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  • The hated patch that wouldn’t die: KB 3150513 appears again

    Posted on April 23rd, 2017 at 11:51 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Details in InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

    In honor of the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s demise:

    MARCELLUS

    What, has this thing appear’d again to-night?

    BERNARDO

    I have seen nothing.

    MARCELLUS

    Horatio says ’tis but our fantasy,
    And will not let belief take hold of him
    Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
    Therefore I have entreated him along
    With us to watch the minutes of this night;
    That if again this apparition come,
    He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

    HORATIO

    Tush, tush, ’twill not appear.

    Actually, KB 3150513 has appeared many times. Has anything changed since the last run a month ago? I certainly don’t see any redeeming social value.

  • Microsoft’s month of badly botched patches

    Posted on March 22nd, 2017 at 14:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    They just keep rolling in.

    See InfoWorld Woody on Windows

  • What we know about KB 3150513

    Posted on March 20th, 2017 at 10:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    UPDATE: More info in this InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

    On March 15, the Thursday after Patch Tuesday, Microsoft re-re-released KB 3150513. It’s innocuously titled “Latest compatibility definition update for Windows,” but it’s raised a lot of suspicion for those of us who prefer our Windows snooping overt, not covert.

    Microsoft’s description:

    This update provides the latest set of definitions for compatibility diagnostics that are performed on the system. The updated definitions will help enable Microsoft and its partners to ensure compatibility for all customers who want to install the latest Windows operating system. Installing this update also makes sure that the latest Windows operating system version is correctly offered through Windows Update, based on compatibility results.

    Which is enough to get my tinfoil hat twitching.

    We had a similar not-quite-documented appearance of KB 3150513 back in September.

    Here’s what we know for sure:

    The update includes files called Appraiser.sdb and Appraiser_telemetryrunlist.xml.

    It was offered on just about every version of Windows you can name. The KB article lists prerequisites, but there are versions for Win10 1607, 1511, Windows 8 (!) and 8.1, and Win 7 RTM (!) and SP1. In addition @ch100 documents that a version is also available for Windows Server 2016, for the first time.

    When it appeared in September, poster K hid it, but it re-appeared two additional times. At the time, I documented that it appeared twice, with two different dates, May 4 and May 11, 2016.

    In September, @abbodi86 viewed it as a precursor to upgrading to the Win10 Anniversary Update (released July 2016):

    it’s an update for the system’s compatibility database, which is related the famous schedule task “Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser”. This diagnostics is required to see if the current machine is applicable for RS1 upgrade through WU. Yes, it may involves sending “telemetry” feedback but isn’t whole Windows 10 is already telemetry-connected?

    With regard to the March 15 release, @PKCano says:

    This is being offered on all versions of Windows. It is a compatibility definition update. A new release for Win10, but Win7 and Win8.1 are seeing the earlier version appear if they installed KB2952664 (Win7) or KB2976978 (Win8.1) with the recent updates. The latter are prerequisites. It is also showing up in Win10.

    And @abbodi86 says

    Appraiser KB2952664 and Telemetry DiagTrack are built-in Windows 10 since RTM. Both KB2952664/KB3150513 are only needed for upgrade they have nothing useful for current Windows 7 (well, except providing MSFT with Appraiser statistics)

    And @ch100:

    Other versions were released in the past for Windows 10 1511.
    To me, without having the full details, it indicates that the functionality from KB2952664 in Windows 7 is built-in at least in Windows 10 1511 and 1607. Otherwise we wouldn’t see KB3150513 being on offer for those versions of Windows 10.
    There was no KB3150513 release for Windows 10 1507.

    Does anybody else have some definitive information on this beast? Is there any reason at all to install it, unless you plan on upgrading to the Win10 Creators Update version as soon as it’s available (which is an incredibly poor choice, but more about that later)?

  • Mysterious re-release of KB3150513 – on Windows 10, no less

    Posted on September 2nd, 2016 at 07:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This in from DP:

    I just rec’d notification of the above update on my Win10 system yesterday. I am running ver. 1511, build 10586.545. I have searched around the web trying to find out what it’s going to attempt to do to my system if I download and install.

    I found all the articles around May of 2016, but nothing this recent. I found some users at The Windows Club who got the same KB within the last day or two expressing some concern, but no one seems to know what it will do to Win 10 system. I’ve used the Group Policy Editor to control updates and haven’t gotten the AU update notice yet. Could KB3150513 be Microsoft’s attempt to entice the AU on me?

    Thanks for helping. Your Windows 10 book for Dummies is the best, BTW.

    I’m not seeing it on my Win10 1511 machines, but it’s starting to pop up all over the web. The KB article was last updated today.

    Anybody know what’s up?

  • 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.

  • Microsoft releases another undocumented Windows 10-enabling patch, KB 3150513

    Posted on May 4th, 2016 at 09:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It took a Polish poster on Microsoft Answers to explain that it’s an update to the Win10 compatibility appraiser.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows