News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • 2000011: Group A, Group B and Group W – what's the difference?

    Home Forums Knowledge Base 2000011: Group A, Group B and Group W – what's the difference?

    This topic contains 56 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 9 months ago.

    • Author
      Posts
    • #183070 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      AKB2000011: Group A, Group B, and Group W — what’s the difference?

      By @elly

      Rev 1.0 | April 9, 2018

       
      In October 2016 Microsoft fundamentally changed how it supplied patches to Windows 7 and 8.1. Woody, in an InfoWorld Article, “How to prepare for the Windows 7/8.1 ‘patchocalypse’” detailed the changes.

      Since then, all security and non-security patches are combined into a cumulative update, called a “Security Monthly Quality Rollup.” The Monthly Rollup is accessible from Windows Update. The most recent Monthly Rollup includes all patches included in any Security and Monthly Quality Rollup since October 2016. It also includes patches for IE 11. Microsoft intends to gradually add older updates to the Monthly Rollup, so that (eventually) you could simply apply the current Monthly Rollup and bring your system completely up to date.

      Security patches are combined each month into a single “Security Only” update that can be downloaded from the Microsoft Update Catalog, but they only include the security patches from that month, not previous months. They do not include feature updates. They do not include patches for IE 11. They are not cumulative. You must manually apply the Security Only patches from each and every month in order to be up to date.

      In both cases, individual patches — analogous to the KBs we’ve known for a decade prior to this– exist only as bullet points in the documentation. Out-of-band security patches are posted as soon as they’re available and are then incorporated into the subsequent Security Only and Monthly Rollup updates.

      Woody identified the following user groups when the new Monthly Rollup system was implemented, and continues to make patching recommendations accordingly:

      Group A – willing to take all of Microsoft’s new telemetry systems, along with potentially useful nonsecurity updates.

      Group B – doesn’t want any more snooping than absolutely necessary, and they don’t care about improvements like daylight saving time zone changes, but want to keep applying security patches.

      Group W– doesn’t want anything from Microsoft — no patches, no security updates, nada. Woody said he doesn’t recommend that you sit on the Group W bench, but that it can be understood given changes Microsoft has made to Win7 and 8.1 machines, without our permission, in the past.

      Before October 2016 individual patches could be skipped, whether because they included telemetry, or had a buggy effect on your individual system. They cannot be avoided in the Monthly Rollups. Security Only patches still have all security patches for that month, so the best you can do is avoid an entire month’s worth of security fixes.

      You can move from Group B to Group A by installing the current Security Monthly Quality Rollup. Moving from Group A to Group B can be done by completely reinstalling Win7 or 8.1. People who have bugs they cannot tolerate in a particular Monthly Rollup, because of their individual systems, can apply the Security Only patches (skipping the one from the month that is buggy, if it is a security patch issue) from that point forward… and follow Group B patching in the future… but they will miss any other security fixes included in the Security Only update for that month.

      If there is a bug in the non-security part of the Monthly Rollup, you could temporarily avoid it by installing the Security Only patch for that month. But… if there is a bug in the security part of the Monthly Rollup, it will be in the Security Only patch, too.

      Each month, when Woody has had time to observe the results (possible bugs and fixes) of the patches issued on “Patch Tuesday”, he will post a Defcon level change, with a link to a ComputerWorld article detailing what patches are covering, any bugs, and any bug fixes. He continues to separate patching recommendations into Group A and Group B for Windows 7 and 8.1.

      Choosing between Group A and Group B isn’t as simple as asking, “Do I trust Microsoft?” You have to ask yourself whether the additional hassle of manually installing security patches is worth keeping Microsoft’s snooping routines off your machine. You also have to ask whether the benefits of the new non-security patches (which have included improvements to Disk Cleanup, various bug fixes, time zone changes, performance improvements in odd scenarios, and several others) are worth the added exposure to Microsoft’s data gathering activities (about which they give little information). Woody recommends that most people follow Group A updating.

      There is a summary of Group A updating at Knowledge Base Article 2000004: How to Apply the Win7 and-8.1 Monthly Rollups.

      There is a summary of Group B updating at Knowledge Base Article 2000003: Ongoing List of Group B Monthly Updates for Win7 and 8-1. PKCano has added the Security Only and IE 11 patch links here, and very kindly updates this every month.

