Beware! Windows 10 downloaded to your computer without your permission

Fellowship of the Minds – by Dr. Eowyn

If you use Windows as an operating system for your computer, you have been receiving incessant notifications of free upgrades to Windows 10, the newest version.

If you resisted or ignored the offer, no doubt it’s because you know about the many warnings about Windows 10’s violation of your privacy. From Wikipedia:  

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) and allow apps to request the user’s location data and send this data to Microsoft and “trusted partners” to improvelocation detection (Windows 8 had similar settings, except that location data collection did not include “trusted partners”). Users can opt out from most of this data collection, 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. 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.

Another criticism of Windows 10 Home is that it permanently set to download all updates automatically, and users cannot individually select updates to install or not.

I’ve been saying “No” to Windows’ incessant reminders to upgrade to Windows 10.” Last night, however, I discovered that just saying no isn’t enough. Windows is downloading to your computer, without your permission, files to prepare your computer to upgrade to Windows 10! 

Cassandra Khaw (UK) reports for arstechnica, Sept. 11, 2015:

You might be in the process of acquiring Windows 10—whether you want the free upgrade or not. Microsoft has confirmed that it is “helping upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they need” in the event that owners decide to migrate to the new OS, even if they have heretofore passed up on “reserving” their free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.

The issue seems to revolve around the Microsoft update KB3035583, and as such it appears to only afflict individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates.As far as we can tell, if you have automatic updates turned off, Windows 10 won’t be pre-loaded onto your PC.

According to The Inquirer, the situation was first reported by an anonymous reader who claimed to have discovered a hidden directory called $Windows.~BT on his computer, despite not opting in for a free upgrade to Windows 10. The directory weighed in at “3.5GB to 6GB,” according to the reader.

“I thought Microsoft [said] this ‘upgrade’ was optional. If so, why is it being pushed out to so many computers where it wasn’t reserved, and why does it try to install over and over again?” he told the outlet.

His concerns are mirrored by numerous people across the Internet, who have been reporting similar revelations since as early as July.Getting rid of the unwanted files isn’t as quite as simple as clicking the delete button, unfortunately. But it doesn’t require any significant computer knowledge, either.Addictive Tips has a concise solution for the dilemma, which involves uninstalling the KB3035583 update prior to removing the actual folder.

While potentially disconcerting at first blush, the news isn’t exactly a shocker. Microsoft has been aggressive about promoting Windows 10, bombarding Windows 7 & 8 users with pop-ups suggesting the change. More crucially, by opting for automatic upgrades, a user is essentially agreeing to allow software developers to do as they will—in this case, proactively downloading Windows 10 in preparation for any changes of heart.

Here’s Microsoft’s statement to The Inquirer, in full:

For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files they’ll need if they decide to upgrade.

When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.

To see if Windows had installed the KB3035583 update to your computer without your permission or awareness:

  • Go to your computer’s Control Panel
  • Click “Programs”
  • Click “Uninstall an update”
  • Look for KB3035583

~Éowyn

http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2015/09/15/beware-windows-10-downloaded-to-your-computer-without-your-permission/

15 thoughts on “Beware! Windows 10 downloaded to your computer without your permission

  1. control panel > windows update > change settings > never check for updates

    I allowed updates when the computer was new (and needed them, because windows7 doesn’t even work out of the box), but I haven’t allowed them since. More than a year without an update and this piece of crap is still working fine (better than it would be if I had gotten the updates, from what I’m reading)

    This nightmare is my last windows computer. I may have no computer at all, but I’m never going to allow another microsoft product into my house.

    It’s no different than having the spying Jew himself looking into your window, and watching your every move. It makes you want to pluck the eyeballs from his head, so no, I’m definitely NOT giving the bastards any more money, and I feel like a schmuck for owning this computer, but it’s all that was available locally.

    1. I feel the same way JR, I have a Mac powerbook its 15 yrs. old and it will be the last computer I own. I don’t to updates, in 2000 Apple was a good company (in the public eye) but we all know thats not the case now.

