Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Microsoft Operating Systems Windows

Microsoft Admits It Updated Some Windows 10 Computers To Newest Build Despite Users Telling It Not To Do That ( 137

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: The admission came in a knowledge base article updated last week. Not all users of older Windows versions were forcibly updated, but only those whose machines were running Windows 10 v1703 (Creators Update). This is the version where Microsoft added special controls to the Windows Update setting section that allow users to pause OS updates in case they have driver or other hardware issues with the latest OS version. But according to reports, a Microsoft snafu ignored these settings and forcibly updated some users to Windows 10 v1709 (Fall Creators Update).

Microsoft Admits It Updated Some Windows 10 Computers To Newest Build Despite Users Telling It Not To Do That

Comments Filter:
  • by Rashkae ( 59673 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @11:24AM (#56252433) Homepage

    Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services -> Windows Update -> Properties -> Change Startup to "Disabled". Reboot

    Don't forget to re-enable periodically to catch up on updates, also will be needed for some Hardware drivers that download from Microsoft. Avoid IE or Edge Browsers, and use 3rd party AV. Job done, and system downtime is drastically reduced.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <> on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @11:31AM (#56252485) Homepage Journal

      Changing it to disabled doesn't help at all.

      You have to explicitly deny the updater services and executables all permissions.

      And apparently that doesn't work because as I was typing that, the machine rebooted on me, and installed updates.

      Microsoft is explicitly violating the CFAA, here.

      • by Rashkae ( 59673 )

        You did something wrong.. disabling the service works perfectly.

        • No, I disabled the service. Since I disabled the service 2 rounds of updates have been forced upon me. That was my cue to dump windows as my primary OS. I converted my windows workstation to a virtual machine and now run it under KVM on an Ubuntu desktop. Much happier
        • by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:28PM (#56252929) Homepage

          On computers with diagnostics reporting disabled, Windows uses Update Assistant to force the upgrade [] even with Windows Update disabled.

          Microsoft has lost almost all trust from its users.

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            Well, they're claiming it was a mistake. Believe them if you wan to.

          • Microsoft has lost almost all trust from its users.

            So funny!

            Microsoft has made a business of screwing over its customers. Whether by not honouring explicit customer intent, or by locking in data through proprietary formats. That's their DNA.

            The interesting thing is that, despite this contempt of their customers, they still have millions (billions) of loyal customers. There is almost nothing that Microsoft can do that will make their customers turn away.

            So, fundamentally, Microsoft doesn't care if you trust

        • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @01:20PM (#56253331)
          I can confirm what the others are saying - disabling the Windows Update service doesn't work to stop this. I've disabled it for months due to an incompatibility with the graphics drivers it kept trying to install. A few weeks ago, the same time I started getting messages saying I *had* to update to 1709, the Update service started re-enabling itself without my authorization.

          I couldn't use 1709 because for some reason it broke about a third of my installed apps, but the damn thing kept installing itself. It caused me all kinds of headaches, including almost causing me to go over my ISP's quota because it kept downloading the 1709 update again (5 GB) every time I rolled it back so I could use my computer. Eventually I gave up, blocked off an evening so I could reinstall all the apps it broke. That's when I discovered not only were the apps broken, they couldn't be uninstalled nor reinstalled. I ended up having to roll back the 1709 update, uninstall the affected apps (which uninstalled fine in the previous version), do the 1709 update, then reinstall the broken (now uninstalled) apps. Didn't finish until well past 3 am.

          I'm seriously thinking of going to go back to Windows 7.
          • couldn't use 1709 because for some reason it broke about a third of my installed apps


            Sorry. Hay-fever.

      • Microsoft is explicitly violating the CFAA, here.

        Nobody anywhere near a decision-making or prosecutorial position would buy that. It was a bug. There will be more. Get over it however you wish.

        • by john.r.strohm ( 586791 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @02:19PM (#56253839)

          It was a bug the FIRST time they did it.

          It was a screwup the SECOND time they did it.

          This is the THIRD time they've done it. From the article: "This incident marks the third time in the past year when Microsoft has mistakenly updated v1703 users to v1709. It happened before in November 2017 and January 2018 when Patch Tuesday security updates accidentally upgraded some users."

