A few weeks ago, Autopilot stopped working. Autopilot is the service that builds a Windows desktop from scratch when it first boots up, a bit like MDT. If the device hardware ID is registered in the Autopilot service then, when it starts up, it contacts Autopilot and runs the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) according to the settings in the profile.
On 14 Feb 2022, routine setup of new devices stopped working. We did not at first know why, so we spent a couple of days testing and trying different things. Then we raised a ticket with Microsoft Premier Support. The symptoms were that Store Apps were failing to install (they said “blocked by AppLocker”) and Win32 apps were failing with random errors.
Microsoft Premier Support clearly failed to understand the basics of the problem. They ran through known issues, and asked us to check basic things, and to exclude things that were failing. But Autopilot was working before 14 Feb. Why would applications that were working before 14 Feb start not working?
We spent two weeks in pointless dialog. Then on 25 Feb Autopilot started working again. We made no changes. It just started to work, as it had before 14 Feb. Premier Support offered no analysis and no explanation.
If you were in the middle of a rollout, that could be hundreds or thousands of devices that would fail. How is it even possible that Microsoft had no clue that the service had failed, no clue about why, and no clue about how to fix it?
Some time later, from a different source, we received an explanation. The issue was caused by an error in the code, where devices would sometimes randomly hit a web exception when trying to fetch the content or content info of some Win32 apps from the service. Microsoft created a hotfix and, as a result, error 0x81036502 no longer occurs.
But Premier Support did not know about the fault, did not know about the hotfix, and did not even connect our problem with the fault. This is a failure on a grand scale.