back to article Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Microsoft would really, really, really like you to upgrade to Windows 10. So much so that even if you've opted not to request the upgrade, you'll get it anyway, even if you never intend to install it. The software giant confirmed to The Register on Thursday that it's been pushing out the necessary files for the upgrade to …

  1. Martin-73 Silver badge

    I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

    But I'm pretty sure that in some of them, this activity would be illegal. It is not an update for an operating system, it is an update to a completely DIFFERENT operating system.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

      Bollocks is it "illegal". How about one example in a sensible jurisdiction to demonstrate your theory?

      MS can do what they like that is covered by the EULA.

      1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

        Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

        Here in GrumpenLand many US-style EULAs are summarily invalid because of clauses that clash with our law.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

        Given that, in many cases, this is likely to fill the hard drive and stop the computer working it is no better than a virus and MS will have to pay for this bigtime.

        1. tabman

          Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

          "Given that, in many cases, this is likely to fill the hard drive and stop the computer working it is no better than a virus and MS will have to pay for this bigtime."

          Not really. Yes there will be a small amount of users who use a small drive or small partition for the OS who will have issues. I guess they will have to be extra vigilant or adjust sizes to suit. Unless someone is ghosting the OS drive every night and retaining copies (why???), I cant imagine this would be an issue. Mr Average will have a store bought Win7 or Win 8 pc and I doubt that there will be many who cannot spare 3GB of storage space. I doubt they would even notice the increase in footprint.

          The significant issue here is that this download (which is effectively forced on you) may cause you to exceed an ISP download cap which in some cases may cause a financial or speed penalty to your connection.

          Sure, you can set your connection to metered and Windows 10 is pretty effective at detecting metered connections but those not using wireless who have a metered connection will have a problem here.

          1. drexciya

            Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

            Have you ever heard of the WinSxS directory? I reclaimed 10+GB of disk space by cleaning that one up. That took about 30 minutes after the next boot which was quite annoying. Also, your profile and Programdata seem to grow in incredible ways as well. Now of course I can do a reinstall of my OS, but I really don't want to go through all that trouble.

            1. keithpeter
              Windows

              Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

              @drexciya

              Genuine question: would it be possible to do fresh install; then apply updates to date; then - before restoring user files from backup - do a Clonezilla of the pristine drive; and then restore that image in future when things begin to fill up? Restoring a clonezilla image takes 15mins or so.

              I recollect the 'backup and do fresh install' thing from the days of win98 but assumed that all finished with the NT based OSes.

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

                Genuine question: would it be possible to do fresh install; then apply updates to date; then - before restoring user files from backup - do a Clonezilla of the pristine drive; and then restore that image in future when things begin to fill up? Restoring a clonezilla image takes 15mins or so.

                Yes, although I'd recommend doing a full disk image rather than just a partition image.

                The image can also be restored to other identical systems although you will have to follow the restore with a Windows repair as the HDD id held by windows will differ from the physical HDD id.

                I'd recommend also with this fresh install to not enter the Windows key before you have applied all the updates etc.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

            @ tabman

            This would be a big problem for me as my hard drive is almost completely full of 'stolen' movies which I wouldn't want to lose.

            AC for obvious reasons and to clarify as I can't add an icon, this is a joke. But could be a problem for some other people.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

        MS can do what they like that is covered by the EULA.

        EULA means bugger all in the UK, there are a couple of bits of legislation called the Unfair Contract Terms Act (1977) and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (1999). These are soon to replaced by Consumer Rights Act 2015 Unfair Contract Terms.

        Very shitty of Microsoft to force this on people and I hope the get their ass sued into the ground for this unacceptable behaviour.

      4. Enrico Vanni

        Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

        Bollocks m8 - no-one can contract out of statutory obligations in the UK.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

          Wnsxs is a collection of softlink files. Deleting files from there will screw your system over.

          There are loads of tablets with limited space including MS own surface tablets. Not a great move.

          Not to say 3gb will take a chunk of grinding from people with low bandwidth connections too.

          Dick move by MS.

        2. Mike Pellatt

          Re: I am not sure of the law in various parts of the world where microsoft operate

          Only problem being, these statutory obligations are enshrined in consumer protection law.

          So no redress if it's business use. Like a self-employed trader, f'rinstance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "This is an industry practice that reduces time for installation and ensures device readiness."

      I believe that industry is known as Organized Crime.

  2. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    " it is possible to remove the Windows 10 update files...

    "...using the Disk Cleanup utility".

    Ironicly, to see the video on how to remove the unwanted files, you have to install the unwanted Silverlight...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. bobgameon
    Alert

    Something Missing

    I read the article and no where in the article did any Microsoft statement say that its being pushed to users who didn't reserve the update.

    As for windows update that's how its been delivered since day one. That's how everyone around me got it. So what's exactly new?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Something Missing

      Buddy, you're all wrong. We asked Microsoft if people who *hadn't* reserved the update get the Windows 10 files, and Microsoft said even those people will get the installation data.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something Missing

        Have Microsoft confirmed its the full installation (Gb of stuff) as opposed to a set of smaller (tens-hundreds of Mb?) installer files?

        I ask because the MS instrument is ambiguous and when administering WSUS, I see updates with descriptions about "improving the update experience" but the files changed and sizes are relatively small.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Something Missing

          @AC yes, it's the full 3Gb and I've had to remove it on both Win8 machines here. Several times on one of them :(

          Even more annoying i had to do it after already downloading the ISO for each pc, Microsoft are being a bunch of c###s about this and need smacking hard.

          1. Oz

            Re: Something Missing

            I'm confused by all this. I "upgraded" to Windows 10 last night and, despite the fact the installer assured me all files were downloaded, it spent another two hours downloading more guff. My PC apparently didn't have the full 3Gb. Sounds like there's an anomaly somewhere....

          2. hplasm Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: Something Missing

            A 3Gb unwanted use of your bandwidth? People should consider billing MS for stealing their connectivity. It's like 'piracy' - Win10 is 'like a cancer'... (ooo deja vu!)

          3. Meerkatjie

            Re: Something Missing

            This would explain why I got a warning the other day from my ISP saying I am about to exceed my download limit. I have 4 windows machines in the house and if they all downloaded the same files that's a lot of extra files that I don't really need.

          4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

            Re: Something Missing

            I have given up removing it from any machines I come across, if its left then it doesn't download again.

        2. Andy A

          Re: Something Missing

          I found the 4+GB of files on my regular-use laptop about 3 weeks ago. I had not asked for them, and certainly never gave permission.

          That laptop is set to use my WSUS for patching rather than going to Windows Update. Normally I download patches somewhere cheaper and then update from the WSUS VM. No mention of this reached WSUS.

          I now know why my 3G internet connection ran out of allowance unexpectedly - Microsoft helped themselves to 25 quid's worth of my bandwidth.

          1. Andy Non
            Thumb Down

            Re: Something Missing

            Andy A said "I now know why my 3G internet connection ran out of allowance unexpectedly - Microsoft helped themselves to 25 quid's worth of my bandwidth."

            Same here except the update took nearer 7 GB for some reason *. Considering I only have 12 GB worth of 3G for an entire month it took a big chunk out of my allowance. I ran out a week or so ago and have been running on what the ISP euphemistically calls "reduced speed" i.e. slower than dial-up. Most websites are now either unusable or keep timing out. I have to keep hitting "retry". Grrrr! I've now abandoned the Windows 10 installation on that dual-boot laptop... it is now being used exclusively for Linux Mint. Unless someone twists my arm up my back until I scream, I'll never boot into Windows 10 again, ever.

            * I did run the Windows 8.1 disk clean-up feature at one point, blissfully unaware that Windows 10 had probably already downloaded a good chunk of itself. A notification that it had started the download would have been nice! I gather from what I've read elsewhere today that running the disk clean-up also wipes current windows updates, thus forcing them to start from scratch again.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Something Missing

            I now know why my 3G internet connection ran out of allowance unexpectedly - Microsoft helped themselves to 25 quid's worth of my bandwidth.

            There is scope here to draft a default letter for this, attach the bill as evidence and send it to Microsoft UK for repayment (I think it's not wholly unjustified to add £10 worth of handling and system recovery costs to it either). If they don't pay, take it to Small Claims.

            I can only see MS change their behaviour if it has consequences that hit their income. Otherwise they'll do as they have done for decades: ignore what the user wants and any associated laws that go with that. I don't use Windows, but if I did I would have gone after them under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 as well as they have not obtained any permission from me to use my machine as their temp storage system and this is NOT an update. This is a new OS, and it would have used resources that were not theirs to take.

            Instead, I'm just glad I don't use Windows anymore :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something Missing

        Interesting - but 'installation data' is not the same as a fully running OS, so MS will simply argue that the choice remains with the customer; MS is simply caching the 'correct' choice to make customers' lives easier - and I bet that every non techie judge who has to rule on this will buy that excuse.

        How much nagging do you get one else your bandwidth has been wasted downloading the install packages? Not zero I bet.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Something Missing

          @Skydweller is not just bandwidth, the fuckwits dump it on the system drive. So my nightly backup just grew by 3Gb per machine. My sys drive is deliberately small and 3Gb represents a substantial proportion of its free space, all versions of windows behave badly when free space shrinks too far.

          In one case it tried downloading the update with less than 3Gb free, would have crashed windows if i hadn't caught it (then removed another few gb of shit update hadn't bothered cleaning up, 3gb is below what i normally try to keep free).

      3. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Something Missing

        So as forecasted MS are following exactly the same pattern as they did with the Win8 to Win8.1 update, even though many at the time said they would be stupid to do this...

        I assume the 3GB download doesn't have a KB (as per the W8->8.1 update) and so can't in fact be blocked unless you've managed to uninstall/not install the growing list of W10 update KB's.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something Missing

        Your about 3 weeks late on this, I had a win8 laptop and thought I'd try win10 for fun, no download straight install.

        Needless to say it now has win7/Linux Mint on it...

      5. bobgameon

        Re: Something Missing

        See there is no quote in the article saying that that's why I was confused. But this seems to be a really idiotic move by Microsoft. There are plenty of people who aren't going to upgrade right now like people waiting for OneDrive placeholders, people waiting for drivers to be fixed and so on.

