• Experiment in staying on 1511


    I run Wushowhide every day. I am now getting these two suggested updates every day, even though I ‘hide’ them every single night.

    Intel Corporation – System – 6/23/2017 12:00:00 AM – 30.100.1725.1

    Update for Windows 10 Version 1511 for x64-based Systems (KB4033631)

    I am holding onto 1511 as an experiment, to see how MS treats me. Will they ‘force’ me to upgrade, or is abandoning me to the desert of the unsafe internet my lot in my computing life? Only time will tell, but MS feeds me these two updates every single day.

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    • #1737891

      Update on the experiment – 21 May 2019

      I almost blew it. And I blamed Microsoft at first. Later it became clear it was all my fault.

      Let me explain.

      I’ve been on 1511 since acquiring my Lenovo Flex 3. I made the decision to attempt to frustrate all MS attempts to upgrade my OS. That was the beginning of the experiment.

      Observations to date:

      1. I don’t update. No security updates, no feature updates.
      2. I do update Windows Defender, manually, most everyday.
      3. I didn’t do anything to mitigate for spectre or related issues.
      4. I stopped and disabled Windows Update.
      5. I installed and run SpyBot Antibeacon.
      6. I disabled or deleted automated tasks in Task Scheduler aimed at ‘repairing’ or ‘improving’ my update experience, including the Update Assistant v2. No more self-healing scheduled tasks.
      7. I deleted the Update Assistant directories on my C: drive.
      8. I uninstalled 4023057 – multiple times, until I figured out how to stop installing it.
      9. I set my only internet connection to metered.

      That last turned out to be my downfall.

      I might have done other things, but those are the main steps I took to keep MS from updating my computer.

      Last week I saw on this site notice of another round of KB4023057. I dismissed that as that update is no longer a concern of mine – I assumed it couldn’t get to me because it hadn’t got to me in a very long time.

      Bad assumption.

      I had to take a road trip. On the return we stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express of Evanston, Wyoming. A beautiful place if you are curious. I had stayed there before, and WinX remembered that. I was unawares that WinX automatically started up the Wifi connection to the HIX hotel WiFi.

      That connection was not metered!!!! I didn’t think to check. I rarely use WiFi other than my own, so I was out of practice. I let my defenses down.

      That’s why I can’t really blame MS. It was my fault that I let them in. But in they came.

      Despite having Windows Update disabled and stopped, overnight MS found my machine and downloaded an update.

      I was terrorized the next morning when I checked my machine to find that it was just finishing updating WinX. I was devastated. And not fully aware of how MS had breached my defenses. I felt violated. And very resolute in my decision to forego all future MS products. To Linux I go.

      I didn’t have time that morning to do anything but stew, and think. I knew that I would try to roll back, but feared that I’d be unable. Plus, even rolling back I knew that the restored 1511 wasn’t going to be the same – deflowering does that you know. Again, that violated feeling. It even uninstalled software that MS claims was no longer supported by the updated version. What gall!!! I can see installing your own software, as ghastly as that is, but uninstalling software that isn’t MS crosses a very bright red line in my book.

      BTW, I never even checked which version it upgraded me to – WinXI, WinXII, WinXVI, WinXVIII? I really don’t care. When I’m ready to upgrade, I’ll pick what I want and go there. Got anything good for me MS? I’m wondering…

      Fast forward a day and I’m home, mentally regrouped, and ready to start my machine and see what MS has wrought. Not much different, but Classic Shell was gone and I had to face the WinX UI in all it’s brilliant glory. Ugh.

      Then to rollback. Success!!! And it didn’t take all that long. And Classic Shell was back. On the surface it appears as if my 1511 experience is fully restored. I’ve had a little shakiness – reinstalled Chrome after it complained. And Excel 2003 crashed a couple of times. Now a few days later it all feels relatively stable and back to normal. I did check all of my defenses – Windows Update Service (and related), scheduled tasks, Presence of Update Assistant, etc. – All good. The rollback was not only fast but fairly comprehensive.

      I’ll continue this experiment and report back here as the occasion demands.

      In the meantime,

      1. Make sure that if you are forestalling updates, for any reason, that you check each WiFi connection to assure that you’ve set it to metered.
      2. Rest assured, rollback works. But do a drive image just in case.
      3. Check your defenses regularly. I was shocked that MS found my machine and started the update process with Windows Update stopped and disabled. Wow.
      4. I have had zero negative security events, outside of the malware MS downloaded onto my machine. I know I’m dancing with the devil – two in fact. The first are all the bad guys out there trying to hack my machine. The other are the devils at MS trying to hack my machine. Only one set has a EULA to protect them. Drats!

      Let me know if you have questions – I’m sure to have missed something in this report.


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      • #2279183

        My experiment on 1511 on my Lenovo Flex 3 is over. The Flex 3 fails to boot into Windows 1511 and my recovery USB failed. I was able to recover all of my files on the C: drive via the emergency Command Prompt C: (glad I remember those DOS commands – xcopy, copy, etc.), and my backups. I really need to learn how to do system and partial-system images for more reliable backups. I didn’t lose anything, and I managed to polish my operating system/file system skills in the process.

        I purchased a new Lenovo Flex 5 – 15.6 inch screen this time. It’s an ok machine, but Lenovo screws up almost as often as MS by changing things that just work. It has a backlit keyboard. That doggone thing automatically turns off after 5 seconds. Good luck if you are typing in a poorly lit space, turn on your fancy backlit keyboard, then pause typing for more than 5 seconds – the keyboard goes dark. Then you have to hit a key to reactivate the backlight, then backspace to remove the errant character you may have just typed, and then you can continue what you were doing – until the light goes out again. Why can’t they leave it the way it was on the Flex 3 – when you turn it on it stays on until you turn it off? Again, if anyone knows something about this that I’m missing – be merciful and let me know! Please!

        I fired up the new Flex 5 without connecting to the web. Created a local administrator account, and a local standard account. The administrator account has a password and security questions; the standard account does not. This is a personal laptop that only leaves the house on special vacations and never experiences my social security number or any account numbers. I don’t to commerce on this machine. I installed Brave as my browser – I like brave. I installed Office 2003 – no ribbon for me. Installed Everything – no windows search either, as far as I can avoid it. I’m pretty much all the way back in business. I’ve got McAfee antivirus for 30 days free. I’ll remove it at the end of the free period and switch to Microsoft Defender or whatever they call it now. I’m in the habit of updating it manually daily.

        In my five years with 1511 on the Lenovo Flex 3 I never updated the operating system and I never used a third party antivirus. No infections. No lost files. No downtime. No unstable windows. No uncertainty about updates or updating. Peace and effective work. It was a successful experiment that I am going to repeat on my new Flex 5.


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        • #2279184

          I missed this topic.
          With regards to Wifi: You could also disable the WLAN Autoconfig service (WLSVC) prior to being on the move insothat when you arrive and can’t connect, reminding you of the metered connection.
          Hat tip to you for trying to keep on 1511 and also for keeping it going for so long.

          Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
          1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1864362

      do realize that 1511 is completely EOL (end-of-life) since April 2018

      last cumulative update for 1511 Home & Pro editions is KB4052232
      and last cumulative update for 1511 education & enterprise editions is KB4093109 (this update only works with enterprise/education and won’t install on home/pro editions)

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by EP.
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