back to article Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums

Holdouts to Windows 7, 8.1, and 8.1 RT won't be able to ping Microsoft's own forums for tech support from the company anymore. The Redmond software behemoth announced on Friday that, come next month, its staff will no longer be combing the official forums for 13 outdated products to offer support advice and assistance. Users …

Meh

Not sure how big of a loss this is

It's been a while since I found a thread on these forums that contained meaningful information from a Microsoft employee regarding an issue I've been trying to solve... Actually, it's been such a long time, I don't even remember it happening. Ever.

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

As useful as Windows Network Diagnostics being the default button when you can't access a network location.

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

Hi pip25, thank you today for your question

If I see correctly you are saying it is long time since a thread here was found that had information regarding your issue.

Please, don't worry. I am here to help.

So I can give you the best help can you give me your exact version of windows. I also need you to make good all patches from the windows update and also to try clearing your cache from your browser.

Have you rebooted your computer since the problem happened ?

Please be assured that with the answer to your questions we can start to help.

Regards

no_handle_yet (Windows MVP)

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LDS
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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

You mean the average intern from Mumbai was of no help? Well, now I'm just afraid they'll move to the more lucrative support scam business...

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

MS desktop OS forums are a waste of time. The accepted answer is always autoaccepted by the MVP and is of a variation of update, systemcheck, reboot, system restore.

The server and server apps forums usually help more when real people poat their solutions to the same problem (no mvp to be seen of courseĺ.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

The only useful thing they could do is redirect people to stackoverflow/spiceworks home pages.

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

oh yeah typical windoze "MVP" (MVP my ass), its the same "MVP" from India that calls you to "fix" the virus issues that you have.

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

I had a recent problem with Azure rights affecting the ability to synchronise Windows settings between PCs. The support forum's suggestion to previous posters was to wipe and reinstall.

Fortunately, someone else found the correct answer - just change the obscure setting in Azure.

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

>The only useful thing they could do is...

Well to resolve a particularly nasty problem - a system wouldn't install the monthly Win7 security update, hadn't done this since Sep 2017, but had installed all other updates. I did get a pointer from a (non-MVP) contributor to use Tweaking.com Windows Repair, which did resolve the problem, without resorting to the MVP preferred solution: wipe and reinstall...

So perhaps someone at MS has realised that its users/customers actually know more about their products than they do and hence it is a waste of company money paying employees to contribute to the forums...

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

Someone on a Microsoft forum asked how to add Copy to Folder and Move to Folder to the context menu of File Explorer on Windows 10. The MVP advised them to reinstall Windows. I knew it was a registry edit in Windows 7 so I ran Windows 10 as a VM, made the changes, found that they worked and posted the results. The next thing I knew, I got a message from the MVP congratulating me on having solved my problem. WTF?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

There's one imposition by Microsoft which has turned out to be a boon, though hardly in the way Microsoft thought it would be.

When looking for a solution, you can now see straight away whether a web page is going to contain any useful information. If it's in the Segoe font, just close it down and move on to the next one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

Does Microsoft pay by the number of replies, or the word count of each reply?

Can any Indian who had worked for Microsoft tech support clarify this for us?

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

@no_handle_yet (Windows MVP)

Well played, very well played! :) I can only assume the one down vote is from someone who's never frequented the forums... or who requires official sarcasm tags on things.

I can only assume this change will be a net benefit, the useless MSC staff will stop waffling on while providing no useful assistance, and leave it to those who know how to help to provide help.

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

I've always considered the reply from the microsoft agent as a sort of obligatory header under the initial question. You just move on down to the people who actually know something besides how to cut and paste unhelpful bollocks.

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IT Angle

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

Hi pip25, thank you today for your question

Nope, no_handle_yet, you don't fool me, you're not from MS. If you were, your post would be repeated, over and over again, after every single non-Microsoft post, over and over again.

If I have answered your question correctly, please mark this reply as the Best Answer because I am an MS Help Professional and my ego is very fragile. Thank you.

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Trollface

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

...just move on down to the people who actually know something besides how to cut and paste...

