Sunday, May 15, 2016

Defense against Windows 10

        There's no doubt about it -- Micro$oft wants all its Windows users to upgrade to 10. Anyone running anterior versions of Windoze cannot fail to have noticed the nagging that's been going on for at least six months now.

        Now it's got to the point where they're beginning to implement forced upgrades. Today when I declined the nag dialog for the umpteenth time, I got this message:


        So, obviously, they plan to go behind my back and install the wretched OS while I'm sleeping. In a fury, I screamed about this to an IRC channel inhabited by jokers and techies, and one of them came to my rescue. A company called Gibson Research Corporation is offering a free registry editor called Never10, which bars 10 from installing itself. Note that I call it a registry editor rather than an app, because that's what it is. If you use it, nothing is installed on your system.

        As a bonus, Never10 scans your system and detects Win10 files that have been "pre-loaded" onto your system already. When I ran it, it found six point five gigabytes of these bloody things, which I promptly deleted.

        Here's the link -- it worked for me and you may wish to try it if you don't want your screen to resemble something more appropriate for nursery school, and your net activity easily monitored by faceless droids in Redmond WA. With grateful thanks to my knowledgeable IRC buddy.

Update 19 May 
It wasn't enough. I was hit by Win10 overnight. I'm furious.


Chris Lopes said...

Thanx Expat, I've been looking for a way out of that trap for awhile. The new terms of service were what convinced me to leave 10 alone. I don't think M.S. should be allowed to take ownership of pictures of my 18 month old granddaughter. Now I have a way to tell them to go frack off and die.

Chris said...

Install this one too (scroll down for the portable version, it simply runs on demand and doesn't require installing)

It switches off countless bits of covert Microsoft tracking, many of which were enabled for them to determine how suitable a system is to be upgraded to Windows 10. On a Win 7 or 8 system it turns off the tracking and disables Win 10 upgrade settings in the registry (Never10 will correctly report that the automatic Win 10 updates are disabled on those systems). On Win 10 systems it's also useful as it turns off all the covert tracking that Microsoft introduced with it.

Never10 by itself turns off the GWX crap but doesn't address the tracking and telemetry forced into Win 7 and Win 8 by Microsoft in prep for Win 10. Spybot deals with that.

Switch to manual updates and avoid (hide) patches KB2952664 and KB3035583. These are frequently updated and so will reappear in future update checks, so you have to continually hide them. Respectively they are "Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7" and "Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1". The latter is responsible for that multi-GB download. (since then it's passed its 11th time)

It's a really sad day when your OS vendor acts like a malware slinger to get their product in front of you, and requires a response not disimilar to a disinfection and damage control.

nyceddie said...

It took you a while! I became aware of the poison that Microsoft calls Windows 10 and I got busy to make sure that my desktop pc running Windows 8.1 did not get poisoned. Below is some info I found to help me keep Win10 off my pc, I added some extra upgrade numbers as I found out about them. Perhaps this may help you and others reading this topic.

-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Edward Lopez
Sent: Nov 29, 2015 2:08 AM
Subject: How to remove Windows 10 upgrade updates in Windows 7 and 8
How to remove Windows 10 upgrade updates in Windows 7 and 8

by Martin Brinkmann on April 17, 2015 in Tutorials - Last Update: June 1, 2015 78
Microsoft will ship Windows 10 later this year and with it comes an offer to upgrade existing versions of Windows to the operating system for free.

Since the majority of Windows users probably does not know about that offer as they may not read tech sites at all or only sporadically, Microsoft pushed updates to Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems that prepare the system for the update.

At least one of the updates, KB 3035583, appears to have been designed to advertise Windows 10 once it comes out.

While that may make sense, some users may not want to upgrade their system to Windows 10 after all. If you prefer to keep using Windows 7 or even Windows 8, there is no reason to keep these updates installed on the computer.

How many updates we are talking about?

KB3035583 - According to Microsoft, this update enables "additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available".
KB2952664 - Labeled a compatibility upgrade for upgrading Windows 7, its purpose is to "make improvements to the current operating system in order to ease the upgrade experience to the latest version of Windows".
KB2976978 - A compatibility update for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 which "performs diagnostics on the Windows system [..] to determine whether compatibility issues may be encountered when the latest Windows operating system is installed.
KB3021917 - Does the same as KB 2976978 but on Windows 7.
KB3044374 - This update for Windows 8.1 enables systems to upgrade from the current operating system to a later version of Windows.
KB2990214 . Does the same as KB 3044374 but on Windows 7.

