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Windows Microsoft Operating Systems Software Upgrades

'Get Windows 10' Turns Itself On and Nags Win 7 and 8.1 Users Twice a Day (infoworld.com) 720

LichtSpektren writes: As you may recall, Microsoft has delivered KB3035583 as a 'recommended update' to users of Windows 7 and 8.1. What this update does is install GWX ("Get Windows 10"), a program which diagnoses the system to see if it is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10, and if so, asks the user if they would like to upgrade (though recently, the option to decline has been removed). Some users have gotten around this by editing Windows Registry values for "AllowOSUpgrade", "DisableOSUpgrade", "DisableGWX", and "ReservationsAllowed" in order to disable the prompt altogether. This advice was endorsed by Microsoft on their support forums.

According to a report by Woody Leonhard at InfoWorld, the newest version of the KB3035583 update includes a background process which scans the system's Windows Registry twice a day to see if the values for the four aforementioned registry inputs were manually edited to disable the upgrade prompt. If they were, the process will alter the values, silently re-download the Windows 10 installation files (about 6 GB in total), and prompt the user to upgrade.

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'Get Windows 10' Turns Itself On and Nags Win 7 and 8.1 Users Twice a Day

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  • ARGH (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:26PM (#51278777)

    This is so damn annoying. I tried Windows 10 and reverted within a day or so. On two different machines.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      (Also note that the "STD" and "DST" strings are not unique - they cannot uniquely identify time zones. CST, for example can be either Central Standard Time (USA), Central Standard Time (Australia) or China Standard Time.)

      Reverting is broken (unless it's been fixed very recently). Any events in the task scheduler gets converted to Windows 10 format when going to Windows 10, but if you revert, they do not get converted back again. So depending on your system's complexity, you're left with dozens or more tasks that won't run, and even worse, if opening the task scheduler and browsing to Windows, you get focus stealing popups complaining that the entries cannot be read, and have to dismiss them one by one, after which another

  • Fine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:28PM (#51278795) Journal

    This would be fine, if it actually worked. The Win 10 upgrade doesn't work on my system, for no other reason other than I converted from Spinning drive to SSD drive. The Win 10 Upgrade borks about half way through the install.

    • Re: Fine (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > "my system" :chuckle:

    • Strange, it handled my upgrade just fine, though I had been running win7 on the SSD for awhile by that point, I did run a fresh win7 install when i installed the SSD, and even migrated that to a newer SSD just before the win10 upgrade. For the amount of time I spend at my desktop i haven't had any issues with 10 yet, all my apps worked, punkbuster was the 1 exception, the exe was in the wrong spot. It works fine, updates fine. I will admit that I'm getting tired to having to reset my privacy settings aft
    • So you're fine with the fact that Microsoft sent down an update, with no description appended to it, which bypasses your settings and downloads 6 GB of crap without telling you?
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      This would be fine, if it actually worked. The Win 10 upgrade doesn't work on my system, for no other reason other than I converted from Spinning drive to SSD drive. The Win 10 Upgrade borks about half way through the install.

      Hah, I get this annoying notification on one of my systems. And then it says "Unfortunately this PC is unable to run Windows 10". Basically the graphics driver is out of date and there's no hope for it.

      So now I get bothered and the thing doesn't even give me the option to have it stop.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:29PM (#51278813)
    Seriously, people, why would anyone tolerate this bullshit? It's being made amply clear that Microsoft doesn't give a good goddamn what you, the end user, actually wants to do, doesn't respect the fact that your computer is your property and not theirs, and is just pushing their way through to do whatever the hell they want. How is this even legal? Why is there not a massive lawsuit against Microsoft at this point? How is it that they think they have the right to shove Windows 10 down everyone's throat?
  • Media Center (Score:5, Informative)

    by sanosuke001 ( 640243 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:30PM (#51278819)
    I have a Home Theater with a CableCARD and NEED Windows Media Center for it to work. They removed Media Center from Windows 10. If they add it back in I'd be glad to upgrade. Otherwise, they give me no other option and they can go cry in the corner.
    • Loved my Media Center. Ran it for the entire life of the product.

      I surrendered this last year, moved to Plex and Sonarr, mostly spurred by the XB1 not being a MCE.

