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    Check Win7/8.1 systems to make sure they’re still in placeInfoWorld Woody on Windows
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    • #49601

      I downloaded and used GWX Control Panel on two desktop computers yesterday and noticed that even though I set it to disable OS Upgrades in WU, it did not prevent me from checking for available updates or selecting OS updates from among them.

      On one computer I also got the WU dialog box that makes it appear that my only choice is to download Windows 10. It’s a good thing that I chose not to click OK (in the hope that I would really be downloading only a few selected security updates), because I finally stumbled upon the fact that Microsoft is now listing Windows 10 among the optional updates, and among them it is the only one checked. Once I unchecked it, the download-Windows-10 dialog box disappeared. In its place appeared the regular box summarizing the updates I had selected, and I was able to proceed normally.

      Yesterday, I posted the following open letter on the Microsoft Community forum:


      Dear Symantec:
      You could double your revenue from this customer by expanding your anti-spyware offerings to include, perhaps optionally, a constantly-updated list of Windows updates that exist so Microsoft can spy on the user or nag or trick him or her into buying the company’s latest products.

      I have spent too much time this afternoon manually uninstalling various updates, running Windows Update, and then unchecking and hiding the same updates there–this on two computers. After comparing the updates to a little blacklist I have gleaned from this and another forum, I ended up unchecking and hiding all except the “security” updates and the Malicious Software Removal Tool.

      Hiding updates is increasingly pointless, as Microsoft has adopted the tactic of reissuing multiple new versions. Here is your opportunity, Symantec! You have already invested the resources to detect the latest spyware, including programs that trick users into clicking on them, the way Microsoft now does. Why should millions of customers assemble blacklists and manually inspect the updates recommended by Windows Updates, when you can do this so much more efficiently?
      Seriously. Increased revenue through real innovation. Do some good for the world, at the same time.

    • #49602


      Amen. You hit it on the head.

    • #49603

      For those of us using Win 7 and have never installed any of the updates designed to “ease the transition to Win 10” or similar such updates (I hid them all), are we still subject to automatic Win 10 upgrade concerns you’ve posted fixes for? Further, I did not signup for Win 10, have not yet received any upgrade notices or icons. I believe I am safe. Should I be?

    • #49604


      You’re probably safe, but go ahead and run GWX Control Panel just to be sure.

    • #49605

      Woody, what Oct 15 patches do you consider “safe” to download?

    • #49606

      Hi Thanks for all you do. I have a simple question. I am just a normal everyday user. Windows 7 Home Edition. Besides Security Essentials I havent added any of the Window 7 updates in 3 months as I am nervous about doing so. My question is “Why is MS doing this?” I am due for a new PC soon and knowing that Apple is far from perfect and cost more I see this as my only option. Why MS, why?

    • #49607


      None, at this point.

      Assuming you don’t use Internet Explorer, there’s only one patch this month that might be important. It’s an Excel patch and very, very few people will be affected by it.

      MS-DEFCON 2: Unless you have a pressing reason to install a specific patch, don’t do it.

    • #49608


      At some point it’ll be OK to install Win7 patches – but I’ll have to come up with instructions for disabling all the crap that’s in those patches.

      Why is MS doing this? Hubris. Marketing. They want to be able to say that 110 million people are running Windows 10. All of that combined with the fact that, for most people, Windows 10 really is a good upgrade – if you don’t mind giving up some of your privacy.

      Apple’s a good option. If you don’t need to run Windows-only programs, iPad is a tremendous product, as are the latest crop of Android tablets. I use iPad, Android (Galaxy Note), and Chromebooks all the time. They’re much simpler, work all the time, and don’t go boom in the night.

      Chromebooks snoop. Some Android and iPad apps snoop. Increasingly, you can’t get away from it. But unless you definitely need to run Windows, and Windows apps, there’s very little reason (other than momentum/familiarity) to stick with Windows when you buy a new computer.

    • #49609

      Hi Woody:

      I use Windows 7 and download carefully Updates that are “Important”. Non of the optional, because I understand that most of them are related to a Windows 10 upgrade. However, recently I noticed that the pictures on some websites need two second to focus. I never had that before. Any comment ? Thanks for your reply.