        I for one have upgraded my Surface Pro 3 but no way I'm upgrading my gaming rig right now. For that i'll wait till July 2016 hoping NVidia, Microsoft, Razer and MSI get there shit together by that time. Windows 10 is just too inconsistent for my most used machine. My work laptop is still on 7 thanks to my company.

    2. Kobus Botes
      Linux

      Re: Something Missing

      @bobgameon

      On new Windows 8 machines, the upgrade to Win10 is now set to On out of the box (in fact, when you start the initial setup, the first option is to upgrade to 10).

      If you decline the offer, it will install 10 the first time you reboot, as Windows update has it already ticked (under OPTIONAL updates - natch!!) - you have to explicitly untick the upgrade option and then hide it. I will check my better half's machine tonight, to see what the situation is (Win7).

      Personally I moved to Linux (Mandrake|Mandriva|Mageia) about 12 years ago - still no regrets or anything I really miss (not into gaming much - my game of choice is still HalfLife and I have not completed HL2 yet. Installed Steam on my machine, but the video card is not up to standard).

      Moving to Linux is really not that hard; a bit strange/different initially, but Google is your friend.

      1. NotWorkAdmin

        Re: Moving to Linux is really not that hard

        Correct. That's what I've done at home too.

        Unfortunately, I also have to maintain the IT at my workplace. There is absolutely no way this is an option. Most of my users haven't got their heads around "file > print" yet. I mistakenly used the term "bookmark" last week only to get a chorus of people asking me to quit with the technobabble.

        1. keithpeter
          Coat

          Re: Moving to Linux is really not that hard

          @NotWorkAdmin

          "Most of my users haven't got their heads around "file > print" yet. I mistakenly used the term "bookmark" last week only to get a chorus of people asking me to quit with the technobabble."

          If you are in UK, it might be worth contacting local F.E. College or local authority Adult Education service. Depending on numbers and your company approach to training &c might be possible to get a trainer out to do basics on your site. There will certainly be courses available locally.

          Carrot: Trainers are really patient and have the 'get them laughing while they develop skills' type approach. They can pick up wider issues e.g. maths knowledge problems when using Excel that might help people get more useful.

          Stick: As a senior colleague of mine puts it "there is a word for people without reasonable IT skills: unemployable".

          The might is emphasised as I have not been involved with 'employer-responsive provision' (as this would be called) for ages and the system might have been spannered.

      2. Gezza
        Devil

        Re: Something Missing

        "Google is your friend" - I get what you are saying but sort of ironic really given their business model is what MS is switching to. It is the most notorious of the data slurpers and considered the mother of all evils on many a Comments page on this esteemed site.

      3. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Something Missing

        "but Google is your friend."

        Your very nosy friend that accesses all your personal data and sells it to the highest bidder...

        1. Andy A

          Re: Something Missing

          Not just the highest bidder. They sell it again and again.

        2. Col_Panek

          Re: Google is your friend

          Just a figure of speech; he meant to say "Duck Duck Go is your friend".

    3. Cari

      Re: Something Missing

      "what's new?" Microsoft interns are failing to hush-up the problem now that Win 10 has been released to the public, would be my guess.

      Win 10 insiders have been reporting this exact issue at least at the time of release if not earlier, along with frustrations and queries about whether MS will download things regardless, how to ensure it doesn't get downloaded etc. It's okay if you missed that or were unable to find such reports with a search, because their forum is an absolute nightmare to navigate, and a search with Google just brings back articles like this one now.

      I have found a thread with some more recent posts (early August) that claim to have experienced this issue (scroll down to august posts): http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-update/will-microsoft-seek-permission-before-downloading/137b2c7d-5c08-43ad-ab44-75b0ebae9357

      Canadian Tech's posts in these threads indicate that yes, unwanted download of Win 10 files is a thing that is happening:

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-update/how-to-stop-windows-10-upgrade-from-downloading/c03b556d-ba87-425a-8359-f93cde7b61c3

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-update/how-do-i-stop-windows-10-installing-on-my-computer/cdb3d4a0-4399-4a59-962f-37372607679a?page=1

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-update/update-says-its-downloading-windows-10-setup-files/4734e8b7-43aa-414a-b03b-4c3e00815ad8

      And then there is this thread from a few weeks ago:

      http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install/win-10-download-issue/167c447e-12a7-4036-9e78-7362c34cb8f3

      I don't have a link since I haven't found the thread again, but one Win 10 insider reported the 3GB update being downloaded on their non-reserved machines, as well as the machine they had explicitly reserved. My dad's been a Win 10 insider since last year and has been following the problems on the official MS forum as well as others, and has told me of several instances of insider reporting the download occurring despite Win 10 not being reserved on the machine. These include "horror stories" of people on limited connections finding suddenly they've gone massively over their cap, have had to fork out money to their service provider due to that, and found this Win 10 download was the culprit.

      Even if it wasn't being downloaded regardless of reservation status, there are more than enough complaints from insiders and regular users about the persistent "upgraded to Win 10" updates, that show that Microsoft is all but taking control and forcing Windows users to upgrade despite what the users want. And even if the update being downloaded because one of the previously persistent updates escaped a user's notice, this is still not on. A download of that size should not be happening without the user's explicit consent, especially if it's one that will want to install and potentially fuck up the user's system.

    4. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Something Missing

      It's an optional update which is automatically selected for download (mandatory in all but name)... unless you have notify before download chosen as your update method and unselect it before giving the OK.

      As Windows 7 has no idea what a metered connection is then this brings mobile connections to a standstill and woe betide you if you're in the sticks with 2G trying to get your email. Someone with 2-3 computers and an ISP with a bandwidth cap will have to get the wallet out too.

      And a sizable proportion of people with Windows 8.1 will have metered connections wrongly configured so the same will happen with them.

      In fact the safest Windows OS to have is Windows 8 (not 8.1) which avoids all this bollocks.

      1. Chairo

        Re: Something Missing

        In fact the safest Windows OS to have is Windows 8 (not 8.1) which avoids all this bollocks.

        Or Vista... Oh the irony!

  4. David 132 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    "Personal" computer no more

    I've been struggling to articulate just what it is about Windows 10 that bothers me, without seeming like a total luddite. But I think it's this: their default assumption seems to be that it's not my computer, it's their computer, that I'm allowed to use according to their whim.

    Up until about 2-3 years ago, my computers were under my control - a small oasis of control in a world in which I'm largely powerless and my ability to live my life as I see fit is being systematically stripped away. I want to uninstall an app? "No problem." Decline an update? "No problem." Delete the entire C:\windows\system32 folder? "Dumb, but hey, if you're determined - no problem, we won't stop you." Point was, it was my computer, and I could do what I wanted with it. Technology was an enabler and the possibilities were endless.

    But from Windows 8 onwards, it seems that the entire direction of computing is moving back to centralized, paternalistic, "we-know-what's-best-for-you" control. Cloud storage. Cloud logins. UAC. Administrator-doesn't-really-mean-Administrator. Enforced updates. Downloading a whole new OS just-in-case-you-want-it-but-if-not-we'll-continue-to-nag-you. Secure Boot that somehow only seems to benefit Microsoft. Constant logging - sorry, I mean "telemetry". Safe Screen a.k.a. "we'll inspect everything you download to make sure we approve of it". Technology seems to be defined in terms of what it grudgingly allows you to do, with the approval of the Powers That Be. And it's a whole lot worse with Windows 10.

    It's not just Microsoft; Google, Apple, and pretty much all the big players seem to be enthusiastically moving in this direction. An analogy would be: we've moved from the traditional liberal "everything is permitted unless it's expressly forbidden" model of rights, to the totalitarian "everything is forbidden unless it's expressly permitted". And I hate it.

    Pardon my rant. Dismiss it as hyperbole or pretentiousness if you wish. It's just my primal scream of rage and frustration against an IT world that I no longer fit or understand.

    1. moiety

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      100% with you there. If they buy the machine, then they have some say about what occurs on it. As they didn't; they can -collectively and individually- fuck right off.

      I have linux mint in a VM; and I'm gradually transitioning, function by function over to it. Theoretically, WIn7 will go until 2020; but the more they take the piss like this, the more urgent it seems.

      What's a good email client? Something on the level of The Bat? Incidentally, El Reg: "A complete numpty's guide to linux" might make a promising series.

      1. Pookietoo

        Re: What's a good email client?

        I used to use The Bat!, now I like Claws Mail.

        1. mythicalduck

          Re: What's a good email client?

          Can you have multiple accounts in Claws - with their own Inbox?

          Thunderbird decided a "one inbox for all" and that's just stupid. I have different accounts for a reason

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        A couple of good Linux alternatives Ubuntu (turn off Amazon searching), Linux Mint, Zorin, openSUSE, Mageia are viable alternatives. You can get a live disk of each to try it out and install from. No nagware, updates regularly come but are installed with YOUR permission. No 50 page shyster manual to agree to.

        1. Hugh Barnard

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          Yes agree. I've used Linux Mint [a Debian/Ubuntu relation] for the past five or six years as a desktop. I'd quite like an alternative for Access, as I have to deal with Access idiocy professionally and I'd like to find a 'cure', but I don't miss anything else. I have a Windows laptop, but it's used about once a month and will soon be sold.

          Happily, I'm old, so I was pretty used to Unix when it was around, that helps, but you don't need it. After being unofficial support line to my ex, I've now converted her desktop and there are much fewer 'help!' calls than previously. She's using day to day without any deep knowledge.

          I'm watching the world move from PCs as a useful tool to 'devices' containing 'apps' that are used to 'monetize' whatever. Open source is the only sane way back to putting us in command of our computing world.

        2. Col_Panek

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          Add Elementary and Linux Lite to the list of noob friendly distros.

      3. snowweb

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        I was using the The Bat for years until 2010 when I moved entirely to Ubuntu and couldn't use it anymore.

        The way I overcame this loss of a decent program, was by using Thunderbird, with a bunch of addons to make it more powerful.

