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Stephan55

Windows 10 For TCM?

43 posts in this topic

First I'd like to say that I am NOT promoting Windows 10

It was just the first thing that entered my head when trying to come up with a title for this thread. 

 

What I do want to discuss (to a limited degree) with those interested and/or concerned is the "New" Windows 10 Operating system

 

WHY, you may (or not) ask? 

 

Well, here is why... We all use some electronic internet device to communicate on these boards. 

For many of us it is a computer, and all computers use an operating system (OS) to function. 

 

If you are using a MAC or Linux OS then you can excuse yourself from this thread, as you are not likely effected at all by anything that will be said here. 

 

If you are using a recently purchased "newly manufactured" PC that came with Win 10 pre-installed, then you may want to read elsewhere, as you knew that you were purchasing a Win 10 system when you bought it, and your systems components were likely configured with the Win 10 OS system in mind, and are the least likely to have any compatibility issues. 

 

If you "had" either a Win 7 or 8 OS on your system and recently upgraded to Win 10, and have had NO compatibility issues, and are happy with your "Upgrade" then you may also want to read no further, as this thread will likely not discuss or address any issues of concern to you. 

 

If however, you are like many of us on these boards that are older, and may have or prefer using an older OS on a personal computer (PC) that you are reasonably happy or content with, then read on, as you may find the content of my post and this thread relevant. 

 

And when I say an "older" OS  I mean Windows 7 and 8

 

(Here it isif you have Win 7 or 8 as your OS and have had your life made miserable by Microsoft and their Windows 10 "promotion" campaign, then please read on, as you are the target audience whom are most likely to benefit with your time & patience spent here. 

 

Many of Us have been experiencing a barrage of ads and intrusions on our PCs asking us to "Upgrade" to Win 10. Many of us have been told that an Upgrade is forthcoming and imminent, and  a few of us (within the last 3-6 months) have discovered large files (3-6 GB) automatically downloaded to our systems root OS hard drives, at the expense of gobbling up perhaps limited internet provider bandwith and/or hard drive space. 

And a few of us (since the beginning of this month), may have started their PCs and discovered that they now had Win 10 installed, and are really NOT very happy about it. 

 

Point is that those of us that fit into this category have been allowing Microsoft (either through automatic updates, or by uninformed selection) to examine the innards of our PCs (as well as our online habits), and provide that feedback to Microsoft. If MS has determined that our PCs and their current OS are "compatible" for an upgrade to Win 10, then they have been secretly installing "recommended" (and some even labeled as "important") System Updates to our PCs enabling them to spy further and eventually download and even install Windows 10 automatically on our machines WITHOUT ASKING or INFORMING US!

 

Their response when queried about this is that "They believe" Win 10 to be the "stablest" and "best" OS Microsoft has ever come up with, so why wouldn't anyone want it on their PCs

 

However those of us who have been around have heard that same song with every OS that MS has ever made available, and we know that claim rings hollow with most of them.... 

 

They also say that Windows 10 is the "last" OS that MS will ever introduce.

 

That statement may very well ring true as the advent of MS Office 365 introduced the annual "subscription fee" to that suite of programs. In return for that annual fee, for whatever version of Office 365 you may be "renting" (as with the varied antivirus subscriptions that many of us are already accustomed to automatically renewing) MS Office will perpetually be updated with whatever "revision" that MS deems appropriate for "us" automatically

MS offers Win 10 to us now as a "free" upgrade. but of course they reserve the right to change any of their provisions at anytime, without either informing nor asking users if they agree. 
By virtue of using their software "we" have already "agreed" to whatever condition MS deems appropriate, including a much more profitable annual fee Operating System "subscription," should MS see fit to implement it, as many believe they eventually will.  

 

Granted, there may be some good reasons for persons to "Upgrade" but perhaps not now, and certainly NOT if for whatever reason the user doesn't want to upgrade. 

But MS has and is displaying an unprecedented aggressive "marketing" campaign. 

 

Microsoft has demonstrated an attitude that They know what is best for us and, if we don't voluntarily Upgrade to their new OS, then They will do it For (or Tous automatically.... 
whether we desire it or not

Hence all these "discrete" (covertly misleadingly "recommended") system updates that allows them additional user "monitoring" as to what hardware and software we have installed, how we are using are systems, and with what apps, etc. 

 

Some of us, with an older OS and varied system configuration, can probably upgrade with no problem at all. 
For others such an upgrade is not only an unwanted disruption, but messes with their system functionality. 

For persons (such as myself), whom deliberately chose to install an older OS on their PC, such as Windows 7, even when we knew there are newer options available, consider it an affront (to say the least) that MS would, or attempt to deliberately change our OS against our wishes. 

 

My current laptop is fairly new, I purchased early last year. I ordered it built to my specifications, and I specified Win 7 Professional, because I knew that next to the no longer supported Win XP OS that it was a very stable and reasonably backward compatible Operating System, and I need that compatibility for several very expensive programs that I have no desire or need to upgrade. 

But because it is an expensive system with a lot of "horsepower" to last for several years, it is an ideal candidate for an unwanted "Upgrade" from MS. 

 

I first became annoyed with the incessant & intrusive MS "Upgrade" notices that began popping up on my system a few months ago. But when I recently found out that not only had MS installed additional spyware on my PC but were setting me up for an Upgrade that I specifically did NOT want, I got really P I S S E D, to put it mildly. 

 

I began searching for anyway to prevent this, and/or reverse what had already happened. 

I consider these unwanted Microsoft "updates" as insidious as PUPs, or Malware.

 

'PUP or PUPs' is a term used to describe unwanted programs such as Trojans, spyware and adware, along with other malware which may compromise your privacy. 

 

'Malware' is an umbrella term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spywareadware, scareware, and other malicious programs. It can take the form of executable code, scripts, active content, and other software. 

 

There are perhaps many on these boards that have long been aware of this type of Microsoft activity and are tech savvy enough to have already protected themselves. 
Kudos for you if you are, and please share what you can with the rest of us. 

 

But many MS users are not so gifted (including myself), and perhaps others on these boards fall into that category. Those of us that have been the least aware and most vulnerable to this kind of insult. And though I have tried to be as careful as I can, It is now painfully evident that I have not been careful enough. 

 

At the risk of being censored here, I'll just say that I am extremely offended by this kind of activity by Microsoft. 

I have been unwittingly allowing the installation of all of their "important" and "recommended" updates believing that they would help protect me from malicious activity and unwanted spying, and NOW discovering that I NEED to protect myself from my "protector" is akin to Microsoft being the biggest fox in charge of guarding the hen house. 

 

If you consider yourself a victim (rather than a willing participant) of this kind of MS activity then you may benefit from what I will share. 

 

I have discovered the names of many (but not all) of these "malicious" update files and manually removed them. 

i.e. Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3035583), (KB2952664), (KB3021917), etc. 

(NOTE: There are many similar files specific for Windows 8.

 

check out the list at the bottom of the following: 

(EDIT: Updated Link 3/24/2016)

https://voat.co/v/technology/comments/853510

 

To my dismay, and even after I hid them from further install, and changed my MS settings to NOT download or install any files without my permission, MS had other files, already installed that allowed them to simply be automatically reinstalled)

 

This is an ongoing thing with MS and they are becoming ever more aggressive in their efforts to force their customers which resist this Upgrade into accepting it whether they want to or not. 

 

The questionable updates have gone from being labeled as just "Optional" (which I always used to check before downloading), to "Recommended," and recently some of these have even been labeled as "Important" However upon closer examination they reveal themselves to be merely a ploy to allow Microsoft to load Windows 10 

They will sometimes read as the following: 

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update type: Recommended
Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3021917) 
 
Update to Windows 7 SP1 for performance improvements
About this update
This update performs diagnostics in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) in order to determine whether performance issues may be encountered when the latest Windows operating system is installedTelemetry is sent back to Microsoft for those computers that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). This update will help Microsoft and its partners deliver better system performance for customers who are seeking to install the latest Windows operating system.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

An Important note is I have NEVER agreed to participate in any CEIP. 
Ah but MS isn't talking about me, just my computer. It seems that they have chosen my PC to be part of their CEIP without my permission! 

