Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Controversial Windows 10 features and Windows 7


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 sikntired

sikntired

  • Members
  • 912 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Local time:01:21 AM

Posted 06 September 2015 - 06:49 PM

There have been several updates that MS rolled out to Windows 7 users that enable tracking. Forbes/Tech put out an article covering this topic. http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/09/06/windows-10-worst-feature-now-installing-on-windows-7-and-windows-8/?utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix&ref=yfp  as well others.

 

The article lists some of the updates involved. I'm sure that most Windows 7 users have uninstalled these updates and hid them to prevent  re-installation................I have. Now we have to be careful that they are not re-introduced under a different update.

 

What other steps are recommended to thwart this type of snooping due to these updates ignoring user preferences.

 

Is there anything in System Configuration and Task Scheduler that needs to be addressed that would require an uninstall? What about the Customer Experience Improvement Program? Legitimate or just another snooping tool?

 

I try to be as protective as possible when it comes to my Privacy and I don't feel that MS should be allowed to look over my shoulder all the time. One of the major reasons among others that I am not updating to Win X.

 

What are your thoughts and recommendations


Edited by hamluis, 08 September 2015 - 06:34 AM.
Moved from Win 7 to Win 10 Discussion - Hamluis.


BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


m

#2 brainout

brainout

  • Members
  • 1,190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston
  • Local time:12:21 AM

Posted 07 September 2015 - 03:19 AM

Most important thing you can do is turn Windows 7 updates OFF:

 

1.  Type 'Windows Update' in  search box of Start Menu.

2.  Pick the 'Windows Update at top left which is higlighted in blue, as a result.

3.  The resulting window has at left, 'Change settings'.  Click on that.

4.  The resulting window then has in the middle, a dropdown list, one of which says 'Never check for updates'.  Click on that, then click OKay at the right bottom.

5.  There's now a red shield which is supposed to scare you.  As if you didn't know anything.  But as a result, after clicking the OK, the screen changes and you'll see a button in middle right which says 'Check for Updates'. 

6. So now it's a MANUAL process, which YOU control.

7. So when YOU are ready to check for updates, you again repeat steps #1-2, and you'll immediately see the result in #5.

8. So BEFORE you click on 'Check for updates' again, you CLONE or backup your entire hard drive (clone is better, it's a live bootable replica of your machine, and you can get Macrium Reflect 6 Free for cloning).

9. So after doing step #8, when you click on 'Check for updates' you'll have a delay.

10.  After the delay, you'll have a list of updates which at right give you a link of the 'KB' you can click on, to see what it is.

11.  If you don't understand what the update says, or it says 'telemetry', instead of getting it, right-click and HIDE the update, so it won't come again. 

12. If instead it says 'security' update, and you read the KB article, and it says something about 'kernal' or 'fault' or 'elevated privileges' then yeah it's really a security update, and you're safe to accept it.  Else, ignore it or hide it.  Point is, not to accept what you don't understand.

13. Some of the optional updates relate to your hardware, extra software, or to the Intel stuff on your machine.  Read the articles and if you understand them, accept those updates, too.  Don't accept what you do not understand.

 

The 'telemetry' or 'experience' (terms masking the Get Windows 10 push) KB ones to hide so far, are: 2952664  2976978  2977759  2990214  3021917  3022345  3035583  3050265  3068708  3065987  3075249  3075851  3080149  .  Now, these might change.  Or, even after you hide them, later versions of the same ones might come down as updates.

 

Does this help?  Yell at me if not.

 

As for the CEIP stuff, it depends on what MSFT software you have.  The generic setting can be accessed by typing 'Customer Experience' in the Start Menu search Box.  At upper left you will then see 'Customer Experience.. Settings'.  Which, technically you click on and then turn off.  But that only turns off the reporting for Windows crashes or problems.

 

Per Microsoft programs, there are addtional CEIP defaults to turn off.  Usually in Help there is some option about how to configure the help, whether to get help online 'web'.  THERE is where they stash the CEIP option (i.e., in Microsoft Word 2003, I don't do later Word, so you'll have to hunt for the new location).  That's an estimate of where it will be.  Each program you have will have its own CEIP.

 

But the point of the Forbes article is that it won't matter what you select.  Nor will it matter if you do a registry hack or state 'hosts' file to avoid the phoning home. MSFT will just ignore your preferences, and slurp the data anyway.