MVP = Most Vapid Paster

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Facepalm

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

VirtualFanboi666 (Microsoft MVP):

"This post is not relevant for this forum, which is only for network errors involving Token Ring on Windows 10 for Elbonian language packs, even though the same diagnosis and fixes apply to a common problem with all versions of Windows for all languages. Please repost your question in the appropriate forum, good luck finding the right one, and too bad about the time wasted. Since the 45 useful replies by users solving their own problems makes Microsoft look like the uncaring, clueless fu**s they are, this post has been locked and will no longer be updated."

Thanks to crap like that from their anointed idiots, a knowledge forum without Microsoft's involvement would work BETTER. Good riddance!

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Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

I've noticed this as well. I think it has recently taken the top spot for most annoying forum post over the people on stackoverflow who feel the need to put "This question has been asked before. Please look there [no link] and ask again if that doesn't answer your question" on all the posts just so the first three stackexchange links that come up for any search will have them.

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FAIL

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

As useful as Windows Network Diagnostics being the default button when you can't access a network location.

Even better is the "Update Troubleshooter" you run when MSWin can't install updates. It looks at your system and says "oh, you have available updates to install. Would you like to install them now?"

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Anonymous Coward

Clueless answers anyway

I find these official forums to be largely useless anyway. Answers allegedly from MSFT staffers are usually one of the following:

1. Answering a question you didn't ask, then closing the question marking it as answered.

2. Telling you to run sfc /scannow

You might sometimes get a non MSFT person supplying useful info, but you are better off looking somewhere like the Spiceworks forums.

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Re: Clueless answers anyway

+1.

They just have these forums for the purpose of having them, not for any real support (that comes for $$$).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clueless answers anyway

That's been my experience when trawling the official forum and seeing 'alleged MSFT staffers' answers

Most will ask the poster for more information of 'have you tried this' when it's quite obvious they have already stated what they have checked/performed. SFC /scannow seems to be one of their preferred goto 'solutions' even when it's clear that the issue would not be fixed by it (or where the requestor has already stated they have run it to no avail.)

The other option seems to be posting links to other articles on the MSFT site that are irrelevant or apply to a different situation.

Being in a tech support role myself I have seen how bad the technical support has got at MS in recent years. We have a premier support agreement that my offshore compatriots avail themselves of a little too often (they used to have to come through us for raising a case so that we didn't have cases raised unnecessarily.) I've found that unless it's a simple issue (that should not have needed MS engagement anyway) you have to ask to escalate to a 2nd or 3rd level engineer or we are burning $$ on someone without the skill set to resolve the issue. More often than not they ask my offshore compatriots to run the same checks, diags, tools etc that they had already run.

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Re: Clueless answers anyway

I've seen the same phenomena on many "Official" forums. The correct term for it is doublespeak.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Clueless answers anyway

"Run sfc /scannow"

That's basically the "Have you tried turning it off and on again" on the Microsoft help forums.

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sfc /scannow

Do that and get "You must be an Administrator" straight back without even a hint on how to switch to that in DOS. Bless MS. Unthinking, unchanging, unwanted. Always the same quality of helpful support.

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Re: Clueless answers anyway

So not very different from Premier Support then.

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I concur with those above!

Since my wife bought a shiny Windows 10 laptop I've had the endless pleasure of trying to make stuff work. The official Windows forums are the absolute worst, and I too have never seen a jot of useful advice from official MS people.

Have you tried turning it off, and on again?

Like the good old days of being told to reinstall Windows at every turn.

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Linux

Re: I concur with those above!

"Like the good old days of being told to reinstall Windows at every turn."

well, if you're going to HAVE to re-install something...

(see icon)

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Linux

Re: I concur with those above!

"well, if you're going to HAVE to re-install something..."

+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 to ∞

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Re: I concur with those above!

"Like the good old days of being told to reinstall Windows at every turn."

I guess now the official answer is - "Install Windows 10, should fix all our, er I mean your problems."

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Re: I concur with those above!

"Like the good old days of being told to reinstall Windows at every turn."

Isn't that the standard advice for Windows 10 problems these days?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I concur with those above!

Oh yeah, it was recommended (maybe still is) that you reinstall Windows every year (six months?) so that programs run fast and fluid.