Also, I am NOT seeking to install MS's latest Operating System
That doesn't matter, They will load it on my machine anyway, just in case I change my mind and want it later, so I won't have to download it then... Come on, give me a break!

There have already been several reported cases where it simply installed itself!

 

I now realize that I MUST take the time to SEARCH EACH MS UPDATE BEFORE DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING

 

The actual folder where MS secretly loads Win 10 lies in a "hidden" folder in the root (C:\ ) drive called GWX (Get Windows 10) there it will lie slumbering on your PC after gobbling up 3 plus GB of space. It awaits a trigger, or signal, from MS to then install itself on your unsuspecting PC.... 

 

I soon realized that I would need some expert help beyond my current time constraints and abilities to save me from Microsoft! 

 

I was referred to a few programs upon which I did considerable additional research before finally installing two of them on my PC. 

 

They were designed by people just as enraged about this as I am, but tech savvy enough to figure out how to do something productive about it, and also generous enough to offer their well designed solutions as "FreeWare". 

 

These programs knew where Microsoft's "hidden" files lived on my machine and so far appear to have successfully purged them. And equally important are keeping them purged!

 

Because this is an ongoing struggle, and MS is determined to have as many PCs on Win 10 as they can within the shortest time possible no doubt for market share purposes, they are not above changing the various labels of their malicious files, or finding other ways to insert them into our machines. 

 

It requires ongoing vigilance on the part of consumers to retain our freedom of choice against these heavy handed marketing tactics.  

Fortunately we do have some tech savvy advocates who are fighting alongside us. Monitoring for any suspicious changes and letting us know about them. 

 

Does that mean we are totally out of the woods? 

Not exactly, but with a little diligence and luck we may be able to wait this "insanity" through, at least until MS officially stops supporting Win 7 in 2020. 

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle

 

My goal is to be a Linux user by then (at least for on line purposes).  

Until then, and for now, I am using  the two following programs. (Both are Freeware)

 

I encourage any of you affected by this to do your own research and also check out  the following: 

 

GWX Control Panel (version: 1.7.2.0)
 
Designed by UltimateOutsider
This is a free tool that can remove and disable the 'Get Windows 10' notification area icon on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Recent versions can also disable 'Upgrade to Windows 10' behavior in the Windows Update control panel and do much more. See the user guide at the Ultimate Outsider blog.
 
 
 

And in addition, to rid me of much of the MS telemetry "spying" software, I installed the following

 

Win10WiWi (Windows 10, When I Want It)
 
Designed by a Yves Gattegno at SysStreaming (a French company) 
It reclaims storage taken up with unwanted upgrade files, removes and hides the Windows Updates causing the actions to be triggered and ensures that no telemetry ("spying") data is being recorded, all with a few button clicks. 
 
Both of the above greatly help in taking back control of your PC. 
They are also both reversible, if at a later date of YOUR choosing, you decide you actually want to Upgrade to Windows 10. With just a few clicks you can be back to where you were before. 
 
Neither of the above are necessary, these processes can be done individually on your own.
But if like me you neither know, nor have the time right now to learn all the essential steps, then they are an expedient and safer way to get the job done, than me muddling through on my own. 
 
IF MS has not just downloaded, but has already installed Win 10 on your PC, you supposedly have  30 days to reverse the process. Though I've read that some users have not had good luck doing that. 
Possible "Worst case scenario," so long as you have your original OS disks, or made a back-up of your OS, you can reinstall everything. 
I know that's a real pain. But hopefully it hasn't gone that far yet on your system. 
 

In the meantime check with the best you can find and trust.

 

Microsoft generally Updates their "Important" Downloads  on the first part of each month. 

So make a habit of checking at least monthly for "important updates", but be very, very careful.

 

When it comes to downloading MS Updates, to avoid any further calamity, make sure you have your settings at: Check For Updates But Let Me Choose Whether To Download And Install Them. 

 

Then look and check out every Important Update BEFORE allowing your PC to download and Install them. 

Even then the Safest practice at present appears to be to ONLY INSTALL the SECURITY UPDATES from MS. i.e.  
Security Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KBxxxxxxx), and 
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64

 

Though even the title of that one now scares me as MS may attempt to use that guise to remove my "protection" and reinsert their own "Malicious Malware." 

 

It's like living in an abusive household, where you seek your parents protection from the bully down the street, even though they are just as likely to start beating on you themselves at anytime. 

 

Here is a quote from Woody: 

http://www.askwoody.com/ 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. Yes, you read that right. I now recommend that you Win7 and 8.1 users only install Security Updates. For many months, almost all of the non-security updates Win7 and 8.1 customers have received are specifically designed to push them to Windows 10, or to increase Microsoft’s ability to snoop on Win7 and 8.1 machines. No thanks.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thankfully (and Sadly) we are far from alone in this. 

We can hope that MS will relent in this campaign against all who wish to choose for themselves, but, despite some of their "opt out" lip-speak, they only seem to be upping the ante with each passing month. They quite frankly can NO LONGER be trusted. 

 

Microsoft's actions have now lost me as a Future customer. 

Although most of my past and current software programs have been built to adhere to the Microsoft Compatibility Standard. From here on out I will earnestly seek all viable alternatives to MS anything. 

 

I apologize for the extreme length of this initial post. 

For those of you that read it through, I hope it proves to be a worthwhile effort. 

 

For ANY tech savvy members that can further enlighten us on this topic, please take the time to share. 

 

If anything, our collective vigilance will help see us through! 

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Stephan55--I'm on a non Windows system, but Windows (Microsoft) markets to all computer users; your post is, at the least, informative of "hard sell" marketing techniques these days; your post Is worth reading for all computer users.  Scary tactics.  JMO.

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I "liked" your post, Stephan.

 

But I have to admit, my brain began to glaze much before I reached the end. I'm much too cowardly to try to do anything about it (other than that I have refused to accept the free Win 10 upgrade offer) for fear that something will go wacky with my McAfee total protection or my customary functions once I begin trying to fight by downloading any of those programs you mention.

 

I'm just too computer illiterate. But I agree with you wholeheartedly that MS's new approach feels pretty darn nefarious. 

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I am not a tech savvy person at all as you can tell by references I make in my posts to handwriting and just getting a PC instead of a tower computer.

 

I have Windows 7.

 

 

Has anyone else noticed that Norton anti-spyware actually destroys your computer?  I had someone put it in my computer free and from then on the numbers lock wouldn't shut off and the computer was ruined.  I had to get another computer.

 

I have Iobit instead and I don't upgrade at all.

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I was part of the Windows 10 CEIP. I thought it would be cool to help with the new OS. So I had a beta Windows 10 installed on my PC. 

 

Then the finished Windows 10 was released. I decided to wait a while since I didn't have time to wait in a line to download it.

 

The one day Microsoft decided I must get rid of my beta OS and install Windows 10  RIGHT NOW!!

 

So they decided to shut my pc down several times a day and threatened me that if I didn't upgrade, they would shut it down for good. (This really happened )

 

But, here's the kicker. It takes several hours to download the new OS, and each time I attempted to do this, Microsoft would shut my pc down before the download was finished. So it could never stay on long enough to ever totally download and install the new OS.

 

I contacted Microsoft and no one there knew what I was talking about nor, what to do about it.

 

But then, how dare they turn my pc off whenever they feel like it. And any OS beyond 7 won't play any of my old software. And now its all about selling you stuff on your desktop...no thanks !

 

I am a happy Linux user now. I never looked back.

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I "liked" your post, Stephan.

 

But I have to admit, my brain began to glaze much before I reached the end. I'm much too cowardly to try to do anything about it (other than that I have refused to accept the free Win 10 upgrade offer) for fear that something will go wacky with my McAfee total protection or my customary functions once I begin trying to fight by downloading any of those programs you mention.

 

I'm just too computer illiterate. But I agree with you wholeheartedly that MS's new approach feels pretty darn nefarious.

I know, it's a long post for sure, glad you toughed it out. 

You , GregoryPeckfan, and I (as well as many, many others) are the kind of complacent customers that I think MS counts on to slip Win 10 and other garbage in on us. 

