipped with firmware capable of bricking the drive after a certain number of power cycles. So the idea that drives (whether spinning rust or solid state varieties) might benefit from a companion app keeping an eye out for firmware updates wouldn't have been far fetched 10 years ago...

            1. ThatOne Silver badge
              Unhappy

              Re: Relevant

              > in early 2009, back when I was the "lucky" owner of an early Seagate 7200.11

              That was an exception, one model among several dozen others which worked just fine without any updates. Nowadays that exception has become the rule, and you'd better keep updating your SSD's firmware lest your precious data disappears.

      2. NopetyNope

        Re: Relevant

        I still can't see any future other than Windows 10 being the last version of Windows I use at this point.

        Valve have removed the last big barrier with some frankly amazing efforts around proton/steam play and the steam deck to the point where older win32 games now work better on Linux than windows. (None of the comparability mode nonsense required) Also most of the AAA games I tired with it you can barely tell as a user if it's native or not.

        Meanwhile Microsoft have steadily removed all the "don't drink the cool aid" options I've relied on and told me my desktop with tpm2, secure boot, 64GB of ram and i7 7700k doesn't meet the minimum requirements.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows 10 being the last version of Windows I use

          You are not alone.

          MS is doing its best to piss everyone off to such an extent that companies WILL start looking for alternatives to their current shitshow.

          1. 43300 Bronze badge

            Re: Windows 10 being the last version of Windows I use

            I wish we could, but really can't see how - we need Office as various plugins are required for line of business databases, plus of course our users are familiar with MS crap and many would really struggle with anything else.

            And no realistic alternative has an Intune equivalent, which is essential now with the whole flexible working and laptop situation.

            1. captain veg Silver badge

              Re: Windows 10 being the last version of Windows I use

              Any business that "requires" Office plugins is a fail. Microsoft can destroy you at a stroke.

              As for users being "familiar with MS crap", well, MS radically polishes the turds on a fairly regular basis. Linux Mint is typically a far more familiar upgrade path from Windows N than Windows N+1.

              =A.

              1. 43300 Bronze badge

                Re: Windows 10 being the last version of Windows I use

                It very easy to say that, but how many mainstream finance, CRM, etc databases for small/medium businesses do you know of which use plugins for any office suite other than Microsoft's?

                And how would you go about remotely managing 130 plus lapotps scattered over a wide area if they were running Mint?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Windows 10 being the last version of Windows I use

              Yes, it's a LOT harder to kick the Microsoft habit once you've walked into the trap. Not only do you have the deliberate entanglement with other closed standards components, you als have to deal with the sales team who will target those with the least knowledge (i.e. management) to ensure IT stays in its box.

              That's why I am glad we have people on the Board who pair an unusual level of IT insight with a realistic view of costs (in other words, they DO look at staff time as a component of IT and operational expenditure).

              I must say I'm actually looking forward to the first attempts of Microsoft to get into the door because they don't quite know what they'll be walking into. Could get very entertaining :).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Relevant

          Yeah, same here.

          Still eagerly waiting for a non-steamdeck SteamOS 3.0 image ...

    2. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Relevant

      > Windows 11 version 22H2 does not allow you to skip this anymore to create a local account.

      Well, in my own experience, having bought a new laptop with Win11 Home on it, it indeed required a working network connection for setup, but it allowed me right from the start to make an old-fashioned local account (all while stressing that an online Microsoft one would be better, shinier, cooler). I didn't had to fight it or make any magic incantations, I was simply given the choice during the initial setup.

      There are really an awful lot of things to complain about, but this isn't one of them. I was never forced to make a Microsoft account on the Dell-supplied Win11 Home. Just for the record.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: There are really an awful lot of things to complain about, but this isn't one of them

        Arguably the thing to complain about is that none of this is officially documented.

        It does not give confidence to end-users that IT people know what they are doing when different IT people recommend polar opposites of suggestions to solve their problems. Yes, things have been like this for many years, many versions, but there was generally some kind of official roadmap that could be consulted when making such decisions, but nowadays it is all about "some bloke on the internet tried this, and it worked."

