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Operating Systems Microsoft The Military Windows

Microsoft Auto-Scheduling Windows 10 Updates (tomshardware.com) 506

Pikoro quotes this report from Tom's Hardware: Windows 10 has been with us for a little over eight months now, which means there are only about four months remaining to get a free upgrade from an older Windows operating system. As the clock counts down, Microsoft has begun to auto-schedule PCs to upgrade to Windows 10 with or without consent from end users.

Now, as we near the end of the free upgrade period, Microsoft's malware-like upgrade system is becoming even more intrusive by autoscheduling upgrades to Windows 10. I noticed that the Windows 10 upgrade reminder pop-up on a Windows 7 PC was no longer asking me to upgrade; instead, it's now informing me that it has already scheduled an update for May 17.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps has discovered half their computers unexpectedly can't remotely upgrade to Windows 10, slowing their transition to what they expect to be a much more secure operating system.
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Microsoft Auto-Scheduling Windows 10 Updates

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  • fucktards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:33AM (#52115609)

    ...

    • Agreed, I certainly hope they are prepared to purchase upgrades to the software on my system that has been determined by their upgrade utility to be not compatible with Windoze 10. Attorney is locked and loaded, simply awaiting countdown to launch to explain to Microsoft exactly who owns this computer.

  • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:34AM (#52115615)
    In that case, my laptop (for convenience, the only device of mine running Windows) is now auto-scheduled for a Linux installation this year...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:05PM (#52115789)

      So you decided to go for speed and security over invasion and lack of security?
      Can't say I blame you.
      I've helped lots of people load GRC's Never10, but Linux is even better.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Don't forget convenience. It turns out that building a lot of the things I need or want to run on Windows is a hellish experience. For example, Chez Scheme was recently open-sourced and it turns out that building it on Windows is a clusterfuck. Or rather a cluster-build - you need two machines (or at least a unixy VM with file sharing configured). I merely put up with Windows on the laptop because of the vendor's support and presumably the power management still works slightly better on Windows, but that's
    • by xeoron ( 639412 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @01:51PM (#52116303) Homepage
      Two things to do: 1) Turn off auto-updates 2) Disable the upgrade with GRC's Never10 [grc.com]
      • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:08PM (#52116371)
        That won't fix the "my programming experience on Windows is shitty" problem, though.
      • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:37PM (#52116491)

        Also, it's worth pointing out, since the summary failed to do so, that all they've really done here appears to be classifying Windows 10 as a recommended update. That will mean anyone whose system is set to auto-install recommended updates will indeed get it. However, you can still cancel (or reschedule, if you prefer) when you get the prompt, and in any case if you don't have Windows Update set to auto-install things then this doesn't seem to make any difference to you.

        In other words, the people who are going to get stung by this are the ones who have auto-updates on anyway. Since that's one of the major reasons not to move to Windows 10 if you're not happy to accept whatever Microsoft decides you should have, the people who feel that way probably won't have auto-install turned on for earlier Windows versions anyway and should be OK here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:35AM (#52115619)

    I have scheduled a migration to Linux Mint on the exact same date!

    Well, jolly.

  • Dear Microsoft (Score:4, Insightful)

    by U2xhc2hkb3QgU3Vja3M ( 4212163 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:36AM (#52115625)

    Allow Windows XP and Windows Vista users to upgrade to Windows 10 and you'll see a lot of updates.

    • Re:Dear Microsoft (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:40AM (#52115651)

      And a lot of complaints as those XP / Vista machines struggle to boot due to lack of drivers.

      • Re:Dear Microsoft (Score:5, Informative)

        by creimer ( 824291 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:02PM (#52115779) Homepage

        And a lot of complaints as those XP / Vista machines struggle to boot due to lack of drivers.

        That would true for Windows XP-certified computers, but not for Windows Vista-certified computers. I rebuilt my computer nine years ago for Windows Vista. I had no problems upgrading to Windows 7/8/8.1/10. For older devices that don't have a Windows 10 driver, I manually install the Windows Vista driver to get them working again.

        • Sorry bullshit alert. I have several win 7 boxes at the shop (including one I intend to keep as my netbox) and not a single one will work with Windows 10 unless you consider a PC without Internet access to be "working".

          The Vista machines? I have found to be even worse, you have to remember that Nforce boards were REAL popular during the Vista/ early Win 7 boxes and the reasons why are obvious...really decent iGPUs, one vendor to provide everything, not bad on power usage, and guess what will never ever run

      • And a lot of complaints as those XP / Vista machines struggle to boot due to lack of drivers.

        Lord why?