We either don't know what's going on, become aware too late to stop it, or feel too incompetent to do anything about it. 

When I first became aware that I seriously might have this monster in my PC, waiting to erupt like an "Alien" at any moment, the first thing I did was pull the plug on my Win 7 PC and use an older PC with Vista OS to start searching the net for answers. 

 

I then did what I could as carefully as I could, but MS had loaded so many of these files at different times that they kept reinstalling themselves after I had uninstalled them. 

 

I didn't feel safe at all about messing with my registry, just couldn't find precise enough guidance, so after much research and reassurance from others, I finally took the plunge and downloaded a few programs, two of which I ultimately installed. 

And so far very glad that I did. 

 

I haven't used Norton AV for well over a decade, several of my work PCs have had McAfee AV and it appears to be pretty good. However if I were going to pay for an AV subscription I think I'd choose Kapersky as I think it gives the most bang for the buck. 

 

I used a Free version of AVG for several years and since 2008 the free version of Avast for antivirus protection. Not as good as Kapersky and occasionally will give me a false positive that I will cross check with a free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.  I try to be very careful on line and the combination of those two so far have kept me safe. You can use separate programs like that and they generally won't conflict, but not two different antivirus programs at the same time. I only download from relatively safe & reputable sites, and made a habit of scanning any downloaded file for both virus's and malware. If both programs give me the red flag I delete it right away without opening or installing it. Neither gave a blink at either the GWX Control Panel or the Win10WiWi program, though I read that some AV programs wouldn't clear the Win10WiWi, checking revealed that the designer hadn't mustered the cash to pay for security check clearance by every  AV producer. This is, after all Freeware, and living on donations to offset the costs of keeping them online and available for download. 

But neither of these programs have messed with anything on my PC so far, and my Avast and Malwarebytes download their definitions normally and function as they should. I imagine even though you have an all-in-one deal with McAfee Total Protection, that if you downloaded and scanned the files and they were clear that there would be no conflict. 

 

No Antivirus program is perfect, and One thing no AV or Malware program will protect us from is the malware that Microsoft puts out. They are considered a trusted site by all and are allowed free reign to do what they are doing. 

The only way to defend ourselves is to be very diligent and tech savvy, or employ the use of an outside service that we can trust to help us. 

I took a chance with these programs, but I measured it against what I risked by not doing more on my own and the damage that Microsoft was doing to me. I minimized the risk by doing a lot of checking before I downloaded them, and more checking before I installed them. 

I loaded GWX Control Panel first and after double checking for several days, I felt pretty good about it. I then decided to try the Win10WiWi, program as well after reading that the programs appeared to be compatible with one another, and that one went a little further in removing the Telemetry files that allowed MS to continue to spy and download more of their unwanted files onto my system. 

 

So far, so good, for me. I double check and so far my system appears to be "clean." 

Not that MS isn't trying to defeat this stuff by coming up with files that these programs won't detect, but these guys are also on guard and improving their game as well. We're on the same side, so I'm gambling with them against Microsoft, despite MS's comparably unlimited financial resources. 

 

Anyway Dark. as long as you feel safe with what you are or not doing... I didn't, and MS forced me into either No longer allowing any updates from them, or trying to clean my house and then be very careful about what I allowed in the future. 

Be sure that if I encounter anything negative from using these programs I will not only be letting their designers know but post it here as well. If I still feel really good about this after another month I plan to send a donation to those guys to help them out. Only fair for the peace mind I'm getting. 

 

BTW these are not the only programs trying to fight this thing that are out there, they are only two that I decided to try. 

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If it makes anyone in the pc universe feel better, I've stopped upgrading my mac os, even though they offer it for free.  Every time I did, I had to go to an apple store to get it installed correctly, and with each 'upgrade' I've liked it less and less.  Oh, for the days of Snow Leopard. . . .

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I was part of the Windows 10 CEIP. I thought it would be cool to help with the new OS. So I had a beta Windows 10 installed on my PC. 

 

Then the finished Windows 10 was released. I decided to wait a while since I didn't have time to wait in a line to download it.

 

The one day Microsoft decided I must get rid of my beta OS and install Windows 10  RIGHT NOW!!

 

So they decided to shut my pc down several times a day and threatened me that if I didn't upgrade, they would shut it down for good. (This really happened )

 

But, here's the kicker. It takes several hours to download the new OS, and each time I attempted to do this, Microsoft would shut my pc down before the download was finished. So it could never stay on long enough to ever totally download and install the new OS.

 

I contacted Microsoft and no one there knew what I was talking about nor, what to do about it.

 

But then, how dare they turn my pc off whenever they feel like it. And any OS beyond 7 won't play any of my old software. And now its all about selling you stuff on your desktop...no thanks !

 

I am a happy Linux user now. I never looked back.

I've read several stories like yours. 

That is one of the reasons why MS says they are "silently" downloading the Win 10 OS onto peoples systems, so when they do finally "choose to upgrade" that it will be a seamless operation, a simple install without the download, because those files will already be on your PC hiding in a hidden GWX folder. But those files are 3 plus GB, I've heard some say they discovered up to 6 GB in that folder. 

MS can attempt to download those files at anytime your system is online, turning your system into a slug, and hogging the bandwidth. Depending on your provider speed and allotment it can take several hours, sometimes putting people over their download limit. And MS does this all silently, in the background so most people don't know what the H E L L is going on when it happens or why their provider says they went over.

And you volunteered, for it. The vast majority of the rest of us didn't, and many don't want it, but MS doesn't seem to give a damn what we want, as long as they get what they want!

I say count yourself fortunate that it happened to you that way. And you were able to get out of it before it was too late.

Since you were part of the CEIP, you were probably one of the first to have the Win 10 muscle squeeze you. The rest of us just start feeling the pressure and don't know what's going on until it's too late. Microsoft oughta nickname Win 10 Anaconda.

 

BTW, I've decided that before Win 7 plays out I too will be a Linux user.

I'm sure many more MS customers will be joining the Linux ranks before this dust hits the ground.

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If it makes anyone in the pc universe feel better, I've stopped upgrading my mac os, even though they offer it for free.  Every time I did, I had to go to an apple store to get it installed correctly, and with each 'upgrade' I've liked it less and less.  Oh, for the days of Snow Leopard. . . .

Back in the beginning, many, moons ago now. I was trying to decide which camp I should join, Mac or PC. 

Mac was very stable, compared to generic "IBM" compatible PC's, They had proprietary software that worked well. 

They were the Betamax, of home PC's. 

But they were also more expensive, and so was their software, and there was a much smaller selection of programs compared with IBM PC's. 

IBM's were still using DOS, Windows had just come out with a GUI very similar to MAC making them more user friendly, but because there were so many manufacturers of hardware and software there was no standard to go by. IBM PC's were more problematic than MACs, and MAC user's seemed very happy, and loyal. 

BUT, for me my choice was software driven. What I needed at the time was only available in the IBM camp, so that is where I went. 

Eventually MS grew and did some wonderful things. Yeah Bill Gates stole from Steve Jobs, but, Jobs stole from Xerox, they were all a bunch of pirates and thieves, stealing from each other with the goal to whittle "big blue" down to size. 

Eventually Windows became better and better, Microsoft got big enough that it became a standard for PC's that manufacturers of software and hardware could comply with for a sense of uniformity. That was a good thing as programs became more stable and plug and play was introduced, making these PC's more and more like MAC's. 

Unfortunately the old adage comes to play, where power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Both Gates and Jobs were creative AND ruthless. Before Gates left MS as the richest man in the world, and Jobs passed away, both companies were well on the paths they are today. But MS has become totally ruthless in their power plays, it really scares me that they think that they can get away with this sort of thing, and nobody will stop them. 

They have become the "big blue" that Steve Jobs depicted in that one incredibly Orwellian MAC commercial decades ago. 

God help us all if control of this technology ends up in the hands of a true totalitarian dictator one day...

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I am not a tech savvy person at all as you can tell by references I make in my posts to handwriting and just getting a PC instead of a tower computer.

 

I have Windows 7.

 

 

Has anyone else noticed that Norton anti-spyware actually destroys your computer?  I had someone put it in my computer free and from then on the numbers lock wouldn't shut off and the computer was ruined.  I had to get another computer.

 

I have Iobit instead and I don't upgrade at all.

I stopped using Norton around the turn of the last century. 

 

Software, generally can't destroy hardware, unless it is on a power loop that causes things to overheat and some components fry, as in some crazily wild burn in test. Generally that never happens if the components are good and have plenty of room to breathe. 

 

Regarding that Numbers lock, the key may have stuck (a mechanical problem), or Norton may have messed with the keyboard software, possibly corrupting it. Before dumping it there are other things to be tried.

If the OS was actually messed with it could have been reinstalled, or just the various drivers, to fix the keyboard if it was a software issue. 

In most worst case scenarios aside from a mechanical meltdown, the machine is very likely still salvageable.

If you still have that old PC and you want to start from scratch, all you have to do is F disk it, which wipes the hard drive clean, then do a fresh install of whatever Operating system that your hardware configuration can support  and that you want. 

You probably can still get files that you may want to salvage off of the old hard drive, so try that before you F disk. 

If you don't understand what I'm talking about check it with a trusted friend that is tech savvy, or a professional outfit that you can trust. But one thing that you ALWAYS want to do with any PC before you either sell it, give it away, or dispose of it is to nuke the hard drive with an F Disk operation. It not only lobotomizes your PC but decapitates the memory completely. Even when you delete files, they are still there on your Hard drive, and most often can be recovered with the right programs. All you do when you delete a file is give permission to write over the existing file. Eventually it may be rewritten so many times that it becomes totally indecipherable. But Never allow any one access to your drives if they have anything personal or private on them, either nuke the hard drive with an F disk (which totally re-formats the drive), or pull the drive for other things or physically destroy it like with a hammer and in a furnace.

Just asking for trouble if the wrong hands get on them. Sort of like throwing old bills and bank statements into the trash without shredding them... Really bad and personally dangerous idea. 

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Stephan, I've been a Windows user since Windows 95.  Not an IT person, but I have loaded all my own computers.  XP was my favorite.  I upgraded just my laptop from XP to 7 maybe about six months ago.   It was shaky at best, so I reloaded it and disabled the Windows Updates from the Services panel.  Then it ran fine.  For whatever reason, I enabled the updates just for one bulk update.  A few months after that, I began to get random unsolicited offers to upgrade to Windows 10, as well as different background downloads which contained different parts of Windows 10.  Microsoft is determined to get everybody upgraded from 7 or 8 to 10.  By hook or by crook.

 

So, like you, I found programs out there which included DWS. Under normal circumstances, software like this would raise all kinds of red flags for me.  After all, anything that is allowed to modify your system like this is technically a security vulnerability.  In this case though, it is certain OS "updates" which are the problem.  I do think that at least one of those types of programs provided open source code along with the regular program, so more astute users could inspect it for themselves and publicly complain if it didn't do what it says it does.

 

DIE HARD WINDOWS USERS STOP READING HERE

 

I really had no intention of looking at Linux, and had no interest.  The last time I tried Linux was about ten or fifteen years ago.  It was a distribution called Mandrake, which goes by a different name now.  It was mostly an experiment back then, and not anything close to Windows.  Interesting, but not terribly useful for the average home user.

 

Today there is a distribution called Linux Mint.  It is a newer distro, having been launched in the last 10 years.  So it is fresh and contemporary.

 

It contains a user-friendly combination of both Ubuntu and Debian Linux features (the two most widely used Linux distros today).  All I know is about a month and a half ago, someone on a non-technical message board recommended it to me, so I tried it out.  Right about at the time the Windows 10 time bombs started going off.

 

I would at least recommend you give it a try on your computer which you use to access the Internet.  Download the Live DVD .iso for it, burn it to DVD, and boot up with it.  (You might first need to hit the F12 key or similar to boot from the DVD).  It is a "Live DVD", so it will not make any changes to your hard drive, unless you click on the big huge "Install" icon on the Linux Mint desktop. 

 

Put the DVD in and it will boot up, load up in RAM/memory only, then it will take some time as it looks at your computer hardware.  It will start up, configure drivers, and then the normal desktop environment will come up.  This will be a temporary "evaluation" session, and your computer will completely forget about it upon shutdown.  You will have a chance to see if it might be a good candidate for your machine, without disturbing or making any changes to your machine.

 

You may need to find the Driver Manager in the start menu to finish adding your network or video driver.  This is a simple point and click interface with radio buttons. All drivers will be contained on the DVD or will be provided from their online repository.  You won't have to provide anything.  The hardware drivers are less specific in Linux, as they are written for the actual chip, not the many vendor-specific products that chips are used on.  So fewer possibilities.

 

Here is the main link to their website.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

 

IF YOU DECIDE TO INSTALL IT, BE SURE TO MAKE A BACKUP OF ALL YOUR DATA, OR EVEN BETTER, PULL OUT YOUR EXISTING HARD DRIVE AND PUT A FRESH HARD DRIVE IN ITS PLACE.  (My recommendation)

 

Just some additional thoughts:
 

There are four different "editions" available.  These are like "Windows Themes" more or less, except each has some different bells and whistles and and some different variations on preinstalled software.  I personally use the Cinnamon version.  This is the full-featured version shown on the first row on the download page.  Normally you would want the 64 bit version, unless you have a machine with an older processor (I think prior to duo-core).

 

Preinstalled software includes Libre Office, compatible with MS Office files as far as I can tell.  I am using the Excel clone here and there for a few small things and it works fine.  Also includes Firefox and all the add-ons it needs.  I eventually copied my Windows Firefox profile directory into the proper Linux directory, changed the profile text file to point to it, and it worked! 

 

It can read and write to Windows partitions.  It can also use Windows software, with either the free Wine addition (contained in software repository), or Crossover - a $59 polished version of Wine, from the same developers.  Crossover will run many Windows programs, it tricks them into thinking they are running in the Windows environment.  If that doesn't work, there is also "Oracle VirtualBox nonfree" (also in the software repository, proprietary and no charge to use).  That allows you to install and run whatever OS you might wish to use, within the Linux Mint environment and using Linux Mint as the host OS.

 

All software is easily installed or uninstalled with a single click using the Software Manager program, which searches through the Linux Mint repository.  It is a package manager, so it manages dependencies, much like Windows Add/Remove Programs, except that it really keeps track of everything.

 

Data security and vulnerabilities are ensured by sticking to model of all host software being installed using the Mint repository (or other trusted repositories or sources which can be added by the user).  No Linux antivirus is necessary.  HDD fragmentation is not an issue, due to a different file system and the way it works.  Windows viruses will not run or have any effect on Linux.  The only antivirus widely used on Linux is "ClamAV", which is usually just used on Linux servers which Windows machines connect to and retrieve files from, such as email servers.  The antivirus is only to protect the Windows machines from Windows viruses.

 

Those are just some basic ideas to answer some basic questions for Windows users.  I have successfully migrated all the software I use on my laptop over to Linux Mint, with a few tweaks here or there, and haven't had any need to boot up in Windows 7 in about a few weeks.  I didn't expect it to go that way, it just kind of happened.

 

Key software which I continue to run on other Windows XP computers is limited to NextPVR (PC DVR software), and VideoRedo (video editing software).  That is due to them using what would be kernel-level drivers in Linux, and might come out in due time if there is enough demand.

 

Hope that helps some of the more technically inclined people.  Anyone with questions specific to Linux Mint can ask me, or look on their forum.

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Stephan, I've been a Windows user since Windows 95.  Not an IT person, but I have loaded all my own computers.  XP was my favorite.  I upgraded just my laptop from XP to 7 maybe about six months ago.   It was shaky at best, so I reloaded it and disabled the Windows Updates from the Services panel.  Then it ran fine.  For whatever reason, I enabled the updates just for one bulk update.  A few months after that, I began to get random unsolicited offers to upgrade to Windows 10, as well as different background downloads which contained different parts of Windows 10.  Microsoft is determined to get everybody upgraded from 7 or 8 to 10.  By hook or by crook.

 

So, like you, I found programs out there which included DWS. Under normal circumstances, software like this would raise all kinds of red flags for me.  After all, anything that is allowed to modify your system like this is technically a security vulnerability.  In this case though, it is certain OS "updates" which are the problem.  I do think that at least one of those types of programs provided open source code along with the regular program, so more astute users could inspect it for themselves and publicly complain if it didn't do what it says it does.

 

DIE HARD WINDOWS USERS STOP READING HERE .......

 

 

In all my checking so far I haven't found a single negative user review of either GWX Control Panel or Win10wiwi, (quite the opposite, in fact)

I also downloaded but did not install Aegis Script for Win 7/8 to block all telemetry updates and Windows 10 upgrade components (v/technology)

I'm still testing out the two above, and so far I have no complaints with either, and they both appear to be performing as claimed. It has  only been a couple of weeks so far, but I already feel much relief since installing them.

I just didn't want to wait too long before I posted about this because it seems like as of this month MS has been started to  trigger more of their Win 10 installs on unsuspecting users, some of which no doubt post on these boards. 

 

I was glancing at some very positive reviews about Linux Mint and Libreoffice as alternatives to Microsoft while trying to find a cure for this Win 10 fiasco. 

I earmarked them so I could come back to them later. 

But this post of yours is extremely valuable to me and I'm sure will be likewise for many others who are fed up with Microsoft, but are unsure of what to do or where to go. 

 

You and I both know that this problem will never end with Microsoft and the only real "cure" is to get away from them completely. 

My big issue was a huge investment in Microsoft propriety software... If Linux Mint can create a virtual Windows environment that will allow me to still use my existing programs, (perhaps in a similar way as Win 95 created an artificial DOS environment for backward compatibility on that Windows platform at that time), then my problem may be solved much sooner than I imagined, and in a much more permanent way. 

 

I cannot fully express to you how grateful I am for your detailed post.

When folks that we are familiar with and trust on these boards share information like this with each other, it carries much more credible weight than a review from someone that we don't know at all.

 

Your post, has made my post, totally worthwhile. 

I  thank you again MCOH for taking the time to share.  :D

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In all my checking so far I haven't found a single negative user review of either GWX Control Panel or Win10wiwi, (quite the opposite, in fact)

I also downloaded but did not install Aegis Script for Win 7/8 to block all telemetry updates and Windows 10 upgrade components (v/technology)

I'm still testing out the two above, and so far I have no complaints with either, and they both appear to be performing as claimed. It has  only been a couple of weeks so far, but I already feel much relief since installing them.

I just didn't want to wait too long before I posted about this because it seems like as of this month MS has been started to  trigger more of their Win 10 installs on unsuspecting users, some of which no doubt post on these boards. 

 

I was glancing at some very positive reviews about Linux Mint and Libreoffice as alternatives to Microsoft while trying to find a cure for this Win 10 fiasco. 

I earmarked them so I could come back to them later. 

But this post of yours is extremely valuable to me and I'm sure will be likewise for many others who are fed up with Microsoft, but are unsure of what to do or where to go. 

 

You and I both know that this problem will never end with Microsoft and the only real "cure" is to get away from them completely. 

My big issue was a huge investment in Microsoft propriety software... If Linux Mint can create a virtual Windows environment that will allow me to still use my existing programs, (perhaps in a similar way as Win 95 created an artificial DOS environment for backward compatibility on that Windows platform at that time), then my problem may be solved much sooner than I imagined, and in a much more permanent way. 

 

I cannot fully express to you how grateful I am for your detailed post.

When folks that we are familiar with and trust on these boards share information like this with each other, it carries much more credible weight than a review from someone that we don't know at all.

 

Your post, has made my post, totally worthwhile. 

I  thank you again MCOH for taking the time to share.  :D

 

You're welcome.  Here is the page to search for your Windows programs, to see if they have been tested or not on Crossover.  Since Crossover is a paid program, it is not contained in the LInux repository.  It is a ".deb" file downloaded from this website, similar to a Windows executable.  Not the norm for Linux Mint, but safe in this case.

https://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility

 

Aside from that you could always bring your own OS and install into a virtual environment with Oracle VirtualBox.  You will need to have your OS install disk and license ready for that. (Unlike Crossover, VirtualBox actually runs any OS you install into it).

 

P.S. In my testing, getting this far is really beyond the scope of using the "Live DVD" mode.  Installing Windows software "virtually" into memory may or may not work, and certainly won't perform the same as an actual hard drive installation.

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Just discovered that my thread was transfered from the General Discussion Board, to this one.

 

If this thread has run it's course, I'll not bump it again unless I have some new news regarding the topic and/or recommended remedies... 

 

Regarding the three that I have personally applied: GWX Control Panel, Win10WiWi (Windows 10, When I Want It), and as of last week, Aegis Script for Win 7/8 to block all telemetry updates and Windows 10 upgrade components (v/technology), ...

The last two are standalone scripts that run once to remove the MS spy updates, Windows 10 files & folders, and MS updates that allow the downloading and installation of Windows 10. So it has only been necessary to run them once as they also block the reinstall of those known files. The GWX Control Panel is the only one that can remain in residence (if you choose) to silently monitor and warn if Microsoft has reinserted any of those files or folders.

If Microsoft alters the labels of those updates, or comes up with a different way to insert them, then they may be undetected by the above, and require a different download and execution. But so far, my PC appears to be "clean" and since the only things that have been altered are those specific to preventing Microsoft from unloading their Windows 10 upgrade on my PC, I have had NO conflicts or altered functionality of any of my other programs or utilities.

 

As a precaution, before installing any program that can make changes to your PC, I always recommend performing at least a manual restore point, or better a back up to an external hard drive.

That way, if anything does go south on your PC from the installation, you have a way of recovering from it.

Many programs will perform an auto restore point for you, but some do not, so better to err on the side of redundancy than suffer from not.

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Just discovered that my thread was transfered from the General Discussion Board, to this one.

 

If this thread has run it's course, I'll not bump it again unless I have some new news regarding the topic and/or recommended remedies... 

 

Regarding the three that I have personally applied: GWX Control Panel, Win10WiWi (Windows 10, When I Want It), and as of last week, Aegis Script for Win 7/8 to block all telemetry updates and Windows 10 upgrade components (v/technology), ...

The last two are standalone scripts that run once to remove the MS spy updates, Windows 10 files & folders, and MS updates that allow the downloading and installation of Windows 10. So it has only been necessary to run them once as they also block the reinstall of those known files. The GWX Control Panel is the only one that can remain in residence (if you choose) to silently monitor and warn if Microsoft has reinserted any of those files or folders.

If Microsoft alters the labels of those updates, or comes up with a different way to insert them, then they may be undetected by the above, and require a different download and execution. But so far, my PC appears to be "clean" and since the only things that have been altered are those specific to preventing Microsoft from unloading their Windows 10 upgrade on my PC, I have had NO conflicts or altered functionality of any of my other programs or utilities.

 

As a precaution, before installing any program that can make changes to your PC, I always recommend performing at least a manual restore point, or better a back up to an external hard drive.

That way, if anything does go south on your PC from the installation, you have a way of recovering from it.

Many programs will perform an auto restore point for you, but some do not, so better to err on the side of redundancy than suffer from not.

I tried the free windows 10 upgrade once, didn't like it and went right back to 8.1 and the windows 10 upgrade icon never returned. :)

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I tried the free windows 10 upgrade once, didn't like it and went right back to 8.1 and the windows 10 upgrade icon never returned. :)

Evidently ND, you were one of the lucky ones who have had no problems going back to their previous OS after having had Win 10 installed on their PC. Microsoft says that they are allowing up to 30 days after the Win 10 Upgrade to reverse your decision... But many have complained that when they attempted to do so they had so many issues that they were forced to F disk and reinstall everything in an effort to get back to where they were before the Upgrade happened.

 

Some appear to be very happy with Win 10.

I join those who dislike relinquishing control of my PC to an Operating System and it's manufacturer.