      Group W gets ignored a lot, because they aren’t bothering to patch. This is risky. They generally run with good backups, and are technically able to restore from a recent system image without a problem. If you want to know why it was named Group W, and not given some other letter, check out the link Woody provided us at Post #35813.

      Total of 32 users thanked author for this post. Here are last 20 listed.
    • #183082 Reply

      wdburt1
      AskWoody Plus

      My impression is that the migration to Group W is the major issue at this time, and should have received more consideration.

       

       

      • #183094 Reply

        The Surfing Pensioner
        AskWoody Plus

        I believe we’re now talking about keeping our Win. 7 PCs functional and safe, any which way that works! Blow the categories.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #183139 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        So…. what would you add about Group W?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #183309 Reply

          wdburt1
          AskWoody Plus

          The article above defines Group W, says that Woody does not recommend it (but does not explain why), and later describes it as “risky” (again without explaining why).

          As an overview, the article would have been more useful if it had briefly outlined alternative viewpoints, such as the case for Group W expressed here by Canadian Tech.  A fundamental issue that begs to be addressed is whether the risks of patching now outweigh the risks of not patching.

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #183315 Reply

            Elly
            AskWoody MVP

            The idea here was to share about the different groups, giving a brief history of their creation, and why, so that newcomers to the site would understand the discussions here. It isn’t meant to be a thorough discourse on the relative merits of each choice… more that specific choices have been identified, and supported by patching methods given by Woody each month… and to help newcomers identify their patching needs and style, so they can follow along what part of the discussions apply to them. I don’t know any other site referring to Groups A, B, and W…. so this is language specific to us… and it can be confusing, rather than enlightening, at first glance. Canadian Tech has successfully used Group W… but he made an educated decision, knowing he has adequate back ups and is confident in his ability to restore them. That is not the direction I would point people coming here for the first time, who discovered problems with patching the hard way, have little tech background, have no idea about back ups, and are looking for help. I respect and support people making their own choices, and am not trying to drive them in a certain direction… but they need to be able to understand what is being talked about in the forums in order to get the information they need to make those choices. There is a lot of information throughout the AskWoody site about the pluses and minuses of different choices, and testing done to verify how the patching and telemetry works. I would encourage people to learn more, and make educated choices, now that they have a basic understanding of the terms being used.

            Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

      • #183333 Reply

        Canadian Tech
        AskWoody_MVP

        I and my clients are Group W, for sure. I guess i”m more or less a renegade. I and all of my now 130+ Win7 client computers have not done a single Microsoft update since May, 2017. Windows Update is set to Never. The result has been a very noticeable increase in stability and reliability. All computers problem free. In fact, they run better. My support workload has fallen off by at least half. For us, January 2020, has come and gone, and we are happy, at least so far, with the result. For most of us, we will continue to use our Win7 systems, and maintain them for as long as they will continue to be useful. And, most of us will not likely ever replace those systems with another Windows system.

        To clarify: We are home users. No business or enterprise installations. We universally use Bitdefender Antivirus + (not security). We are moving off IE to Chrome. I am experimenting with dropping Java, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash.

        To further clarify: We applied all updates prior to and including Sept, 2016. With a notable limitation. All updates that are not labeled Security, that have a release date after Dec 31, 2014, are excluded. In addition, we use a list of about 30 specific updates that if we find them on our computers. are removed (although most of them were released after the Dec 31, 2014 end date). After that, we applied Security Only updates for October 2016 through May 2017.

        I prowl the Microsoft Answers forum regularly. Windows Update is the single largest problem by a wide margin. A couple of years ago, I started some pretty major discussions on that forum and have since simply stopped responding to those kinds of questions. If I did, my advice would not be very well thought of by Microsoft.

        CT

        12 users thanked author for this post.
        • #183482 Reply

          Elrod
          AskWoody Plus

          Since my move to Linux Mint at home, I have not installed Adobe Flash on my primary browser (Firefox), and I have not encountered any issues with content.

          Recently, my employer migrated my work laptop from Win7 to Win10 (this would be the Win10 Enterprise version). On that system, I noticed that one of the web event sites that we use (similar to WebEx, I think it’s called “VeVent”) does not work without Flash. I had to switch from Firefox to IE 11 to join the conference. But that’s ultimately my employer’s system/problem, not mine.

          Group "L": Linux Mint

        • #183560 Reply

          anonymous

          Are you using anything besides Bitdefender Antivirus for protection? Like NoScript, Superantispyware, Malwarebytes?

