Winbloze still wouldn't boot.
My next stop was my motherboard's UEFI BIOS settings, and I observed that a Winbloze-specific boot section was set to using "CSM"-- whatever that is-- instead of UEFI. I flipped it to UEFI, and... Winbloze once again booted. Strangely, I then flipped the setting back to "CSM", and Microsoft's buggy operating system still booted-- so I'm not sure which thing I did actually fixed the problem.
My next step was getting Windows Updates to install. The mainline one would not install, giving me one bizarre error after another. However, right in the middle of that process the "May 2021" update magically appeared-- not sure why right at that moment, coincidence?-- and that did install.
But my journey wasn't done yet: the subsequent post-update reboot revealed that audio was broken-- just a big fat red "X" over the Winbloze mixer tray app. The legacy "Device Manager" showed my RealTek and Nvidia devices, claimed they were working, yet the new Winbloze 10 half of things said no devices were installed.
After about two hours of trying different things, I found a workaround, which needs to be performed on every single Winbloze 10 boot just to have functioning audio:
- Go to the new control panel's sound section. Flip the advanced settings to use mono.
- Go to the legacy control panel's sound settings, where you set up sound effects. Step 1 will have unlocked the "Test" buttons for those sound effects-- click "Test" on one of them, and you'll actually hear it play, even though Winbloze claims there are no audio devices.
- Flip your sound back to stereo.
- Now the legacy control panel will show your audio devices! But, the Winbloze 10 side still won't see them, and you'll still have no audio devices, and a disabled mixer. Click on one of them, select "set as default", then click on the one you actually want as default, and set it as so.
- Check out the Winbloze 10 mixer now, and you'll have one hundred percent functioning audio again in the operating system, as if nothing was ever wrong to begin with.
As I mentioned above though, reboot and you're right back to square one. I'm not sure how testing playback of a .wav file or switching to mono would cause the whole audio subsystem to behave differently-- makes me think it's a bunch of spaghetti code back there.