 

For skeptics, here are some important highlights about Microsoft and

Windows 10

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_10

 

Microsoft aimed to have Windows 10 installed on at least one billion devices in the two to three years following its release.[4]

 

Windows 10 was also criticized for limiting how users can control its operation; in particular, Windows Update installs all updates automatically, no longer allows users to selectively install updates, and only the Pro edition of Windows 10 can delay the automatic installation of new builds of the platform.

Privacy concerns were also voiced by critics and advocates, as the operating system's default settings and certain features require the transmission of user data to Microsoft or its partners.

Microsoft has also received criticism for how it has distributed Windows 10‍—‌which has included the automatic downloads of installation files to computers without expressed user consent and nag pop-ups advertising the upgrade. Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system's bundled software (such as the Edge web browser), as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch.[5][6][7]

 

Internet Explorer 11 is maintained on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes, but is deprecated in favor of Edge and will no longer be actively developed.[61][62]

 

Removed features

Windows Media Center was discontinued, and is uninstalled when upgrading from a previous version of Windows.[88][89]

 

Users are no longer able to synchronize Start menu layouts across all devices associated with a Microsoft account.

 

The ability to automatically install a Windows Store app across all devices associated with an account was also removed.[94]

Web browsers can no longer set themselves as a user's default without further intervention;

 

Parental controls no longer support browsers other than IE and Edge, and the ability to control browsing by a whitelist was removed.[96]

Also removed were the ability to control local accounts, the ability to scan a machine for applications to allow and block, and the "Curfew" feature where a parent could specify allowed times by arbitrary 30 minute intervals.

 

The option to select various methods for downloading Windows Updates (or ignoring them completely) was removed. Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users, if configured by the administrator, may defer updates, but only for a limited time.[98]

Under the Windows end-user license agreement, users consent to the automatic installation of all updates, features and drivers provided by the service, and to the automatic removal or changes to features being modified or no longer provided.[99][100][101]

 

Public release

Microsoft promoted that Windows 10 would become generally available (GA) on July 29, 2015. In comparison to previous Windows releases, which had a longer turnover between the RTM and general release to allow for testing by vendors (and in some cases, the development of "upgrade kits" to prepare systems for installation of the new version),

 

Users are able to in-place upgrade through the "Get Windows 10" application (GWX) and Windows Update,[123] or the "Media Creation Tool", which is functionally identical to the Windows 8 online installer, and can also be used to generate an ISO image or USB install media.[124]

In-place upgrades are supported from most editions of Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 with Update 1, while users with Windows 8 must first upgrade to Windows 8.1. Changing between architectures (e.g. upgrading from 32-bit edition to a 64-bit editions) via in-place upgrades is not supported; a clean install is required.[125][126]

In-place upgrades may be rolled back to the device's previous version of Windows, provided that 30 days have not past since installation, and backup files were not removed using Disk Cleanup.[127]

 

Free upgrade offer

During the first year of availability, upgrade licenses for Windows 10 will be available at no charge to users who own a genuine license for an eligible edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8, and have installed the latest service pack for their currently installed version (SP1 and Windows 8.1 respectively).[132][136][137]

 

all users running non-genuine copies of Windows, and those without an existing Windows 7 or 8 license, are not entitled to freely upgrade to Windows 10; upgrading from a non-genuine version is possible, but will result in a non-genuine copy of 10.[111][128][137][138][139]

 

On June 1, 2015, the "Get Windows 10" application ("GWX") was activated on Windows devices running versions eligible to upgrade to, and compatible with, Windows 10. Via a system tray icon, users can access an application that advertises Windows 10 and the free upgrade offer, checks for device compatibility, and allows users to "reserve" an automatic download of the operating system upon its release.[143][144]

On July 28, a pre-download process began in which Windows 10 installation files were downloaded to some computers that had reserved it. Microsoft stated that those who reserved Windows 10 would be able to install it through GWX in a phased rollout process, 

[NOTE also automatically downloaded to many users that had NOT reserved it, and did NOT want it!]

 

Updates and support

Windows 10 is serviced in a significantly different manner from previous releases of Windows. Its delivery is often described by Microsoft as a "service", due to its ongoing updates, with Terry Myerson explaining that Microsoft's aim is that "the question 'what version of Windows are you running' will cease to make sense."[137][147][148]

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Update does not allow the selective installation of updates, and all updates (including patches, feature updates, and driver software) are downloaded and installed automatically. Users can only choose whether their system will reboot automatically to install updates when the system is inactive, or be notified to schedule a reboot.[149][150]

 

by default, users' bandwidth is used to distribute previously downloaded updates to other users, in combination with Microsoft servers.

 

The original RTM release of Windows 10 ("Windows 10, released in July 2015") receives mainstream support for five years after its original release, followed by five years of extended support, but this is subject to conditions. Microsoft's support lifecycle policy for the operating system notes that "Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it", that "a device needs to install the latest update to remain supported", and that a device's ability to receive future updates will depend on hardware compatibility, driver availability, and whether the device is within the OEM's "support period"‍—‌a new aspect not accounted for in lifecycle policies for previous versions.[152][153]

Microsoft initially stated that Windows 10 would freely receive updates for the "supported lifetime of the device."[137]

To comply with U.S. accounting laws, revenue for Windows 10 is deferred "on a straight-line basis over the estimated period the software upgrades are expected to be provided by estimated device life", defined as two to four years depending on "customer type."[154]

 

System requirements

The basic hardware requirements to install Windows 10 are the same as for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, and only slightly higher than Windows 7. 64-bit computers must have a CPU that supports certain CPU instructions to function.[174]

Devices with low storage capacity must provide a USB flash drive or SD card with sufficient storage for temporary files during upgrades.[175]

 

Unlike Windows 8, OEMs are no longer required to make Secure Boot settings user-configurable, meaning that devices may optionally be locked to run only Microsoft-signed operating systems.[179]

 

In January 2016, Microsoft stated that Windows 10 will be the only Windows platform supported on future CPU microarchitectures; support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on systems using Intel's Skylake processors will be phased out by July 17, 2017, and beginning with the upcoming generations of Intel (Kaby Lake) and AMD (Bristol Ridge) architectures, Windows 10 will be the only Windows platform supported. Terry Myerson argued that Microsoft did not want to make further investments in optimizing newer generations of processors and their associated software for older versions of Windows.[181][182]

Reception

TechRadar felt that Windows 10 would be "the new Windows 7", citing the operating system's more familiar user interface, improvements to bundled apps, performance improvements, a "rock solid" search system, and the Settings app being more full-featured than its equivalents on 8 and 8.1.

 

Engadget was similarly positive, noting that the upgrade process was painless, and that Windows 10's user interface had balanced aspects of Windows 8 with those of previous versions with a more mature aesthetic. Cortana's always-on voice detection was considered to be its "true strength",

 

Ars Technica noted that Windows 10's new Start menu system had an artificial cap of 500 entries, and that any apps beyond this cap would not appear in the Start menu's "All apps" view, nor search results.

