A couple of weeks ago, when Microsoft released Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18290 to its cadre of Fast Ring Insiders, they also announced that any previously released testing builds would expire on December 14, 2018. A week later, they pulled the previously available ISOs for Windows 10 (19H1) Build 18272 to prevent them from being downloaded by testers.

Build 18272 was released to the Fast Ring but ISOs were issued at the same time in order to give testers a chance to install a 19H1 development branch build cleanly. What was unique about the release of ISOs for Build 18272 is that it was not a Slow Ring build which is when Microsoft usually releases ISOs.

In fact, Microsoft has not released any 19H1 development builds to the Slow Ring so far this cycle. The ISO releases of 18272 and now 18290, are simply intended to get testers up and running in the new development branch.

Currently, according to NeoWin’s Rich Woods, only the production release of the October 2018 Update is available to testers enrolled in the Slow Ring for Windows Insiders.

So all of this boils down to the fact that Windows Insiders must get on one of the two latest builds in order to avoid this timebomb in older builds. There are two ways to get updated:

  • Enroll your Slow Ring device into the Fast Ring and get the latest build, 18298, installed on that system. Switch back to Slow Ring under the Windows Insider settings to sit tight and wait for the first Slow Ring build for the 19H1 development cycle and avoid the next Fast Ring release. The latest Fast Ring build, 18298, expires on July 5th, 2019.
  • Download the Build 18290 ISOs that are now available from the Windows Insider Download site and install them on your test device. The expiration for that build is also in July 2019 and will have you covered to avoid the upcoming timebomb builds. If you do not want to stay on Fast Ring, then be sure to go into the Windows Insider Program settings and switch to Slow Ring.

As noted above, neither Build 18290 or 18298 were ever designated for Slow Ring status, so they may have less stability than most Slow Ring testers are used to seeing. It seems this is a temporary situation in order to get all testers on the latest builds and eliminate some fragmentation across the testing base.

No matter what, within two days you must get on Build 18290 or later, otherwise you are going to have an expired testing build on your hands.

One final note – it is very possible that either 18290 or 18298 could be designated as a Slow Ring build in the next couple of weeks before the upcoming holiday hiatus at Microsoft. However, it appears we may not know if that is the case before the December 14th expiration of the earlier builds.

That means get updated now and then standby waiting for the next step.