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dencorso

How to avoid being "upgraded to Win 10" against your will:

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New info:  Apparently there was yet ANOTHER way GWX could have gotten onto one's Win 7 system - quite a while ago! 

 

Specifically, some update was already available on April 29 that put it in on my Win 7 setup, and I caught it trying to communicate online this evening.

 

More here:  http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/174428-gwx-microsoft/

 

-Noel

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New info:  Apparently there was yet ANOTHER way GWX could have gotten onto one's Win 7 system - quite a while ago! 

 

Specifically, some update was already available on April 29 that put it in on my Win 7 setup, and I caught it trying to communicate online this evening.

 

I have always had my Windows 7 update settings as "Notify only" and usually waited a week or two after "patch Tuesday" before installing anything.  I also took dencorso's advice to heart from the first post in this thread, posted on April 12'th, and hid all suggested updates within a day or two from that time.  As a result, I have never had the GWX folder or any associated files ever show up on my machine.

 

Generally speaking, we have (with up to Win 8.1) as good an OS today than as we ever had before - though some might say it's not been getting better in any substantial way since Win 7, and that would be hard to argue against.

As time goes on, I am feeling more and more justified and happy with my decision to stick with Windows 7. :)  I have yet to see any persuasive argument to convince me to "upgrade".  I'm not a gamer so I don't need the latest DirectX, I haven't seen a Modern app I can't live without, the very slightly faster boot time isn't significant in the overall scheme of things, and the "staying current" argument just hasn't impacted me yet.  Windows 7 works with my hardware and the software I use and it meets my needs.

Cheers and Regards

  • Upvote 2

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So apparently my strategy of not hiding ALL of those updates but being more selective is what bit me.  Live and learn!

 

And I do respect your decision, bphlpt.  At this point, since probably the lions' share of Win 8.1 users are going to upgrade, I'll pretty much be left out in the cold by remaining on Win 8.1, as compared to there being a substantial number of people who remain on Win 7.  We're not there yet, though - the adoption graph is continuing to level off exactly as I predicted.  If anything, perhaps maybe a little more quickly!

 

At this point I've all decided to look at what's offered, but unless something compelling is documented I'll stop accepting any more updates on the general principle that Microsoft is no longer aligned with ANY of my needs.  I'm not even sure I even trust them to deliver proper security updates any more.  I don't have any bugs that need fixing.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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I have my PCs also set to notify only, but only because that is the lowest setting you can have that won't disable MSSE. I am considering finding a different lightweight antivirus and then disabling Windows Update completely.

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Good plan.  Just FYI, you may not be able to stop the "secret, hidden" update process with any of the provided settings unless you specifically block it with a firewall.  That being said, with a complete "update only" setup here on my Win 7 system, after tightening down my firewall config yesterday I've only caught it the one time trying to contact the mothership, and that was GWX. 

 

I'm continuing to watch it very closely.  Nothing says it has to call home daily.  Based on one day's observation, it's clear Win 7 is NOWHERE NEAR as chatty online as the later systems.  As a SWAG, it looks like there's about a 10x increase in network activity between 7 and 8.1, and another 10x increase between 8.1 an 10.  I wonder how they think corporate networks are going to be able to handle that.

 

Edit:  It just called home to 23.14.84.113 and 23.14.84.152.  The latter is identified as "crl.microsoft.com" - "check real license?"

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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And I do respect your decision, bphlpt.  At this point, since probably the lions' share of Win 8.1 users are going to upgrade, I'll pretty much be left out in the cold by remaining on Win 8.1, as compared to there being a substantial number of people who remain on Win 7.

 

The respect is mutual.  I like to think that I'm just stubborn about it, not belligerent.  You are also stubborn, maybe a little more enthusiastically so than I am :) , and you are definitely more active and you continuously and thoroughly test all current and new options to the benefit of the entire community.  I sincerely thank you for your ongoing efforts.  I, on the other hand, tend to take the approach, if it ain't broke, ...

 

Edit:  I'm keeping a very close eye on the privacy issues as they evolve and I plan to adopt your host and firewall recommendations.