 

Windows 10 was considered "the best Windows yet" and was praised for having a better overall concept in its ability to be "comfortable and effective" across a wide array of form factors, but that it was buggier than previous versions of Windows were on-launch.[7]

 

ExtremeTech felt that Windows 10 restricted the choices of users, citing its more opaque setting menus, forcing users to give up bandwidth for the peer-to-peer distribution of updates, and for taking away user control of specific functions, such as updates, explaining that "it feels, once again, as if Microsoft has taken the seed of a good idea, like providing users with security updates automatically, and shoved the throttle to maximum."[184]

Especially in combination with the free upgrade offer, some outlets also noted that Windows 10 heavily emphasized freemium services, such as media storefronts, Office 365, and paid functionality in bundled games such as Microsoft Solitaire Collection‍—‌which requires purchase of a subscription to remove in-game advertising and unlock additional features, even though said features were added to the app's Windows 8 version in March 2013.[185][186][187][188]

 

Market share and sales

According to Microsoft VP, 24 hours after release, there were more than 14 million devices running Windows 10.[194]

According to Microsoft VP, on August 26, 28 days after released, more than 75 million devices running Windows 10, in 192 countries, and on more than 90,000 unique PC or tablet models.[195]

Windows 10 has been installed on more than 110 million devices according to Microsoft's Terry Myerson on October 6, 2015.[196]

As of January 4, 2016, Microsoft is reporting that Windows 10 has been activated on more than 200 million devices since the operating system's launch five months ago.[197][198]

[NOTE: Microsoft does not divulge how many of these activations have been 'auto matic", and NOT by the user's request or choice]

 

Update system changes

Windows 10 Home is permanently set to download all updates automatically, including cumulative updates, security patches, and drivers, and users cannot individually select updates to install or not.[89] Microsoft offers a diagnostic tool that can be used to hide updates and prevent them from being reinstalled, but only after they had been already installed, then uninstalled without rebooting the system.[200][201]

 

Concerns were raised that due to these changes, users would be unable to skip the automatic installation of updates that are faulty or cause issues with certain system configurations‍—‌although some updates will also be subject to public beta testing through Windows Insider.[200][202]

There were also concerns that the forced installation of driver updates through Windows Update, where they were previously designated as "optional", could cause conflicts with drivers that were installed independently of Windows Update. An example of such a situation occurred just prior to the general release of the operating system, when an Nvidia graphics card driver that was automatically pushed to Windows 10 users via Windows Update caused issues that prevented the use of certain functions, or prevented their system from booting at all.[200]

Criticism was also directed towards Microsoft's decision to no longer provide specific details on the contents of cumulative updates for Windows 10.[101]

On February 9, 2016, Microsoft retracted this decision and began to provide release notes for cumulative updates on the Windows website.[203]

Some users reported that during the installation of the November upgrade, some applications (particularly utility programs such as CPU-Z and Speccy) were automatically uninstalled during the upgrade process, and some default programs were reset to Microsoft-specified defaults (such as Photos app, and Microsoft Edge for PDF viewing), both without warning.[156][204]

 

Distribution practices

Microsoft has received mixed reception for its methods of promoting the free upgrade. The main subject of criticism is the "Get Windows 10" (GWX) program used to advertise and initiate the download, which was downloaded and installed via Windows Update patches ; a Computerworld writer felt the program constituted a "nag".[205] Microsoft has also received criticism for using deceptive user interfaces to coax users into installing the operating system,[206][207]downloading installation files without user consent,[208][205] and making it difficult for users to suppress the advertising and notifications if they do not wish to upgrade to 10.[208][205][209]

As of January 2016, Microsoft has not yet provided any official method to suppress GWX notifications or prompts regarding Windows 10. Registry keys can be used to partially disable the GWX mechanism, but the installation of patches to the GWX software via Windows Update may reset these keys back to defaults, and thus reactivate the software.[209][206]

In September 2015, it was reported that Microsoft was triggering automatic downloads of the Windows 10 installation files on all compatible Windows 7 or 8.1 computers with Windows Update configured to automatically download and install updates, regardless of whether or not they had specifically requested the upgrade. Microsoft officially confirmed the change, claiming it was "an industry practice that reduces time for installation and ensures device readiness." This move has been criticized by users who have data caps or devices with low storage capacity, as resources were consumed by the automatic downloads of up to 6 GB of data. Other critics argued that Microsoft should not have triggered any downloading of Windows 10 installation files without user consent.[205][208][210]

 

In October 2015, Windows 10 began to appear as an "Optional" update in the Windows Update interface, but checked off for installation on some systems. A Microsoft spokesperson stated that this was a mistake, and that the download would no longer be checked off by default.[207]

However, on October 29, 2015, Microsoft announced that it planned to consider Windows 10 as a "recommended" update in the Windows Update interface some time in 2016, which will cause an automatic download of installation files, and cause a one-time prompt with a choice to install to appear.[211][212]

In December 2015, it was reported that a new advertising dialog had begun to appear, only containing "Upgrade now" and "Upgrade tonight" buttons, and no obvious method to decline installation besides the close button.[206]

 

Privacy and data collection

Concerns were shown by advocates and other critics for Windows 10's privacy policies and its collection and use of customer data.[213]

Under the default "Express" settings, Windows 10 is configured to send various information to Microsoft and other parties, including the collection of user contacts, calendar data, and "associated input data" to personalize "speech, typing, and inking input", typing and inking data to improve recognition, allowing apps to use a unique "advertising ID" for analytics and advertising personalization (functionality introduced by Windows 8.1)[214]and allow apps to request the user's location data and send this data to Microsoft and "trusted partners" to improve location detection (Windows 8 had similar settings, except that location data collection did not include "trusted partners"[184]).

Users can opt out from most of this data collection,[184][213]but telemetry data for error reporting and usage is also sent to Microsoft, and this cannot be disabled on non-Enterprise versions of Windows 10.[184] Microsoft's privacy policy states, however, that "Basic"-level telemetry data is anonymized and cannot be used to identify an individual user or device.[215]

The use of Cortana also requires the collection of data "such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device” to personalize its functionality.[213][216]

Rock Paper Shotgun writer Alec Meer argued that Microsoft's intent for this data collection lacked transparency, stating that "there is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different settings screens and an external website constitutes 'real transparency'."[213]

ExtremeTech pointed out that, whilst previously scroogling against Google for similar data collection strategies, "[Microsoft] now hoovers up your data in ways that would make Google jealous."[184]

However, it was also pointed out that the requirement for such vast usage of customer data had become a norm, citing the increased reliance on cloud computing and other forms of external processing, as well as similar data collection requirements for services on mobile devices such as Google Now and Siri.[213][216]

In August 2015, Russian politician Nikolai Levichev called for Windows 10 to be banned from use within the Russian government, as it sends user data to servers in the United States. The country had passed a federal law requiring all online services to store the data of Russian users on servers within the country by September 2016, or be blocked.[217][218][219] Writing for ZDNet, Ed Bott said that the lack of complaints by businesses about privacy in Windows 10 indicated "how utterly normal those privacy terms are in 2015."[220]

In a Computerworld editorial, Preston Gralla said, "The kind of information Windows 10 gathers is no different from what other operating systems gather. But Microsoft is held to a different standard than other companies."[221]

Microsoft Services Agreement reads that the company's online services may automatically "download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices." Critics interpreted this statement as implying that Microsoft would scan for and delete unlicensed software installed on devices running Windows 10.[222]

However, others pointed out that this agreement was specifically for Microsoft online services such as Microsoft account, Office 365, Skype, as well as Xbox Live, and that the offending passage most likely referred to digital rights management on Xbox consoles and first-party games, and not plans to police copied video games installed on Windows 10 PCs.[222][223] Despite this, some torrent trackers announced plans to block Windows 10 users, also arguing that the operating system could send information to anti-piracy groups that are affiliated with Microsoft.[224]

Writing about these allegations, Ed Bott of ZDNet compared Microsoft's privacy policy to Apple's and Google's and concluded that "after carefully reading the Microsoft Services Agreement, the Windows license agreement...and the Microsoft Privacy Statement carefully, I don't see anything that looks remotely like Big Brother."[220]

Columnist Kim Komando argued that "Microsoft might in the future run scans and disable software or hardware it sees as a security threat," consistent with the Windows 10 update policy.[225]

 

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George Orwell could only imagine what technology is now capable of doing.

As I said in a previous post in this thread:

God help us all if control of this technology ends up in the hands of a true totalitarian dictator one day...

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Is Microsoft forcing Windows 10 upgrades?

 

"If you’re still running Windows 7 or 8.1 and have no interest in upgrading to Windows 10, it’s important to understand why the rumors of a ‘forced upgrade’ are going around.

Microsoft is not forcing automatic upgrades, but they did recently change the Windows 10 upgrade from an ‘optional upgrade’ to a ‘recommended upgrade,’ which is why some people are making this claim.

What’s actually happening is that anyone whose update settings treat recommended updates the same as important updates will get it automatically on the next automatic update cycle...."

 

"Microsoft will also remove programs that they believe would cause problems, such as third-party utilities or really old software programs. They will also remove anti-virus/anti-malware programs that aren’t compatible or have expired and replace them with Windows Defender.