 

How true is that article?  Not sure, really.  But since you can't tell what data of yours is being sent back to MSFT, the smartest thing is to avoid the 'updates' which alter what is sent home, in the first place.  If the KB numbers mentioned above are already installed, then you have to go through Uninstall updates (type that in the Start Menu search box) and uninstall the highest number first, backwards.  You might not be able to uninstall.


Edited by brainout, 07 September 2015 - 03:43 AM.

(Away, Notifications Off) AUDIT PREMISES, my guidon.  -- brainout or brainouty on vimeo or Youtube, domain brainout.net


#3 sikntired

sikntired
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 912 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Local time:01:21 AM

Posted 07 September 2015 - 07:34 AM

brainout, thank you for your in-depth explanation and perspective. I don't have the expertise nor the inclination to fool around with files and folders that may render my machine useless. I have it tweaked to my preferences. As for uninstalling programs and or MS updates that poses no problem. I am pretty good at following instructions given the proper direction but I am very leery of delving into the Registry.

 

Will await other input if there are any others forthcoming.



#4 rp88

rp88

  • Members
  • 2,895 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:06:21 AM

Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:00 PM

Regarding post #2, steps 3 to 6:

It is in my experience just as effective to set windows update to the "check automatically but ask me whether I want to download" setting, the result is much the same, the only difference is that sometimes doing this you will see a note on your pre-logon screen saying something along the lines of "updates are available, go to pc settings to install them"(P.S. don't go to pc settings, go to control panel). As far as my experience goes I can be quite sure that this setting won't put you at any greater risk of getting an unwanted update than your "totally off with a few manual checks" will. MAking sure updates do not download or install without your permission has, to be quite hinest, become cruical for windows 7/8/8.1 users thesedays, but it is as far as I can tell generally better to have CHECKING being automatic than have the whole thing ENTIRELY off except when you remember to check. In ether case making sure to visit control panel each tuesday eveing/wednesday morning is essential, so you can know when updates have been released. Once you know updates have been released you are in an informed position to accept those you want and reject others, but the sooner after release you know, the better. My method recently has been to only accept security bug patch updates, if you look at the "more information" link on an update you can gt more info about it, also there is google and there are forums to consult for the information required to make an informed choice as to whether KBXXXXXXX is worth having or not.

Updates to IE should be treated like updates to the OS as a whole, because IE is so deeply built into windows systems that changes to it can have effects on other things.

One other useful thing is to make sure that you do not tick the box which causes "recommended" updates to be treated like "important" ones, this makes the list of "important" ones (security updates will alwys be on the "important" list, but not everything on the "important" list is a security one) shorter so it doesn't take so long to go through, it also makes it clearer which updates you need to consider slowly and carefully before making a decision either way (those on the "important" list) and which you can say no to unless it sounds really relevant to you (those on the "optional" list).

You should leave the "give me updates for other ms products" box ticked, so that you are aware when updates come out for word/powerpoint/... This means updated to other ms products you have alos appear on the list alongside updates to windows. When they do, look at them like you look at updates to windows itself, use the same kind of reasoning for whether each is needed or not, but with those for office programs and such there is a lot less risk of one of them being something nasty in disguise, if all an update does is alter something within word/excel/office... then it shouldn't have any effects on your OS overall. Sometimes security updates come out for office products, these security updates should be installed like you would install security updates for the OS, they can be just as important.

Regarding step 8:

Making such an image is very wise (not just because of ptoentia problem updates but alos because it is a good emergency recovery tool incase of viruses, or accidental damagaing system changes, or anything else that would usually require a reinstall...) but it doesn't need to be made every time you have a round of updates, I just have a series of images made from very early after getting the machiens I have, then if I ever need to restore to an image I restore to an old one then redo any changes I made since making it. You should have maybe 3 or 4 images made, 1 from when the machine was brand new, 2 from after you finished setting it up exactly as you like it, 1 from after you finished getting all the settings you never initially realised existed into the positions you like them, maybe make some more extra ones if in future you install programs which you come to really like, but you don't need to make them every time you update. If you ever need to restore to an image then re-updating afterwards to get back to the state of "updated-ness" you were in just before your problem is not hugley bothersome, as long as your connection is not horrifically slow. Note that you can make images with a windows internal tool on windows 7/8/8.1 as well as makng images with macrium, best to have some images using macrium and some using windows' built in tool.