          And what do you sub for Adobe Reader?

          • #183574 Reply

            Canadian Tech
            AskWoody_MVP

            ONLY Bitdefender, with the occasional use of ADWcleaner. I want to stress the fact that this is Bitdefender Antivirus +. Not the so-called Security program. In my experience Security suites cause way too many problems, and provide little if any protection over the internal Windows tools that come with Windows 7 itself, which the security suites disable.

            I am simply amazed again and again when I start up a client PC which I have not seen for a year or more, and find it absolutely clean and infection free. These are not cautious or knowledgeable Windows users.

            It has been my experience that multiple protection suites tend to conflict with one another. Please realize that these are not computer people. Just ordinary Jane/Joe kinds of people who tend to be older.

            Chrome has its own PDF converter that works seamlessly. I actually had both Adobe Reader and Chrome in use and did not realize at first that Adobe Reader just was not being triggered. My one remaining concern that I have to establish, is whether the Chrome tool includes the ability to use a PDF as an input tool as well, such as on tax forms.

            CT

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #234919 Reply

              anonymous

              Here in the UK, I found this year that the tax form is supplied as a PDF which should be printed out and then mailed in by snail-mail.  But two or three fields must be filled in by computer before printing (presumably so that the printout, in the correct font, can be recognised by machine), and apparently only Adobe Reader will do.  Specifically, Firefox didn’t work for me (either in Win7 or in Linux Mint).  I don’t know about Chrome, sorry.

              HMF

          • #183575 Reply

            Canadian Tech
            AskWoody_MVP

            Bitdefender Antivirus + is available in packs of 10 subscriptions good for TWO years for $130 Cdn. That comes to $6.50 Cdn per year per PC.

            CT

    • #183097 Reply

      MrBrian
      AskWoody_MVP

      “Moving from Group A to Group B can be done by completely reinstalling Win7 or 8.1.”

      One can also move from Group A to Group B by uninstalling all of the Windows monthly rollups.

      7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #183146 Reply

        Anonymous

        One can also move from Group A to Group B by uninstalling all of the Windows monthly rollups.

        Thanks for this additional and easier way to change from Group A to B.  I’m not ready yet but the way things are going I may do it in the future.  Please excuse my ignorance but what would happen if I just left all the Group A patches in place and the next month did Group B on top of them?

        Thanks for all of your valuable input and your patience with us “learners”.  I have benefited from everything that I have learned so far and you and all the others here have given me confidence.

        • #183281 Reply

          MrBrian
          AskWoody_MVP

          You’re welcome :).

          Technically, one can install either the Windows monthly rollup or Windows security-only update for a given month, regardless of one’s choice for previous months. For example, the following is ok:

          Oct. 2016: Windows monthly rollup

          Nov. 2016: Windows security-only update

          Dec. 2016: Windows security-only update

          Jan. 2017: Windows monthly rollup

          Feb. 2017: Windows monthly rollup

          Mar. 2017: Windows security-only update

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #183361 Reply

            Anonymous

            Technically, one can install either the Windows monthly rollup or Windows security-only update for a given month, regardless of one’s choice for previous months

            This sounds good. So in March I was Group A. If in April I am Group B — can I assume that Windows Update in the following months will continue to offer me the Monthly rollups? Am I correct in thinking that Windows Update always offers the Group A Monthly rollup and that if one wants to use the Security Only we go to the Windows Update Catalog.

            • #183364 Reply

              PKCano
              Da Boss

              Windows Update doesn’t know what Group A or Group B are.

              Windows Update always offers only the Rollup, whether you install the security-only or not. You have to download the SO and install it manually. The Rollup will be there regardless.

              2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #183148 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        There may be a middle way: Keep the rollups installed so far, live with whatever telemetry is already in them, then continue patching Group B style, starting when next patch day comes along.
        At least now you’ll have a measure of control, regardless of how much MS would like you to surrender it.

