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

Telemetry & GWX Updates


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 Veng3r

Veng3r

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 01:42 AM

Hi, Does anyone have a comprehensive list of all the telemetry & gwx updates for Windows 7?

 

I'm trying to find all the updates so I can remove them, I've come across a few lists but I have no idea how detailed or up to date they are.

 

If someone could link me to somewhere that lists them all I'd be very grateful.

 

Thanks!



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


m

#2 MoxieMomma

MoxieMomma

  • Members
  • 471 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:03:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 02:49 AM

Hi:

 

Not sure about the telemetry stuff (most of which is overblown tinfoil-hat FUD), but the free Win10 offer ended ~2 months ago, so there's nothing to fear about that any longer.

 

There is an optional MS update to remove the GWX software from Windows 7:

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3184143

 

Cheers,

 

MM



#3 Veng3r

Veng3r
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 12:32 PM

Yeah, that's what I thought too but I've just done a fresh reinstall of Windows 7 on my laptop thinking I'd be safe from gmx due to the date but windows update just offered me a gmx update KB3150513.

 

Thanks for that link but I ran get-hotfix -id for the updates listed there and I don't have any of them installed, but I do have at least KB2952664 & KB3021917 installed and they don't appear on that link and neither does KB3150513 so I don't think it's comprehensive.

 

I had a nightmare getting windows to even update correctly in the first place and now I've finally solved that I've gotta pull all this outa windows, half of which shouldn't even have been offered to me any more. I tried to skip installing the updates but they'd just reappear as new ones and it became an endless nightmare trying to skip them and find the new ones that appeared to replace them so I just decided to give up, install them all and then remove them manually.

 

Hopefully I can find a list somewhere that covers everything and pull them out all at the same time with a wusa /uninstall /kb:xxxxxxx /norestart .cmd. I just need a comprehensive list of them all.

 

Cheers.

 

EDIT: I simply don't understand the blasé attitude towards windows spyware and adware and privacy in general, it's as if people don't care about their fundamental rights anymore as long as they get some free stuff... I thought this would be easier info to find and I'm surprised there aren't a tonne of posts about it, I managed to fix the windows update issue and found a link that's kept upto date with the latest fixes just by reading some of the many posts on this board but there aren't nearly as many posts about this issue and none of them link to an upto date list. It puzzles me.


Edited by Veng3r, 17 November 2016 - 12:53 PM.


#4 MoxieMomma

MoxieMomma

  • Members
  • 471 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:03:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 01:26 PM

Hi:

 

I do not work for MS, so I cannot predict what they will do in the future.

But, by all accounts, both official and unofficial, the FREE Win10 UPgrade offer has ended.

So, it's really not necessary to obsess over it.

 

KB3150513 is some sort of compatibility patch, but I am offered the same update on my box running OEM Win10 v1511.

So I seriously doubt it has anything to do with upgrading a 7 box to 10.

But it's up to you whether or not to install it.

 

Also, according to MS, KB2952664 has NOTHING to do with GWX any longer:

 

There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.

But it's up to you -- as with EVERY update -- whether or not to install it.

 

As for the mother lode of 250 or so critical and important security patches, KB 3020369, KB 3125574 and KB3172605 seem to be most helpful to resolve the slow update process.

Manually installing those patches on a fresh install seems to make getting the rest of the necessary patches go much more smoothly.

It worked for me on my 2 Win7 boxes and for many other folks at several other fora.

(There are several threads about it here at bleeping, as well as at other sites.  If you need more specific guidance, I'm happy to help, if I can.)

 

I also have 2 Win7 boxes that I did not upgrade to Win10.

So I understand and share some of the skepticism.

But, at some point, one needs to balance situational awareness and paranoia with practicality and the real world.

It's still important to install all critical and important security patches, to reduce vulnerability.

And "telemetry" works both ways -- if MS cannot collect aggregate data about how its OS works in the real world, then they cannot be faulted for failure to fix problems they do not know about.

(FWIW, both Apple and Google collect data on their devices, too. This is not a unique MS issue.)

 

Just my two cents and worth less,

 

MM



#5 hamluis

hamluis

    Moderator


  • Moderator
  • 54,429 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Killeen, TX
  • Local time:03:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 02:30 PM

As stated above...there is no automatic free upgrade existing at this time.

 

If you want to concern yourself with what the developer of Windows has decided to do with it's products...just remember that you don't have to agree to the terms of use or use Windows on your PC.  There are fully developed alternatives available.  The facility (ease-of-use) that Windows makes available to computer users...is not the only game in town.

 

Microsoft has made it clear that...it's a "take it or leave it" scenario...which seems to be the case for most situations in life, IMO.

