Monday, 8 February 2016

How To Avoid Tomorrow's Mandatory Windows 10 Update

It's been a while since we had to do a PSA but, given what's going to be taking place in another day or so, this one seemed important.

Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that Windows 10 will be forced onto everyone with one of their computers. This will be a mandatory upgrade you cannot refuse, cannot change and supposedly cannot prevent. This is something they are actively forcing upon all of their customers after a long history of trying to make everyone do it however they can. This ranged from a supposed "mistake" where computers were upgraded en mass without permission to trying to repeatedly pester their customers with relentless pop-ups and extremely pushy propaganda. The problem is that, not everyone wants to do this. 

The disastrous attempt to get Windows 8 working is still a wound which hasn't quite yet healed, and Microsoft itself hasn't exactly been wowing everyone with its competence with each new update. Some people want to hold off until they're sure Windows has everything working before jumping onto the new system they'll be entrusting everything from work to social activities to. Work, in the case of some, is the big priority. Some computers are simply too old to support it properly or lack the real tech requirements, a minority to be sure but they're still there. More meanwhile, don't want to do this because Windows 10 will screw with their livelihood. More than a few artists, living off of commissions or allowing it to supplement their income, have cited how Windows 10 will not properly support a number tools they require to produce works. 

Oh, and to top that all off, we then have the nasty little fact that Microsoft itself is lying to its customers. It's already been announced several times over that Windows 10 is spying upon its customers and tracking their information, to the point where the whole thing has become a bit of a saga. The first issue was where the company effectively hid, disguised and tried to make sure its customers would overlook every option which would confirm people did not want Microsoft relaying their data. The company then came out effectively stating that they had no intention of storing or recording data. Within weeks however, they promptly produced information on how many hours their customers had been online, what keys they had pressed, images they had looked up on Google and some quite sensitive information. There's an article covering the basics here along with a general analysis.

Long story short, a lot of people don't want in on this because it will screw with their lives, and they can't trust the company forcing this upon them.

So, how to avoid it. Well, here's a few options which might interest you:

  • Find Google GWX Control Panel, download it and then click all of the options available to you. From there on, any update starting with GWX should not be allowed to install, and always double check what each update carries with it.

  • Look into Microsoft Updates, especially if you have done so recently. Go through a list of those you have accepted lately, and uninstall KB3032283 and KB2952664. Then, right afterwards, choose to "Check for Updates" and hide both in Mandatory and Optional updates. Right after this, then select the option to let you choose whether or not you want to install/download new updates.

Another additional option which is strongly recommended is this:

  • Find "diagtrack" on your computer, also known as the "Windows Diagnostic Tracking Service". This was something Microsoft sneaked onto many computers after Windows 7 and 8 were launched, and it's responsible for key logging, then sending encrypted reports back to the company.

These are the three most promising options I am aware of but I still strongly advise looking up others online and taking some time tomorrow to follow through with these. Tuesday the 9th is when the mandatory update will go through, If you wish to avoid Windows 10 before then, you must act now.

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