          Goldfinger's Rule: "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

          Claiming that this is just another bug... Sorry, Elmo, that dog just won't hunt.

          • by HiThere ( 15173 )

            I thought that rule came out of the Boer War in South Africa. Fleming may have repeated it, because it's a reasonable thing to believe, but he didn't originate it. (I'm not sure it's original with the Boer War. It may well be older.)

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          You are right, because the laws are rarely justly applied to the powerful.

          But MS has exhibited this variety of "mistake" too often fro me to believe that that's what's actually going on. Fortunately, I ditched their systems back around 2000 over disagreements with the EULA, so I've no personal stake in this.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Vendors hate the fact that people don't stay up to date. It creates all kinds of hassles, costs, all over the place. They really, really hate it.

        So, Microsoft has decided to force the issue. They don't care that the end-users really, really hate it. They like how much easier this makes everything on them.

        So, they will continue to force the issue so long as the industry puts up with it.

      • And apparently that doesn't work because as I was typing that, the machine rebooted on me, and installed updates.

        That means you're not qualified to make any comments on Windows at all since that is a simple setting you are in control of and is actually obeyed just fine.

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          Wrong. So wrong that you simply do not belong here.


          You should just stop trying to comment on shit you know nothing about.

          • Cool link bro, doesn't say anything about computers rebooting randomly while typing for anything other than "admins" who can't figure out the reboot settings. Guess what, the forced windows updates (of which I received one) still prompt you to reboot to install updates.

            • by Khyber ( 864651 )

              The second you said "Cool link bro" without providing anything for a proper rebuttal, you failed and lost this debate.

              Try again when you actually have evidence that shows otherwise, oh ye who hasn't graduated high school.

      • Changing it to disabled doesn't help at all.

        You have to explicitly deny the updater services and executables all permissions.

        Did you also disable the task in the Task Scheduler that re-enables windows updates?

    • Unfortunately, that's not super-easy to do on a large scale. If you're managing thousands of computers, for example, it'd be cumbersome to coordinate the process of starting Windows Update, installing all the updates, rebooting, and then disabling the service again. Don't forget that you'll also want to monitor the whole process and ensure that it's working for every machine.

      There are third-party tools to install Windows updates, but they generally still use the Windows Update service to figure out which

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @11:38AM (#56252527)

        If you have thousands of computers you then just use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and you control if, when and which updates install... You don't even need a domain for that.

        • by DogDude ( 805747 )
          That is super useful. I never knew that. That's going to help our company. Thanks, AC!
        • by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @02:23PM (#56253869)
          That did not work in this case. Windows 10 has a nice little "feature" which allows it to obtain updates via peer to peer. We had multiple Windows 10 computers which, while set to look to our WSUS server rather than to Microsoft's servers for updates, downloaded the updates from other Windows 10 computers on the Internet. We have since modified Group Policy to stop them from doing that.
        • First, WSUS is designed for working in a corporate network, not for managing thousands of computers spread across hundreds of completely disconnected networks. Second, apparently Microsoft has a "feature" in Windows 10 where, if you don't approve the updates fast enough, it'll bypass the WSUS server and install updates anyway.

          In any case, why is Microsoft spending its resources making Windows harder to manage, instead of making it easier to manage?

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Tame Windows updates the surest way:

      Ctrl r
      Ctrl shift enter
      Diskpart enter
      Select disk (number of your windows drive)

      Now intall Linux and enjoy.

    • You're naively talking about proprietary (nonfree, user-subjugating) software as if the user has any real control over it. Microsoft's antics with Windows alone prove time and again that the proprietor is always in control, and the user only gets to control something with the allowed limits set by the proprietor.

      This is why you have Microsoft getting away with tricking people into accepting a switch from Windows 7 to Windows 10, ignoring so-called privacy settings, and more.

      Quit believing that the right pre

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have had incidents of both iOS and Android auto updating, on my capped data connection as well. We need to have some powerful legal action against auto updating and get a mandatory disable updates button put prominently in the settings menu.

    • I do like that I can set any connection on Windows as "metered" so it wont do updates automatically. I wish iOS had that capability.