        I had tens of thousands of emails in The Bat which I needed to port, so what I did was I set up an IMAP mail server under my control. Made myself an account on it and setup access to it through The Bat. I then dragged (using The Bat UI) all the mail that I wanted to keep, into the IMAP folders (which in my case were actually hosted locally). This got my mail out of The Bat's proprietory storage format and into standard maildir format. I then backed up the IMAP storage location. Reformatted the computer with Ubuntu, setup another local Dovecot IMAP server and restored my backed up IMAP mail to it.

        I could then setup Thunderbird, using the local IMAP server as my local folders and that would be where I would archive my mail forever more. This means that I will never be bound by proprietary formats ever again.

        That was 5 years ago. Today, I love linux. I could never go back. There is nothing about windows I miss, except perhaps, support of some peripherals, but that's improving all the time. I still print, use webcam with Skype (sorry), scan, connect my mobile and open MS formats. I don't have anivirus software and don't need it. My passwords are stored locally in a KDE Wallet and I'm confident that all is secure.

        In short, I can sleep at night. Good luck with your migration. You're in for a treat. :-)

        1. Silviu C.

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          Last time I checked it, The Bat! seemed to work fine with Wine. Granted, I use CrossOver which has a nice GUI for managing their (Codeweavers') own build of Wine but on the libre side it should be possible to achieve the same with PlayOnLinux.

        2. Whistlerspa

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          OK if you are not reliant on propriety applications software or have hardware that is fully compatible with Linux OS's. Unfortunately in my experience most of us are not able to say yes to both of those.

      4. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        I have linux mint in a VM

        I went the other way: I have a Linux hypervisor running kvm+vfio/qemu/libvirt + samba + ZFS, while Windows are just virtual machines (running 2 instances). This way, even though vendors think they own the machine, in fact they only own a VM which I can easily recycle or rollback, and I decide what runs on bare metal. To make Windows look nice, they each have passthrough access to one GPU discrete card and one USB3 controller card. So, it looks like a Windows machine, but its kernel is Linux (and the one I myself configured, patched and built). BTW I also have Linux Mint, running as just another VM (on top of Linux hypervisor).

      5. Fungus Bob Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: "A complete numpty's guide to linux"

        NO! A successful complete numpty's guide would be a disaster - Ballmer might show up!

      6. keithpeter
        Pint

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        I have linux mint in a VM; and I'm gradually transitioning, function by function over to it. Theoretically, WIn7 will go until 2020; but the more they take the piss like this, the more urgent it seems.

        @moiety

        Clearly not a numpty (reads here, has a thought out migration plan &c).

        Suggest, in parallel with VM, finding an old box and putting a throw-away install on to investigate bare metal performance, proprietary driver installation (nvidia/amd) and if laptop the wifi driver waggledance. Thinkpads work almost too well with Linux, try something trickier for a challenge.

        PS: Dave 132 sounds like a Slackware sort of person to me.

        1. moiety

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          @mythicalduck - Multiple accounts are the first feature listed, so that's a yes. Don't know whether they're separate yet though...haven't got as far as email. That's exactly why I couldn't get on with Thunderbird...I like the "at a glance" view of The Bat. You can get the same results by using filters in TB; but it's a lot of buggering around.

          @keithpeter - I definitely am a numpty in linux terms. Fear of the unknown, yes; laziness and inertia, definitely; but the main problem is lack of knowledge of the big picture. With Windows, you see, I know what goes where and I know all the magic incantations to summon up the useful hidden bits. I don't know any of that for linux and that makes me a bit uncomfortable. I haven't found anything online that helps much.

      7. Addanc

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        Try Linux Format, they have periodic newbie articles on getting started with Linux.

    2. Androdgenous CowHerd

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      A trillion UpVotes for that! I'd buy you an entire KEG if I were close enough to shoulder-surf you to the pub & drown you in Pints.

      Epicly Well Put!

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        @Androdgenous Cowherd:

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        A trillion UpVotes for that! I'd buy you an entire KEG if I were close enough to shoulder-surf you to the pub & drown you in Pints.

        Epicly Well Put!

        Shucks. Thanks. If you're ever in northern Oregon I'll take you up on that beer offer. We can drown our sorrows and reminisce about the Good Old Days when computing was fun, when PCs were a platform for exploration and learning, rather than a constrained and straitjacketed ad-delivery device. BTW seems like I have a good start on that trillion upvotes... I certainly touched a nerve with my cri de coeur!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Puppy Linux or FatDog Linux are good replacements for Windows. Especially as they don't keep hounding you for passwords. From a security point of view they are not any worse than Windows. Tune in turn on drop out, dude.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        Puppy Linux is a good distro for novices, but before you let anyone use it, please take the time to harden it a bit first.

        http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=21338

        http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=18639

        "Straight out of the box", it is incredibly insecure.

        1. Chika
          Pint

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          To an extent, I agree here about Puppy though I always viewed it as a useful mobile platform in that it can be used from its Live CD as a plausible guest with some useful extensions that allow it to save some settings on its guest hardware.

          I've been using openSUSE for many years now (indeed from before they added the "open" bit) and would recommend it for some things but I would strongly suggest that anyone that wishes to move to Linux does a little research first. Which distro you use can benefit you if you know a few things first; what your hardware can stand, what you are likely to do with it, how savvy you are with working with a Linux distro and what is out there that can best suit your needs.

          There's a reason why Ubuntu and Mint are often quoted as a user's preference, mostly as these distros can be a bit more forgiving of new users and that they provide a rich, well-supported and secure environment. But it all depends on you doing your homework first!

          As for David 132's comment, awesome! It includes a number of comments that I and others have made over the time since Windows 10 came out but encapsulated in a way that is certainly worthy of its acclaim! Moar beer due...

          The saddest thing about it, however, is that I doubt that Microsoft will take the slightest bit of notice and will simply continue to assume that we all want to be spied on, that the EULA beats any legal system, that everyone has uncapped broadband and unlimited drive space and that "Windows as a Disservice" is something we will all swallow without argument.

          Hmm... haven't booted my RiscPCs in a while, and they never ratted me out...

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more... wanna see my puppy 'linux'

        I thought the whole load everything into memory and save state to disk at end of session was kinda neat

        Not so keen on the 'pets' metaphor though.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @David 132 - Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Sad truth is a free (like in freedom) alternative has been available for more than a decade but we all kept listening to stories about somebody's aunt who was a professional photo artist who couldn't live without Photoshop and about his grand-mother who was an inveterate gamer that would scoff at anything that is not Nvidia and can't provide at least 3500 fps with DirectX 17 on her dual 50KW power supply gaming rig. And they did not stop here, anyone and his dog could (and did) come up with a reason to deride the other OS-es. More than that, RMS warned us about this continuously for the past 25 years and we all had a good laugh at him but unfortunately for us history proved him right.

      There was always life outside, however people preferred looking through Windows.

      I gave you an upvote hoping this will comfort you.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: @David 132 - "Personal" computer no more

        Thank you all for your kind words and upvotes (I've reciprocated, in a round of mutual back-slapping). It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my concerns.

        Rationally, I understand that all of this is just a necessary part of the evolution of the computer - it's moved on from being a hobby project for nerds, to being an appliance that underpins every aspect of modern life. Interconnected, with the potential, if hijacked or subverted, to ruin lives worldwide. In fact "appliance" is an apt comparison - we don't complain any more that we can't take apart our washing machines and upgrade them, or our microwaves, or our cars. We've made all of those things reliable, safe, dependable, so that anyone can use them without having to have a degree in electronics or mechanical engineering. Yet here I am, in an age of fuel-injection, bemoaning the fact that I can no longer balance my own carburetors. I am - we are - swimming upstream against the inevitable flow of technology. We're the one soldier on the parade ground, complaining that the other 99 soldiers are out of step. It's depressing.

        I just don't get excited about new computing technology any more. Ironic, because I work for one of the largest technology companies on the planet.

        It's no longer a case of "ooh, something new and interesting has launched, I wonder what I can do with it?". Rather, it's "Oh, an upgraded set of handcuffs that now have always-on tracking and tagging. But I get to choose their colour. Yay."

        And as several of you have suggested, I am already moving to various Linux flavours. I built my own NAS based on Ubuntu (yeah, don't laugh, it just happened to have the most "how to set up NFS/Time Machine/DLNA/RAID-1" guides available for it), and any new machines that enter my house get Cinnamon Mint.

        Oh well. I'm sure I'll learn to live with all of this.

        "He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving beast. Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Go

          @ David132 -- Re: @David 132 - "Personal" computer no more

          Oh well. I'm sure I'll learn to live with all of this.

          Bullshit! "I'm sure we'll all (or at least the vast majority of us) succumb/give up/take the easy way out with all of this" is more like what (I hope) you meant to say.

          Look, we're better than that! We're fuckin' smarter than them! (Especially Microsoft; I'm convinced that, over the last 15 years, the corporate IQ of that outfit is the same as the temperature of a warm room (in Fahrenheit)). It was folks who said, "Enough!" who invented all manner of things to fiddle, jiggle, hew and hack the status quo. And we're smarter than those guys. Those of us who came of age in the 60's and survived the 70's know it can happen..shit, we ran Dicky Fuckin' Nixon out of office...we ruined South Africa's apartheid1...you think that phreaking Microsoft is so much harder than that?!?

          I don't love Big Brother. Fuck Big Brother, and the smarmy minions doing his dirty work! 99% is always more than 1%, and you get even half of 99% pissed off, you got you a problem.

          1 Before any of you high-and-mighty types get on your high horse, no I didn't personally run Dicky Fuckin' Nixon out of office, nor did I personally ruin apartheid. But I was there, and whatever microscopically small part I may have played in any of those momentous occasions, or millions of other less momentous occasions, helped. Something about a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan...you know the rest.

      2. heyrick Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: @David 132 - "Personal" computer no more

        and can't provide at least 3500 fps with DirectX 17 on her dual 50KW power supply gaming rig

        Luckily you don't owe me a new keyboard. I spat my tea clean across the desk...

    5. Steven Roper

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      David 132, are you me? That post reads exactly like something I would have written, I could not express my own thoughts about the direction computing has taken more succinctly than that.

      I too have drawn my line in the sand, and the likes of Google and Microsoft et al will pry my computer from my cold, dead, rotted, maggot-eaten fingers. THIS far, NO further.