Older programs are also a known problem, such as Office 2003 (especially if you want to use Outlook), which is why doing a comprehensive review of your computer hardware and software before upgrading to Windows 10 is highly recommended.

Microsoft does offer you the ability to revert to your previous version of Windows if you don’t like Windows 10, but you only have 30 days to do so."

 

http://wtop.com/consumer-tech/2016/02/column-microsoft-forcing-windows-10-upgrades/

 

--have heard of computer crashes after updating too.... :unsure:

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Well, I just did what was suggested and "unclicked" permission to treat 'recommended' as 'important'.

 

But, ah crud - I looked at the update history and there are quite a dew 'recommendeds' that were done over the past few months.

 

Guess I'm stuck with them now.

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Is Microsoft forcing Windows 10 upgrades?

 

"If you’re still running Windows 7 or 8.1 and have no interest in upgrading to Windows 10, it’s important to understand why the rumors of a ‘forced upgrade’ are going around.

Microsoft is not forcing automatic upgrades, but they did recently change the Windows 10 upgrade from an ‘optional upgrade’ to a ‘recommended upgrade,’ which is why some people are making this claim.

What’s actually happening is that anyone whose update settings treat recommended updates the same as important updates will get it automatically on the next automatic update cycle...."

 

"Microsoft will also remove programs that they believe would cause problems, such as third-party utilities or really old software programs. They will also remove anti-virus/anti-malware programs that aren’t compatible or have expired and replace them with Windows Defender.

Older programs are also a known problem, such as Office 2003 (especially if you want to use Outlook), which is why doing a comprehensive review of your computer hardware and software before upgrading to Windows 10 is highly recommended.

Microsoft does offer you the ability to revert to your previous version of Windows if you don’t like Windows 10, but you only have 30 days to do so."

 

http://wtop.com/consumer-tech/2016/02/column-microsoft-forcing-windows-10-upgrades/

 

--have heard of computer crashes after updating too.... :unsure:

 

The biggest vulnerability to that OS is the OS itself.  Reading online about the horror stories and fixes is just a bit like going through Alice's Restaurant Massacre once again.  Not that I don't enjoy it, but the original intent was for these to be personal computing devices.

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Well, I just did what was suggested and "unclicked" permission to treat 'recommended' as 'important'.

 

But, ah crud - I looked at the update history and there are quite a dew 'recommendeds' that were done over the past few months.

 

Guess I'm stuck with them now.

 

You don't have to be "stuck with them" DB.

There are several programs and scripts available to remove them...

As I posted earlier here, I have personally tried three of them with no ill effect, except that they apparantly did remove those nasty MS Win 10 upgrade files and their prerequisite spyware from my PC.

They left everything else untouched.

 

Regarding the three that I have personally applied:

 

GWX Control Panel

http://ultimateoutsider.com/downloads/

 

Win10WiWi (Windows 10, When I Want It)

http://win10wiwi.com/

 

Aegis Script for Win 7/8 to block all telemetry updates and Windows 10 upgrade components (v/technology)

https://voat.co/v/technology/comments/853510

Download:

Stable Release v1.13

Most recently Updated Sun Feb 21 2016

 

The last two are standalone scripts that run once to remove the MS spy updates, Windows 10 files & folders, and MS updates that allow the downloading and installation of Windows 10. So it has only been necessary to run them once as they also block the reinstall of those known files.

The GWX Control Panel is the only one that can remain in residence (if you choose) to silently monitor and warn if Microsoft has reinserted any of those files or folders.

 

NOTE: regarding the Aegis Script, I ran version 1.10

Also, I run the following Web Browsers on Win 7 pro 64: IE v9 (because I like it better than IE 10 & 11), Google Chrome v4, & Mozilla Firefox v4 (I use Firefox more than the others, but I have none as a "default" browser).

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not need to run any of these scripts, they are just more convenient that manually removing each of the questionable "update" files.

You can examine each of those "updates" at the bottom of this link:

https://voat.co/v/technology/comments/853510

and see what they are and do, and then remove any or all manually, if you so choose.

I tried that first and found that so many of them had been reinstalled, that deleting one only pushed it back to an earlier download of the same update.... requiring me to delete the same file three or four times before it was finally removed.

After manual removal, you can also manually block them (by making them "invisible" in your update queue) so you won't accidently select them when downloading future updates.

 

Because MS has changed these updates from "optional" to "recommended" and "important" I now examine each of the Updates for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems and even all of their recommended "security" updates before I download and install any of them.

 

I NO LONGER trust MS at all. And a very important difference between Win 7 and Win 10, is that with Win 7 users at least have the option to refuse any update that they do not deem to be in their  best interest. Users of Win 10 no longer have that option....

 

MS will DC any extended Win 7 "support" by 2020,  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/lifecycle

 

Thanks to the positive reviews and strong recommendations of  Linux Mint, Libreoffice, and "virtual Windows" features, etc. I will be moving as far away as I can from the MS operating systems and their proprietary software within the near future. 

See the previous links provided by MCOH in earlier posts here.

 

Until then, so long as MS continues their aggressive crusade to get every MS user into their Win 10 OS (and so far MS has not shown any sign of letting up on this, quite the contrary) those of us still using Win 7 and Win 8 will have to maintain an ongoing vigilence...

If Microsoft relabels those updates (with different identifiers), or comes up with a different way to insert them, then they may be undetected by the above removal programs, and require a more recent or different download and execution.

But so far, my PC appears to be "clean" and the only things that have been altered on my PC from running those scripts & program are those specific to preventing Microsoft from unloading their Windows 10 upgrade on my PC. And so far I have not noticed any conflicts or altered functionality of any of my other programs or utilities, after running any of them.

 

Still, as a precaution, before installing ANY program that can make changes to your PC, always perform at least a manual restore point, or even better a back up to an external hard drive.

That way, if anything does go wrong on your PC from ANY installation, you have a way of recovering from it.

 

Many programs will perform an auto restore point for you, but some do not, so it's better to err on the side of redundancy than suffer potentially negative consequences.

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If you go into accessories and then system tools there is a program called Disc Cleanup that will remove many temporary files and other things to give back disc space on your PC.

 

Be sure to click on the Clean Up System Files portion to get even more of these things removed as well. You may have to check some options to get it all and run it more than once.

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If you go into accessories and then system tools there is a program called Disc Cleanup that will remove many temporary files and other things to give back disc space on your PC.

 

Be sure to click on the Clean Up System Files portion to get even more of these things removed as well. You may have to check some options to get it all and run it more than once.

Disc Cleanup will NOT remove the offending MS "update" files nor the hidden files in their hidden $Windows.~BT, $Windows.~WS, and GWX folders...

AND if you perform a Disc Clean-up AFTER MS has already installed Win 10 on your PC and you desire to return to your prior operating system within their "30 day" window, you will delete your previous Operating System files as they will be removed during the Clean Up.

Disk Cleanup will gain some additional hard drive space, BUT Before performing a Disk Cleanup it's wise to actually examine the files that will be removed during the process. Especially if you have been negatively affected by the MS Win 10 upgrade!

 

EDIT: the Disc Cleanup utility will not reveal any of the files in question above that have been "concealed" and which are "protected" by MS, so not seeing them doesn't mean that they aren't there.

(NOTE: your prior OS files are NOT "protected" by MS so they are vulnerable to a Disc Cleanup during that 30 day Window. After the 30 day window, MS will automatically delete those OS files so you will no longer be able to even try to recover your old OS, without a fresh install!)

To view "hidden" files and folders you will need to go to "Folder Options", then select "View", then click on the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives button". Then go back to your C:\ root drive and carefully examine it! 

Be careful to not inadvertantly delete any important files that are revealed.

But regarding the nasty MS Win 10 upgrade files and folders, even if you delete those, they will reappear UNLESS you have meticulously and thoroughly removed each and every specifically offensive MS update file that has been installed on your PC.

Or use a tool specifically designed for that purpose!

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Geeze, I said it would remove many unwanted files, not those files specifically.

You are correct.

I just didn't want anyone reading this thread to get into trouble thinking that using Disc Cleanup was a "quick fix" for this particular problem.

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