    • #49610

      Hurm. I checked a number of domain PCs running win 7 today and they all still had the registry fix in place despite having KB3083710 installed, but i’ll have to check more. I agree with the article though, these are the tactics of a malware pusher.

    • #49611

      @Marius –

      90% chance it isn’t related to patches.

      Are you using Firefox or Chrome?

    • #49612

      It is an unfortunate truth that we must recognize that the well-informed visitors to this site and the readership of Woody’s columns at Infoworld are a tiny minority. Our numbers are insignificant compared to the millions of other Windows users who are either uninterested in managing updates, who trust in Microsoft’s paternalistic benevolence, or who are not sufficiently well-versed to assume the responsibility for the upkeep of their own systems. And dont forget the taking responsibility also means doing some work to sort it all out. Also, let’s not forget the large base of Enterprise users who believe that individual users need to have updates forced upon us “for our own good”.

      Symantec has plenty of its own problems trying to get its products to work properly with Win 10. They have a huge investment in keepiong Windows on user’s desktops because that is their bread and butter. I’ll install Win 10 on my own systems the day that Symantec starts detecting Microsoft issued crapware/snoopware updates as malware. But I have no fear that will ever happen.

      Look at how snooping has become an accepted part of the Internet world. Where are the calls to boycott the sites and services offered by those who snoop? The vast number of users are either unaware of the snooping or, as the nosy parkers have properly concluded, users will happily give up their privacy to receive the kool-aid.

      So although our attempts to express our dissatisfaction with Microsoft on its current direction is necessary and appropriate I fear that it will be noticed as much as a flatus in a windstorm.

    • #49613

      I installed the 4 security patches despite Defcon 2 KB3042058,KB3088195,KB3080446,KB3097966
      as an experiment yesterday.

      I ignored everything else in Windows Update

      I just checked GWX Control panel yes the Allow Operating System Updates was turned ON.

      I had checked GWX control panel on Monday and all updates were OFF including OS

      So we know they slipped this into a Security Patch.

      Safe to say I will not be using Windows Update for a very long time.

    • #49614


      Sadly, I think you’re right. But I still hold out hope.

    • #49615

      Woody: According to this article http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/10/windows-10-upgrade-installing-automatically-on-some-windows-7-8-systems/ Microsoft had admitted to this problem, calling it a “mistake”… But the more they continue to push Windows 10, the more difficulty I have believing anything they say anymore.

    • #49616

      I agree with @Eric my brother just informed me he allowed Windows 7 to update to 10 Sunday. He does not share my concerns and said tens of millions have upgraded that means Windows 10 is a winner.

      I suggested he turn Cortina OFF and do some rudimentary privacy lock-downs. He agreed then smiled in that paternalistic way we do when we are humoring someone.

      We are either Canary’s in the coalmine or the new tinfoil hat crowd.

      I think I know which one my brother would put me in. 😉

    • #49617


      Agreed. I have a broadside coming in the morning on InfoWorld.

    • #49618

      Eric wrote:

      “I’ll install Win 10 on my own systems the day that Symantec starts detecting Microsoft issued crapware/snoopware updates as malware. But I have no fear that will ever happen.”

      You may be right. In which case this is a business opportunity for someone else. Again: I’d pay each year to save me the trouble I went through yesterday to uninstall and then hide various updates.

    • #49619

      Woody: I stumbled across another 3rd party tool that seems to be rather effective at keeping the Win 10 upgrade patches in check, along with the tracking patches that are being added to Windows and 8.1.

      It’s called Win10 when i want it (win10wiwi)and it’s found here: http://win10wiwi.com/

      I tested it on 3 different computers on which I also installed GWX Control Panel.

      I thought I had done a good job of keeping all of these patches off of my computers, but I still missed somethings.

      On my Win 7 Home Premium SP1 x64 desktop, I ran GWXCP first, and found that the OS upgrade switch was turned on. I remedied that immediately, rebooted, and then ran Win10wiwi. Much to my surprise, it found 2 patches that I had forgotten to uninstall. It promptly uninstalled both and hid them, and a reboot showed no new updates available.

      Moving on to my Win 8.1 Pro 32-bit desktop, I ran Win10wiwi first, and it found 2 patches that needed to be removed. After rebooting, I ran GWXCP and found nothing else that needed to be dealt with.