      No cloud storage, no holding my software and data to a monthly ransom, no spying or monitoring or profiling of my habits, and above all no advertising in my private space. Not now, not ever.

      Like moiety above, I'm in the process of transitioning to using Linux Mint. My biggest problem so far has been getting my copy of Cinema 4D R12 to run in it under WINE. People have been suggesting I switch to Blender, but I find Blender difficult to get my head around as its workflow is nowhere near as natural or intuitive as Cinema 4D's. Also I have 20 years' worth of 3D modelling work in C4D format, which Blender can't read.

      But all this bullshit with Microsoft taking control of my computer is a powerful impetus to change. You're not alone. And reading your post is strong encouragement to me that I'm not alone either.

      1. snowweb

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        Don't forget that you can always run a VM with Windows in for the odd occasion that you need to access something which was archived in a Windows format. I wouldn't suggest using this to continue using your legacy programs productively though, just for access to archived data.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        Sounds to me like a Linux OS with a closed off Windows VM, might be the way for you to go then...

        1. Mike Pellatt

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          Just make sure the "closed-off Windows VM" is XP. With a clean, freshly installed, updated and then left alone, one available to swiftly refresh the live one as and when necessary.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        "My biggest problem so far has been getting my copy of $application to run in it under WINE."

        Assuming $application doesn't need you to go online then one solution is to set up a VM running an older version than W7 and run it under that. Alternatively a VM with W7 with updates off. Just keep it in its own little world.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Well said, that man!

      I think you've just about covered all that I could have said. I don't think any of it can be be passed off as hyperbole except by Microsoft apologists.

      From the replies you're getting, I fancy that rather more people than Microsoft would like are in total agreement.

      A small note on this story - people have been reporting this downloading on the Microsoft forums for quite some time.

    7. Ceiling Cat

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      I do tend to agree with your rant, actually. Once I'm forced over to Win10, I'm probably going to install linux as my main OS and just use Win10 for games, with a win7 install "frozen" on a separate drive for any of those games that don't get a Win10 compatibility upgrade (which, much like when I moved from WinXP to Win7, will be about 75% of my collection).

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      You're absolutely right. Upvote heading your way.

    9. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      @David 123

      I've ranted on this aspect before (Zog passim) but you can't say it often enough IMHO as most people don't seem to care.

      What concerns me more is that this trend is just that, a trend, and I'm wondering how long it will be before using an "insecure" OS is a criminal offence. Don't laugh. With cyber attacks a daily event and millions of (unwitting) users probably being used as vectors, will running XP (say) make you a "terrorist accomplice"? Will Linux be on the "approved list"?

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        It does not need to be made illegal.

        All it takes is for some of the more prominent on-line service providers to prevent non-approved OSs from using their service "because of IP violations and security issues". I'm thinking things like the Amazon MP3 store, which for a long time allowed you to download whole albums using whatever OS platform you wanted, but withdrew that from Linux users, and now force Linux users to 'bulk' download tracks no more than six at a time through their Cloud player, while other platforms have no restriction. Why?

        Now, lose access to your banking website, your on-line shopping, your web-mail (OK you could try to mask it with the User Agent setting), Government service sites, media streaming sites (through restricted proprietary codecs), and the list goes on. How many of Joe and Josephine Public will choose Linux. Any more than now? We'll still try, but it'll remain a niche for technically capable dissidents, or 'crackpots' as we will be called.

        We're actually in a slightly better place at the moment for these things on Linux than we have been for some time, what with HTML 5, open codecs and browsers on Windows being in a state of transition, but I can see this changing again, and forced Windows 10 migration is a possible starting point.

        Many of us have lived through the bad times with proprietary hardware drivers, websites coded to particular browsers, locked boot loaders and reverse engineering of services being prosecuted (iTunes and WebOS being an example). There's no guarantee that these things won't rear their ugly heads again in the future.

        If Microsoft can force a near Windows monoculture by killing Windows XP, 7 and 8.X, they're that much closer to being able to try a new denial of service by OS restricted feature all over again. Apple users probably won't care, because Apple will find or buy a way to integrate (hell MS may actually help them to avoid anti-trust legislation, they have form in this area).

        I once said that if things got to difficult in the technology world, I would become a gardener. Sadly, I think that this blight of control will become so pervasive that the only way to avoid these issues is to become a hermit. Anybody know a good retreat that I can live out the rest of my life?

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          If a service provider insists on me using a particular OS to access their service, they just lost my business. There's always someone hungrier out there. I use Amazon, ebay, Santander, even Microsoft .. but none of them are unique, and they know it. OK, ebay doesn't know it yet. But they will.

          This sort of idiocy was starting to be a problem. It isn't any more - the inflexible ones are falling by the wayside. One good thing to come out of the economic downturn.

    10. Naselus

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      "It's not just Microsoft; Google, Apple, and pretty much all the big players seem to be enthusiastically moving in this direction. An analogy would be: we've moved from the traditional liberal "everything is permitted unless it's expressly forbidden" model of rights, to the totalitarian "everything is forbidden unless it's expressly permitted". And I hate it."

      While I agree with the sentiment, and I loathe the loss of control over a device that I've paid through the nose to own, is this not something we actually asked for ourselves? We've been slamming the tech giants for over security for decades. And so now their implementing the totalitarian "everything is forbidden unless it's expressly permitted" model... or, as we call it in Network Security, 'Least Privilege'. This is EXACTLY how we run our networks, provided we're actually following best practice.

      We can't have it both ways. I sometimes wonder if a career in IT has led to us assuming that the rules don't really apply to us; least privilege is something *I* impose upon my user base, making them come cap-in-hand to me to get software installed or to be permitted to visit website X. If I want to do these things, well, I just use the passwords that I have and no-one else gets.

      What Windows 8, and now Windows 10 do (along with basically everything Apple have ever done) is simply what we've been doing to users for years. It offends us, since we generally believe we know what we're doing and so feel patronized... but really, the vast majority of the consumer base are so used to someone else telling them what they're allowed to do on a PC that they aren't going to care if it's IT, their tech-savvy nephew, or Microsoft.

      I prefer to maintain total control over my own PC. I build it from parts, I install the OS, I set the admin passwords; I use a least-privilege account and sudo when needed. I decide what's on it, and what isn't. I connect through a firewall that I can configure myself. But that makes me very much the minority. And if we've been complaining that the big players don't do security properly for years, well, we can't complain now when they start to implement basic security principles and we discover that actually, we're now users rather than admins.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        "least privilege is something *I* impose upon my user base"

        There's a difference between you doing that & $vendor doing it. In your case the computers are owned by and operated on behalf of your company who's paying you to do this. It's like Dave123's PC situation writ large - the owner is making the decisions according to their needs and remaining, via you, in control. The problem with vendor-made decisions is the vendor taking control of kit they don't own.

      2. VictimMildew

        Re: "...we can't complain now when they start to implement basic security principles"

        If that's all it were, then you might be right, but there's bugger all that's 'basic' about it from what I understand. And even if it were, how does embedding un-blockable spyware in 10 address any security principles?

    11. Jedit
      Flame

      "I've been struggling to articulate just what it is about Windows 10 that bothers me"

      I haven't struggled at all. When I installed Windows 10 it disabled my firewall and antivirus without notifying me and left my PC completely unprotected. I uninstalled it immediately, and I will not install it again.

      1. Joe 48

        Re: "I've been struggling to articulate just what it is about Windows 10 that bothers me"

        Very well said all.

        One thing that I've been wondering was the fact that the only people who are pushing back this change in technology, and its use, are the very people, supporting it, using it and enjoying it (lets face it we all love tech on here).

        I'm guessing then that MS must have employed people from another industry to build their business model and operating systems because it sure as shit can't have been someone who enjoys technology!!

        1. Gezza

          Re: "I've been struggling to articulate just what it is about Windows 10 that bothers me"

          not really - the bigger picture is IT is now an FMCG, like foodstuffs. The view from the megacorps is they have no need for the army of IT admin/tech people (like us lot here) so they are cutting us out of the loop. Userbase is considered tech savvy enough to get the thing working; everything else they'll do over the internet so off the shelf and straight into use with no intermediary administration. We are being retired.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: "I've been struggling to articulate just what it is about Windows 10 that bothers me"

        When I installed Windows 10 it disabled my firewall and antivirus without notifying me and left my PC completely unprotected.

        Bugger! I owe an underling-esque co worker an apology! Here was me thinking that even MS were beyond doing something so boneheadedly retarded as that! I was wondering how she could sound so innocent and so confused about security being disabled on the machine, and yet surely being at fault. (nothing because she's female, just coz sometimes she hates to admit fault...almost as much as I do!)

    12. Tim 11

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      I very much sympathise with your viewpoint, but let's not forget most computer users are not IT savvy people. IMHO the biggest problem faced by non-techie home users is there's too much scope for them to mess things up. One of the reasons tablets have been so successful with home users is that they are so much more difficult to screw up (though this is partly down to much lower levels of functionality available). Maybe Windows should have two separate modes, one for people who want control and one for those who just want to take the line of least resistance and do everything the recommended way?

      1. VictimMildew

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        "Maybe Windows should have two separate modes, one for people who want control and one for those who just want to take the line of least resistance and do everything the recommended way?"

        Isn't that what administrator and user accounts are supposed be?

      2. MrTuK

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        That was supposed to be the difference between Home and Professional !!

    13. Chronos Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      David 132 wrote: Up until about 2-3 years ago, my computers were under my control - a small oasis of control in a world in which I'm largely powerless and my ability to live my life as I see fit is being systematically stripped away.

      My sentiments exactly - and I've been using FreeBSD and Linux ever since I can remember. Anything that wasn't a desktop PC had these "features" where it isn't really your choice as to what happens and it's a continuing uphill struggle to wrestle control back, which gradient gets steeper with every iteration.

      There's seemingly no end to it and the really remarkable thing is people don't seem to care that it's creeping into every aspect of their lives by extension. I suspect it's the slowly boiling frog effect but, whatever it is, it's not healthy.

      Thank you for articulating those concerns far more eloquently than I ever could.

    14. divhide
      Pint

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      ... rant is a spot-on reflection of my feelings.

      Your last sentence resonates especially well with me - "It's just my primal scream of rage and frustration against an IT world that I no longer fit or understand".