I knew it happened during the Windows 9X and Windows XP era. Or was it the FAT32 era? It's very confusing to me.

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Re: I concur with those above!

"Oh yeah, it was recommended (maybe still is) that you reinstall Windows every year (six months?) so that programs run fast and fluid."

Sad that a modern OS doesn't stay running well without having to do that, isn't it? (•́_•̀)

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Re: I concur with those above!

"Like the good old days of being told to reinstall Windows at every turn."

Isn't that the standard advice for Windows 10 problems these days?

It works every time!

Er, wait, did it say "deinstall" or "reinstall"?

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Template for Microsoft Support.

1 - Paraphrase question at length to make it seem you've been thorough.

2 - Recommend a couple of inane pointless activities

3 - Recommend a fix that demonstrates you did not in fact read the issue or understand it properly

4 - Say it's a limitation, bug or feature (doesn't matter which you choose) and refer to UserVoice

5 - Ignore all the "I also have this problem" votes that indicate the issue is real and not unique to one user.

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Interesting...

When I bought my Windows 7 professional version it was said to be supported until 2020. So.. that also didn't happen anymore I guess? :)

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Re: Interesting...

Actually, the article even says that Windows 7 will be supported until 2020 (Windows 7 Extended Support), with Windows 8.1 receiving Extended Support until 2023. It's just that the forums won't be much help (but were they ever?)

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Re: Interesting...

dont worry. those forums wouldnt have fixed your issue anyway. Go to spiceworks forums and post ypur issues.

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Anonymous Coward

You would get better support on unofficial tech forums

Than from those outsourced copy-and-paste monkeys on the official Microsoft help forums.

Nothing of worth has been lost.

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Happy

Looks like Windows have adopted the Linux Model.

Might as well move over to Linux.

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Happy

Re: Looks like Windows have adopted the Linux Model.

>Might as well move over to Linux.

Given the various announcements in recent years, it does look like that is exactly what MS are doing themselves....

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Re: Looks like Windows have adopted the Linux Model.

Or the most probably is that they want to control Linux from inside "letting" to install Ubuntu in win10.

Best is to have Linux in other partition and to use win for the strictly necessary things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looks like Windows have adopted the Linux Model.

"Best is to have Linux in other partition and to use win for the strictly necessary things."

I find that having two different Linux flavours on my laptop means that my other half's computer gets used for the kids homework, making mine more productive. :-)

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Might as well pull it for Win 10 as well.

Most of the technical issues I have tried to find an answer to could not be found in the Microsoft forums. The Microsoft techs who respond mostly don't understand the question. If they do, one of the popular responses from them is "Why do you want to do that?". In the unlikely event a Microsoft tech does understand the question, the user can't get past step 2 or 3 of a 10 or 20 step process because the option listed is not in the program or operating system.

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Re: Might as well pull it for Win 10 as well.

If they do, one of the popular responses from them is "Why do you want to do that?".

To be fair to Microsoft support (very uncharacteristic of me) that can be a sensible question. Because it is often the case that when a customer asks "How do I do X?" and what they're asking seems bloody stupid it's because what they really mean is "How do I achieve result Y?" and being able to do X wouldn't achieve Y anyway. It's only when you know they're trying to achieve Y that you can say "Do Z, and forget all about X because it wouldn't do what you want even if it were possible in the first place."

And now to drop the mantle of fairness. It's also often the case that's when it's Microsoft support asking "Why do you want to do that?" it's because they don't have a fucking clue about anything and they're stalling for time.

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Oh where oh where

I really miss Gary Kildall....

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When Microsoft provides support for a product, EOL dtaes mena nothing unless you want to pay !

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Windows

How about the OneDrive forums?

OneDrive forums will be archived in July-August ...

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/onedrive/forum/odfeatures/changes-in-onedrive-forum-on-microsoft-community/5bdb57e1-e86c-440b-b766-23ecc2baa2d0

Is this OneDrive, OneDrive Groups, OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint ? I dunno ...

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Microsoft's support for any version of Windows is rubbish anyway, they usually end up giving a totally irrelevant answer so no loss there.

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FAIL

HOLD THE PHONE

MS employees attended MS forums to offer Help.

SHUT UP!!!!

Never happened.

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