 

Louis



#6 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 20,764 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:04:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 03:48 PM

I believe because Microsoft has gone to a rollup package for updates and when doing a clean install of Windows 7 any updates will be rollups which include the telemetry updates. Eventually Microsoft intends to include all performance and security updates since SP1 into the rollups through the WU site. Doing updates on clean installs of Windows 7 is still a chore.

 

http://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/10/say-good-bye-to-individual-patches-on-windows-7-and-8/

 

 

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3108407/windows/windows-7-and-8-1-updates-switching-to-cumulative-monthly-rollups-starting-in-october.html

 

Microsoft calls this a cumulative rollup system where each month’s update package includes all previous updates (going back to October 2016). The new monthly rollups will include both security and stability patches. 

On top of that, Microsoft intends to add older updates to the monthly rollup over time. Eventually, Microsoft wants to include every update between the “last baseline” for each operating system and the present. Presumably, that baseline is Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and the Windows 8.1 upgrade for Windows 8.

 


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 November 2016 - 03:57 PM.


#7 MoxieMomma

MoxieMomma

  • Members
  • 471 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:03:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:09 PM

Hi:

 

^^ That is true. ^^

 

However, there is a means to manually install the "Security Updates Rollup" each month, instead of the standard "Security + Performance Rollup".

 

This month, for example, the combo was 3197868, while the "security only" version was 3197867.

Just for grins, I tried on one of my two Win7 boxes.

The "performance bits" for 3197868 were -- according to MS -- already offered in Oct 2016 as 3185330 (which I already had installed).

It went just fine.

However, at the next WU check, I was told that 3197868 was available, even though I already had both 3197867 AND 3185330.

So, I hid it.

No issues and WU says I am up to date.

 

HTH,

 

MM

 



#8 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 20,764 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:04:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:20 PM

Hi:

 

^^ That is true. ^^

 

However, there is a means to manually install the "Security Updates Rollup" each month, instead of the standard "Security + Performance Rollup".

 

This month, for example, the combo was 3197868, while the "security only" version was 3197867.

Just for grins, I tried on one of my two Win7 boxes.

The "performance bits" for 3197868 were -- according to MS -- already offered in Oct 2016 as 3185330 (which I already had installed).

It went just fine.

However, at the next WU check, I was told that 3197868 was available, even though I already had both 3197867 AND 3185330.

So, I hid it.

No issues and WU says I am up to date.

 

HTH,

 

MM

 

That is what I have been doing. I have been downloading the Security Only updates from the Windows Catalog but I am wondering what a person does after a clean install. You will not be able to avoid the rollups after a clean install as separate updates will not be available. I believe it will eventually be impossible to download any separate security update as only rollups will be available. Will Microsoft  provide a rollup of only Security Updates since SP1 for clean installs? I doubt it. As far as I know the Security Only rollups are only available since October. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 November 2016 - 04:22 PM.


#9 Veng3r

Veng3r
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 04:36 PM

KB3150513 is some sort of compatibility patch, but I am offered the same update on my box running OEM Win10 v1511.

So I seriously doubt it has anything to do with upgrading a 7 box to 10.

But it's up to you whether or not to install it.

Sounds like it works both ways to me... stuff for upgrading to 10 and stuff to make 10 more compatible once you're on it. 

 

This update provides the latest set of definitions for compatibility diagnostics that are performed on the system. The updated definitions help enable Microsoft and its partners to ensure compatibility for all customers who want to install the latest Windows operating system. Installing this update also makes sure that the latest Windows operating system version is correctly offered through Windows Update, based on compatibility results.

and this seems to think its a gwx update http://www.ghacks.net/2016/05/05/kb3150513-is-another-windows-10-update-patch/. Just cos the free upgrade has expired doesn't mean they've removed every useless update from their servers.

 

Also, according to MS, KB2952664 has NOTHING to do with GWX any longer:

 

There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.

Maybe it's not got gwx anymore but the earlier section in that paragraph tells me I don't want it.

 

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The diagnostics evaluate compatibility on the Windows ecosystem and help Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates to Windows. There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.

 

I also have 2 Win7 boxes that I did not upgrade to Win10.

So I understand and share some of the skepticism.

But, at some point, one needs to balance situational awareness and paranoia with practicality and the real world.

It's still important to install all critical and important security patches, to reduce vulnerability.

And "telemetry" works both ways -- if MS cannot collect aggregate data about how its OS works in the real world, then they cannot be faulted for failure to fix problems they do not know about.

(FWIW, both Apple and Google collect data on their devices, too. This is not a unique MS issue.)

 

Just my two cents and worth less,

 

MM

Yes of course we need to balance paranoia with practicality but they're not hard to remove and it'll take no time at all once I can find a comprehensive list so it's not impractical in the slightest. Surely there's a list of these somewhere?

 

 

As stated above...there is no automatic free upgrade existing at this time.

