Windows 10 KB4556799 causes audio issues, data loss

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Windows 10 audio page

Windows 10 KB4556799 is yet another update which has become
problematic for some users. KB4556799, which is an important
security update, is causing audio issues and temporary data
loss for consumers.

Users running Windows 10 May 2019 Update and November 2019
Update are reporting that the update is a serious fail with a
wide range of issues including a broken audio adapter,
temporary user profile, Blue Screen of Death, and even an
uninformative error message during the installation process.

These problems appear to vary from person to person and it does
not affect every installation of Windows 10.

According to user reports, Windows 10’s reset all of their
audio driver configurations and even removes Realtek audio
driver. Others noted that their audio devices don’t pass sound
when the update is installed.

“With this update, my audio devices have been completely
broken. I have Realtek audio drivers and I can’t play anything
via the speaker and even the headphones. I’m experiencing the
problem on my desktop and Surface Pro 6. I clicked on the Sound
icon and initiated Troubleshooting, which said that audio
enhancements couldn’t be loaded. I uninstalled the update and
audio is now back,” one user told us in the comments.

“I installed the update and audio drivers are missing. The
Troubleshooter is also not working and I am unable to uninstall
the update because buttons within Settings are also not
working,” another user told us.

There appears to be a pattern that I’ve noticed. If you have
Audio Enchantments enabled for your audio device, you might
experience the following issues after installing the patch:

  • Playback problems.
  • Sound distortion.
  • Audio devices would not pass sound.
  • Sound will pass simultaneously via the headphone and
    speakers.

Users have also documented similar Windows 10 audio problems on
Reddit (1,
2),
Microsoft’s answer forum
and in the Feedback Hub.

KB4556799 issues

“After this update, sound comes from both the headphones and
laptop’s speakers simultaneously,” one user noted in the
Feedback Hub.

How to fix audio issues after KB4556799

If you’re experiencing audio issues after the update, follow
these steps:

  1. Right-click on the volume icon on the taskbar.
    Sound context menu
  2. Open Sound Settings.
    Sound settings
  3. Click on ‘Sound Control Panel’ in the Settings.
  4. Under the Playback tab, right-click on Realtek speakers to
    open the Properties dialog.
    Sound control panel
  5. Under the Advanced tab, disable ‘Audio enhancements’.
    Speaker properties
  6. Click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.

You may also need to disable all sound enhancements for your
other audio devices.

Disable enhancements
Disable enhancements for your headphones

If your Realtex driver is missing, download the original driver
from the PC manufacturer’s website and install it.

Changing Windows 10’s audio settings so the quality is at
16-bit could also resolve some of the problems.

If nothing works for you, you should remove the update entirely
and pause the update until a new update is available. That can
be accomplished by going into the Update & Security page in
Settings, heading to Advanced options.

Temporary user profile (data loss)

The audio issues aren’t the only problems with the KB4556799
update, either, with some people claiming that the update has
deleted their data and files, pictures or documents are
missing.

“My computer automatically updated to this version and ALL of
my computer files were deleted. I am not sure how to recover
them and I don’t want to make the problem worse,” a user
noted.

“All my files are gone it is like the computer was wiped
clean,” another user confirmed data loss bug.

It’s alarming to suddenly have data missing and all OS settings
set to defaults, but the good news is, the profile and the data
including desktop customizations are still there.

Windows 10 loads a temporary user profile during the update
installation process, rather than the normal user profile. As a
result, users have noticed that their desktop customization,
pinned taskbar apps or files in the folders such as Documents
and Pictures have disappeared.

The data including files and pictures are still there, but they
belong to the main user profile and you won’t see the folders
when Windows 10 loads with a new temporary profile.

The temporary user profile issue has been reported many times
on the forum and in the Feedback Hub, but Microsoft hasn’t
officially documented the bug yet. It’s not clear how the
updates are triggering the temporary user profile, but there is
a workaround that still works.

To fix the temporary user profile issue, restart the affected
system six to eight times – all the way to the desktop –
appears to have helped some users, but that may not work for
everyone.

The more consistent option is to just uninstall the update by
following these steps:

  1. Open Settings > Update & security > View Update
    History
  2. Click on ‘Uninstall updates’
  3. Using the search box, search the update package.
  4. Highlight the update.
  5. Click “Uninstall” button at the top of the list.
  6. Click “Yes” to confirm your decision.
  7. Reboot your PC when required.

If you’re aware of any other problems with the update or you
need more help, let us know in the comments below.



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