Sometimes I really hate Windows. There, I said it.
I don’t go into all the reasons why I have a love-hate relationship with this dearly loved operating system for fear of persecution. I think the fact that I was almost excommunicated by my colleagues, especially my fellow editors who are Windows die-hards, is punishment enough to even dare to speak ill of it.
I’m also not about to drop in the middle of a war without ammo, especially since I’m not too passionate about the whole thing. Mac vs. Windows debate. But, to be frank, the operating system sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out. And, as powerful as it is, you have to admit it; it has its share of stability issues, a seemingly endless list of worthless old keys in its registry, and random glitches that pop up for no apparent reason.
For example, this week, when my gaming laptop, which I also use to test and review devices, just increased and decided to reboot without warning or permission due to a small update that I didn’t even know was happening. It cost me all the notes I had that day, which I had typed on notepad but forgot to save, as I’m used to the macOS Notes app which, by the way by the way, happily self-checks in, thus sparing me catastrophic.
It’s not even the worst. Windows 11 Also, on reboot, I decided that my laptop’s bluetooth couldn’t sit at the popular table anymore, and it wasn’t going to bother to make it available to me – an even bigger disaster (forgive my liberal use of the word), because both my current mechanical keyboard and my wireless mouse use it to interface with my laptop.
And so followed a maddening saga of me trying to restore Bluetooth connectivity to my device – essentially three hours of my life lost.
So many “fixes”
After completing the update and restarting my computer, Windows 11 so rightly informed me that “Bluetooth is not available on this device. Please try using an external adapter to add Bluetooth capability to this computer.“Excuse me? How does the duck did this happen when five minutes before it was working perfectly fine?
Turns out no one really knows. It’s one of those random issues that Windows suddenly throws up, and sometimes I think it’s just a mess with us. And while other people who have had the same problem – and there are plenty of them – seem to blame it on a missing driver or corrupt system files, no one can tell you how a simple, supposedly direct update can cause this driver or those files fail in the first place, which means it’s really hard to determine the cause.
And, when you can’t identify the real cause of the problem, the plan of attack, it seems, is to try a bunch of fixes until you find the right one. It’s true…because we all have half a day to do this.
Even more infuriating is the fact that there’s no one-size-fits-all fix for this problem either (although it’s true that it also happens on macOS from time to time). The most common ones that work for most people won’t necessarily work for you. One user got so fed up after trying several unsuccessfully that he turned off his computer, unplugged it, and turned it back on after 10 minutes as a last attempt, and what do you know? ! That did the trick!
Of course, if you have my kind of luck, that won’t work either. I also tried MakeUseOf.com (opens in a new tab)is new (nine!) corrects in vain.
The only thing that really worked
The only thing that worked for me – just as the sun was setting, and I was ready to curl up in the fetal position and fall asleep – is just as absurd as the problem itself, which is typical.
The window club (opens in a new tab) provided the answer: disable fast startup and restart the laptop.
Of course, I’ve already gone through every move, uninstalled and reinstalled the Bluetooth driver, gone through the Services app and restarted all Bluetooth-related drivers, and deleted a corrupted USB driver – not to mention, RESTART MY LAPTOP AFTER EVERY STEP (dammit, I scream!). So it’s not exactly as if that alone embraced boho and made it better.
Still, I wouldn’t have guessed that was the solution if I hadn’t dug a little deeper. And, none of those things I just mentioned worked anyway, until I disabled fast startup, which was probably enabled during the update.
The Troubled Quick Start
There are articles from 2017 on how fast startup can cause issues ranging from difficulty installing Windows updates to being unable to access BIOS settings, and how to disable it. First introduced with Windows 8 in 2016, it’s supposed to make your PC start up faster and would have been a nice feature had it been run correctly. When enabled, the feature does not completely shut down your PC and instead puts it into a sort of hibernation state, allowing you faster access to your system.
But clearly it didn’t work well, and the fact that an update could enable it without your knowledge is infuriating. What’s even more amazing is that it’s still causing problems, and Microsoft hasn’t bothered to fix it (or completely remove it from the current Windows iteration).
I’m not going to list all the reasons why you should disable fast startup on your computer – that’s another article for another day. Do yourself a favor, save yourself the pain and do it. It might even be the right solution to other random Windows problems you encounter in the future.
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