      Well said, that man! Have a beer, heck, have the brewery!

    15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Very well worded indeed. I am seriously alarmed at windows hogging a whole 3GB on my new 128GB SSD lappy. I will see if I can clean up the disk forthwith. I would love to ditch the last vestiges of windows on my machines, but there are some data acquisition and image processing tools that I have not yet been able to replace OR run under WIN or in a VM. More's the pity

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        "hogging a whole 3GB on my new 128GB SSD lappy"

        Speaking from experience (with a Win8.1 128GB SSD lappy) the real problem is that the Windows Update database can consume nigh on 30GB and Disk Cleanup is apparently unable to resolve the problem. I've no idea why this particular box is affected. None of the other 8.1 systems that I have access to suffer in the same way, but on top of the 20-odd GB that appears to be the 8.1 baseline installation these days, plus a few bloated applications, and you've lost half the SSD before you put any of your own data on it. And of course, SSDs have that wonderful combination of "relatively low capacity" and "relative dislike of being full".

    16. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Hell yeah. A big upvote from me.

      And eternal shame on the one person that downvoted. Must surely be the lonely Microsoft shill...

    17. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Autodesk to doing this too. Was: "Personal" computer no more

      It's not just Microsoft; Google, Apple, and pretty much all the big players seem to be enthusiastically moving in this direction. ... And I hate it.

      Autodesk have just explicitly confirmed their latest desktop CAD/CAM product ("Fusion 360") will not have support for storing your data on your own computer. It's Cloud only. There is literally no way of keeping your data out of their cloud.

      http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fusion-360-ideastation-request-a/please-support-quot-local-only-quot-files/idc-p/5812168#M9882

      That's directly from Kevin Schneider, Director of Product Management for Fusion 360.

      Too bad if your competitors are US based, or otherwise friendly with various US groups. :(

    18. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      "it's not my computer, it's their computer, that I'm allowed to use according to their whim."

      Unfortunately, if you've read one of Microsoft's EULAs in the last 2 decades, it is made very clear that it is in fact THEIR operating system, which you have merely bought a license to be allowed to use. They have legally allowed themselves to make changes to both the OS and the EULA at will, and you don't have a leg to stand on. Its written in the contract, that if you disagree you can at any time withdraw from the contract by uninstalling the software. (of course, re-installing simply opts you in again...)

      Regrettably most of us have completely ignored the wording of these contracts all this time, foolishly assuming that its really our own computer because we paid for it, but chickens are coming home to roost now for unquestioningly supporting this unscrupulous corporation and creating one of the wealthiest men on earth in the process.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        Unfortunately, for Microsoft... they've known for years that the EULA does not apply in the UK, yet they've continued to sell software here, hence I'm free to ignore the EULA, just as long as I don't do something illegal like pirate the software...

        1. moiety

          Re: "Personal" computer no more

          Thanks for the email advice...couldn't get on with Thunderbird last time I tried it....Claws looks promising.

          Looking on the bright side; there's never been a better time to migrate. All this time, I've basically been a hostage to Photoshop...yeah I could run it in a VM; but couldn't just ditch Windows because I needed Photoshop. Back when I first looked at linux; I remember looking at a linux app where the first instruction was to write your own device drivers; and this rather put me off...for years. But now there's plenty of accessible linux versions; decent graphics programs are springing up all over the place (I'm quite liking Bloom) and Adobe have made the Photoshop experience so toxic that it's worth a bit of inconvenience to put in the effort and change.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: "Personal" computer no more

        They have legally allowed themselves to make changes to both the OS and the EULA at will, and you don't have a leg to stand on.

        Actually in some countries a contract is only valid if it can be agreed to before being inacted. Any "terms are subject to change without notice" invalidates the contract the instant it gets used.

    19. Someone Else Silver badge
      Pint

      @David 132 -- Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Post. Of. The. Year.

      On me! ---->

    20. Haku

      Re: "Personal" computer no more

      Excellently put.

      So does this mean we can't refer to them as PC's anymore?

      Perhaps we should now call them HC's, Hive Computers...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a load

    Suppose you removed the uwanted files with the DCU or any other way you like. Now how do you keep them from coming back? Nerds can disable automatic updates and use Autopatcher or something but that doesn't detract from how much of a dick move this is.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: What a load

      This. I finally figured out how to stop the nagware from badgering me about "reserving my upgrade" (because hey, you never know when they're going to run out! - or something), but does that prevent the files from being downloaded? And if I delete them, what prevents them from being re-downloaded the very next day?

      Bloody cheek.

  6. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Linux

    "possible to remove the Windows 10 update files using the Disk Cleanup utility."

    It is also possible to remove Windows 10 update files by installing Linux. Do it quickly enough and you can avoid downloading them too...

    Hmm, penguin or troll?

    1. snowweb

      Re: "possible to remove the Windows 10 update files using the Disk Cleanup utility."

      Well said. I was wondering why people here seem to be asking themselves how to continue to wrestle with Windows to make it play ball.

      Personally, if a company or product I do business with or buy doesn't play ball, then I don't use them or it anymore. Period. Stop wrestling with or trying to fix Windows. If it doesn't do what you want, stop living in denial. Admit it and find an alternative that does.

      1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: "possible to remove the Windows 10 update files using the Disk Cleanup utility."

        Maybe this will give some impetus to the ReactOS devs?

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "possible to remove the Windows 10 update files using the Disk Cleanup utility."

      Trollguin.

    3. davidp231

      Re: "possible to remove the Windows 10 update files using the Disk Cleanup utility."

      "Hmm, penguin or troll?"

      What about troll-guin?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Chairo

      Re: I've yet to see the upgrade icon

      Well, if you really have legit copies and the updates are set to "enabled", I would start worrying about the reason the icon doesn't show up. It's pretty impossible to overlook.

      Are you sure your machines are not pwned?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. paulf Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: I've yet to see the upgrade icon

      I've looked into this - it was a question I was going to ask about the latest update files too.

      For reference I'm looking at three machines which run Windows 7 x64 (my home machine, my work machine, and my parent's machine).

      From what I can see the recent Telemetry updates to Windows 7, which caused the previous recent brou-ha-ha about Windows 10 tracking being back ported to earlier versions, come as "Recommended" updates. I've always unticked "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" in Windows update which has stopped these being installed. I never saw the point as Recommended updates only seemed to fix obsure things like a key combination bug when editing a Spanish Word document imported into Excel. I have Important updates set to "inform but let me choose to download and install". Since Windows 10 update nags haven't appeared on these machines I suspect the Windows 10 stuff is set as Recommended updates rather than Important updates. This may explain why you've not seen updates.

      Unfortunately I suspect it's only a matter of time before MS change them from Recommended to Important to make sure they ensnare everyone.

      So my question - is the update that downloads the Windows 10 update files - is this a Recommended or Important update? I suspect and hope it is the former - it certainly doesn't qualify as the latter by any conventional definition of the word.

      The work machine has it's windows update settings configured by a group policy so updates are auto installed but only those updates approved by our BOFH and Windows 10 is firmly verbotten on all work machines.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bought windows 7 retail

    I am sure it didnt say Microsoft would be trying every which way to attack my right to privacy, Microsoft can no longer be seen as anything but a malware/spyware distributer.

    Given how much microsoft is cutting into their market why are the antivirus companies not blocking these downloads for their less aware customers, that is indeed why people paid the AV companies for their products and they are failing in their claims of protection.

    How long do you think this would continue if people got their money back for their compromosed windows since it canoot be seen as anything like fit for purpose or anything other than spyware

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I bought windows 7 retail

      AV companies can't do this because they know they have no future in Linux/BSD.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: I bought windows 7 retail

        "AV companies can't do this because they know they have no future in Linux/BSD."

        They'll always be numpties using Windows (not all, the type of user who clicks on e-mail links) so if you are regularly transferring files to and from such people, A/V is probably a good idea. More for their benefit, but you never know.

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: I bought windows 7 retail

        "AV companies can't do this because they know they have no future in Linux/BSD."

        Really? You must have missed the many recent Android Malware infestations including the latest Pin locker ones!

        Seeing as competing Open Source OS distributions generally have far more known vulnerabilities that on average take longer to patch (more days at risk) than with Windows - if Linux ever made it over 2% market share on the desktop then I'm sure such scanners would be essential.

        1. Chemist

          Re: I bought windows 7 retail

          "Seeing as competing Open Source OS distributions generally have far more known vulnerabilities that on average take longer to patch (more days at risk) than with Windows "

          You must have been listening to that AC chap - now what was his name ?

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: I bought windows 7 retail

          Oh come on Vogie, even you are capable of better trolling than that!

        3. Roo
          Windows

          Re: I bought windows 7 retail

          "Seeing as competing Open Source OS distributions generally have far more known vulnerabilities"

          The last time I pressed a shill for their sources to back up this exact claim it turned out they were counting application vulnerabilities (including Adobe Flash) as Linux kernel vulnerabilities. They were also comparing a single cut of Windows with every single release of Linux since the the CVE dbs opened for business...

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. paulf Silver badge

      See my comment above

      http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2629476

      It looks like the back porting telemetry patches appear as Recommended updates so you should be safe from these providing you untick "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" in the windows update settings. Do that and you should be safe from the Win 10 downloads - until MS set them as Important :(

      As mentioned above I never saw the point of the recommended updates as they only fix obsure inconsistencies (not even bugs)

  10. JJStellato

    Seriously, it's time to take our computers back. Stop the update

    madness. I wrote a piece of software that disables

    windows updates and enables them when you CHOOSE to. I had enough of

    them automatically downloading and rebooting my computer mid day. Block automatic updates using this:

    http://jjstellato.bigcartel.com/product/windows-10-update-blocker

    I have instructions on how I was able to block and unblock them yourself

    if you want to do it on my blog. http://jjstellato.blogspot.com/

    1. veti Silver badge

      You, presumably voluntarily, installed Windows 10, and you're complaining about "the update madness"?

      I've had Windows 8.1 for about six months now, and in that time it's never, not once, told me to reboot for Windows updates. If W10 is doing that, that's a huge step backward.