      Let me know if you want to double down and buy my cable card tuner :)

      • Unfortunately, Plex doesn't support encryped SDV cable channels or I'd have switched long ago (aka. when I got my CableCARD and already had XBMC installed I would have not installed Windows when it didn't work)
        • I get that.

          I moved to Sonarr to grab my TV. Then I moved back to a plain old cable box to watch live sports.

          The peace and sanity in my house of not being screwed every so often on a Sunday night by some PlayReady Can't Install fuckup has made me much, much, less likely to punch babies in the face in anger. ...not that Sonarr doesn't have problems, but they're less angering than drying to reset my DRM and lose shows when PlayReady completely shits the bed -- once or twice a year.

    • Re:Media Center (Score:5, Informative)

      by stevel ( 64802 ) * on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:38PM (#51278925) Homepage

      Users have found a way to install Windows Media Center on Win10. I have done this (on my mom's PC) and it works. See http://forums.mydigitallife.in... [mydigitallife.info]

      I'd love to upgrade to Win10 on my home's primary Win7 PC, but the upgrade keeps failing and never tells me why. I tried to get help from the MS support forums, but just kept getting fed a form response with a scattershot list of things to "try". I have Win10 on several other PCs and I like it.

    • Re:Media Center (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Amouth ( 879122 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:40PM (#51278949)

      I don't have a Cable Card, but we utilize Media Center 100% for TV watching. I'm annoyed that they Netflix plug-in was depreciated, but we live with that in the browser now (and their horrid interface).

      Media Center in a wonderful program, and the TV recording in it is better than anything else I've ever had (it's simple enough that my wife can use it, that says a lot).

      With it being removed completely, upgrading on that computer is not an option. Very annoying for this pop-up to keep coming up.

  • Really Perverse (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bromoseltzer ( 23292 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:36PM (#51278905) Homepage Journal

    This is the single worst thing Microsoft has ever done in my book. Basically, they are trying to gain control over every Windows PC out there. And it's not going to be optional if they have their way. Forcing you to download 5 GB of undesired files is just the beginning. Once you're locked in to Win10, all your data is theirs. They are transforming the desktop PC into a locked-down glorified cell phone.

  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:37PM (#51278917)

    I uninstalled update KB3035583 and blocked it when MS first sent it out several months ago. Then when I installed the last batch of patches in December it installed KB3035583 anyway. Before Windows 10 was released I was looking forward to it as Windows 8 done right. I was a little concerned about the rolling release approach, but was cautiously optimistic. But given their heavy handed approach on forcing windows 10 on people, and all the spyware included in it, they have destroyed any goodwill and trust they built up in recent years. Trust they need if they expect people to buy into their new software-as-a-service approach. My wife's next laptop will be running Linux or Mac OS X, which is not a big deal as she has used both in the past.

  • by kosmosik ( 654958 ) <kos@NosPam.kosmosik.net> on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:38PM (#51278935) Homepage

    Try GWX Control Panel to disable GWX and OS updates entirely:
    http://ultimateoutsider.com/do... [ultimateoutsider.com]

    Also Spybot Anti-Beacon which disables telemetry:
    https://www.safer-networking.o... [safer-networking.org]

    It works perfectly for me on Windows 7. And yes I know that all of what it does can be done manualy but these tools do their job and work well so why bother...

  • With the way Microsoft was progressing it seemed only a matter of time before they started actually forcing users to upgrade. Looks like we're very close to that point.
    • by PRMan ( 959735 )
      At this point I'm expecting Microsoft Security to come to people's houses with guns...
  • by hackertourist ( 2202674 ) <hackertouristNO@SPAMxmsnet.nl> on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:45PM (#51279033)

    After the first round of this nonsense, I found the GWX Control panel [ultimateoutsider.com], which claims to disable the nagware. It also monitors Windows Update and alerts you when its settings are changed to 'install automatically'.
    I normally install updates once a week, so we'll see what happens in a few days.

  • by ScooterComputer ( 10306 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:48PM (#51279075)

    I don't have a problem with Windows 10. Overall I like it, much better than 8, and clearly more "futuristic" than 7. Free is a great price.

    I am also very impressed with the "new" Microsoft under Satya Nadella. The company has done things I'd NEVER imagined they'd do, GOOD things...SMART things. Windows 10 being FREE was one of those things. There have been a few rocky issues, some high-profile like the Live One Drive storage space snafu. But overall, I've been impressed. The open source initiatives are just mind-blowing coming from Microsoft.