        Microsoft-employed software writers/maintainers need to remember that they are as much a part of the IT Community as the rest of us, and that, to be considered "professionals", we all need to sing from the same hymn book. At present, that ain't happening.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: There are really an awful lot of things to complain about, but this isn't one of them

          > Arguably the thing to complain about is that none of this is officially documented.

          Apparently nothing is documented, and it seems things change so quickly that even Microsoft themselves (their famous "Knowledge Base") don't know where things went. Nothing I found in the "Knowledge Base" fits in any way what I actually see on my laptop. Menus are different or even totally missing, files are not there where Microsoft says they should be, commands don't do what Microsoft pretends they should, it's utter chaos.

          In my brief stint on Win11 as a tourist (last Windows I used was Win7) I was appalled by the sloppiness and the lack of serious of 2022 Microsoft. I'm honestly surprised there aren't more/bigger bugs each time they release some random and untested piece of code in the hope it might fix some previous blunder. I'm really happy I don't have to use Windows for my daily work!

        2. Dimmer

          Re: There are really an awful lot of things to complain about, but this isn't one of them

          “ not documented “

          And that is why I skipped the article and went straight to the comments. Thanks guys for posting your comments and fixes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ThatOne - Re: Relevant

        My experience was not the same. Win 11 Home setup did allow me to create local accounts only after being forced to create a Microsoft login and give some personal details in the process. It happily stated that my cloud login will help me keep track of my purchases and other scary stuff. The whole experience was similar to your aggressor trying to be nice with you after you've been raped.

      3. ChrisC Silver badge

        Re: Relevant

        And in contrast, the laptop I bought earlier this year which came pre-installedinfected with W11Home most assuredly did require the above steps to be taken to allow a local account to be used for completing setup. Perhaps your laptop was older stock, or the manufacturer hadn't updated their default image, such that the version of W11 installed out of the box was still old enough not to include this downgrade.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Relevant

          > Perhaps your laptop was older stock

          If you are talking to me, no, it's an July 2022 model, cutting edge hardware, although I obviously don't know if the Windows image Dell used is standard or somehow tweaked. All I know is it claims to be 22H2, and despite me expecting to have to fight the online registration, it politely offered a "local account" choice. *shrug*

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Relevant

            FTR: I checked and what I actually have is the release version of Win11, 21H2.

            The 22H2 version of Win11 is still a "Beta Channel / Release Preview Channel" version, and not yet released to the general public. (Including me. Sorry, the release version is buggy enough for me.)

      4. 43300 Bronze badge

        Re: Relevant

        But that won't be the 22H2 version, will it?

        I've not tested that yet so can't say for sure whether there are ways around it - will probably do so when it's actually released. There's little point doing it before as they could still bugger around with it before pushing out the "finished" code.

  8. JDPower666 Silver badge

    They are truly excelling themselves with Windows 11. It's almost like they heard someone say "Windows can't get any worse", then.... **hold_my_beer.gif**

  9. Michael Mounteney

    How much abuse will windoze users take?

    I cannot understand how Microsoft continues to sabotage its own products and yet still retain its customers.

    Maybe I should ask my manager, who imposed 'Teams' on the company when Slack and Mattermost are out there and better in just about every way.

    Thankfully I provide my own PC and don't suffer the daily headbanging insanity of fighting my OS to get anything done.

    I've just about persuaded him that Azure, despite being so much cheaper than AWS, is not worth it.

    Windoze -- Just Say No™.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much abuse will windoze users take?

      Teams is another great example. Manglement decided that office phones in every office worldwide would be subsumed into the Teams octopus. Now they are, Microsoft woke up one morning and removed call fowarding for an entire class of phones.

      We used that feature for the on call rota so the customer could call one number and they got the person on call. Response from the telephony group was to shrug and say "Microsoft removed that option, we can't do that any more".