    • I own a lot of apple devices and I've never had any of them auto update.
    • by mikael ( 484 )

      Even smart TV's do that - I bought a Toshiba 48" 3D TV which was being sold at $300 as part of a promotion. It worked perfectly as I could watch 3D moves on Youtube, but then it got completely *****'ed up with an update from Toshiba. Disabled the ability to be used as a computer monitor as well as the ability to watch 3D movies.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @11:31AM (#56252487)

    I've been using a Mac for a long time now. The main reason I switched at the time, is that Windows security updates were fickle like this - they would just drop in unannounced and start modifying things. It's depressing to see this is basically still the case.

    On a Mac, you can just let an update sit essentially forever and truly upgrade on your own schedule. Don't want to take in patches or software updates until you've finished some critical work? Well that's fine. Or maybe wait two years to update a secondary laptop that's working perfectly well for light use? Sure why not. Maybe you like to wait a while for user reviews of an update to come in for some less common hardware you are using? Good idea!

    On Windows systems I used to own, every time I connected to the internet felt like a gamble, would I be able to use this system this morning? Or indeed for the whole day at all if an update went sideways? I literally sometimes would use the system offline specifically to avoid the risk of updating.

    I firmly believe the main reason Windows have stayed as primary systems in so many companies, is that in a corporate environment updates are managed by IT and so come in at generally convenient times (though even there I was stuffed a few times when I came in on the weekend to do some programming and an update would drop).

    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @11:38AM (#56252521) Homepage

      Yeah, I've been using Macs for a while, but I also use Windows and Linux for various things. I've been slowly weening myself off of Windows because Microsoft has been losing its mind. They force updates, and you can't even set a schedule for when they install. They try to force you to use Cortana, and they put ads in the Start Menu.

      Personally, I think all operating systems should come with a package manager that operates under the user's control. I don't mind Microsoft setting some adaptive schedule that forces updates as their "default setting", but the process should be customizable if you're technical enough. Make it so you have to change some obscure registry setting. That's fine. But make that customization possible.

      If Microsoft is going to continue down this path of taking control away from both the users and the system administrators, I'm going to work on moving myself and everyone I know away from using Windows.

      • The package manager should be under the admins conyrol. That might sometimes be the user, but not always.
        Imagine a pc for the kids who a 6 pr mom who 96. Small but important difference to make it clear there is a difference to people who are not the stanard IT crowd.

        • The package manager should be under the admins conyrol. That might sometimes be the user, but not always.

          Yeah, my point wasn't that Microsoft should enable any user to control the package manager no matter what. Security is important, which means that an administrator should be able to set restrictions for a user.

          Absent a separate administrator, the users should be able to control their own systems. There should be sensible defaults, and I'm fine with making user's jump through a few hoops in order to do something stupid, but the user should have control. Microsoft shouldn't be in the position of blocking

    • mac forces newer os builds on new hardware. MS gives you downgrade rights.

      • mac forces newer os builds on new hardware.

        Yes, but the Mac does not have anything like the Windows 7 -> Windows 10 deal where lots of users want to run past OS's just to run past OS's, there is not a dramatic difference in OSX over several years like there can be with major versions of Windows.

        I can understand newer hardware requiring a newer OS, because generally that means a more stable system. When you buy a system generally you don't care about downgrading, you just want it to work and that's how t

      • That's false, I've got a Mac mini running server duties for several years on OSX mavericks, nothing is ever forced with updates on Mac, just go into preferences and turn updates off, very easy.
    • by ruddk ( 5153113 )

      I is really useful. At one time when I was editing a video, OSX updated FCP X and it broke my cuts / edits, so I is really nice that I can decide when I want to update so it isn't in the middle of a project. Even though it is just a hobby, it was still annoying.

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      I've moved my Windows 10 install onto a VM for the very same reason. I'm fed up of it "suiciding" itself with an update that leaves either a black screen or a blue window logo. Apparently, it can't do a shutdown and reboot by itself so requires the VM manager to do that. At least this way, it only disables itself and not GRUB bootloader or any other Linux partitions.

