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Zombie Crapware: How the Windows Platform Binary Table Works


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#1 mainer21

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 09:39 AM

Few people noticed at the time, but Microsoft added a new feature to Windows 8 that allows manufacturers to infect the UEFI firmware with crapware. Windows will continue installing and resurrecting this junk software even after you perform a clean-install.
 
This feature continues to be present on Windows 10, and it’s absolutely mystifying why Microsoft would give PC manufacturers so much power. It highlights the importance of buying PCs from the Microsoft Store — even performing a clean install may not get rid of all the preinstalled bloatware.
 


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#2 DS&LDB

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Posted 19 August 2015 - 04:45 PM

Admittedly, I'm not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to computer hardware or software however there's so much of this crapware/bloatware floating around in the bowels of this HP laptop that even a neophyte such as myself noticed they had crossed well over the proverbial line in the sand.  I've been trying to rid a recently purchased HP Envy laptop with Win 8.1 of this crapware/bloatware for over a week and at this point, I'd have to compare it to herpes.... the gift that goes on giving.

 

There is little doubt in my mind that Microsoft didn't know exactly what they were doing when they added this "new feature". I'm beginning to view Microsoft as being more cold and calculating than Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, and the rest of the biotech industry combined. Might be time to acknowledge the direction Microsoft is incrementally herding us toward and move to Linux if there's no fix on the horizon for us lowly pc users who unwittingly purchase these products loaded with "value added" perks for the retailers not us.

 

In your opinion, will some computer genius ultimately be able to come up with some sort of a means be which to "cleanse" our UEFI firmware of this hideously invasive crapware/bloatware?



#3 yu gnomi

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 01:08 AM

people shouldn't blame Microsoft for OEM's misbehaving by abusing a feature in ways not imagined by UEFI designers. Don't buy Lenova, or any other manufacturer that is going to stick you with un-removable crap software.



#4 DS&LDB

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 05:24 PM

Me personally, I don’t blame Microsoft for what Lenova or any of the other OEMs have done but I do blame them for providing the opportunity and offering no “fix” for those they learned were negatively affected but.... with all the exculpatory language in their "agreements", they didn't have to do what was right by those users.  I definitely blame them for issues like this but to each his own-
 
Now a portion of this I can actually understand because people should be “paying to play”. However… exactly how is Microsoft determining what’s illegal hardware and what isn’t before it allegedly disables same on our computers? The article mentions unauthorized hardware specifically. What’s Microsoft’s definition of  “unauthorized” hardware? I certainly don’t know but I sure as heck hope the computer store I buy from isn’t selling anything that Microsoft might deem to be unauthorized hardware now or at some time in the future:
 
And this, if it’s true, isn’t exactly leaving me with warm fuzzies for Gates et al. I find it most disturbing because it robs us of our ability to make informed decisions before we purchase or install his “free” product:
 
This Win 10 OS was made available to us about 4 weeks ago. I strongly suspect the above concerns are but the tip of the iceberg but what do I know given the sum total of my software and hardware knowledge would fit in a teaspoon when compared to most of the members at BleepinComputer.  This may be able to provide some relief although I’m sure there are many other ways those who share my concerns may go about buttoning down computers running Win 10 that are scannin’ and phonin’ home to momma:
 
I  personally don’t care if Microsoft data mines and grabs my name, date of birth, address, e-mails and/or handwritten/hand typed notes but I would have a problem with them gathering my credit card information what with all the identity theft going on in our world these days. I don’t want Gates et al to have my credit card information.  I personally use Win 7. Reality is  there won’t be much I’ll be able to do if/when Microsoft decides the coast is clear to release an update to Win 7 that does the same thing to its users that Win 10 is apparently doing to its users…. data mining.


#5 Atomic77

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 09:55 PM

That's the way the cookie crumbles. Microsoft will do whatever it wants.


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#6 dc3

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:03 AM

 

Few people noticed at the time, but Microsoft added a new feature to Windows 8 that allows manufacturers to infect the UEFI firmware with crapware. Windows will continue installing and resurrecting this junk software even after you perform a clean-install.
 
This feature continues to be present on Windows 10, and it’s absolutely mystifying why Microsoft would give PC manufacturers so much power. It highlights the importance of buying PCs from the Microsoft Store — even performing a clean install may not get rid of all the preinstalled bloatware.
 

 

The bloatware is installed by the manufacturer of the computer.  This has no relationship to the operating system, these are applications installed by the manufacturer the same way you would install at browser like Firefox or Chrome.

 

By a "clean install" I'm guessing that you are using the System Recovery Partition to do this.  This resets the operating system to the condition it was in when it was first taken out of the box.  The only way you are going to install the operating system without adding the bloatware is to install the operating system from a retail copy of Windows. 

 

By the way, there is no way the bloatware is going to "infect" the UEFI, it ain't gonna happen.


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#7 rp88

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 10:39 AM

" Reality is there wont be much Ill be able to do if/when Microsoft decides the coast is clear to release an update to Win 7..."


Don't allow any updates except those patching security flaws, you can easily spot the difference, security updates are named "Security Update for ...", other updates are just called "Update for ...". Unless there is some sort of other way microsoft can change the settings on windows 7, 8, 8.1 computers then their only way to do things is via updates, and if you set updates so they ask your permission before download then you can filter out any which might do nasty things to your computer.

Edited by rp88, 23 August 2015 - 10:39 AM.

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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