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A safe way to prevent windows 8 becoming 8.1?


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#1 rp88

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 02:09 PM

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

1

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.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

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#2 rockysosua

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 04:23 PM

Funny how you are ready to battle with Windows to not upgrade and whenever I land up with a Win 8 machine in my hands, I can't wait to upgrade it.

Maybe you're getting the wrong impression from a select few who have posted that they had problems.

I estimate that I've upgraded 500 machines, and not a single one had an issue.

What all of them did have is superior navigation, more user friendly and some kool apps that aren't available in 8.


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#3 Cobalt006

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 06:21 PM

 For all the more it takes to upgrade. Plus how do you figure your being forced. If you choose not then you can still run Win 8. Microsoft is only saying after a certain time they will no longer support WIN 8. Which is their choice to make. I have seen very few computers have a problem with updating. Then the one that did already had problems before the update.  If you are not happy with microsoft. Use a different OS . There is always Apple or Linux.



#4 rp88

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 10:03 PM

There has been some "forcing" going on, notice the thread where someone is complaining about how the prompts have now changed to "you have 4 hours". I also found a lot of other such things by running a google search, most of them in july albeit but many windows 8 users reporting that KB2973544 has caused that forcing. The reason i don't want to update is because after leaving XP i've now reached a point where i am familiar with my new system and have worked out how to get it to do everything i want and need, i fear, and with good reason, that the "upgrade" might well stop some functions i have got accustomed to from working or cause compatibility issues. If it was just a matter of windows 8 becoming unsupported in january 2016 that would be a dilemma but i would have ages to work out solutions and weigh up options, as it is forcing this change onto people(and so quickly) is just plain wrong. rockysosua, very £$%^ing lucky you having done so many without issue, i've seen the many threads here of people who have had problems with booting or wi-fi because of the update and not wanting to join the ranks of those whose system was wrecked by this "upgrade" is another reason i would rather avoid upgrading ( depending on how security updates are going). "kool apps" don't impress me, i hate apps and never use them, i only stray into the metro interface when i need to perform particular types of searches, i've set up my system in such a way i only have to see the metro interface twice a day, half a second at logon and half at log off. As for windows in general i intend to stay with 8 for as long as possible, i will think about "upgrading" to 8.1 when the last security updates for 8 come out but not before. When the final death of 8 or 8.1 arrives i haven't decided yet whether sticking with windows into 9 is a good idea. What i want to do for now is keep 8 as 8, not 8.1. later is later's problem and i have plenty of time to work later out.


Edited by rp88, 19 September 2014 - 10:03 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#5 Cobalt006

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 10:45 PM

Ok I can see your point . But I have never ran across a computer with a microsoft update telling you you have 4 hrs to do so. Mainly the problems I have seen with drivers is on older machines running win 8.1.. This is where I have seen driver problems.  As far as Apps ,  Win 8.1 has a option to boot straight to the desk top.  So same as you I really have no need for APPs All win 8.1 dose is add extra feature to make it more user friendly.  But if you really are not in to win8.1 . Window 9 will not be for you. It is just a updated version of win8.1 . From what I have seen and read of it so far. For me though I do really like win8.1 runs great  on my 3 computer. So good luck. Hope when if you decide to everything goes well.



#6 rp88

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 11:00 PM

Should their use become necessary what does anyone know regarding the effectiveness and safety of the tow methods i've described above?

Cobalt006, i don't know anything about windows 9 yet but i am assuming it is going to be even more metro and less desktop than windows 8.1 . until sooner or later windows brings out a version where they have no desktop at all. Actually that reminds me of a quote i read in a book when i was rather young, it was a book about expected technological advances in what was then the future written from the perspective of someone in that future, "we used we used to have these things called computers, but then then they got smaller and found their way into everything". I can imagine a series of events leading to the end of the true computer (replacing it with tablet like devices), that's a nasty idea...but scarily believable.


Edited by rp88, 19 September 2014 - 11:03 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#7 rockysosua

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 06:35 AM

The Metro tile system was designed to integrate the MSC's two systems, the touch world of phones and tablets, with the standard computer. 8 was just a beginning and MSC made several mistakes, but they made up for it with 8.1, as the integration of the two systems, is nothing less than amazing.

 

Although I can't see into the future, I can say that it is highly unlikely to see the "Desktop" interface disappear.

It's the official work area of the better part of the Planet.

Businesses are not interested in a Facebook tile, or games, or live Movies, etc.

It's all about functionality and efficiency, plus the capability to run almost any software in the world.

Money makes the world go around and commerce & industry dictate what comes next, as they are the ones with the money.

If you owned an 8.1 small touchscreen laptop, you'd have a hard time denying how great it is.


Edited by rockysosua, 20 September 2014 - 11:05 AM.

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#8 Cobalt006

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:28 AM

No I do not see the desktop interface leaving anytime soon either.But as rockysosua has said if you owned a small touch win8.1 laptop would be amazed.  People here are tending to move a way from the desk top. Due to the mobilty  of laptops and tablets. So what you consider scary . May some day be true.  Desktops I do not see leaving the business world anytime soon. But someday as things advance it will. Change is just a part of everyday life. It will always be there.  Reguardless of weather we want it or not.