      Even with playing games, I'll settle down to play a title I haven't played for months, and then find that I can do that because there's a new u

  • Can we get the 2012/7 level of control? at least for server 2016

  • I know we only buy a license for software but how much more does MS have to do until the real ownership of the software becomes theirs and not ours? And does the liability follow?
  • At my shop somehow the update permanently destroyed the boot loading EFI sector thingy on about 20 computers. So boot loader repair utility, MS or otherwise, could fix it.
  • Windows 10 is absolutely horrible and represents the pinnacle of Microsoft arrogance and contempt for the consumer. The best thing to do is stay on 7 or upgrade to windows 7 like millions of other users are doing according to netmarketshare. Or find a good Linux distro, windows is definitely on its way out altogether.
    • by Calydor ( 739835 )


      I recently built a new computer, and while it was an absolute FEMALE DOG to get Windows 7 installed and running on a NVMe SSD it was still worth the hassle of not dealing with Windows 10's "LOL I PWN YOU!" behavior.

      • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )
        I feel the last good windows is 8.1 regarding the hardware support. My NVMe SSDs are running just fine natively.
    • by ELCouz ( 1338259 )
      No use 8.1 (classic shell or Start8) instead. Win7 lack much of the feature for new hardware. SMB 3.0 is much better upgrade also.

      Even on old hardware Win7 runs like a dying dog compared to Win8.1.
  • by LVSlushdat ( 854194 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @12:34PM (#56252985)

    I used/supported Windows for 20 years as a sysadmin. When I retired in 2010, I decided I was done with anything MS, and switched my home systems from dualboot Win7/Linux to JUST Linux. Since I'd been using Linux off/on since 1994, starting with Slackware, it was a particularly easy "switch".. Now I laugh my ass off at the abuse MS heaps on those who, for whatever reason, STILL us MS products, especially Windows 10. Being retired, I have copious "playtime" and I tried Windows 10 when it first came out and was astounded at the lengths MS went to to get their product on every possible machine. They took a LOT of tricks out the malware writers playbook to shovel their shit everywhere they could.
    These endless reports of Windows doing whatEVER the hell it wants on computers *should* tell all you need to know about *your* computer, if you still use Windows.. hint: *YOUR* computer has become MS's computer, and they just let you use it, except when they want to use it.. As I said, ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT....

  • Where are my glasses.
  • Microsoft seems to have become much like the malware purveyors. They still "apologize" after the damage is done and they've accomplished what they set out to do. Soon they won't even bother to make excuses.
  • by 3Cats ( 113616 )

    I'm having a slow month.. More forced updates and black. screens / stuck updates means more money fixing it. I have a great client that is crippled by these regularly. Friday already scheduled.

  • Unless they get severely punished for it, it does not matter that they do it and even admit it.
    If I rob a bank and I confess and not get to soend time in jail, it does not matter that there is a law forfidding it.

    Without accountability the law (and many other things) are meaningless.

  • by john.r.strohm ( 586791 ) on Tuesday March 13, 2018 @02:13PM (#56253767)

    Goldfinger's Rule, as chronicled by I. Fleming, tells us that "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."

    From the article: "This incident marks the third time in the past year when Microsoft has mistakenly updated v1703 users to v1709. It happened before in November 2017 and January 2018 when Patch Tuesday security updates accidentally upgraded some users."

    The rule would seem to apply.

  • I couldn't get the Creator's Update to install until I chased my tail around for a long time and eventually came up on this post. []
    What it basically states is that the checker for the update scans the whole hard drive and will block the update just because you have a backup of a driver file that is incompatible even if that driver is not installed nor in use. This is ridiculous but it looks like Microsoft still hasn't fixed it.
  • on a computer used to play computer games.
    Enjoy that gpu, cpu and directx for fun games.
    For any real computing, find a real OS that respects users.
  • Yes it updates even when you turn off everything and tell it not to. I had one computer do this. And it was doing fine with not updating, then one day it started again all by itself and would not stop trying to update. The problem was there was something in there that was causing it to freeze at 82% (Creators update) and I would have to hardboot it, then it would roll back and then the process started again.
    I did so much stuff trying to not get it to boot, nothing worked, so I had to figure out why it was n

  • Yep, happened to me. And the new build didn't work with World of Tanks properly. So I tried to roll it back, which failed, and then soft looped the system. I had to boot from install media to get out of the looping. Thanks loads.

  • The corporate DNA is strong in this one.

1 Sagan = Billions & Billions