        Windows 10 installs on 10+ year old machines just fine without any complaint. It will even install on a mid-level Pentium 4 without complaint (32-bit version), abit at performance levels that aren't very useful.

        Lots and lots of 2007-2009 machines have XP on them back when Vista sucked and people bought XP boxes instead.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:38AM (#52115639)

    Because it really seems like it is, to stop Microsoft from tampering with my computer system.

  • Time to sue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <<mojo> <at> <world3.net>> on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:39AM (#52115647) Homepage Journal

    If this happens to me, I'm taking Microsoft to Small Claims Court. It's cheap, don't need a lawyer, and Microsoft has to come to my local court to defend themselves. All I need as evidence that it wasn't user error is a few print outs of the numerous news stories on the subject. Judgement is on balance of probability so that's more than adequate.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      If this happens to me, I'm taking Microsoft to Small Claims Court. It's cheap, don't need a lawyer, and Microsoft has to come to my local court to defend themselves. All I need as evidence that it wasn't user error is a few print outs of the numerous news stories on the subject. Judgement is on balance of probability so that's more than adequate.

      I'm pretty sure that the original EULA contains language that explicitly prevents you from going to small court where you are, but have to arbitrate any claims in a specific jurisdiction. Whether that shrink wrap clause is enforceable or not where you live is likely something that cannot be determined by a small court, and you'd likely have to file a full lawsuit in order for the small court to accept your petition.

  • Confirmed (Score:5, Informative)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:42AM (#52115659)

    Confirmed.

    Yes, this happened to my instance of Win 7 on my laptop just a few days ago. I *never* gave permission for a Win 10 upgrade and *specifically* deselected the stealth updates....and fucking Microsoft went ahead and "upgraded" it to Win 10 anyway.

    But it gets worse.

    Upon booting I'm presented with a Login screen that insists on a password. This machine never had a password on it, but now it does and I have no idea what it is. I cannot get in to my own PC now. Apparently I need some sort of Windows Live account or some other password, but I honestly have no idea. I am locked out of that entire partition.

    My files are there, but I can't get to them. I can't login and so I'm literally locked out of my own PC thanks to the Win 10 forced upgrade.

    Fortunately, I installed Linux Mint on it a while ago, and so that's what Ill be using on it from now on I guess. I can boot into that partition at least.

    Thanks Microsoft, you shit-eating pukebags.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arth1 ( 260657 )

      My files are there, but I can't get to them. I can't login and so I'm literally locked out of my own PC thanks to the Win 10 forced upgrade.

      Fortunately, I installed Linux Mint on it a while ago, and so that's what Ill be using on it from now on I guess. I can boot into that partition at least.

      And now you know the value of backups in general, and bare metal backups in particular.

      With the price of a good sized NAS these days being around the cost of a dinner for two at a restaurant, I have sympathy for those that shit like this happened to, but none whatsoever for their not being able to revert.

      • Re:Confirmed (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Angeret ( 1134311 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:30PM (#52115901)

        This is not about having a backup regime though, is it? This is about an unwanted and forced update which has locked the owner of a computer out of his system. There's likely going to be a lot of people who don't have backups, especially those who believe the old MS hype that Windows can fix itself, etc, etc. I don't think you'd get much mileage telling them it's their own fault for not having backups.

        • It's about an unwanted and forced update that can be fairly quickly remedied by reverting to a backup prior to the forced upgrade.
          • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:49PM (#52116549)

            I have several pieces of expensive professional software that required activation installed on my work Windows 7 box. As we discovered after a sudden drive failure on the previous machine, all the back-ups in the world won't help you in that situation, and presumably it would be the same if you suddenly lost access due to the unexpected Windows 10 update and imaginary password issue described here.

            This is, of course, a very good argument against accepting that sort of software activation in the first place. Sadly, in some professional markets, you literally won't have a choice if you want/need to use any of the top level software products.

        • This is not about having a backup regime though, is it? This is about an unwanted and forced update which has locked the owner of a computer out of his system. .

          No, it's actually about BOTH. Yes, Microsoft is evil and what they are doing should be illegal.

          However, a very long time ago, when I knew very little about computers, it occurred to me that I should make a backup in case something went wrong. Nobody told me to do it, it just seemed like basic common sense. If you aren't able to revert back to a previously save backup, then you are too stupid to be using a computer.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          This is not about having a backup regime though, is it? This is about an unwanted and forced update which has locked the owner of a computer out of his system. There's likely going to be a lot of people who don't have backups, especially those who believe the old MS hype that Windows can fix itself, etc, etc. I don't think you'd get much mileage telling them it's their own fault for not having backups.

