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Windows installation error messages will eventually be useful (maybe)



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Upgrading to a new version of Windows is often a simple affair. But when something is not right, you are left with vague errors that are not helpful. In the next version of Windows, Microsoft will try to resolve it.

If you've ever encountered an error during Windows Setup, you've probably been left completely frustrated and wondered what to do. The message that you see probably had no description of the problem and only listed the letters KB followed by a number of numbers. If you tried to search, you led to dozens of completely different records that did not match your KB numbers and did nothing to clarify the situation.

Microsoft has begun to display new installation screens to directly address the problem in a new Windows Insider Webinar, such as Spotted by WinFuture. Microsoft, James Atkins and Julia Troxell, started just after the hour mark, and the steps they take to solve this problem ahead.

The current dialogues are vague and confusing

The problem by hand is not only limited to the vague error but also the lack of measures that users can take to alleviate the problem. With the current installation dialog you have an error message but no link to more information to learn exactly what is wrong. You have the "Back" and "Update" buttons, but none of these buttons solve the problem. They are only available to the user. Usually, the solution is as simple as uninstalling and installing or updating a program or disabling encryption, but Windows Setup is currently doing a horrible job of letting the user know.

The new dialogues provide more information and solutions

The new installation dialogs present more information with direct links to error articles. If additional options are possible, such as upgrading a program instead of uninstalling, you will be prompted to "learn more or update instead". If possible, the dialog provides solutions. If it is possible for Windows to manage an uninstall, it will present that option, when it cannot (since the program is not in Add / Remove Programs), a manual installation is suggested.

The key to these new dialogues is to provide you with everything you need to know in order to complete the upgrade, or where you cannot upgrade all the information you need to understand why. It should reduce frustration and help the installation process run smoother.

Landing on over-informed users is usually the safest bet, and hopefully Microsoft can take this thinking to other areas such as Crash Dialogs and Windows Update error messages. [19659004] via Ars Technica


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