        The main problem with being in Group B, as far as I understand it, is that some patches in the rollups are not available directly to Group B, but need to be searched for and then downloaded from the Catalogue… if one knows about them in the first place.
        So far, after close to one year doing what later became known as the Group B’s way, I have not tried to search for such additional updates, without any ill effects that I have noticed.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183106 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      This is an AKB topic. Please keep the content on topic.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183115 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks to Woody for explaining the differences among Groups A, B and W.
      In my experience, being in Group B has not been such a big hassle. So, in case someone reading this might be interested to find out what it might take switching from A to B, I have copied my own check list with the steps I take to update some (usually just two not offered in the rollup: IE11 cumulative and Win 7 security only, occasionally, some additional patches to patches). You can find that checklist here: #183101

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #183141 Reply

        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        That checklist is posted towards the end of the previous thread “…
        ” MS-DEFCON 3: Win10 customers should install March updates, but Win7 victims have some soul searching ”

      • #183258 Reply

        Kirsty
        Da Boss

        @oscarcp

        Thanks to Woody for explaining the differences among Groups A, B and W.

        2000011: Group A, Group B, and Group W — what’s the difference?

        By Elly

        Rev 1.0 | April 9, 2018

        😛

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #183284 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Kirsty,

          This seems to be implying that there is a difference in meaning between what Woody wrote and what I wrote.
          I give up: what is the difference?

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #183285 Reply

            PKCano
            Da Boss

            The difference is giving credit where credit is due. The article was CREATED by Elly and she should get the credit for it. Woody simply published it for her.

            You wouldn’t want someone to take credit for your research and not mention you, would you?

            6 users thanked author for this post.
            • #183316 Reply

              Microfix
              Da Boss

              The article was CREATED by Elly and she should get the credit for it. Woody simply published it for her. You wouldn’t want someone to take credit for your research and not mention you, would you?

              Which is why I hit the [Thanks] to Elly on her first post in the thread and also to Woody for publishing the informative article.

              Credit where credit is due.

              ********** Win7 x64/x86 | Win8.1 x64 | Linux Hybrids x64 **********

              4 users thanked author for this post.
            • #183499 Reply

              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              Well, Good for Elly.
              I missed the reference to her being the author, how awful is that?
              So terribly, terribly sorry…
              Could I ever be forgiven? Will I ever be able to forgive myself?
              Not giving credit where credit is due. OMG.

            • #183515 Reply

              SueW
              AskWoody Plus

              Not giving credit where credit is due. OMG.

              I’m reluctant to respond; however, this is the second time you have done this.  The first time was copying, pasting, and posting — verbatim — without quotes and without attribution — my instructions on how to determine if the “QualityCompat Key” was set.

              Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B; Former 'Tech Weenie'

              4 users thanked author for this post.
            • #183519 Reply

              SueW
              AskWoody Plus

              P.S. https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/credit-where-it-is-due/

              Win 7 SP1 Home Premium 64-bit; Office 2010; Group B; Former 'Tech Weenie'

      • #183607 Reply

        Northwest Rick
        AskWoody Lounger

        This seems to be implying that there is a difference in meaning between what Woody wrote and what I wrote.
        I give up: what is the difference?

        [Chuckle]  Seems you had the same innocent *** moment I had a while back! That’s when I discovered that there is a strong emphasis on back-patting here in the Lounge, you might say a “mutual admiration society”. You find the same  names commending one another’s posts. Hey, that’s fine, it’s just unfortunate when this convention is used as a cudgel to chastise those who commit unintended “insult”, leaving the unsuspecting transgressor scratching his head.

        I like Elly, she seems earnest, helpful and kind. Her recent summary of the Group A – Group B – Group W trifurcation is tight and a helpful reiteration for recent arrivals in the Lounge. I certainly would not want her to feel slighted. But it was actually Woody who originally established this approach, in an Oct 10, 2016 column back when he was writing under the banner of InfoWorld [https://www.infoworld.com/article/3128983/microsoft-windows/how-to-prepare-for-the-windows-781-patchocalypse.html]. Yes, I have been looking in that long.

        Personally, I have long felt that the expectation of reward is the wrong reason to do anything. The motivation should be to make a positive contribution that helps others. Rewards will follow naturally, not least among them internal ones.

        Though I am a career professional myself, I never had any interest in getting lost in the weeds of operating systems, so I look in on Woody and the Lounge not as a contributor but as a beneficiary. But I am not a mooch, I contribute to askwoody.com, and I have learned to walk on eggshells so as not to cause unintended offense, like yours. Cheers!

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183121 Reply

      geekdom
      AskWoody Plus

      The Group you select: A, B, or W depends, in part, upon your computer skills, the amount of risk you are willing to take, and the amount of time you are willing to invest. Find your comfort level.