          It's not their fault that the forced upgrade happened. That's all Microsoft's fault, and a crappy thing.

          But the complaint about being locked out is due to not having taken any reasonable precautions, like a backup.

          It's like complaining about getting an unwanted child when prophylactics were readily available and affordable.

          Take some responsibility, people! Even if Microsoft are being dicks, that doesn't absolve you of not doing your own due diligence. Whether it's a forced Microsoft downgrade, a failed h

      • Re:Confirmed (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Voyager529 ( 1363959 ) <voyager529@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Sunday May 15, 2016 @02:22PM (#52116421)

        With the price of a good sized NAS these days being around the cost of a dinner for two at a restaurant

        I went to a *nice* steakhouse on Valentine's day in New York City, and two 18-ounce boneless steaks, three sides, an appetizer, two glasses of red wine (mid-range), two cappuccinos, and dessert cost about $250.

        A drive-free Netgear or Synology NAS costs about $220 on Newegg. 3TB hard disks are about $100 a pop on sale, so we'll assume a simple RAID-1 to start out on. Not exactly "good sized" by my standards personally (My NAS has 15TB raw), but we'll roll with it.

        Where the hell are you going for dinner??

    • Re:Confirmed (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FlyHelicopters ( 1540845 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:27PM (#52115887)

      Upon booting I'm presented with a Login screen that insists on a password. This machine never had a password on it, but now it does and I have no idea what it is. I cannot get in to my own PC now.

      Something is wrong with this story, because the above makes no sense.

      More likely you have an infected computer or someone else played with it or you don't know what you're doing.

      Windows 7/8 upgrades to 10 don't change or insert passwords.

    • Re:Confirmed (Score:5, Informative)

      by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:31PM (#52115909)

      Try this:

      http://www.chntpw.com/reset-fo... [chntpw.com]

      Make sure to rename the files back to normal after you get back in to your system.

    • Well, if the Windows disk partition isn't encrypted, then you can mount it and read the data from Linux.
    • In my general paranoia of not upgrading software that isn't broken, I never upgraded from 8 to 8.1. Maybe I'm open to all sorts of attack vectors from malevolent parties, but I feel safer knowing that the party that can hide their malware the easiest (Microsoft) isn't getting their software automatically installed on my machine.
      Of course, I never really thought it would come this.

      There are a couple of software solutions that claim to disable the Windows 10 upgrade. I can't vouch for them, but maybe s
    • That is appalling. Have you contacted MS about this? The writing is on the wall that Microsoft wants to take computer control away from the user. In some ways we should have seen this coming- how many times have I read gripes about users not knowing what they are doing in terms of managing their systems? - but it seems that the cure may be as bad as the disease. Worse for those who did know what they were doing.
  • by danielbeaver ( 1053940 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:44AM (#52115671)
    My local game store's Point Of Sale laptop started updating to Windows 10 on it's own in the middle of the work day. It was during an MTG release/tournament day, so he had tons of sales that he was frantically trying to keep track of in a makeshift ledger book. And then, of course, his POS software wasn't working once Windows 10 finished installing - it was an older software package, I'm not sure exactly which. He ended up buying a newer edition, and transferring is sales database to that, but only after staying up late trying to troubleshoot his old software. What did this Windows users gain from this experience? A lot of stress, missed sales, flat icons for his UI. Thanks, Microsoft.
    • Let me guess...

      Windows Home edition, everything on "automatic", and no ongoing maintenance was being done to keep it current outside of business hours.

      Yes, MS should adjust how these things work, but the bulk of the responsibility there is with the game store owner, not MS.

      Maintain your equipment, install updates on your schedule, and know what you're doing, or don't bitch about it doing it some other way.

      • by maugle ( 1369813 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @01:12PM (#52116107)
        Can you imagine if this attitude was taken by any other company?

        "Keurig agents have been sneaking into people's houses and replacing their Keurig coffeemakers with the new, fancy Keurig 10.0. However, the Keurig 10.0 is incompatible with all old 3rd party k-cups. To avoid being 'upgraded', you should leave a sign saying 'do not steal and replace' by your coffeemaker, but the Keurig agents will remove the sign sometimes so you need to make sure to keep replacing the sign if it disappears overnight. Reports have also surfaced of the Keurig agents occasionally ignoring the sign altogether, so some people recommend having someone in the house stay awake by the Keurig at all times to decline the upgrade."