      Finally, I ran GWXCP and then Win10wiwi on my Win 8.1 x64 laptop, using the first to disable the OS upgrade switch, and the second to remove one other patch I had failed to remove myself.

      All in all, Win10wiwi seems to complement GWXCP rather well, and the combination of the two makes taking care of all of this silliness much more automated and far less annoying.

      At least Microsoft reissues all this crap again … and again … and again …

    • #49620

      This “tool” appears to be a blessing many of us have been looking for, I also spent 4 hours yesterday cleansing my in-law’s computer.

      I’m not finding any info at all online for or against this site that’s offering this tool and knowing nothing about the site or it’s reputability I’m wondering if this is truly a blessing… or a blessing in disguise?

      Are these folks as reputable as Josh Mayfield Woody?

    • #49621

      Man the barricades! Batten down the hatches! Incoming – take cover! Warnings that indicate an invasion is imminent. The enemy: A Software vendor – Whoda thunk.

      The GWX campaign is behaving like a military operation. It has gained territory at an impressive rate, first by recruiting enlistees and then by force. The innocent are now being assimilated into the collective.

      MS has announced that their latest salvo across the bows of the good ships W7 and W8, was a mistake. I think they meant it, but the bureau of misinformation (and no information) has stated otherwise.

      The walls of resistance have been constantly breached with salvos of windows updates. MS has a lot of ammunition and they have spies on the inside.

      My W7 OEM PC is not W10 compatible but MS sees it as residing on its territory and therefore a potential target. MS has earned the title of ‘War Lord’.

    • #49622


      Josh is 1,000% reputable, vetted and he has my full trust.

      I even made a donation.

    • #49623

      Just in case this bit of anecdotal data is of any interest, I downloaded and ran GWX Control Panel yesterday, and this morning the normal WU icon was back in my Win7 Notification Area for the first time since late July.

      The full story is I installed the July updates on July 23 (when Woody gave the all-clear), just a few days before the Win10 rollout began. And it was right around that time (and I’ve been thinking it didn’t happen until the Win10 rollout started) that the WU icon stopped showing up in my Notification Area. (I’m Win7 Home Premium.)

      Since then I’ve continued to fastidiously follow Woody’s recommendations in terms of installing updates, and as a result my PC has never shown any Win10-related sign. No Notification Area icon, no mention of Win10 in any WU dialog box. Nothing.

      But yesterday I broke down and decided I should probably go ahead and download/run GWX Control Panel anyway, and I did. The first and fourth settings were already “No” on my PC, but I changed “Is Get Windows 10 app enabled?” and “Are Windows Update OS upgrades enabled?” from Yes to No. Because I tweaked that OS upgrade setting, GWX Control Panel asked me if I wanted to restart, and I did, and the Windows Update icon didn’t show up in the wake of that restart.

      But this morning, after bootup, the Windows Update icon was back in my Notification Area (for the first time in 2½ months), with the familiar bubble popping up to tell me updates were available. I opened the dialog, and the listed updates (22 important, 5 optional) are the same ones that were showing yesterday before I ran GWX Control Panel.

    • #49624

      @st333ve –

      I wonder if KB 3035583 snuck in?

      Lemme check with Josh Mayfield. Thanks for the heads-up!

    • #49625

      You misunderstood me Woody, I have absolute faith in Josh’s reputability and I donated also! He provides a score of information about himself along with his “cause”.

      I’m questioning the credibility of Sysstreaming, the company offering win10wiwi that MikeFromMarkham provided the link to.

      I’m unable to find out anything useful about this company pro OR con and I’m not about to Download a program that I can’t find out anything legitimate about… and advises me that I “may have to disable my antivirus to download it” in the instructions!

      I just checked the mirror again and STUPID is not stamped into my forehead.

    • #49626


      There are two versions of 3035583 in my hidden list, but no version among the offered non-hidden updates. (And no version in my update history.)

      And just in case I was misunderstood, the WU icon that has reappeared in my Notification Area is the “good” WU icon, that just lets me open the normal WU dialog. It’s not a Win10 nag icon, and there’s no mention of upgrading to Win10 in the WU dialog that opens.

    • #49627

      @st3333ve –

      Awright! I was worried….

    • #49628


      Ach! Now I understand.