  2. A general word of advise when it comes to updating software, operating systems, or device drivers: If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Too many times I’ve seen people update the aforementioned only to end up with either the app or OS f@#ked up. It happened to me early on in my computer life and I quickly learned the obvious: Newer isn’t always better, and frequently isn’t . . .

    1. A few more points. 1) I never turn my DSL modem on until my win8 laptop has fully booted, and shut that modem off before shutting down my laptop, and 2) I keep ALL my files on a USB external hard drive and routinely back-up my Opera and Firefox bookmarks to that external drive. I also NEVER access that external drive while connected to the internet and have wifi turned off.

  3. lol…. Linux Ubuntu. Free – and all the software is, too. I don’t even have an active AV. I run a cleaner once in awhile, never finds a thing.

    And guess what O/S they use for the Space Station?

    Did I mention it – and all the software – Photoshops, Pagemakers, Corels, Office, Words, and like programs, are FREE?

  4. Microsoft software should be avoided like the spyware it is. Same with anything made by Google.

    It’s highly advisable to stick with open source software as much as possible. Go to the Free Software Foundation’s web site and see what they recommend in the way of Linux and other software.

    Going the open source route can take time to learn if you’re accustomed to commercial software, but it’s worth the effort.

    I also recommend that people keep their computers disconnected from the Internet except when they actually need to be connected.

  5. Hmmmm…apparently either my machines are not able to handle windows 10 or MS is not pushing it out to people still running XP.

    I have XP on machine and windows 2000 on another and both work fine.

      1. I know that. I purposely loaded those two platforms because of that. It’s amazing. That windows 2000, with no SP’s or updates installed, is VERY fast. The machine that has XP on it is a bit of a dog but, it’s also SP3. I’m seriously considering formatting and re-installing the out of the box version to see what it runs like then.

  6. Thanks, Grin, for posting this.

    Another thing you all might to do is HIDE that update listed above, because every time updates show up you have to uncheck it otherwise. NEVER agree to automatic updates.

    When I got the update (when I was on automatic updates, up until end of June 2015) and “reserved” it just for the heck of it until I realized that was a mistake, then I uninstalled the KB listed above as well as KB2952664, and that stupid window icon went away. But if you can, HIDE the update, as well as these:

    KB2505438
    KB2670838 – Windows 7 Only (breaks AERO functionality and gives you blurry fonts on some websites)
    KB2976978 – Windows 8 only
    KB3021917
    KB3075249
    KB3075249 and KB3080149
    KB3068708, 3068787, 3022345
    that folder mentioned above as well

    Right now the only updates I install are security updates.

    My next laptop, if I get one, will use Linux. Will never upgrade out of Windows 7, and since Apple is now a douchebag as well, no Macs, either.

  7. Just don’t do updates. I have never did any updates and my computer works fine. Security updates are really insecurity updates. It’s all in the head. No need for them whatsoever.

    1. How does one stop updates please????

      Please be specific in your instructions please do not assume anything I am female and although I was once pretty savvy with this I lost it a long time ago I loved DOS and managed it well.

      Thank you
      can you please send the instruction email because I lost the ability to get reply notices email from the trenches and have not been able to fix that either. In subject please put stop window updates.
      My email is grinnbarrett@cfl.rr.com

      Thanks again

  8. I run windows 7 and whonix through virtual box and sometimes xp
    on virtual box. I love virtual box because I can run many operating systems at once.

    Unfortunately the software I need for working is only on windows.

    I’ll never use windows 10, ever…that would be like having an NSA analyst living with you. No thanks.

    -flek

  9. I liked my windows 7 but I really, really like windows 10. I’ve already removed all of windows 7 from the computer because windows 10 is so much better.

    I like the new desktop interface with its multiple desktops. I like organizing the applications that i am using on multiple desktops. I used to do that with linux. I like how simple and uncluttered the new desktop interface is.

    I can still develop applications with windows 10 using the programming languages that i used with windows 7.

    I would like to get an SSD and install a flavor of linux with a nice desk top on it. That would allow me to swap drives in my laptop and use linux instead of windows when i want to.

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