        "Tesla owners are facing a forced upgrade to the Tesla Model FU, which now runs on diesel. Tesla officials say that, to decline the upgrade, simply park your car facing towards Redmond when the upgrade agents come by to check. The upgrade agents can come by to check at any time, including when you're in the middle of driving."

        I could go on, but do you get my point? People should not be required to be actively vigilant about keeping their equipment from suddenly having massive (and potentially ruinous) changes forced on them.
      • by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @08:33PM (#52117751) Journal

        Let me guess...

        Windows Home edition, everything on "automatic", and no ongoing maintenance was being done to keep it current outside of business hours.

        It shouldn't matter.

        Microsoft, and in turn most IT professionals, have spent the better part of 20 years encouraging everyone to keep Windows Update turned on. This is how you keep your system secure, guard against exploits and vulnerabilities, and receive bug fixes. It's generally a good thing. Never in all that time did enabling automatic updates, even "everything," run the risk of installing an entirely new fucking operating system without the user asking for it. There's no reason why a machine running any version of Windows, set to automatically install all categories of updates, should ever install an entirely new fucking operating system without the user asking for it. It's behavior that is entirely unexpected and contrary to how Windows Update has worked since its inception.

        Microsoft has really gone beyond the pale with this one, as now people are routinely disabling Windows Update, refusing any update that prompts to install, etc. as they're afraid of a Windows 10 installation that they do not want sneaking in. This entire disaster of a product launch has moved security backwards.

  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:48AM (#52115687)
    Windows 10 was released almost ten months ago, not eight. Fortunately that leaves just under two and one half months, not four, until the anniversary update after which strong arm upgrade tactics should stop.
  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:48AM (#52115689)

    "...Microsoft's malware-like upgrade system..."

    This isn't "malware-like", this IS malware.

    Win 10 takes control of your PC from you, collects all sorts of data on you and from you and sends it back to who god where. You cannot stop it and it can "upgrade" or alter itself at will whenever it wants without your permission (and sometimes explicitly against your permission).

    If that isn't "malware", I don't know the meaning of the word.

  • Expectations? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @11:59AM (#52115755)

    Meanwhile the U.S. Marine Corps has discovered half their computers unexpectedly can't remotely upgrade to Windows 10, slowing their transition to what they expect to be a much more secure operating system.

    Why would they expect it to be *more* secure - 'cause 10 is higher than 7 and 8? If it's any different, it's less secure and will be broken when used on the secure network, detached from the world and can't, for example, use the location data for Cortana / Bing searches, etc... (disabling location disables Cortana, from what I read).

    • by hackwrench ( 573697 ) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:11PM (#52115817) Homepage Journal
      Actually I find it unlikely that the military wants Cortana.
    • The security improvements that I've personally encountered aren't actually changes to Windows, it's the fact that 'best practices' are enforced in Windows 10. Which, if you're administering military computers, you should have been doing anyway.

      FWIW, Cortana is worthless anyway. Nothing works. 99% of the things you ask her just open Edge and search for whatever you said, word-for-word, even when it's something like "What will the weather be like tomorrow?"
      All it does it save you from having to type th
    • If it's any different, it's less secure and will be broken when used on the secure network, detached from the world and can't, for example, use the location data for Cortana / Bing searches, etc... (disabling location disables Cortana, from what I read).

      The Marines are using the DoD version of Windows 10, most of that stuff is actually disabled..

      • If it's any different, it's less secure and will be broken when used on the secure network, detached from the world and can't, for example, use the location data for Cortana / Bing searches, etc... (disabling location disables Cortana, from what I read).

        The Marines are using the DoD version of Windows 10, most of that stuff is actually disabled..

        Okay. How do the rest of us get *that* version - you know, the secure one with all the crap and spyware disabled.

    • Head of IT at my college last week: "Windows 10 is more secure, because prior Windows versions were always based on what came before, but Windows 10 has been totally rewritten from scratch."

  • by Krokus ( 88121 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:01PM (#52115771) Homepage

    I got a phone call from my dad the other day. Apparently, he was on his computer playing a game when the computer suddenly killed his game, went to a black screen and then informed him that Windows was going to reboot to install Windows 10. Since this wasn't a problem I could deal with remotely, I told him to just let it go ahead and install it. He doesn't seem to mind Windows 10 but my mother, who hates change, despises it.

    This seems like a really stupid idea on Microsoft's part. I mean, what about developers? What if an auto-upgrade to Windows 10 breaks some of the older development tools they're relying on for the project they're in the middle of developing? What if drivers start crashing? What happened to letting people wait for the bug dust to settle before feeling safe enough to upgrade to a new OS?

