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  • Four new Windows patches to avoid: KB 2952664, 2976978, 2977759, 3170735

    Posted on July 6th, 2016 at 08:06 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It looks to me like Windows Journal has finally gone to the bit bucket in the sky.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • Two versions of KB 2952664

    Posted on June 10th, 2016 at 09:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve seen several reports from people who have two versions of KB 2952664 sitting on their machines. Yesterday, ch100 sent me this explanation:

    I don’t know how interesting this is for you as it seems to repeat regularly now.

    Here is a screenshot of MU on Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate with 2 versions of KB2952664 on offer – one Recommended dated 12/04/2016, the other Optional dated Yesterday.

    I am expecting that the Optional one will take over next main Patch Tuesday while the Recommended one will be retired at the same time.

    Notice that both are unchecked by default.

    The Important tab has the current Office 2013 Updates unchecked, less the Definitions Update which has already been installed.

    Screenshots are as you would expect, showing two different versions of 2952664.

  • Wednesdays releases: KB 2952664, 2976978, 2977759

    Posted on June 10th, 2016 at 05:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Guess that writing on the book has rolled over my brain – or I’m just getting lazy. You wouldn’t believe how many changes there are in build 1607. Anyway.

    On Tuesday, Microsoft re-re-re-re-re(^16)-released three old familiar faces:

    KB 2952664 – Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7, version 21

    KB 2976978 – Compatibility update for Windows 8.1 and Windows , version 25

    KB 2977759 – Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM (that’s the one for people who are still using the original Win7, and haven’t yet applied Service Pack 1), version 21

    They’re all unchecked, optional updates, all related to Win10 marched upgrading, all equally ignorable. No doubt they’ll turn into “recommended” before too long. I last wrote about them two months ago.

    Second verse, same as the first….


  • What are the differences between KB2952664, KB3150513 and the naughty KB3035583?

    Posted on May 7th, 2016 at 05:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    A very interesting synopsis from our very own ch100:

    What are the differences between KB2952664, KB3150513, and the naughty “Get Windows 10” patch KB3035583?

    KB2952664 (and its equivalents for other OSes and versions) is the baseline pre-requisite for all the others providing the telemetry baseline. It is mostly useful for the upgrading to Windows 10, but not only as it provides telemetry capabilities in a wider sense.

    KB3150513 is not offered unless the previous one is installed and adds further functionality in relation to making Windows 10 upgrade more reliable. It has specific functionality in relation to applications compatibility and this is why is offered as a different KB number.

    KB3035583 is purely adware/nagware, the bad guy which is neutralised by the Group Policies configured to do that or by Josh’s GWX Control Panel, or Steve Gibson’s tool, or Noel’s procedure.

    What I find relevant is that the first 2 patches are offered to medium/large businesses running Enterprise Version or Enterprise/Pro + WSUS, while the last one KB3035583 is never offered to those businesses. They are the most important customers for Microsoft’s bottom line.

    Which makes me think that, unless overly concerned about the telemetry issues, the other patches are not so damaging or annoying and may actually provide some benefit in certain instances. The larger businesses seem not to pay much attention to the telemetry issues and follow the official line from Microsoft. If anything, the communication back to Microsoft is blocked for network traffic and OS performance reasons and rarely for the content of it. The larger businesses are not typically offered an upgrade in place and are still offered KB2952664 and KB3150513 and maybe there are more to come.

    There is certainly no benefit at all in installing KB3035583 unless and only if interested in doing in-place upgrade to Windows 10.

    Even so, I upgraded long before all those patches mentioned here were released and my upgrade still completed successfully and I did it more than once. The three patches are just risk mitigation patches, not mandatory if upgrading from sources other than Windows Update, like the official ISO image. And it is actually a lot more reliable to use the ISO than Windows Update.

  • Are you having trouble with Win7 patch KB 2952664 and Norton Identity Safe?

    Posted on April 29th, 2016 at 09:58 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Can you reproduce this? From reader TB:

    Windows 7 update kb2952664 has been around in several versions for about two years now. The latest came to me on 13 April 2016 – and it had a surprise inside!

    First, the routines and applications contained in this update all date from either March or April 2016 – it’s all new stuff.

    What’s REALLY new is that the Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser that’s installed seems to be more aggressive. I use Norton Antivirus and Identity Safe. These products don’t work with Microsoft’s Windows 10 browser, Edge and this is not new news. However, this update seems to take action: when I installed it, I could not access Identity Safe, even though I am running Windows 7. Apparently, the update modifies some of the code that Norton uses.