      Group G{ot backup} TestBeta
      Win7Pro·x64·SP1·Windows Firewall·i3-3220·Microsoft Security Essentials·HDD
      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183124 Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody_MVP

      Well said, Elly! Thank you for your contribution!

      Choosing an approach to system management is a lot about weighing risk vs. reward.

      The reward in keeping patched is, assuming Microsoft continues doing their support job, that your system will have newly discovered security holes covered up, so that you won’t be as likely to have your system be infected, be taken over, or used against you.

      The risks are in destabilizing your system, making it slower (and thus less valuable to you), in loss of your time managing it. Secondary risks include patched creating new security holes because patched software is not perfect. It is never perfect, and some would argue patches are less reliable today than in some past years.

      There are, unfortunately, no easy answers.

      Not even the most educated of us can possibly know enough to be SURE about any decision we might. It’s hard to get one’s mind around things that are only loose probabilities.

      Only you can even begin to quantify the risks YOU take with YOUR use of your system. And only you can begin to put values on your data, system integrity, and time. Only you know your own experience and can try to gauge what you don’t know. And only you know your time frames (e.g., “…I’ll buy a new computer next year, so…” or “…My system has to work reliably for 5 more years…”).

      And if all that didn’t make it hard enough, there is even emotion involved – what do you feel comfortable doing? You might find a particular approach seems to make sense but leaves you feeling uneasy all the time. You might not be able to live with that.

      Our decisions really boil down to be about choosing a personal path that makes sense and that we can live with for a period of time.

      Good luck to us all.

      -Noel

      11 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183117 Reply

      anonymous

      I am in the group B camp because I can’t see MS wanting to make performance improvements to Windows 7 because 7 is at the end of main stream support.

      MS want people to leave 7 and move to 10 so they are more likely to make 7 buggy and not with better performance.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #183276 Reply

        anonymous

        In that case, it would be better to be in Group W/C or Group L (for Linux).

    • #183264 Reply

      HiFlyer
      AskWoody Lounger

      #183070 2000011: Group A, Group B, and Group W — what’s the difference?

      “Out-of-band security patches are posted as soon as they’re available and are then incorporated into the subsequent Security Only and Monthly Rollup updates.”

      Haven’t some SOQU bugs been fixed in non-security parts of SMQRs and other patches which keeps Gp B from getting them fixed?

      #183145 @amrabyt
      “On a more general note it’s possible that bugs in the security-only patches may not get their own standalone fixes such that the security-only update can be revised and re-released, or in a less desirable scenario those bugs only get fixed in the preview and next month’s rollups which would push systems off Group B and onto Group A.”

    • #183278 Reply

      MrBrian
      AskWoody_MVP

      “Group A – willing to take all of Microsoft’s new telemetry systems, along with potentially useful nonsecurity updates.

      Group B – doesn’t want any more snooping than absolutely necessary, and they don’t care about improvements like daylight saving time zone changes, but want to keep applying security patches.”

      What evidence exists that Group B gets less telemetry than Group A? It’s true that the Windows monthly rollups (since November 2016 if I recall correctly) install Diagnostics Tracking Service, but Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser telemetry is actually gathered by KB2952664 (Windows 7) and KB2976978 (Windows 8.1). Also, KB2952664 (and KB2976978 I assume) can send the gathered Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser telemetry to Microsoft even if Diagnostics Tracking Service isn’t installed.

      P.S. Thank you to Elly for creating this article :).

      7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #183342 Reply

        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        The telemetry patches are the canary in the coal mine; Microsoft has a vested interest in getting them to work. If they don’t install correctly, then it’s unlikely that other patches will install correctly.

        Group G{ot backup} TestBeta
        Win7Pro·x64·SP1·Windows Firewall·i3-3220·Microsoft Security Essentials·HDD
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #183366 Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        The quotes are from Woody’s original article introducing how he was going to use them in making patching recommendations. If I am remembering correctly, there was already an unnamed, established group of people that were passionate about avoiding telemetry… and Group B seemed particularly designed to address their needs in the new rollup patching environment. That Microsoft would include older patches, some of which had been deliberately avoided, got the telemetry avoiders really riled up. There are other reasons to adopt Group B updating.