      I’m cautious about win10wiwi for just the reasons you mentioned. There’s another program making the rounds that claims to disable all snooping in Windows 10. Same problem there – the guy who wrote it may be on the up-and-up, but I don’t know him, and don’t know anybody who does know him. Unfortunately, everybody has to be utterly paranoid these days…

    • #49629

      @Woody, @Ed:

      Sorry guys, I wasn’t trying to sell you on blindly using Win10wiwi, I just wanted to share the discovery and my experiences with it.

      For what it’s worth, neither my BitDefender nor MalwareBytes AntiMalware detected any issues with the executable file for this tool. Furthermore, the VirusTotal potential problem score was just 1/56, so I think it’s safe from that standpoint.

      I have checked all of the computers on which I installed Win10wiwi for suspicious disk or internet activity, and there has been none, at least so far.

      According to both my WinPatrol monitor and my own visual checking, there were also no changes made to my registry, Task scheduler or installed services to accomodate this software, and no hidden files or folders left behind, just the downloaded executable file itself.

      All that being said, I don’t know the company behind this either, but from what I can see they are software and technology consultants and developers, headquartered in Paris, France. Their principal officer is a gentleman named Yves Gattegno who has been in this business for a long time, worked for Hewlett Packard in France, and led a team that developed and patented some virutal disk technologies while he was there, and has gone on to invent and patent several other things since.

      While that still doesn’t tell me if I can completely trust his company or his software, to this point it has done exactly what it claimed to do on my computers without harm and with no strings attached. And frankly, that’s way more than Microsoft has done lately.

      Just thought I’d clear that up.

    • #49630

      Unless Microsoft wiped out and reset the entire HKLM..WindowsUpdate registry key, it means that Microsoft “targeted” that DisableOSUpgrade key intentionally because it is a new key, not a modification to an existing one.


    • #49631

      Note the following comment at the bottom of the http://win10wiwi.com home page:

      “Our tool has freed 621.57 GB of storage and processed 2731 Windows Update components so far!”

      This doesn’t mean it is malicious, but clearly some information is being tracked and sent back to the developers.

    • #49632


      Thanks for your in-depth response! After my previous post I used a system scheduled for a fresh image to download the program and then immediately took it offline and ran MWB and a full virus scan on it. As you stated, there was nothing “malicious” detected.

      I haven’t tried it out yet but after spending 4 hours inoculating the last system this program will absolutely be living in my toolbox for future use. I’m quite confident I will be using it, no doubts that MS will continue being relentless about cramming this upgrade down our throats.

      This latest escapade by the Win-X Upgrade Gestapo makes me want to barf. “We’re sorry, we made a mistake having this update checked by default, it’s fixed now”.

      Yeah… right… mistake my a**! They’ll NEVER get me to swallow that wasn’t checked by default intentionally!

    • #49633

      I downloaded that GWX Control Thing. I was able to download a few updates but when i restarted my computer again. To do more updates Windows 10 upgrade pops up again. I have more updates to do expect I’M scared to do so cuz of the Windows upgrades.

      I don’t use IE so i don’t need to worry about them updates. So I’m stuck on what to do. I hate windows for this.

      Could you update updates off the website? Would that be safe or would it still have Win 10 creep in?

    • #49634

      Want to thank u Woody for all u do. I have Win 8.1 and Update myself. I see I let the KB3035583 by way back in July. I installed the GWX program and checked it two days ago and all looks ok there. I didn’t check the registry. Can someon tell me how to uninstall a Update or a link to it somewhere pls. I think I have seen it on woodys or the Newsletter but, would take days to remember and search it down. Thanks Pat

    • #49635


      Naw, I would never try to mirror Microsoft’s updates. Nice idea, but if somebody wants an update, they should get it from the real source.

      If you don’t use IE you’re OK for now. There’s that one weird Excel patch that may be important, but so far I haven’t heard of any attacks using that one except in very limited, very targeted circumstances. As long as you don’t work for the DoD or State Dept (or a major military contractor), you’re fine.

    • #49636

      OhOk! That is the problem. I can’t download that patch because the Windows 10 Upgrade still pushes in when i go to just download the important update. I’M stuck in what to do,

    • #49637

      The BS continues. I hid KB3035583 and KB3083324 among others on October 14. When I checked for updates again just now, they reappeared.

