Windows 10 Cortana 'fix' breaks the internet – and people aren't happy

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 has run into more trouble at the hands of the KB4515384 update, which is, by all accounts, breaking far more than it fixes, with the latest victim reportedly being networking functionality.

As we’ve already seen, this particular patch was designed to fix a problem with the May 2019 Update whereby Cortana and search were spiking CPU usage, a nasty gremlin, but while KB4515384 solved this, at the same time it broke search in both the Start menu and Taskbar.

Not only that, the update also caused sound issues (Microsoft notes that “audio in certain games is quieter or different than expected after installing this update”), and now it would appear, networking problems.

The latest gremlin has been highlighted by Windows Latest which cites reports on Reddit and Microsoft’s own forum, as well as feedback submitted to Microsoft via the Windows 10 feedback hub.

One user submitted feedback to the effect that: “Cumulative update (KB4515384) causes the NIC [network interface card] to fail to enable with a code 10 error. Reinstalling network drivers from Intel or Windows Update sources does not resolve the issue.” However, uninstalling patch KB4515384 causes the problem to go away, the user observes.

Another user on Reddit notes: “KB4515384 broke my Intel NIC. It kept reporting ‘disconnected’. I downloaded the Intel drivers, and did a fresh install, but no luck ... still disabled. I uninstalled the kb, and I’m back in business. I’m running Intel driver successfully pre-update, if that helps anyone. Now, I sit and wait and hope MS fixes!”

Other users then chime in saying the same thing has happened to them, and as mentioned, there’s also a ‘network adapter failure’ thread on

This problem appears to be affecting Intel network hardware (both Ethernet or wired connections, and Wi-Fi), and has hit at least two different brands of motherboard, with MSI and Gigabyte boards being mentioned in the above posts.

Obviously these are pretty frustrating issues, and users can try disabling and then re-enabling the network adapter in Device Manager, followed by rebooting their machine, to see if that might shift the problem. But it seems the only guaranteed solution here is to simply ditch the offending patch KB4515384, which isn’t a great workaround, seeing as that leaves you with other problems of course.

The original Cortana driving up processor usage issue was itself introduced by a previous cumulative update (KB4512941) for Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Patience wearing thin

This is all beginning to sound like a real mess, isn’t it? And to rub further salt in the wound, Windows Latest also highlights potential issues with Action Center failing to open after the installation of KB4515384.

It would certainly seem to be a patch that causes far more trouble than it resolves for some, and unsurprisingly on some of these threads online, folks are clearly losing patience with Microsoft.

One Reddit poster complains: “Correct me if I’m (significantly) wrong, but it seems like every single time they’ve pushed out a major update since Windows 10 was released, they’ve broken something stupidly simple & often generally essential for basic usage ... and even now, four years later, I still can’t install Windows 10 if I don’t unplug every non-essential peripheral in the system beforehand – even if the drivers for them are pre-installed in Windows itself!”

Elsewhere in that large Reddit thread, more flak is fired at Microsoft, including the following shot: “Don’t blame Windows, blame company culture where features get people promotions but not bug fixing and optimizations. Same thing happens at Google frequently.”

Hopefully we’ll get some acknowledgement from Microsoft about these fresh problems (and maybe an incoming cure) before long.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).