        Win 7 Home, 64 bit, Group B

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #183404 Reply

          MrBrian
          AskWoody_MVP

          I think what probably happened is that some people noticed that some updates (including the Windows monthly rollups) install a service named Diagnostics Tracking Service, and assumed the worst: that this service both gathers and sends telemetry. At a later time, I did a lot of tests involving Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser telemetry, Diagnostics Tracking Service, and related areas (I was the anonymous poster of many of the posts in that topic). I found evidence that Diagnostics Tracking Service sends telemetry, but, if I recall correctly, no evidence that Diagnostics Tracking Service gathers telemetry. It should be noted that absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence. I didn’t prove that Diagnostics Tracking Service never gathers telemetry, which for some people might be a good enough reason to avoid updates (such as the Windows monthly rollups) that install Diagnostics Tracking Service. Time permitting, I’d like to do more tests regarding Diagnostics Tracking Service.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #183681 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          For me, and I doubt I am the only one, this business of not updating everything that comes down the Windows Update pipeline started more than a year ago, with the first junk updates to “improve the quality of the Windows experience” and to “help with the transition to Windows 10”. Which is when the nagware and telemetry come in along with those updates. Plus I do not believe in upgrading to another OS until either at least one year after it is first released, or until its first Service Package, whichever comes last, to make sure it has already been rid of many of its original annoying wrinkles and outright bugs.
          Which it does not look like is about to happen with Windows 10.
          Then, having discovered Woody’s and ghacks, once the patches of patches of patches, BSODs and brickings begun, I went full Group B — and am still there, for the duration.
          Or at least until the end of life of Window 7. After that…

      • #183536 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        Those are the official AskWoody groups, but there are, of course, variations.  When it comes to my own Windows installations, I am closer to group “A” than “B,” since I do install the roll-ups rather than the security updates, but I don’t simply accept whatever Microsoft wants to send… I still evaluate each update individually, as I always have since there was first such a thing as Windows Update.  There’s less of that to do with the rollups, but not every update is in them; as one example, I’ve never accepted KB2952664/2976978.

        I also care a great deal about telemetry, and I’ve done all I am able to ensure that it’s not happening while still using the rollups.  Abbodi86 had a guide for killing the telemetry, which I followed, and afterwards, I had Wireshark running and capturing data for a few days, then intermittently again after that for a couple of hours here and there.  I did find a lot of phoning home to Microsoft, but it was all stuff I wanted, like update checks, CRL checks, and other assorted things.  I never found anything suspicious.  I don’t know for sure that there wasn’t anything, but if there was, it would have had to have been fairly small in terms of the amount of data sent.

        I went with the rollups instead of the “B” group because on at least one occasion, MS introduced a bug with one of the security fixes, but only (later) fixed that bug in the rollup,  not the next security update, since the introduced bug was not a security issue.   I was okay with keeping the status quo as far as existing non-security bugs as long as the security fixes kept coming, but adding new bugs to the mix was not part of that calculation.  That was when I moved from ‘B’ to the modified ‘A’ strategy I use now (I was running Win 7 then, not that it really makes any difference as far as update strategy).

        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.16.4).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #183551 Reply

          MrBrian
          AskWoody_MVP

          Thank you for your test results :).

          The abbodi86 script that you used might delete Diagnostics Tracking Service, so it might not help to distinguish whether Diagnostics Tracking Service gathers info. Your test results do help in establishing if there are (or at least were at the time of your tests) other undesirable elements in the Windows monthly rollups other than Diagnostics Tracking Service.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #183321 Reply

      computerdesk
      AskWoody Lounger

      Thank you Elly, explaining it fully will help some people figure out what they need to do.

      I myself have to update 50 Windows 7 machines every month because I am in group “B”.

      I quit installing updates all together last Dec. but found I needed to continue to stay up to date. I haven’t run across problems from before like printers going “poof”.

      I did run across a problem this week while working on a Ideapad Win10 piece of… I’ll stop there.

      I did the updates for the person and when I got to the last one, it would not move to version 1709, now their moving to another version. Geeesh. Anyway when I did the final one I could do, the USB ports all stopped working, I got a blue screen until I took out the USB stick and it restarted properly. The USB stick was demolished, all my programs and group B monthly updates from Oct. 2016. I am only upset at myself because I swore I would never work on a Win10 machine after the last fiasco.

      I would also like to thank all of you that work so hard at keeping us informed of what the big M (i don’t mean McDonals’s) is trying to pull ovr on us.