  11. Chairo

    A masterpiece

    This whole WIndows 10 update story is really a masterpiece of company overreach. I wonder how much they can abuse their customers and still get away with it.

    For people who explicitly don't want WIndows 10, this download is nothing but useless data garbage. Even if you are not on a metered connection it will certainly slow down your machine. I just had my parents in law asking me to check their machine, because lately it became so slow. After uninstalling KB3035583 it became a bit more responsive (apparently that one not only downloads a lot of data garbage, but also hugs a lot of memory). Luckily I foresaw Microsoft to continue on this path and slapped in a few more GB of memory, just in case. Turns out I was right and in my opinion Microsoft is in the wrong. What is going on here? Did they suddenly get brain cancer? Did I miss something?

    Please stop this madness - shoot the hipsters in charge and give us back our old monopolistic boring Microsoft!

    1. mr.K

      Re: A masterpiece

      What is going on is that they are no longer in the market of selling operating systems. They want one version of windows out there and that is it. It will be free and money will come from somewhere else. They thus no longer have any reason to tread carefully around previous customers because if we do not join the new platform then we are no longer a customer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A masterpiece

        When some cloud-service-feature-thing is free to use, the product being sold is you. You are already not a customer-- the customer is someone who lives on loopholes in the privacy policy created by MS.

    2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: A masterpiece

      What happened is that Microsoft saw the writing on the wall. They know their cash cow is dead, so they've copied google and moved to the 'free newspaper' model.

      You'll remember AOL doing this a few years back, when you had to use their CDs as coasters because the rubbish bins were full already. As you can see, this was enormously successful for AOL and they're now the biggest thing in the industry again. Or perhaps not.

      Does anyone remember when IBM was king ? Nothing lasts forever.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: A masterpiece

        >Does anyone remember when IBM was king ? Nothing lasts forever.

        Well IBM are still around as a major force in the IT industry, the same can't be said for AOL. So the question is where will MS end up? currently it does look like they are wanting to emulate AOL, when it was only a few years back (with the end of life of XP) that they could of emulated IBM; W10 is a second chance which it seems that MS currently are quite happy to blow...

  12. Jamesit

    FSF recommended distros

    Here is a link to the list of GNU/Linux distros recommended by the Free Software Foundation.

    https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html

    I recommend Mint

    1. Androdgenous CowHerd

      Re: FSF recommended distros

      The URL you've given results in a 404 error. Please try again. Thanks.

      1. Chemist

        Re: FSF recommended distros

        "The URL you've given results in a 404 error. Please try again. Thanks."

        Works for me ~0700 BST

        On the other hand it's a very odd, limited list

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: FSF recommended distros

          Ditto that!

        2. Not That Andrew

          Re: FSF recommended distros

          All the other distros include software that's free but not open source, or even worse by the FSF's standpoint open source but not "compatible" with the GPL. Or ESR, the Anti-Stallman, once used them.

        3. keithpeter
          Windows

          Re: FSF recommended distros

          On the other hand it's a very odd, limited list

          Distributions on that list must be fully free with only GPL licensed software that can in principle be built from source. That means no binary wifi drivers (e.g. thinkpad laptops with their Intel wifi) and no binary video drivers (e.g. nvidia cards - the open source driver is ok for basics but for the full capability you need nvidia's own binary drivers).

          Distributions must also be self-building, so everything is compiled from source on a build system somewhere and the binaries distributed from a repository run by the distribution (so no binaries pulled in direct from e.g. Debian repos).

          Trisquel is quite nice and 'modern', based on Ubuntu LTS. The default GUI is quite a nice take on Gnome 3 but with panels. You can of course use any of the other GUIs in the repos.

          gNewSense 3.1 is older (Gnome 2) and basically a free Debian Squeeze. gNewSense 4 is in the works, based on Wheezy. I keep a copy on a bootable USB stick as a 'live disk' for emergencies.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FSF recommended distros

        You must be a plusnet customer...

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: FSF recommended distros

          @cornz 1

          I am and it works.

      3. divhide

        Re: FSF recommended distros

        Just tried it ... seems to work ok. Mebbe a short outage on your end?

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: FSF recommended distros

      Or lots of choices here, after clicking on a distribution scroll down the page to see various download options (torrent etc.) and checksums.

      http://releases.ubuntu.com/

    3. nematoad Silver badge

      Re: FSF recommended distros

      Or if you want to see the current list of all the active distros:

      Try here

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Over your data useage?

    Send your receipts to:

    15010 NE 36th St, Redmond, WA 98052, United States

  14. joed

    proceed with caution

    Running Disk Cleanup utility and cleaning up Windows Updates has unwelcome side-effects - all previously hidden updates come back out and one has to hide them again (or risk installing the next actual updates get mixed in). At least automatic updates don't get switched back on (for now knowing MS).

    I have not switched yet to Linux but MS keeps nagging me to do so. No excuses at this point but plain laziness (FireFox runs just fine on anything and neither 8 nor 10 has nothing to offer outside of basic OS functionality... and forced telemetry).

  15. Asok Asus

    we need a class action lawsuit ...

    A class action lawsuit needs to be filed against MS for this: 7-10GB can wreck a lot of lower end systems. Plus, MS has made it nearly impossible for the average user to delete this folder. Almost the only way it can be deleted is with cleanmgr using the System Files option.

    1. tabman

      Re: we need a class action lawsuit ...

      Were did 7-10GB come from?

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: we need a class action lawsuit ...

        "Were did 7-10GB come from?"

        Microsoft. Do try and keep up, 007!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is clearly a move to seed download sources for this new P2P Windows update model, give all the Win7/8 users the Win10 files and they can provide Win10 users with updates via P2P reducing the load on MS's servers.

  17. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Computer Misuse Act?

    Is there a lawyer in the house?

    Should I be writing to my MP and asking him to demand a Microsoft representative explain exactly why they think this is legal?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Computer Misuse Act?

      The Microsoft representative would presumably gesture a dismissive hand wave towards the EULA without even looking up from his crossword. I understand that's how these things usually work.

      1. Salts

        Re: Computer Misuse Act?

        @AC

        "without even looking up from his crossword"

        I watched that movie, the company got fvc|<ed in the end :-)

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Computer Misuse Act?

        The EULA is irrelevant.

        It's the definition of a take-it-or-leave-it contract, with no discussion possible. There are multiple UK legal precedents stating that any clauses a reasonable person might not expect are null and void.

        Aside from that, if you've explicitly said "I don't want the upgrade", then MS laying claim to that bandwidth would appear to be unauthorised use.

        At least, it does to this potential juror.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Computer Misuse Act?

      a case can be made (very easily) for saying that if they access your computer to drop off some "cached" Windows 10 updates after you have explicitly selected not to receive Windows 10 and therefore said they are not authorised to install it, then that is unauthorised access under Section 1(1).

      Whether it's legally "unauthorised" probably depends on exact wording of the EULA: also I wonder if any legal types have sufficient disregard for the rights of users to write holes into the EULA that allow Microsoft to do what they want.

      Sorry, stupid question.

    3. Nifty

      Re: Computer Misuse Act?

      Maybe MS can be prosecuted for stealing electricity, after all the internet consumes power.

  18. croc

    Nice article, and a fair number of well-reasoned comments. Kudos to David 123 for his '"Personal" computer no more ' comment.

    That said, I keep seeing all of these comments about MS' 'telemetry'. I've worried some over this, enough to run Wireshark for some fair few hours, and I canot see much of this actually happening 'in the wild' as it were. Can someone with more packet analysis experience than I please chime in regarding all of this telemetry that I am not seeing?

    1. Da Weezil

      For many like me, the fact that they have endowed themselves with this data slurping capability has flagged Microsoft as an abusive "partner* that is no longer to be implicitly trusted. I'm sure once they have seeded this surveillance regime across the world they will figure out how to fully monetise it and then open the data floodgates.

      Bail out now and get a head start on regaining a measure of privacy

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @croc - telemetry

      Unfortunately, I can't confirm the extent of the telemetry. I've been uninstalling/hiding telemetry-related updates for a month or two, ever since the first indications came out as to what they were up to.

      It is often said in Microsoft's defence that you just need to opt out of the CEIP and nothing is sent. What I see is Microsoft continually attempting to enhance the telemetry generation in Windows 7, using deceit if necessary. I think there will certainly come a point where opting out of CEIP will no longer block the telemetry.

      Microsoft cannot be trusted and I take the view that the only way to deal with them is to treat all updates as suspicious and to ensure that all telemetry-related tasks are actually disabled.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      telemetry

      Look in your scheduled tasks and you'll find it. I haven't dissected the packets to see what it contains but it's a helleva lot of information because it bogged down my quad-core 8GB ram PC running on a 90Mb/s connection for nearly 10 minutes the night I discovered it. I had already opted out of CEIP and disabled the W10 KB's that were known at the time. Doing those things does NOT remove the scheduled task the KBs created when installed. You have to go in and manually remove those.

      I bet the telemetry gets sent to a different IP than the updates come from, so I'm considering digging that info out of my firewall logs and putting a permenant block against those IPs.

      So shameful M$... I've got enough work to deal with, now I have to do this shit to protect my already rock solid security at home.

  19. msknight Silver badge

    The stupid thing is ... if I was going to upgrade to Win 10, I'd want to do a clean install anyway. This is just a waste ... or possibly a way for them to massage the figures for some marketing claim or other.

    1. MrTuK

      Only way to do a clean install is to purchase Win 10 Retail, Win7 Product codes don't work for clean install only upgrade !! Why MS, why do I have to do a upgrade rather than clean install, ah I know why, you don't have any drivers or at least all driver so you are just using Win 7 drivers !!! DOH !!

  20. Adam Higgins
    Mushroom

    "ensures device readiness"

    Readiness to switch to Linux.

  21. Kinetic

    Don't run the windows cleanup utility. We killed two windows 7 boxes with it last month. It doesn't kill them every time, but about 50% is bad enough. By kill i mean non-recoverable reinstall os kill.

    Essentially malware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Disk cleanup, or windows update cleanup?

  22. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "It is an industry practice", eh?

    Like a good mugging is a downtown practice, I suppose.

  23. J J Carter Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    oh nos!

    windows 10 ate my hamster

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: oh nos!