Those are the updates currently provided by Microsoft. Microsoft notes that users should not remove or block the updates 3044374 and 2990214 as they are used for Windows Update functionality and not only to upgrade to Windows 10.

Plus these from another website:

First thing you may want to do is find out whether those updates are installed. If they are installed, you can remove them from the system and block them from being installed again.

Dee said...

It's another demonstration of the same mindset which possesses Microsoft since a long time. And it's the reason I switched to Linux years ago and never looked back. That said, I still run a W7 machine for Photoshop and this information could come in handy. And I'm sure I'll be asked about this in the near future by puzzled relatives and friends who for some reason think I know or care anything about their Windows problems (but of course I'll listen).


Anonymous said...

Here's a thought.....take an apple :-) and all your worries and problems and weird regulations go away as if they never existed :-)


THE Orbs Whiperer said...

You seemed surprised. A bright, chap like you, hy haven't you been using Linux, all along?

G-Zeus said...

I have no problem dual-booting Linux and Win 10 on my desktop - Linux and Win 8.1 on my Laptop.

expat said...

Updated: I lost the battle. But on the upside, the UI doesn't look much different.

Chris Lopes said...

Sorry to hear that Expat. Mine is holding firm for the time being. Why do I suddenly feel like an Enterprise crewman fighting the Borg?

Binaryspellbook said...

LOL Chris.
Expat, what happened. Did win 10 just do it anyway, ignore the registry manipulation and flip you the bird ?
Man I fucking hate that company. For real reasons ofc. Not just to be "hip."

Binaryspellbook said...

Incidentally. I bought a laptop here in Yantian. Shenzhen to be exact. I asked the guy to install an English version of windows which he did. Not a legal one of course, but I don't mind playing fast and loose with those weasels. All went well for two days. I left my lappy switched on overnight and in the morning was greeted by the Chinese version of windows 10, which had updated automatically. Yes I should have turned off auto update. Idiot engineer. :-(

expat said...

Derek: Yep, obviously it outwitted Never10 somehow. Thursday morning I was just greeted by "Welcome to Windows 10". Grrr. However I must say I'm a bit mollified now. Everything's working as it should and I've got oodles of drive space so no worries about the bloated OS. Also I'm trusting that Spybot is blocking the worst of the snooping.

Chris Lopes said...

My main issue with win10 is the EULA. The whole "all your files now are belong to us" thing is just intolerable. They claim it has something to do with security, but that fails the giggle test.

Anonymous said...

Several months ago Windows 10 stealth upgraded on a laptop I use rather infrequently. The primary issue that alerted me to the upgrade was that my Kaspersky (and other programs of lesser utility/importance) vanished from my view. I simply rolled back to my prior version (Windows 7) and have received no imminent upgrade alerts since.

I hope this is helpful. Be well, Jerry.

Binaryspellbook said...


It's the lack of choice that gets on my moobs.
Just like happened to you, me, and Expat. Man, I hate that filthy company with a passion.
Good call though. I'd try it if my OS weren't in Chinese, and I'd be rolling back to a dodgy version of Windows. It's really frustrating when you open the control panel and it may as well be in "Dalek." In fact, for an engineer it's really, really, unnerving. I hate not being in total control of my stuff!!!!!

expat said...

For me, nothing has actually vanished, but Thunderbird is no longer in the system tray which is mildly annoying. I kinda like the new noises actually (e-mail arriving, etc.)

G-Zeus said...

Removable Media is your friend, it's dirt cheap. You might have to re-install some of those paid softwarez, so keep your info on those!

expat said...

I disallowed a comment from Theadora. He or she thinks Microsoft reads all my login/password combos, basically.

expat said...

Well lookee here... dirty tricks.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

That conspiracy nut Theo even thinks that Microsoft and Google are actually in cahoots.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

What do you see on Mars at: ( 13°00'00.0"S 2°00'00.0"W )?

James Concannon said...

You mean this feature? Crater ejecta, I think.

Anonymous said...

Update KB3123862 is also suspicious, and I denied it.


THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Higher Resolution

James Concannon said...

It's extremely hard to believe that it's the same feature. But anyway, it's a butte surrounded by a dune field.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Thanks for chiming in, Jim.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest accounts hacked, LinkedIn password dump likely to blame

Told You So