    But this thing RIGHT HERE... THIS has been a fucking mess. Abject "What the fuck??" failure. First of all, people have stuff to get done, and small businesses often work on cycles. This thing is happening RIGHT IN THE SMACK MIDDLE of Tax Season in the US. Any idea how rickety the software that runs tax prep is? Trust me, this stuff isn't Win7 material. There are A LOT of small, independent tax preparers in the US. A LOT. And they all use Windows. And they're all getting nagged like crazy right now. I know, I'm getting the calls. They're not the only ones. QuickBooks Pro users, CRM users, and the list goes on. They can't afford this, not now, and they're not on Windows Home...they PAID for a Pro product to support OTHER "pro" software which is more important to their income stream.

    It is bigger than that, even. Because Microsoft is nagging people running Win7 with hardware that just maybe SHOULD NOT be on Win 10. Core Duo CPUs, Intel Chipsets without driver support. And there is no opt out. No way to even say, "Hey, thanks for the offer Microsoft, but I'm just going to let this hardware which is running just fine on Win7 die with Win7." There is NO WARNING that Win10 will be incompatible with networking and wireless drivers, so that users' laptops will disconnect from the network after sleeping EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. There are NO WARNINGS that touchpads won't have similar levels of driver support, so people used to touch-tapping and driver-cobbled 2-finger dragging lose that. Nope. Nothing. And no way to simply say "This equipment just isn't ready and probably never will be...thanks, but please stop nagging me." And those aren't from little know vendors, mind you, that's from Intel! Synaptics! Broadcom!

    And worst: Microsoft is pushing this upgrade onto sometimes ancient hardware, the gross majority of which on the backs of 5-year-old 5400rpm spinning platters from the sub-terabyte generation, WHICH HAS NEVER, EVER--NOT ONCE--been backed up. Suuuure, you get that 30-day restore Window. Yeeeeeaaaaaah. Good luck with that. More spinning and intensive read/writing to sectors never tested or touched.

    So, WHAT THE FUCK, Mr. Nadella? Why? Just let users, especially Windows Pro users on older hardware, have a reprieve. Make it a year. Make it two. I don't care. But YOUR CUSTOMERS need the option to permanently stop the incessant nagging. You owe them THAT MUCH RESPECT for their business.

    • Stupid question, but one that should be explored... Since GWX analyzes your system to make sure you're compatible with Windows 10, does it refuse to install (or better yet, not download 5-6GB), if it finds an incompatible system? So, is there some sort of dummy driver that could be installed (that appears in Device Manager) that would cause GWX to determine that the system is incompatible? Someone with some Windows driver programming skills should be able to make that... Throw in some extra code that, if
  • by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:49PM (#51279097)

    I used to be a big fan of the Xbox. But then MS spent several years making one amazingly awful choice after another. They continued for years to insist that users have Xbox Gold to even watch Netflix (long after every other platform allowed it for free). They debuted the Xbox One with the promise that it wouldn't be about gaming but would instead be focused instead on a really kludgy TV overlay that no one gave a flying fuck about. They tried to force everyone buy a kinect with its creepy always-on mic. They tried to kill off used games sales. It's like they wanted to do everything they possibly could to turn every hardcore Xbox fanboy into a PS4 owner.

    Sometimes I think the leadership at MS just sits around all day thinking of new ways to fuck themselves. And not "fuck themselves" in a "Maybe I can wrap a belt around my neck and choke myself when I cum!" good kind of way. It's more of a "How can we personally insult and spit on every single customer we have?" kind of way.

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:50PM (#51279105)

    Is there a way to set Windows 7 so that it's not eligible for upgrade?

    Or possibly to make it think that the hardware is incompatible with Windows 10?

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @01:56PM (#51279177)
    How many times does a Microsoft customer have to tell Microsoft that the Windows 10 "upgrade" is not wanted?

    .
    How many times does a Microsoft customer have to actively stop Microsoft from hijacking the PC for its own nefarious purposes?

    At this point, I've come to the conclusion that Microsoft is no longer just asking if its customers want Windows 10. I've come to the conclusion that Microsoft is trying to trick its customers into installing Windows 10 via a never ending string of pop-up questions and misleading dialog boxes.

    I've also come to the conclusion that I no longer want to do business with a company that treats its customs in this manner.