      Now you know it doesn't have good mouse drivers yet, don't you?

    2. David 132 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: oh nos!

      windows 10 ate my hamster

      And the telemetry will rat you out.

      You'll be souris you ever installed it.

      (Sorry, can't decide if I'm feeding a troll or not, but it's light relief from my We're-All-Dooooomed comments above)

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: oh nos!

        And on top of everything else, Windows 10 isn't finished so its users are essentially guinea pigs.

    3. Chika
      Trollface

      Re: oh nos!

      windows 10 ate my hamster

      It happened to you too? I just hate it when that happens!

      Mind you, it now means I don't have to clean up after the little bugger...

      (or Windows 10, for that matter!)

  24. LDS Silver badge

    Very silly move, some people may be forced to disable updates

    It's really a silly move security wise. I understand Nadella doesn't care at all about his customers, and has decided to shove Win10 down everybody throats to get at their data (please, give us Ballmer back... LOL!), but some idiot at MS didn't understand they are actually telling user "turn automatic updates off, or we'll take full control of your *own* machine". The sooner Nadella is sent to "pursuit new opportunities", the better.

    Marketing should never, never, be allowed to run a company. They are blindsided. They just lead to disaster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very silly move, some people may be forced to disable updates

      I think you and all other indignant people here (rightly so) completely misjudge the outcome of this MS outrage. The total effect on the population is going to be - nil. We look from a tiny crack in the woodwork, which hosts a MINUTE FRACTION of Windows users (and you admins, who manage hundreds of Windows machines don't change the figures a bit, given the total running in milions). Thus, whether we disable the updates, or scream about it on every corner - matters not, because MILIONS of people out there, like milions of lemmings installing every cool pwned app on their mob - don't give a flying fuck about "telemetrics". As long as it's FREEEEE - they hail it and install it. And tell all their likewise-minded friends around how cool it is cause you can tap this part of the screen and that little halo appears there. And MS know very well about it, that's why they do it and they know they will get away with it. Don't blame the MS scum, they only take advantage of human nature :(

  25. iMap
    Thumb Up

    There is a way to prevent this happening by only receiving critical updates via windows update and removing the following patches from your system, then hiding them in Windows Update.

    Still on W7Pro 32 & 64 bit with no nags for GWX or the stealth upgrade.

    Telemetry Patches to remove from system (so far):

    KB2876229 SKYPE. (I dont use it)

    KB2923545 RDP

    KB2970228

    KB3035583

    KB2990214

    KB3021917

    KB3068708 Telemetry

    KB2592687

    KB2660075

    KB2506928

    KB2952664 x2

    KB3050265

    KB2726535

    KB2994023

    KB3022345 Replaced by KB3068708 Telemetry

    KB3022345 Caused false sfc result

    KB2545698 (IE9)

    KB3065987

    KB3080149

    KB3075249

    Takes around 20 mins to do but, well worth it to have your personal computer back (correct as of 11/09/15)

    1. Not That Andrew

      IMO, you really don't need to remove so much, just the 3 main telemetry updates and the GWX one.

      1. iMap

        These are all either 'recommended' or 'optional' patches, if Microsoft put any of these in the 'Critical' catagory then they would be open to a lawsuit.

        There are websites dedicated to informing the end users of the function of these patches with some very vague reasons to install them when you look up the Microsoft KB articles.

        Some have even gone so far as to generate scripts to remove these patches.

        As I have stated before, Redmond have adopted the Cupertino business model for their operating systems, the first clue was in removing 'patch Tuesday'.

        Whichever way you look at it, we are being forced to install malware and spyware via updates and patches.

        IMHO, this is creating an excellent opportunity for Linux distros to step in and dominate on Personal Computers.

        No wonder PC sales are down over the last 6 months.

    2. Infernoz Bronze badge
      Devil

      @iMap

      I found this:

      http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/28/microsoft-intensifies-data-collection-on-windows-7-and-8-systems/

      then this zipped up set of files with a script in the comments:

      https://github.com/WindowsLies/BlockWindows

      I also have URL blocking rules in my router for all the Microsoft telemetry domains, just-in-case.

      1. iMap
        Thumb Up

        Re: @iMap

        Yup, been on these sites also, interesting reading, I have these bookmarked on my linux pc.

      2. Sixtysix

        Re: @iMap

        @ Infernoz

        - I also have URL blocking rules in my router for all the Microsoft telemetry domains,

        - just-in-case.

        Upvote just for that common sense and practical approach

        ;D

    3. LDS Silver badge

      It looks you added a bunch of patches without knowing what they are for... are you sure support for the new Ruble symbol will add telemetry for Putin?

      1. iMap

        Never used the ruble symbol, and not likely to on a Windows based PC ;-)

        1. LDS Silver badge

          There are people who may need to use it - and why remove the RDP update?

          If you want to advise about the "telemetry" stuff it's ok, but be very careful about telling blindly people to remove whatever *you* don't need or feel a use for. Or you may apply for a job at MS <G>

          1. iMap

            There is a way to prevent this happening by only receiving critical updates via windows update and removing the following patches from your system, then hiding them in Windows Update.

            Still on W7Pro 32 & 64 bit with no nags for GWX or the stealth upgrade.

            Telemetry Patches removed from my systems (so far):

            KB2876229 SKYPE. (I dont use it)

            KB3035583

            KB2990214

            KB3021917

            KB3068708 Telemetry

            KB2592687

            KB2660075

            KB2506928

            KB2952664 x2

            KB3050265

            KB2726535

            KB2994023

            KB3022345 Replaced by KB3068708 Telemetry

            KB3022345 Caused false sfc result

            KB2545698 (IE9)

            KB3065987

            KB3080149

            KB3075249

            Takes around 20 mins to do but, well worth it to have your personal computer back (correct as of 11/09/15)

            [Updated due to having full descriptions of patches which were not available at the time of release.]

            RDP and Russian Ruble new symbol (non telemetry, adware, spying etc..)

            Better safe than sorry at the time :-D

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Patches to be removed

              Don't really get why you are including:

              KB2592687 - RDP 8.0 for W7

              KB2660075 - Fixes data and time issue arising from KB 2657025

              KB2506928 - Open .html file issue iin Outlook

              KB2726535 - Adds South Sudan to list of countries

              KB2994023 - RDP 8.1 fix

              Whilst I'm aware some people have had problems installing these, I've not found any reference linking them to increased levels of telemetry or W10 Update.

              However, on my list I additionally include:

              KB2977759 - W7: CEIP W10 compatibility diagnostics

              KB2976978 - W8: CEIP W10 compatibility diagnostics

              KB3046480 - .NET 1.1 migration

              KB3075851 - W7: August WUP client with W10 update support

              KB3083324 - W7: Sept WUP client with W10 update support

              KB3050267 - W8: June WUP client with W10 update support

              KB3083325 - W8: Sept WUP client with W10 update support

              KB3044374 - W8: enables W10 update

              Yes the list is getting rather long...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Metered Connections

    Stop being tight-arsed internet users, and get yourself a decent connection, you'll be saying people on dial-up have grievances next, sheesh!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Metered Connections

      One of the weaknesses of human mentality is to believe everyone is in the same situation as themselves. It comes in many forms.

      One is that people who find foreign languages/maths/games/IT/music/whatever easy and interesting imagine everyone else must be the same and that those who don't are being wilfully obtuse. (My misfortune as a youngster was the number of such folk in the teaching profession.)

      Another is to assume that the facilities available to them in their situation - geographical, financial or whatever - are available to all.

      You, A/C seem to fall into the second categor - maybe the first as well but you haven't given us any evidence on that point.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metered Connections

      I'm currently on a metered connection that serves my needs perfectly and moved away from an non-metered service that didn't meet my needs.

      I do not see why I should need to factor in downloading a couple of gig of windows 10 files when I have no intention of moving my laptop from win7 to win10.

      No point having no usage limits if your internet connection is only up a couple of days a month, so I moved from ADSL to a 4G service. The ADSL service was non-delivered by the local former monopoly-holder and after months of back-and-forth with them blaming my building's wiring, an independent technician declaring the wiring fine, the provider sending a technician round, things working a couple of days only to drop the connection again and repeat the cycle.

      Moving away to another ADSL provider would only introduce yet another party to redirect responsibility (as he infrastructure used would remain the same), so this seemed the most practical and cost-effective solution.

      I could pay 3 times as much for non-metered 4G home internet, which I may do in future if the need arises, but if Microsoft without warning nor informed consent pushes a few gig download to me, that effectively is stealing my download quota.

  27. David Roberts Silver badge
    Pint

    Automatic updates?

    As far back as my admittedly failing memory goes I was always advised to set WU to automatically download but not install updates.

    I could then see that updates were available but wait for a few days whilst the braver/more foolhardy tried them out. If the patch wasn't withdrawn or replaced then it could be installed with fair confidence. Some seem to categorise this as security stupidity (why?) but it seems a sensible balance between blind trust and no patching.

    A year or so back the number of bad patches seemed so low that I finally switched to fully automatic despite the occasional unexpected overnight reboots.

    Early experience of W8 persuaded me to go back to the old settings.

    This again looks a sensible strategy, given the W10 upgrade approach.

    There are plenty of guides on which patches to hide/uninstall to remove the W10 badness and associated telemetry. I have done this and so far see no signs of any bulk download. Just waiting now for the patches to be up-issued with new numbers. All this cocking about by MS has done is make me extremely reluctant to apply patches because of misleading or missing descriptions.

    However readers here are generally very computer aware and thus a vanishingly small percentage of the total user base. Illustrated by the constant testimonials to the health giving benefits of Linux and the total lack of adoption by the general public. Face it - 90% or more just buy an Internet and use a Google to access it. They are helpless victims and the big corporations are well aware of this.

    I expect to move to W10 at the end of the free period, assuming that no more major hidden "benefits" emerge. I use Windows because of a few specialist devices only supported by Windows or IOS. I have not had great success using VMWare to connect these devices through Ubuntu to a Windows VM.

    At one time I always ran dual boot and spent a significant time using Linux on the desktop but at the moment it does nothing for me that Windows7/8.1 does not do at least adequately. Only the W7 system is currently dual boot and Ubuntu only gets fired up to update on the rare occasions when I remember. So stuck with Windows by default.