    Why am I so sure? This was the only update I installed. When I installed it, Norton’s toolbar told me to ‘Access Vault’ in the Identity Safe box. If I pressed on that button, I saw a message: ‘ Reboot needed’. I did that, and nothing changed. There was no way to access the Identity Safe vault. When I uninstalled the update, Identity Safe worked again, the same way as it did before.

    Determining what needs to be done and leaving flags for Windows 10 to use is one thing. Disabling software I paid for and should be able to use while I use Windows 7 is something else.

  • Microsoft re-releases three “compatibility” patches KB 2952664, 2976978, and 2977759

    Posted on March 31st, 2016 at 16:37 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t understand why MS does this.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • How to permanently remove KB2952664, and maybe speed up your machine in the proceess

    Posted on March 30th, 2016 at 17:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just got this fascinating email from Tom:

    Lately I’ve been focusing on are your articles pertaining to the different widows patches / monthly windows updates that are trying to get people to install windows10 whether they want it or not. Months ago (before I found AskWoody and the GWX Control Panel) I found that I had the windows 10 GWX icon on my computer, and I had no idea as to what it was, or how it got there. The icon was the start of my education / introduction as to what Microsoft was doing to get people to upgrade to windows 10. As I’m sure most people do, I turned to Google for answers. In a short time I learned that WU KB3035583 is what caused the GWX icon to show up on my computer. KB2952664 was another update that kept popping up as something to be concerned about. I found that both of the updates were installed on my computer. I promptly uninstalled both of them and then hid them when they reappeared. After the computer rebooted the GWX icon was gone and I was a happy camper. From that point on I started doing a google search after the monthly Patch Tuesday WU’s appeared, and definitely before they were installed. That’s actually how I found AskWoody, and also when I started only installing Security updates. Not to long ago I saw the KB3035583 update was offered again. I promptly hid it along with the other KB3035583 that was already hidden. Because of one of your recent articles about KB3035583 and KB2952664 I decided to search my installed windows updates to see if either one was there. I was surprised to see that KB2952664 was. I promptly uninstalled it for a second time, then hid it again when it appeared in the available updates. A few days later while checking on another update, I happened to see that KB2952664 showed in the installed updates, again. After another google search I found that there were a lot of other people who were in the same situation I was in. It seems that anytime the update was uninstalled, it automatically reinstalled itself almost instantly. I then did a search for, “unable to remove / uninstall KB2952664”. Lots of people asked the question but nobody had a definitive way to pertinently remove the update.

    Yesterday I actually found a simple solution that actually did work at removing the update. Hence the reason for the email! I thought your readers might find it useful.
    It’s an easy 2 part process.

    First, from an elevated command prompt enter: (   dism /online /get-packages | findstr KB2952664   ) This pull up all KB2952664 packages. Mine had 10 different versions, for a total of 22 packages.

    To remove them, again from an elevated command prompt enter:
    (  dism /online /remove-package /PackageName:Package_for_KB2952664~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~ )  This removes version only.  On machines that also have versions,,,, etc. etc. this command must be repeated with the appropriate version numbers.

    Once all versions are processed, run: (   dism /online /get-packages | findstr KB2952664   ) again, and if it doesn’t return any packages, KB2952664 is gone…

    I can’t tell you how much quicker my machine seems to run since the update is finally gone.

  • More about the interlocking GWX patches, KB 3035583 and 2952664

    Posted on March 18th, 2016 at 16:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I assume y’all have read Andrew Orlowski’s article at The Reg.

    Reader JIY did a little more sleuthing, and here’s what he found:

    After reading your link to Andrew Orlowski’s article (great find) today, I broke out the tools to do some checking. Below are the screenshots of instances in which 2952664 and 3035583 were located in the registry. Five for 2952664 and one for 3035583.

    2952664 shot 1

    2952664 shot 2
    All files were contained in the folders, C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\4a7d77dbff0bf4a0c11e5070d988f47b (for 2952664) and C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\6f7643215b36bc8b4eae01ea7c4b5aab (for 3035583). In both cases, folders were created on 1/26/2016 and file dates were mostly 12/8/2015. The findings were exactly the same on both Win 7 x64 desktops.

    Below is a shot of one of the subfolders within C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\6f7643215b36bc8b4eae01ea7c4b5aab (for 3035583). Not much more to wonder about, except how did they get there? Neither KB shows as installed on either system. The only conclusion I can reach is that I mistakenly allowed the installs in the effort to update these machines after they had been unused for about 3 months (in process of moving) and subsequently uninstalled. Still, I have a hard time understanding why I would do that since I’ve avoided non-security updates faithfully since about March 2015. So, while they might not be listed as installed, they and the related registry entries are still on those machines (for the next 2 minutes). When is an uninstall not an uninstall?

    2952664 shot 3