    And while I'm sure someone would say "well, it's their own fault for using older tools", bear in mind that not all development projects are targeted at current hardware and some development tools are proprietary to the companies who own said hardware, leaving no alternatives.

    • by mhkohne ( 3854 )

      And while I'm sure someone would say "well, it's their own fault for using older tools", bear in mind that not all development projects are targeted at current hardware and some development tools are proprietary to the companies who own said hardware, leaving no alternatives.

      You don't even need funny hardware to get into this realm - if you've got regulatory hassles, changing tools may be an EXTREMELY expensive proposition (try several months of re-testing expensive). There's a LOT of us out here who can't change tools on a whim - even if the tools are free, the work in documentation alone might consume man-months of time.

    • It's a real shame too. Windows 10 is a good operating system. If they just let people make their own decisions, (and perhaps gave us total privacy control) we wouldn't be so paranoid about their intentions. I've had it installed on my work laptop, and I've put it on my gen-1 Surface Pro. It works great. But I'm holding off on installing it on my main (home and work) PCs because I use them so much and don't want a surprise interrupting my projects.

      The bulk of the reason I feel that way is because I can't com

    • I mean, what about developers? What if an auto-upgrade to Windows 10 breaks some of the older development tools they're relying on for the project they're in the middle of developing?

      What about them? Any developer stupid enough to not be maintaining his/her computer deserves this.

      First, you wouldn't be running (or shouldn't be) the Home version of Windows.

      Second, you shouldn't have everything set to auto-install, you should be paying attention to system maintenance.

      Finally, if you have specific tool sets that you know you depend on for older tools, then you should have updates off anyway and do them manually in a tested environment.

  • Turn off "GWX" (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigitalSorceress ( 156609 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:58PM (#52116059)

    For folks who aren't terribly computer savvy (So.. theoretically not Slashdot)

    Go get "Never 10" freeware from GRC... it uses the officially Microsoft sanctioned means of permanently disabling the whole "Get Windows 10" stuff

    https://www.grc.com/never10.ht... [grc.com]

    This is a good option for "mom support"

    For those willing to muck about in the registry:

    Open Regedit, navigate to the following key.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

    Important: If that key doesn't exist, you'll need to create it.

    Create a DWORD value called DisableOSUpgrade and set it to 1

    There's also a good quick and dirty:
    http://www.windowsmechanic.com... [windowsmechanic.com]

  • by NormAtHome ( 99305 ) on Sunday May 15, 2016 @12:59PM (#52116063)

    GWX control panel http://ultimateoutsider.com/do... [ultimateoutsider.com] it'll remove the Windows 10 upgrade app and prevent an automatic upgrade.

  • At least 'til MS catches on, this effectively thwarts their attempts to infect your machine:

    MS tries to create a folder named "$windows.~BT" where it downloads files needed for the infection. If a file by that name exists, it is not possible for them to create a folder by that name.

  • I disabled autoupdates about 6 months ago on all our work computers and my own computers at home. So far it has worked great, no nagging windows 10 notifications. Just manually check updates now and then and make sure to only download real ones and none related to windows 10.
  • I have two machines in my house running Windows. On one of them I had to spend the time fiddling with registry keys to get the Windows 10 crap to go away, but on the other I didn't. The difference: it's not "genuine". It actually is licensed for a copy of Windows 7, but due to Microsoft's previous idiocy of shipping downgrades from 8 without the product key, the key was lost on this machine after a rebuild so it can never get genuine. I'm sure I could buy an HP OEM or some other nonsense, but I actually hav
  • "Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps has discovered half their computers unexpectedly can't remotely upgrade to Windows 10, slowing their transition to what they expect to be a much more secure operating system".

    Is that what they expect? Hahahahahahahaha! Do they have any idea what the word "secure" means?

    http://techrights.org/2015/06/... [techrights.org]

  • From everything I've heard about Windows 10, (excluding various noises from MS shills), it's not an upgrade by any sensible meaning of the term. It's time the members of the tech community who know what Win 10 is really about, started calling it a downgrade. Then the term might, just possibly, come into widespread use, hurting Microsoft at least a little at a time when they deserve every last bit of comeuppance and blowback that can be heaped upon them.

  • I hunted down and killed GWX at work on several machines my group administers and this hasn't happened on any of those machines so far. If I missed any, I suppose we'll find out if our crap is compatible with Windows 10 (I'm not holding my breath) or if we have to accelerate our plans to move our test platform to Linux in the coming months.

    I decided to see how long I could stay booted over to Xbuntu at home and haven't booted to Windows in several months. I suppose I'll be pissed off if I get a hankerin'

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