  • by Gim Tom ( 716904 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:05PM (#51279307)
    And people wonder why I turned off updates earlier last year. When (or if) I decide to check I will research each one before applying. Windows 7 is my last Microsoft OS and I will just give up anything I use that does not have a native Linux version or runs under WINE. My response in summary is not only NO, but HELL NO.
  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:18PM (#51279447) Journal

    I'm not a Microsoft fan, far from it. But I am a Windows user, for the simple reason that the software I need to use runs on Windows. (Or in some cases, runs best on Windows). There are probably alternatives I could use (open source packages that do similar things, or Windows apps on WINE) but frankly, it's too much trouble. I'm not a zealot. I just want to get my work done.

    But after a disastrous stab at Windows 8 (fought with it for three weeks, ended up reloading 7) I've come to the conclusion that Microsoft has lost the ability to write an operating system. I have no intention to ever go to 10.

    I thought I had a few years before 7 expires, giving Microsoft time to maybe come to their senses, but now I'm getting plagued with these "upgrade to 10! It's fun!) popups and have heard rumors of some machines just upgrading themselves without a decision made by the user.

    And I'm done.

    I brought up Mint on a laptop I take into the field (I'm a photographer and make extensive use of the Adobe suite) and after fixing the inevitable wifi and other sundry problems that Linux never seems to be able to get right out of the box, had a machine that ran surprisingly fast, and was surprisingly capable. (It was my first experience with Mint. It was over the 2014 holidays, so probably 17.2. I see that 17.3 has just been released.) And then -- the acid test -- I actually got Adobe Lightroom running on Mint under Wine. Ok, I said once, in this very forum I think, that if Lightroom ever ran reasonably well on Linux, I'd drop Windows and never look back. Time to make good on that. My only remaining problem is that although the base version 5 installs and runs, the update (5.7.1) installs but does not run. I'm now experimenting with open source alternatives like lightzone (installs, but doesn't run correctly) and Darktable (no problems so far, but it's early).

    So anyway, the takeaways from all of this:

    1) Windows 8 has soured me to any new Windows OS for the immediate future.

    2) I *was* content with 7, but:

    3) Microsoft's os-so-clever nagware to upgrade to Windows 10 is getting on my nerves. And so:

    4) As a result, I finally made time to try Mint.

    5) I like Mint.

    6) I don't have a clear alternative to the apps I use regularly on Windows, but I'm a *lot* (repeat LOT) closer than I've ever been.

    7) Screw Microsoft. No, really. What the hell were they thinking.

    • I should mention that, Mint boots significantly faster, is a lot snappier on the same hardware, and appears to have a much smaller memory footprint. (Test by: Install mint on existing hard drive on old laptop. Wow, that's fast. Ok, lessee.... what else can we do... swap in a solid state drive, reinstall Mint. OH MY GOD.) This was a laptop I used to take into the field, and now I think I will be using it again for that purpose.

    • For work: OSX for system administration, Windows 7 for business apps running as a VM under Fusion.

      For home: Windows 10 and beyond will be my official gaming platform. I could give two-shits about any of the rest of the crap. In fact, just fork it and make it an "XBox PC OS"; all I need is core functionality for gaming.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:18PM (#51279453)
    I'd never expect any FedGov entity to stick up for US consumers about this abuse, but I'm surprised not to have read anything about the EU even looking into this (yet), but perhaps I've missed it.
  • by VAXcat ( 674775 ) on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:37PM (#51279729)
    My PC's constant recommendations that I should install Windows 10 is starting to remind me of the Talky Toaster on Red Dwarf.
  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt.nerdflat@com> on Monday January 11, 2016 @02:46PM (#51279871) Journal

    MS originally said that the free upgrade to Windows 10 would be in place only for one year, and after that you'd have to pay.

    Therefore one of three things is definitely going to happen after the end of July of this year: Either 1) MS will start trying to collect money for these forced updates (After the update starts, it will not complete until you pay for it, effectively placing the "update" on par with ransomware), an option which I expect may have very unfortunate legal ramifications for Microsoft; or 2) Windows 10 will be available for free indefinitely, meaning that the so-called 'free upgrade' period that they were talking about last July was just a scam to encourage those who would fall for it to get Windows 10 for free while they could; or else 3) these messages will finally stop after the first year is up.

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