    • #49638

      Oh no no! I was never meaning for you or anybody to mirror Microsoft’s updates. I just meant If you could get your updates off of the Microsoft website would it be safer. I guess it wouldn’t make much differences.

    • #49639

      Can someone explain step by step how I “hide” what ever some of you have wrote. I have followed Woody’s advise and cleaned out nine updates and it seems like what ever “force-feeding” MS was doing on my laptop seems to be gone and my Win 7 Home Ed is working it’s charm. This has taken me an entire month since I’m a complete novice. Thank you in advance.

    • #49640

      @Sindee –

      You should be in good shape, especially if you run the new version of GWX Control Panel.

      To hide an update in Win7: Click Start, Control Panel, System and Security, then Windows Update. Click a link to take you to important or optional updates. Right-click any update that you want to hide, and choose Hide Update.

    • #49641

      Hello there

      I am the maker of Win10wiwi (Windows 10 when I want it), a small, free and simple utility that disables Windows 10 ugrade components (and thus the related nags).
      It can also recover the 3 to 6 GB of storage that might have been use to host Windows 10 installation files “just in case”.
      I has too the ability to disable telemetry components and, cherry on the cake, can be used to re-enable all these components for people who decide that they want Windows 10 now.

      It got press coverage by the Inquirer lately:

      It has been used with success more than 2000 times, recovered more than 2.5TB of storage in just 10 days of actual live.
      How do we know? As this point has been raised by “Jim” on 2015-10-17, I’ll answer: At the end of the process, the application opens a web page (exe_thankyou.php) with some statistics that one can read in the URI since we use a GET method. What we report back are: a unique ID that the app creates when it ran first (a GUID) and that will be reused next times the app is run; the number of updates it processed; a timestamp; and the choice the user made (uninstalling or installing Windows 10 upgrade components). In no way is the GUID related to the user’s e-mail address (which is all we know from the user), it is just a way to differentiate successive executions of the application on the same system. IOW, the statistics we report back are perfectly and totally anonymous.

      I just thought I’d let you know, as I read some posts on askwoody.com web site related to this tool, and few of them were positive, even if none of them was actually negative (which is much better than on most forums and which is certainly why askwoody.com has such a good reputation). Most of your readers seems suspicious, which is normal. Now there is a contact link, one could have asked few questions…
      One can also use a virtual machine and make some tests in such a sandboxed system.

      I know I did not make a great job of gaining some good reputation points but the things are that win10wiwi is just a free utility that I made to ease the process of getting rid of Windows 10 upgrade nags for people who are not tech-savvy, the company is very young and I am not that good at writing about myself.
      Now I have just finished creating an English web site for SysStreaming, if you want to check.
      BTW, the company is registered in France, with the registration number 809 670 920.

      I’ll be happy to answer any question (well not too many all the same!).


      – Yves

    • #49642

      Thanks for writing, Yves.

      As you know, I’m a big believer in GWX Control Panel, but it’s always good to see alternate approaches.

      Can you elaborate on the telemetry disabling? That’s a real hot topic for me, and many others who watch here.

      For those of you who may be wondering, the SysStreaming web site is at http://www.sysstreaming.com/

    • #49643

      Hi Woody, hi “the party”

      Regarding the telemetry component, win10wiwi does actually uninstall and hide several Windows Update related to (and tagged as) telemetry. It does disable too various CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program) settings that are often enabled by default, especially for Windows, various versions of Office, Communicator/Lync etc.

      Regarding Win10wiwi, we just reached the 3TB milestone. 3TB previously used by Windows 10 installation files.

      So far, nobody complained about Win10wiwi.

      I have submitted false positive reports to 3 anti-viruses companies (including Symantec and McAfee) which products heuristics sometimes wrongly analyzed Win10wiwi as a potential threat. 2 of them have corrected their virus definitions (including Symantec).

      BTW, I may be able to help with GWX control pannel too, for users who still have Get Windows 10 nags after having run GWX CP. They may want to try Win10wiwi and report back if that solved the issue.
      And I offer my help to GWX CP developer if he wants to discuss with me what I am doing that seems to solve the issue (since no user reported that Win10wiwi did not do the job after more than 3000 uses, it might be that it is doing its job OK…)


      – Yves

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