Step 11, if you don't understand the description best to ask around at other sourcs before making a decision either way, if the descripton is deliberately vague though, that is most definitely good grounds for refusing an update, or atleast ignoring it until people know more about it.

Step 12, also as a general rule, if it says "Security Update for ..." in the name and it's description mentions "remote code execution" or "elevation of privileges" you should definitely install it.

Also note, alongside "telemetry" another few phrases which indicate an update might be nasty is "latest version of windows", "new features", "additonal features", "benefit form features included in a alter windows version" and "enable upgrade". Sometimes a "new features"/"additional features" update might offer something good, but in my recent experience they generally offer something annoying instead. Note however that just using "good" and "bad" keywords isn't the best way to judge an update, instead read the whole description carefully, search for information from third parties if ms's own pages are unclear, use these words only as an indication, do not reject or accept an update merely because a phrase is in it's description, read the whole thing.



Also, you might want to mention, this all applies to windows 7 AND 8 AND 8.1, the lists of updates users particularly need to avoid differs slightly, but the idea of "only install those that help you or fix security holes" applies to all windows versions thesedays.

Edited by rp88, 07 September 2015 - 04:08 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 Animal

Animal

    Bleepin' Animinion


  • Site Admin
  • 34,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Where You Least Expect Me To Be
  • Local time:10:21 PM

Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:25 PM

Fair warning: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/589519/how-to-and-how-not-to-contribute-in-the-windows-10-forum/

Please keep this thread civil or find it moved to the Speakeasy or locked.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Follow BleepingComputer on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

#6 sikntired

sikntired
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 912 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Local time:01:21 AM

Posted 07 September 2015 - 06:26 PM

Thanks for the input. I was just trying to gather as much info as possible to make an informed decision. It is not my intention to bash MS nor add fuel that would unintentionally inflame.

 

This thread can be closed if the Site Adm or Mods choose to do so.



#7 Animal

Animal

    Bleepin' Animinion


  • Site Admin
  • 34,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Where You Least Expect Me To Be
  • Local time:10:21 PM

Posted 07 September 2015 - 07:33 PM

My apologies sikntired my comments were not directed at you.

We have some very passionate members who have strong views that have taken over threads not of their creation. Leading to flamewars and name calling. Thus I was putting the warning out that the Admin staff does not want to see this happen here.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
Andrew Brown (1938-1994)


A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world." Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


Follow BleepingComputer on: Facebook | Twitter | Google+

#8 sikntired

sikntired
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 912 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Local time:01:21 AM

Posted 08 September 2015 - 07:29 AM

Thank You Animal for the clarification, much appreciated. Apology accepted



#9 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 21,628 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:01:21 AM

Posted 08 September 2015 - 10:14 AM

I always select "Check for updates but let me choose when to download them" and I also uncheck "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates". I always check what each "Important" update offered is supposed to "fix" and if it does not affect me then I hide it. I see no reason to install an update that is supposed to fix something regarding the Russian Ruble or Lithuanian currency. I also hide any update that says is updates the Windows Update Client if I continue to get update notifications and downloads work.

 

Be careful of any update that says it improves the upgrade experience or adds telemetry.



#10 sikntired

sikntired
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 912 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Local time:01:21 AM

Posted 08 September 2015 - 11:09 AM

Thanks to you all for taking the time to lend your valuable experience. I certainly will keep each of your responses in mind when updating.



#11 brainout

brainout

  • Members
  • 1,190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston
  • Local time:12:21 AM

Posted 08 September 2015 - 03:05 PM

Thank you, rp88 post #4, for the added clarification.  I was in a hurry when typing, some kind of lag problem with Firefox then.  What I failed to mention but you did mention, is why I chose to turn OFF the updates, rather than 'check but do not download'.  The reason is, the 'check' option would interrupt what I was doing, and the machine would lock up or slow down or something.  Moreover, if you look at the fine print, the updater itself will work AUTOMATICALLY.  Since I am no longer sanguine about that 'feature' being limited only to the Win7 updater, I just turned it off.  And, as you so wisely noted, I check at certain times myself.  It's easy enough to program a reminder in Outlook, etc. to chime in. :whistle:


Edited by brainout, 08 September 2015 - 03:05 PM.