 

If you want to concern yourself with what the developer of Windows has decided to do with it's products...just remember that you don't have to agree to the terms of use or use Windows on your PC.  There are fully developed alternatives available.  The facility (ease-of-use) that Windows makes available to computer users...is not the only game in town.

 

Microsoft has made it clear that...it's a "take it or leave it" scenario...which seems to be the case for most situations in life, IMO.

 

Louis

 

But the useless updates are still there along with telemetry that I didn't sign up for when I purchased this operating system. It's not like this can't all be removed easily once I can find a comprehensive list of offending updates... I can disagree with their terms of use and still use it as the alternative is to learn a whole new operating system. As the previous guy said I need to balance situational awareness and paranoia with practicality and it's far more practical and less time consuming for me to pull out the stuff I don't want than to change operating systems and deal with the ensuing headaches involved.

 

 

 

I believe because Microsoft has gone to a rollup package for updates and when doing a clean install of Windows 7 any updates will be rollups which include the telemetry updates. Eventually Microsoft intends to include all performance and security updates since SP1 into the rollups through the WU site. Doing updates on clean installs of Windows 7 is still a chore.

I think I read somewhere these security rollups don't include the telemetry etc but I may be wrong. Even if they do I'd still like to pull out whatever I can...

 

Thanks for the advise so far... hopefully I can find a decent list or another solution that's practical.



#10 Veng3r

Veng3r
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 05:00 PM

 

Hi:

 

^^ That is true. ^^

 

However, there is a means to manually install the "Security Updates Rollup" each month, instead of the standard "Security + Performance Rollup".

 

This month, for example, the combo was 3197868, while the "security only" version was 3197867.

Just for grins, I tried on one of my two Win7 boxes.

The "performance bits" for 3197868 were -- according to MS -- already offered in Oct 2016 as 3185330 (which I already had installed).

It went just fine.

However, at the next WU check, I was told that 3197868 was available, even though I already had both 3197867 AND 3185330.

So, I hid it.

No issues and WU says I am up to date.

 

HTH,

 

MM

 

That is what I have been doing. I have been downloading the Security Only updates from the Windows Catalog but I am wondering what a person does after a clean install. You will not be able to avoid the rollups after a clean install as separate updates will not be available. I believe it will eventually be impossible to download any separate security update as only rollups will be available. Will Microsoft  provide a rollup of only Security Updates since SP1 for clean installs? I doubt it. As far as I know the Security Only rollups are only available since October. 

 

 

I started a fresh install on my laptop so I can get everything correct and know what I'm doing before I proceed with my desktop re-installation. I started with installing the following manually before proceeding with windows update:

Servicing Stack Update September 2016 - KB3177467

July 2016 Rollup - KB3172605

Convenience Roll Up Package - KB3125574
Monthly Rollup - KB3197868

 

I know I should have installed KB3197867 instead of KB3197868 but are you guys saying KB3125574 & KB3172605 have telemetry updates? I don't think I can avoid KB3172605 as according to this http://wu.krelay.de/en/ it has the latest update agent which I need to fix my windows update problems.

 

Surely there is a guide somewhere for fresh installs and if only security rollups are needed there must be other places to get them?

 

EDIT: So are you guys saying telemetry/gwx updates are never in Important Security Updates and the 'security only quality updates' only include these? They don't include previous the months updates but the 'security monthly quality rollups' do but also have telemetry? If there's only an october and november 'security only quality update' is there a way to get security updates released prior to these months without resorting to the 'security monthly quality rollups'? I guess I could just install the security updates individually? Is there also anyway to get the latest update agent without the July 2016 Rollup - KB3172605 so I can just stick to these security updates?


Edited by Veng3r, 17 November 2016 - 09:32 PM.


#11 rp88

rp88

  • Members
  • 2,802 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 17 November 2016 - 05:26 PM

My thread here contains reviews of many of the recent updates, but you'll have to search quite a bit to find the telemetry and GWx updates from amongst my many years of lists:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/551980/the-windows-updates-monitoring-thread/

I know I've posted lists of the telemetry and GWX updates before to warn people which they were but it can be pretty tricky to find them from amongst all the old posts.

I've included below some links to threads which, from memory, contain advice on which updates these are/were. Some of them are old though, others might contain bits within them which helped answer other people's question but aren't relevant to your issues.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/614497/will-someone-please-explain-why-i-have-customer-pcs-upgrading-to-windows-10/page-2#entry4006686

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/617066/help-how-can-i-permanently-stop-this-windows-10-upgrade/page-2#entry4022284

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/615445/gwxux/page-2#entry4011196

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/614537/received-unwanted-upgrade-to-windows-10/page-2#entry4006732

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/611138/how-to-kill-windows-10-installation/#entry3980375

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/609154/how-to-stop-most-how-to-rid-microsoft-egg-laying-on-your-w-7-8/

Some of those links might help, but others do contain bits which are of no relevance to your issues, some of the info is also a bit outdated.

