Windows 10 Version 2004 is Finally Reliable Enough for Everyone

Posted on February 5, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 23 Comments

Over seven months after it was first released to the public, Windows 10 version 2004 is finally ready for “broad deployment.” This announcement, such as it is, comes over 3 months after version 2004’s successor, version 20H2, was released.

“Windows 10 version 2004 is designated for broad deployment … as of February 3, 2021,” the Windows 10 release information website briefly notes. “The recommended servicing status is Semi-Annual Channel.”

With previous Windows 10 versions, the movement into broad deployment happened more quickly, and that’s all the more curious when you consider that both Windows 10 versions 2004 and 20H2 are minor updates, and not full-fledged feature updates. (In fact, they are the second and third Windows 10 versions in a set of an anticipated four to be minor updates; Windows 10 version 1909 was also very minor, and Windows 10 version 21H1 is expected to be as well.)

Looking over the known issues list for Windows 10 version 2004, there are still some unresolved problems. Among them is a recently-discovered issue with Conexant ISST audio drivers, which Microsoft has simply confirmed but not resolved. But for the most part, this version is finally at the quality level where anyone should be able to search for updates in Windows Update and be offered 2004.

If not, you’re likely suffering from what Microsoft calls a “safeguard hold,” meaning that some device or software is preventing the upgrade.

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Comments (23)

23 responses to “Windows 10 Version 2004 is Finally Reliable Enough for Everyone”

  1. jchampeau

    If ever there was something that demonstrates why Microsoft should change to a more reasonable schedule for releasing new versions of Windows and put more (any at all?) emphasis on finishing the job, this is it.

  2. clivegsd

    Can you clone a smaller HD to a larger HD without the Windows not activated message yet?

    • dftf

      In reply to clivegsd:

      You might be better-off creating a forum-post for this.

      If you're using third-party software (e.g. Acronis; EaseUS Todo; Macrium) might be better to see if they offer any support, or a user-forum.

      If you're using the "System Image" option built-into Windows 10, be aware that it is classed as "depreciated".

      Things that may help you I could suggest are (1) on the activated Windows install before doing the clone, use a tool like ProduKey to obtain the Windows product-key; (2) from an Command-Prompt window (or the Run box) type SLMGR /? then press ENTER and see if anything there could help you. Or (3), if this is in an enterprise environment, and you're using a KMS server, speak to your IT as they might have policies set-up to prevent a PC from re-activating, or the licence-pool might be empty. For MAK keys, where you activate against Microsoft's web-servers over-the-Internet, contact Microsoft directly, as you should have support from them

  3. sergeluca

    In reply to lvthunder:

    Buying MS only devices is an option. Not sure many companies do it (too expensive?)

  4. b6gd

    With Windows 10 I am finally at a point that I honestly do not follow these updates. I get them when I get them. The last 2-4 I really did not even notice any change. I know there is but for what I use Windows for, corporate desktop, I use "apps" more than I use the OS.

  5. anoldamigauser

    I had two machines that were on hold for the Conexant issues. One, a circa 2010 ThinkPad x200t and the other a ThinkPad Yoga S1, circa 2015. The older one was cleared for 20H2 a month or so ago, the less old one is still on hold.

  6. JerryH

    The issue with Conexant drivers was NOT recently discovered. That safeguard hold has been in place on those devices (of which we have quite a few) for 7 months now with only a little progress. There were originally about 7 different safeguard hold numbers in place and they are down to about 3 at this point - but still many devices with these drivers cannot update to either 2004 or 20H2 and are stuck on 1909.

    • hal9000

      In reply to JerryH:

      True. My wife has a 1st gen HP spectre x360, and she's stuck with 1909 because of Conexant. Which by the way had drivers at one point with an integrated key logger. Just tells you everything you need to know about Conexant driver quality.

  7. winner

    "Thanks to all of our customers whose beta testing has made this possible."

  8. mikegalos

    And such is the joy of having an open ecosystem with the exponential interactions of dozens of choices for hundreds of devices.

    It's more amazing when a manufacturer has compatibility problems with a dozen total configurations that they make themselves.

  9. LT1 Z51

    I skipped 2004 and went straight to 20H2 on all my PCs. 2004 had some issues with massive memory usage and I was forced to rollback. To me it's just a poisonous release.

  10. dftf

    Also, if you're running 2004 or 20H2, do a search for KB4598291 (essentially an early-preview of the update for this month) which fixes a lot of non-security issues...

  11. dftf

    The Conexant driver-issue is the reason my brother's laptop cannot-currently go-past Version 1909... I'm sure though if one were to go into Device Manager and change the driver to the generic "High-Definition Audio" driver the Safeguard-Hold would lift...

  12. RobertJasiek

    Still 1909 and not being offered 2004 for no apparent reason (other than preventing me from telling everybody how to tame telemetry in 2004;) ).

  13. ringofvoid

    I just seems like something is seriously wrong when even a minor update remains unstable for 7 months after being delayed for over 3 months initially.

  14. Thomas Parkison

    What's funny is that I have an older notebook in the house that Microsoft said that the upgrade wasn't ready for. I forced the upgrade to 2004 manually and afterwards I had no issues at all.

  15. darkgrayknight

    Better to have slowed down rollout and have complaints about being slow than get it out and have complaints about how it isn't ready. Microsoft may be on track to have better rollouts and improved releases: don't do very many major changes and release it slowly, rather than quickly.

  16. djross95

    I don't know what the fix is, but MS needs to revamp their OS development process. This is (or should be) beyond embarrassing to them, their customers, and partners.

  17. epguy40

    ALMOST everyone, Paul

    this person using a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is NOT receiving the 2004 upgrade and is still running Win10 v1909 and it's already March 2021:

    why can't this person get either 2004 or 20H2 on an MS Surface Pro 4? WHY!

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