(Away, Notifications Off) AUDIT PREMISES, my guidon.  -- brainout or brainouty on vimeo or Youtube, domain brainout.net


#12 rp88

rp88

  • Members
  • 2,895 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:06:21 AM

Posted 09 September 2015 - 02:36 PM

brainout post #11 "The reason is, the 'check' option would interrupt what I was doing, and the machine would lock up or slow down or something"

It shouldn't do this, automatic checking in the background should be something that barely uses any CPU power or connection bandwidth. As a general rule checking shouldn't interupt anything, and the notification which says "you have update available" doesn't pop-up in the middle of what you are doing and interupt you, it only shows on the pre-logon screen. I would look into why it is causing this freezing and slowing on your machine, it might be a symptom of some sort of issues with other parts of the system. But if you can't find the cause of the slowing during checking then having the machine set up to do nothing and just check when you order it to on a weekly basis makes sense.


Also "Moreover, if you look at the fine print, the updater itself will work AUTOMATICALLY"

Which fine print, if that is the case it sounds very concerning. I haven't heard it myself, the closest I have noticed is that having the "check automatically but ask me whether to download" I see a little message within the "flag" icon of my taskbar complaining about my choice of setting, but I haven't seen any updating going on except for automatic checking and the updates I choose when I install them when they're released.

Edited by rp88, 09 September 2015 - 02:37 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

#13 brainout

brainout

  • Members
  • 1,190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston
  • Local time:12:21 AM

Posted 09 September 2015 - 03:47 PM

@rp88:  Yes, it interrupts me with notify, and a system icon appears in the tray.  Sometimes it comes at a very bad time so I shut it off. 

 

For the updater auto-updating itself, you can see that for yourself in Control Panel, System and Security, Windows Update, Change Settings then look at the bottom of the screen.  It will read:

Note:  Windows Update might update itself automatically first...

 


Edited by brainout, 09 September 2015 - 03:49 PM.

(Away, Notifications Off) AUDIT PREMISES, my guidon.  -- brainout or brainouty on vimeo or Youtube, domain brainout.net


#14 rp88

rp88

  • Members
  • 2,895 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:06:21 AM

Posted 09 September 2015 - 03:56 PM

I think that refers to the fact that some updates are updates to windows update itself, atleast that's what I also thought it meant. I had always taken it to mean then when updating windows update might sometimes download extra updates at the same time, not that windows update might start going full auto even when users had set it on another setting.


Strange that the notifications interupt you though, they've never interupted me on windows 8 or 8.1. The only time I see them is on the screen before logging in, presumably after windows update detected new available updates the previous day. Are you saying ti gives a pop-up window saying "updates are now available"? I didn't think that had happened since XP, in my experience the message on the pre-logon screen is the only notification windows 8 and 8.1 give.

Edited by rp88, 09 September 2015 - 03:58 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

#15 brainout

brainout

  • Members
  • 1,190 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Houston
  • Local time:12:21 AM

Posted 09 September 2015 - 06:32 PM

Yes, the updater automatically updates itself. But now think: what does that mean?  If they wanted to slipstream some GWX features into the updater to make it automatic, who would know?  There's no KB for it.  As for the interruption, all I can do is repeat what happened.  It's been a problem on pretty much all my Win7 machines, some more than others.  Maybe there's conflicting traffic but whatever.  OFF is the setting now.

 

EDIT: sorry, I didn't see your last question until now.  You asked if a popup window.  No, it's a popup in the system tray, and if it comes in while I'm also downloading or doing something on line, sometimes the machine would freeze or the browser, or other problems.  That was months ago.  Like I said, now it's set to 'Never check for updates'.  I do it manually every other month or so.

 

Seriously, MSFT way oversells its protection.  The design causes the exposure problems, and in some ways that will remain, so to keep backwards-compatibility with old software. But frankly? The only threats I've EVER had in 20 years, has been from Window Updates, even though two of my machines are almost always on, and when on, always online.  That's been true ever since Windows 98.  The only crashes etc. I have are with the two machines which are always on, and always getting the updates.  So now, those updates are off for one machine, an XP.  The other, this Win7 I'm typing on, has crashed over 6 times likely due to Windows Update, in the 18+ months I've had it.  I say 'likely', as I can't prove it, but the crashes occur soon after updates were applied.  So, I don't apply them anymore without first cloning, and that's an end of the matter.

 

So now you understand why I'm not worried about the updates.


Edited by brainout, 10 September 2015 - 02:29 AM.

(Away, Notifications Off) AUDIT PREMISES, my guidon.  -- brainout or brainouty on vimeo or Youtube, domain brainout.net





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users