       

      Computerdesk

       

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183356 Reply

      plodr
      AskWoody Plus

      What evidence exists that Group B gets less telemetry than Group A?

      The fact that as a Group B patcher, I don’t have Diagnostic tracking Service nor Telemetry listed in my Services is a start.

      I look over my services and also check BlackViper

      http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-7-service-pack-1-service-configurations/

      Got coffee?

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183393 Reply

      anonymous

      I wouldn t worry to much what group I was in because of spying.  I would worry more that I don t have all the protection I  can have.

      If you don t want spying then stay off the Internet your cell phone and by all means don t go on Facebook

      If you use anything connected to the Internet you risk being spied on.

      So ether get used to it or go back to snail mail and landlines and start going back to the mall to make your purchases.

      • #183442 Reply

        Canadian Tech
        AskWoody_MVP

        That is a very fatalistic attitude. You can limit your exposure by intelligent use of the services. You are correct, you cannot prevent it 100%, but you sure can limit it. On many web sites, I am registered as 110 years old, have 35 children, 18 vehicles and live in a town in Ohio, named Somewhere. I would not use Facebook ever, but I recognize that I cannot prevent friends or relatives from including me there.

        You can refuse to accept email from people who address to a whole list of recipients. I get almost no SPAM, and have not for years, with the same address for all that time. Only trusted friends get my address. Even the local HomeDepot gets fictitious info. No contests, no sign ups. I maintain a junk email address that it would be very difficult to trace. It is junk because I can stop using it anytime with no pain.

        CT

        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #183495 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Good choice of fake personal identifiable information. When asked by someone with a sticky beak and no obvious need to know, I give my domicile as: “No fixed address”.

    • #183399 Reply

      anonymous

      Slightly OT, but keeping with the Window Update theme, finally saw some actual “Important” updates in today’s Windows Update for Win 7 32 bit.  It’s KB4093118 – Security Monthly Rollup  Update for Win 7 32 bit. YAY!  finally an actual update besides the MSRT and Security Essentials Update.  Oh yeah, our old friend KB 2976978 update is back, so I unchecked it.

      Installed the Rollup and NO BSOD, so looks good  so far.

       

    • #183628 Reply

      RyuzakiL
      AskWoody Lounger

      My 7 years old Windows 8.1 just died early in the morning, and it was my motherboard that went KIA. I was a proud member of Group B, but since I’ve made new Intel Build i7-8700k can I still be a member of Group B under Windows 10? Or can I just unplug the Network cable and be a temp. member of Group W?

      If there was a way to make Windows 8.1 work on the new CPU, I will stick to that until 2020. 🙁

    • #184035 Reply

      RyuzakiL
      AskWoody Lounger

      Re: Post #183628 “If there was a way to make Windows 8.1 work on the new CPU, I will stick to that until 2020.” Check the discussion at: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/865605-which-operating-systems-will-the-core-i7-8700k-support/ HF

      Thanks, but from the way it looks I maybe missing out some performance juices if I still stick with Windows 8.1.

      Guess, I’ll just need to find a guide how to tame Windows 10 to behave like 7 or 8.1.

      Thank you

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #187739 Reply

      anonymous

      Just an update to my previous post for the Windows 8.1 updates:

      As I stated, I installed and then uninstalled KB 4093114 since it slowed my computer, and then ran into problems with Windows Store. I have now installed KB 4093115, which I learned from this site (Thanks @pkcano).  My computer is as fast as it was, but the Store is still very slow to load, although I have more functionality than I did after uninstalling  KB 4093114.

      The Windows Store does eventually load.

    • #183151 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I follow the relevant postings by the MMVPs, check on the Master Patch List (button to access it at top of every page here in Woody’s), wait at least three weeks before doing any patching, and then install only those for my machine that are declared to be without known issues.
      So far, haven’t had any problems doing that. That I have noticed.
      For that I thank the MVPs and the Patch Lady.

      Group B, Win 7 Pro, Sp1, x64, Intel I7 “sandy bridge”.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #183347 Reply

      anonymous

      Will Microsoft allow you to install a second patch when the first is waiting for a reboot? This is in reference to the advise given here to install KB4088878 (do not reboot), then install KB409967 (now reboot).

    • #183351 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      Yes. When it asks you to reboot, instead you can click “cancel” or “reboot later,” then install the other patch.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: 2000011: Group A, Group B and Group W – what's the difference?

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.