#9 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:48 PM

Just to stick my tuppence worth in, with regard to the OP, do NOT fool with the registry just to try and prevent an update. If you don;t want to install an update, just mark it 'Hide'.

 

As for the rest, I go with Rockysosua with regard to updating every computer I control or advise about to the 8.1 update. Apart from any operational benefits it will automatically boot to the desktop.

 

Windows 8 was an attempt by MS to unify three different systems into one - the desktop OS, a tablet OS and the WinPhone OS - and it was less than 100% successful. For those of us who use mouse and keyboard, the 'Modern' or 'Metro' interface is something of a disaster. I have a medium sized monitor - 24 inch - the top of which is at eye level and the screen is at arms length. It would be more than a little tiring if that was a touch screen. The other posters here are correct - Win 8 works very well on touch screen tablets but is a pain on a desktop. For the desktop user, 8.1 is much more friendly.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#10 rockysosua

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:55 PM

I find it sad that anyone is willing to battle so hard to stop the 8.1 upgrade, when the upgrade itself is a bit like winning the lottery.

I wish that I could convince anyone who is avoiding the upgrade, that it's so good, that they shouldn't pass up on the opportunity.

I don't know what else to say to someone who has 8.1 fear or whatever it might be that makes him/her not want it.

8.1 is sooooooooooooooooooo much better than 8 !!!


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#11 signofzeta

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 01:30 AM

Windows 8.1 being better in most cases doesn't make it better in all cases.

 

My own personal beef with this process is that Microsoft should have never made that KB 2973544 update.

 

Even if you have upgraded hundreds of other peoples' computers to windows 8.1, the reason why there are no problems is that those 100 people who use those computers want those computers to be 8.1, and are satisfied with it.  For those who do not want to upgrade to 8.1, they have their own reasons, and you probably wouldn't find any problems upgrading to 8.1 because you didn't upgrade the computers whose owners never wanted to upgrade in the first place.  Those who did want to get help are those who don't know much about computers, and would only use the basic stuff anyway, so you wouldn't find any problems with the upgrade.

 

For example, in my case, One Nvidia driver versions are supported by Windows 8 and 8.1, and another older driver version is supported by Windows 8.  In some other peoples' cases, if they have this situation, there might be a case where the older driver works better for their games over their new one in terms of performance, and some people just prefer better performance, even if it is not by much and is unnoticeable to others.

 

Another case is software versions.  A software version isn't supported by 8.1, so they make a new version that is supported by 8.1, but to this one user, the new version of the software that that user uses eliminates a feature that the user really likes from the older version.

 

I don't know for certain if KB2973544 would be installed for people who reverted back to 8.0 for reasons we may not know, but it is sort of, I don't know how should I say it?  Let's just say it is weird to promote a product to a person who used it before, but had bad experiences with it.

 

You can't really say 8.1 is better than 8.0 for every single user out there.  People have different uses for their computers, and some people find that 8.0 is better than 8.1 for what they want to use their computer for.  Even for me, there is this one game, made in 2003, that worked flawlessly with 8.0, but have some framerate issues with 8.1.

 

The upgrade to 8.1 only affects which driver version you are allowed to use, and as I said in another thread a while back, the most up to date driver isn't the best driver, as I found out when I tried to update my driver on one of my computers, and half my games stopped working.

 

Another reason why some people are preventing the upgrade is the whole saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".  Why would they want to upgrade if there is chance that it may break something that they frequently use?  The fact of the matter is, you don't have to start from scratch when you upgrade to 8.1, but when they find out that something is wrong, or if 8.0 is better than 8.1 for what they are using their computer for, they would then have to start from scratch when they downgrade to 8.0.  Why take the risk of upgrading to 8.1, and risk something going wrong, or feeling unsatisfied with what 8.1 does to the most frequently used software, and risk having to reinstall everything when you have to downgrade back to 8.0?

 

What I'm trying to say is, going from 8 to 8.1 is easy.  Going from 8.1 to 8 is, well, not as easy.

 

For me, after taking the plunge, well not really, Microsoft just pretty much pushed me into the drink, I think that 8.1 is awesome, because it brings back that classic feel that Microsoft took away with windows 8, but it doesn't mean much because all I care about with my computer is that all my Dooms, Quakes, and Jacks run flawlessly without any framerate issues, or any other issues.  For all the hassle I have to deal with to reinstall everything when I downgrade back to 8.0, I probably wouldn't do so even if it means that some of my games work better with windows 8 over 8.1.  As a person who plays old games, I am always hesitant in using the latest service pack for windows, as the likelihood that the game doesn't run well increases for each later iteration of Windows and its service packs that are released.

 

For what it is worth, I hope Microsoft doesn't get to the point where they change some code within their operating system series, like windows 9, windows 10, etc., and state that we made this change because we are looking ahead for the future, and therefore software that was made back in 1999 doesn't work anymore, kind of like what they did with windows 2000, and DOS games doesn't work anymore, and it only takes a little program called DosBox to make DOS games work once again.  If Microsoft decide to look ahead to the future by sacrificing the past, I really hope someone out there makes a program that makes it simpler for people to be able to access older operating systems in order to make these older software run, kind of like what DosBox does to DOS programs, and I hope Microsoft allows them to do that, but all that hope is for nothing because Microsoft would like to squeeze every single cent for everything.


Edited by signofzeta, 22 September 2014 - 02:04 AM.





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