      Everyone's given up with office phones and uses work mobiles instead. It looks great from the customer's perspective. A multi-billion dollar company has to actually send the rota to the customer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much abuse will windoze users take?

        We had a couple of changes under influence of a global network restructuring, and each of those changes were pretty dramatic in that they shut the network down.

        Anyone hanging off the phone exchange could just continue with client contact as it's a fully separate system with its own outbound trunk. Anyone on VoIP, including Teams, njet.

        Add to that the wonderful stability of MS products and services in general and its habit of changing and/or nuking features because the weather changes or they have found a new way to make even more money of their users because they can no longer escape and I would not touch Teams with a 10ft barge pole.

        Teams turned out to be a turning point in our outfit. MS' decision to make it start up by default and forcing you to log in before you can kill off that menace seriously got under the skin of manglement, and as they were already unhappy after evaluating just how much time we waste on MS related issues it seems changes may be underway.

        I fully suspect a large gaggle of Microsoft executives to land here as soon when they catch wind of this - like Jehova's Witnesses, they don't like people leaving the Faith, also because it may spread - we influence quite a large group of people.

        Interesting times..

  10. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

    Ahhh, nuts.

    The problem is with new accounts.

    I was hoping not to be able to sign in at work.

    You have raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly, sir.

  11. Elledan
    Unhappy

    Windows 7 was clearly the last Windows OS you didn't have to actively fight against

    Every time I set up a new Windows system - whether for myself or someone else - it was always a pretty zippy experience, with usually the copying of the installation files (or image decompressing) taking the most time. Creating an account was that one tiny step in the whole process, mostly consisting out of setting an admin password and possibly creating a personal account (depending on the Windows version).

    That something that used to be something so insignificant and boring in all the right ways is now something where you have to actively fight over with the OS is just tragic.

    When I first installed Windows 10 on a new system a few years back, it still had the 'create local account' option easily accessible, but with each major update ('service pack'?) it harasses me again to create a MSFT account and log into the mainframe. The option to tell it to f' off becomes more and more hidden with these updates too.

    A few years of using Windows 10 has taught me that I don't enjoy the OS, as it always gets in the way. It's MSFT reminding you at every point that you don't own the system, that the whole OS is just a marketing campaign for MSFT services, and how dare you use it like it's Windows 7 or XP, or even 2000.

    I honestly loathe Windows 10, and am not looking forward to suffering through the Windows 11 'experience', where it sounds like things still break at the whim of MSFT, while the number of configuration options and tweaks that would have made the OS feel comfortable dwindle with each 'update'.

    But maybe Windows 12 will fix everything? One can only hope...

    1. el_oscuro
      Linux

      Re: Windows 7 was clearly the last Windows OS you didn't have to actively fight against

      I just picked up a refurbished laptop with Windows 10 pro on it. At $300, most of the cost was probably for Windows. My job has a government issued smart card that is required to login, and the only supported options are Windows 10 and Mac. But setting up that laptop was a complete nightmare. In the amount of time I spent responding to: "No I do not want to create an online account" and "No I don't want Microsoft to track me", I could have done a complete installation of Linux from scratch. And this is Windows 10 pro, which I specifically because I didn't want to deal with all of this crap.

      Other than the smart card business, I would be running Linux. But it barely works on Windows and it took several hours of troubleshooting to get it set up.

      I actually have that smartcard working on Linux too, but not the complete set of applications. Given what I learned from the Windows installation, I might be able to get everything working in Linux too, freeing me up from the whims of MSFT forever.

  12. Roland6 Silver badge

    Users can also resolve the problem by using a function called the Known Issue Rollback (KIR)

    But that requires a user to be able to log in to their (Windows) PC...

  13. captain veg Silver badge

    Re: And this is Windows 10 pro

    At Windows 10 the meaning of "Pro" was changed from "professional" to "basically the same as Home, but more expensive".

    You need Enterprise.

    Beam me up, Scotty.

    -A.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha Ha Ha

    *Laughs in Linux"

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