 

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
  • Upvote 2

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Gamers change video cards (and complain bitterly on the AMD or nVidia forums, depending on which one they switched FROM) like normal people change underwear. 

 

It's hard to complain, though, since they've funded so much development.  TERAflop computing - the stuff of legend 40 years ago, has now been around a while and is actually CHEAP.  Way back when, did you ever think you'd ever be able to own such power?

 

-Noel

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Hello here, I can tell I am gamer, not a big one, just a WoW player. I have a DX12 "compatible" card (R9-280X), a dual boot Win 7 x64 ultimate on HD and Win 8.1 x64 Std on SSD.

This DX12 is what made me update my Win7 to Win10 Pro, and I saw a fair bit boost in WoW.

But I am also an Engineer and I saw by coincidence 4 days after I upgraded to Win10 in log on my router (a self made linux router+http proxy+telephony server and more stuffs...) that this Win10 was talking so much to unknown destinations that I reverted to Win7 and started back using my Win8.1. Then I saw it was talking also to .telemetry.microsoft.com and after search I came here.

 

All that to say: people will upgrade. DX12 is faster than 10 or 11. Only very few will come to know what Win 10 is in fact: a SpyOS; nearly no-one will know/care about what the OS is doing.

 

But I do care, I did clean and hide these patches from my win 7 and 8.1 and PCs of children (one  Win7, one Win 8.1) and they are all quiet again. And I feel like you NoelC, I am thinking seriously about denying Windows Update at home at router level since I lost my trust in MS, and I am an IT Infrastructure architect, specialized in AD...

 

Now about Win10, I still don't know. I have a VM nearly tamed locally and at router level, I wonder if I will upgrade my Win 8.1 or not. In fact I ask myself if the added functionalities is worth the effort taming it month after months. Or I could update and block Win Update too.... I tend to conclude NO and stay on 8.1 for now.

 

My 2 cents.

Ridrok

Edited by Ridrok

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Thanks for your report, Ridrok.  I'm always glad to hear from others who are like-minded and well-versed in what's going on, network-wise.

 

I seem to have muzzled Windows 7 and 8.1 for the most part, and I've not yet quite given up on muzzling Windows 10.  I've been developing a Win 10 configuration where a bunch of stuff is disabled and a bunch more is blocked from contacting just anyone it feels like.  So it *MIGHT* be possible to employ Win 10 to some gain while minimizing the risk of loss of private data.

 

I HAD thought that maybe it should be possible to have a setup that was "deny by default" but with just enough whitelisting that it would succeed a Windows Update.  I'm still working on that.  The next alternative will be to see if there's any easy way to develop a "dual personality" configuration that doesn't allow anything online until such time as Windows Updates are specifically enabled - not terribly different from unplugging the network, except that it should be possible to allow applications and things like web browsing to work all the time.

 

-Noel

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Edit:  It just called home to 23.14.84.113 and 23.14.84.152.  The latter is identified as "crl.microsoft.com" - "check real license?"

 

-Noel

 

Certificate revocation list.

 

Also:

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/2303.understanding-access-to-microsoft-certificate-revocation-list.aspx

 

Rule of the thumb being obviously ;) has the *whatever* under examination has a connection - direct or indirect - with .Net?

If yes find an alternative, it will usually be faster.

 

jaclaz

  • Upvote 1

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... Microsoft has been pre-loading the Windows 10 upgrade on systems since late July ... ... the bits are downloaded to the device even though the user has not asked for the upgrade ...

 

It's crystal clear that in this brave new world we dissidents are gonna have to defend our islands tooth and nail from infection.

So be it. smiley_emoticons_hoplit_speer3_m.gif

 

 

 

 

A warm salute to The Borg.

 

android-finger.jpg

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EVEN WITH digital muzzles, condoms, and privacy screens in place, how much time per day do YOU now spend looking to see if hidden C:\$WINDOWS.~BT folders have shown up on your systems?  C:\Windows\System32\GWX?

 

1 minute?

 

Now multiply that by hundreds of millions to see the lost productivity to the world.  It's staggering.

 

-Noel

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