Edited by rp88, 17 November 2016 - 05:26 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

#12 Veng3r

Veng3r
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 32 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 18 November 2016 - 03:58 PM

Thanks for those links, I guess I'll have to go through them all and make a list myself. Was hoping to avoid this as there are a bunch of lists I've already seen but they all vary and compiling them all into one list is just gonna be a chore. Was hoping someone could point me to a comprehensive upto date list to save me the hassle.

 

Can I clarify with you guys that I'm understanding things correctly? Is the following correct?

C1. Telemetry/gwx updates aren't in Important Security Updates.

C2. The 'Security Only Quality Updates' like KB3197867 only include these Important Security Updates.

C3. The 'Security Only Quality Updates' don't include the previous months updates.

C4. The 'Security Monthly Quality Rollups' like KB3197868 do include the previous months updates but also have telemetry/gwx.

 

I also have a couple of questions:

Q1. If there's only an October and November 'Security Only Quality Update' is there a way to get the Important Security Updates released prior to these months without resorting to the 'Security Monthly Quality Rollups'? Is it possible to install all the Important Security Updates through Windows Update or are these no longer offered individually?

Q2. Is there also anyway to get the latest Windows Update Agent/Client that fixes slow the Windows Update problem without the July 2016 Rollup KB3172605 so I can just stick to these Important Security Updates? I think I found one KB3083710 but this http://www.paulstenning.com/windows-gwx-and-telemetry-updates-to-avoid/ says it potentially has telemetry. Is there an earlier one that doesn't but will still fix the slow Windows Update problem? I tried this KB3102810 before but it only fixes it temporally.

 

Thanks for all the help. I feel like I'm getting a handle on understanding these and your help is greatly appreciated.


Edited by Veng3r, 18 November 2016 - 04:16 PM.


#13 rp88

rp88

  • Members
  • 2,802 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Local time:09:29 AM

Posted 02 December 2016 - 08:29 PM

Updates are a mess thesedays.
Back a few months ago you could reliably say:

..."if an update is called a security update it fixes an exploitable bug and you should do it, there haven't been security updates with GWX content in them (except a single nasty case involving an update to IE), any update not calling itself a "Security Update for..." is only necessary if you think it solves a bug you've had and you really want it"...

That is no longer the case, now you have to, once a month, jump through tricky hoops to download (and you can't do it through the normal "windows update" section of control panel, the "Security only quality update.." rather than the dangerously similarly named "Security monthly quality update..." which will differ in update number by perhaps 1 digit. Even with them you can't be properly sure what you're getting. I'm not sure if those are truly cumulative yet, nor am I sure whether the "security monthly quality..." ones are cumulative, they certainly all intend to be at some point.

"Security monthly quality..." (for factual accuracy lets call them "security plus loads of other stuff bundles") and "Security only quality updates" (probably better called "purely security related bundles") come out at the same time, by not installing the "security plus loads of other stuff bundles" you don't delay getting the security content found in the "purely security related bundles", you can install those "purely security related bundles" from the same time as you can the "security plus loads of other stuff bundled" updates. By choosing the "purely security related bundles" you can avoid ever applying that fix to the update client but that won't help you with this, it's not that ms has changed the update client to snatch control from you, it's that they've stopped making available updates in the old way whatever age of client you use. The only way to install individual security updates would be if you were an expert programmer who could download a file of the update bundle then chop and change bits until the unwanted stuff was removed, programmmers of that level of expertise are probably all working on the code of operating systems already many of them having ditched windows entirely to move to linux.

I do not think there exists any way to speed up the update client without risking the telemetry carried in the update you mention. Nor do I know of a way to apply security updates the good old "one problem=one patch" way. On my windows system thesedays I apply the security only bundles (downloaded from ms's website then run like a program installer would be if you downloaded one of those from a website, not available through the update client), I've begun moving to linux, the way windows is going it's probably the best place to be. The means I've explained before of filtering out the buggy and nasty updates, especially the horrors of GWX, are no longer so helpful. For now one can apply the security only version of the updates, if you follow the links on ms's website to get to the correct download page, but if there comes a time when something buggy or nasty gets in this bundle then only top experts would have the necessary skills to find ways to apply other fixes without the unwelcome stuff being installed too. The only way to be confident in having a machine which can be kept up to date and not risk having situations where the only way to install a vulnerability fix is to have some other junk come alongside it, is if you switch to linux. I've started testing linux and found it to be a pretty good thing to work with, a lot less to worry about than on windows.

Edited by rp88, 02 December 2016 - 08:31 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




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users