With recent talk on this forum of 8.1 attempting to force it's way upon users i've been researching what is going on and i wanted to know if anyone knew with any amount of certainty the safety and effectiveness of one method i found described online and one i think i have been able to work out from logic. Can anyone advise upon these two ideas and crucially: whether doing so will compromise system security/prevent updates of the normal type from working and whether doing either of these things would be guaranteed to prevent the "upgrade" from occurring. I am not recommending these are tried until both their effectiveness and safety can be determined, if either is determined to be both effective and safe THEN there will be no time to lose.
Idea 1, involving KB2973544 and KB2871389.
It appears that recent changes to the way the "upgrade" prompt functions are caused by KB2973544 and the original existence of the prompt in it's original form is due to KB2871389, another update KB2865699 might also be involved but i can't get good information on whether it is or not. I don't know if, should KB2973544 be installed, whether uninstalling that update as soon as one of the "upgrade now or in a few hours" prompts is seen would be enough to stop the upgrade but microsoft's page about KB2973544 Says that this later update can only install on systems with KB2871389 already on them. I was wondering whether uninstalling the update KB2973544 would be enough to prevent the "upgrade clock of doom" once it has been started ticking and also if uninstalling KB2871389 would be enough to ensure that "doom clock" never started. I can't be sure whether KB2871389 might have a behaviour coded into it to force an upgrade by itself after a certain number of prompts had been declined by the user. So does anyone know if KB2871389 by itself can force an upgrade or whether for an upgrade to be forced upon the user KB2973544 must be installed? If ensuring KB2973544 is never installed, or uninstalling KB2871389 can be certain to prevent the "upgrade" then our minds must turn to the safety of doing so? Does either of those updates contain security updates bundled alongside the "upgrader" in the same package (which would be a very shameful thing for microsoft to do if that is what has happened)? Does either contain updates which other legitimate (anything that isn't trying to force 8.1 onto the user) updates require? for KB2871389 that would be a question of whether any of the updates released since it was released (15th September 2013 ) relies on it, for KB 2973544 that is a trickier question of whether things that have yet to be released will likely rely on it. Has removing KB2973544 or KB2871389 been known to cause trouble with anyone's system?
Idea 2, this is the one i read and it involves (start dark and brooding music) the registry(/dark and brooding music)
It is reported by several sources that changing the value of a particular "key" in the registry can prevent the upgrade prompts but the reliability of these suggestions is hard to judge. Apparently those who already have the key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\WindowsStore\DisableOSUpgrade should change it's value to
to stop both the prompts and the automatic forced upgrade. Apparently users without the long string in the registry should create it manually and then give it the value, i am not sure whether creating a key would work as well as changing the value of an existing one. Most users will find the string does not exist when they look in their registries. This method also does not suggest methods should the 8.1 "upgrade" be sent through a channel other than the windows store, i cannot tell whether it would work in such cases. Does anyone have information showing whether this method can work or not? If it does work does anyone know whether changing the value/adding a new key risks causing damage to the computer system or whether doing so may cause problems with security and legitimate (once again legitimate updates refer to any that are not to do with the "upgrade" to 8.1)?
There is also apparently a method involving "gpedit.msc" but this feature does not appear on most people's copy of windows 8, therefore unless there is another way of performing the functions gpedit is capable of any users with the standard edition of windows cannot benefit from this function.
I would add further information here if i could find it but i think what it comes down to now is knowing whether either of the two methods actually works (or if they would merely prevent the prompts not the forced update), and if it does whether it is safe to try. I never thought i would live to see the day when a system that was supposed to be for security updates would be used against us. Remember if enough people can stop the "upgrade" happening microsoft may have to give in to public pressure if it wants to keep it's reputation and market.
Edited by rp88, 19 September 2014 - 02:10 PM.