    Ramble....ramble.....

    TL;DR sadly no point in complaining. Nobody is listening.

    Beer because I now need one :-(

  28. rdferrier

    Paranoid.

    And people call me paranoid for disabling windows update immediately after install since Windows 95. IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME!

  29. Novex

    Silly Question...

    ... but if I have Windows Update set to notify me of updates, but not install them, would I still be able to catch any upgrade stuff and uncheck it, and if necessary hide it? If so, I'm presuming the automatic download of the upgrade files only happens on systems with WU set to download and install without any intervention from the user?

    1. Aoyagi Aichou

      Re: Silly Question...

      Sure, but first you need to know what the update actually does, and that's not something MS likes to tell.

    2. Andy A

      Re: Silly Question...

      They appeared on my laptop despite it being set to update from my WSUS server rather than MS.

  30. Mike 125

    Don't ya just hate it when...

    ...your sandel-wearing, furry freak mates turn out to have been right all along. I've hated Linux for as long as I can remember. But maybe it's time to dive in. And certainly, if I was setting up a development environment at work, my recommendation would now be Linux.

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      Re: Don't ya just hate it when...

      > I've hated Linux for as long as I can remember.

      Every O/S sucks(*). But you can pummel Linux (and surely BSD) into submission.

      My machine, my fucking rules.

      (*) but one tends to forget the pains over time. Just finished installing Debian, no screams but quite a few smoking brakes (it must be said, though, that a freaking bizarre BIOS and a randomly malfunctioning NIC did "help" a bit).

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Don't ya just hate it when...

      I've hated Linux for as long as I can remember.

      Utter irrationality is not a good start for IT.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Don't ya just hate it when...

        "Utter irrationality is not a good start for IT."

        true- it ends up with people 'never get fired for buying MS'

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: Don't ya just hate it when...

        "Utter irrationality is not a good start for IT."

        Don't worry, once you understand what you're up against, it's where you'll end up.

    3. Chemist

      Re: Don't ya just hate it when...

      "'ve hated Linux for as long as I can remember."

      At the risk of opening a very large can of very spiky worms - why ? It's an OS - it has faults but if it can enable you to do all you want what's the problem ? If it can't don't change.

      For me the advantages massively outweight any disadvantages -in fact I can't think of any disadvantages for me

  31. RockBurner

    it's a pernicious practise

    A friend of mine (very non computer literate) uses an old laptop via a 3G dongol (lives on a houseboat IIRC, no phone line, no broadband, no wifi).

    Her 3G account has been effectively terminated and massive over-use charges applied to her account because of these huge downloads.

    Of course she doesn't understand why.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: it's a pernicious practise

      Send the bill so Microsoft.

      If only it were that simple, they will just blather and obfuscate. I wonder how many others have been hurt like your friend has. Sigh.

  32. Yugguy

    It's better than Windows 8

    In the same way herpes is better than aids.

  33. Avatar of They Silver badge
    Mushroom

    MS are b*st*rds

    I have a 256GB SSD, I don't want 3GB of stealth files infecting it.

    In the UK GB limits on internet is the norm, and 3GB of unwarranted, unasked for and unknown file downloads is gonna' hit a lot of people that naturally get near that limit each month. And 13 million people in this country are on or below the poverty line so paying for more isn't an option. (According to BBC's Question Time just before the election)

    ... But aside from that MS have become Malware peddlers to the extreme. Every day is another reason to avoid Windows 10, and increasingly Windows.

  34. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Joke

    All praise the glorious prophet Eadon!

    I'm building a small shrine to the prophet in my garden. In front of it will be a fire pit for burning Windows install media, may the smoke be pleasing to the master. Next to it, a ceremonial hammer and anvil WHERE I CAN SMASH WINDOWS HARD DRIVES. Sorry about that, shouting at things is a key tenet of Eadonism and us novices need to practice this daily :)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: All praise the glorious prophet Eadon!

      Maybe it's time to reinstate him here.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: All praise the glorious prophet Eadon!

        RegStuff T-Shirt!!

        Eadon Was Right!

        on the front!

        1. keithpeter
          Pint

          Re: All praise the glorious prophet Eadon!

          RegStuff T-Shirt!!

          Eadon Was Right!

          on the front!

          @hplasm: I did wonder if Eadon is still following all this from the ward...

    2. Chika
      Thumb Up

      Re: All praise the glorious prophet Eadon!

      Not sure about that. As I remember, Eadon had some things correct but he would often criticise negatively without reason or argument (I recall him slating a review of a number of laptops simply because they were preloaded with W8.x).

      Mind you, he wasn't wrong about the OS.

      I think I have a hammer somewhere...

  35. Alan Gauton
    Unhappy

    Automatic Install

    I was having an issue last week - my home PC (dual boot Windows 7 Pro / Mint 17) started trying to install Windows 10 - I'd removed the the GWX hotfix, hidden it, removed it again, hid it again, and then over the course of a couple of days the Windows Update log had half a dozen entries saying "Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro - Failed".

    A new hotfix installed a couple of days later then stopped it happening again. Which makes me think Microsoft bodged part of the update systems....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Automatic Install

      /sarcasm

      No, really?

      /sarcasm

  36. Nifty

    Still need proper XP compatiility on Windows 10.

    I installed proper XP mode on Windows 7, per MS it "runs in a separate window on the Windows 7 desktop, much like a program, except it's a fully-functional, fully-licensed version of Windows XP".

    It's needed because half the point of owning the laptop is to look after some elderly but loved USB-adminstered gadgets. No additional XP license needed - that's important too.

    Now I understand that this type of XP mode does not and will not ever exist with Windows 10.

    Lack of that is the only thing preventing me to move to 10 - all the privacy issues can be mitigated by careful tweaking (I hope).

  37. mike acker

    i will not be receiving the update: i took my Windows/7 system off the net.

    there are only 2 apps on it i still need to use and they work fine offline

    everything else is on Linux now

  38. TCook1943

    Rubicon

    I have been a dedicated MS customer since DOS 3.1, throughout the Gates years in fact putting up with some of the most sexually abused systems of all times but enough is enough.

    Nadella has changed the ball game so much that whereas at one time you had to carry your sick Windows to a virtual veterinarian for a health check to get rid of third party malware it now comes with its very own inbuilt and hard to treat versions.

    I now triple boot, XP offline to run all those older games, Win 7 for newer stuff and Linux for on line access.

    Win 7 is about to go virtual and Linux is to take over the drive, as soon that is that this dedicated distro hopper can finally settle on which distro.

    Its likely that Windows share of the desktop market is in process of flying out of the Window itself.

  39. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    No wonder Win7 systems around me are having an 'off' day...

    If they weren't locked in...

    1. Gezza
      Big Brother

      Re: No wonder Win7 systems around me are having an 'off' day...

      yep - here too. My win7 laptop has been behaving really badly in the past week, even moreso in the past 24 hours, and despite having a top notch fibre broadband service the internet speed/response time is rubbish. A locked down install has no effect either - something very odd going on - smells like the spirit of MS teens' emanations.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows, the Linux VM host

    Windows is now just a platform for software that you can't do without and has no suitable Linux equivalent, and for hosting a Linux VM for everything else. Why surf a dangerous web in Windows when you can do it safely from within the VM?

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Windows, the Linux VM host

      "Why surf a dangerous web in Windows when you can do it safely from within the VM?"

      -- Because VMs have vulnerabilities too...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    helping us prepare for the future

    Hmmm. OK.

    I'll get on the phone to Honda then, see if they'll park an NSX on my drive just in case I choose to buy one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: helping us prepare for the future

      I'd call Porsche, instead.

    2. Andy Non

      Re: helping us prepare for the future

      A better analogy would be ending up with a taxi on your drive, just in case you want one and while he's there the driver is using your WiFi too. Just hope his meter isn't running!

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sea change

    Not many MS shill type comments in here, what's up? too hard to justify?

    The comments are less acerbic towards Linux too, everyone has a limit and MS might just have pushed a few more than they expected over the edge.

    I really can't justify network connected MS kit at home now, might keep a quarantined box for a couple windows only programs but as a main PC not now.

    Does anyone remember when MS used to "host" viruses?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sea change

      "Not many MS shill type comments in here, what's up?"

      Fear?

      1. Chika

        Re: Sea change

        "Not many MS shill type comments in here, what's up?"

        Fear?

        Possibly. Or could it be that even the shills have had enough?

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Sea change

      The whole fiasco is totally unacceptable on MS' part. This will force some to take a strong stand and ditch Windows altogether. The tech savvy will mostly move to Linux while the masses will eventually migrate to something. Apple and Google are improvements here.

      The only kit I have is a couple of laptops which might become Linux Mint only boxes in a few weeks. They are currently dual booting various non W10 and Mint.

  43. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    What about the ISP's

    All those unnecessary downloads would also add up for any ISP that doesn't have an onsite CDN...

  44. WereWoof

    No doubt the next step will be, once the files are downloaded, you reboot your machine one day and voila! enforced upgrade to windows 10 with no user intervention required.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What, like this?

      http://www.sevenforums.com/windows-updates-activation/380499-win-10-upgrade-forced-win-7-computer.html

      People have been reporting un-asked-for upgrade attempts for a few weeks now.

      Perhaps el Reg could look into that as well?

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the KB # for this?

    Surely this is coming down as a KB of some sort? If that's the case, what's the KB #?

    My CAM PC is running Win8.1. The CAM software (from specialised vendor) apparently doesn't work properly with W10. So, they'd better be a fucking way to stop the upgrade. Permanently.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What's the KB # for this?

      >So, they'd better be a fucking way to stop the upgrade. Permanently.

      1. Turn off auto updates.

      2. Uninstall any updates on the list of known telemetry and W10 updates.

      3. Disable the CEIP

      4. Set WUP to let you know there are updates but not to download them. (Windows security is happy with this setting, it is not happy if you totally disable updates.)

      5. Download and use WSUS Offline (although you will still need to "watch this space").

      Actions 3 & 4 are also recommended if you are on a capped/slow connection.

      Action 5 does incur an initial overhead (1~2GB of actual data hence more like 3~4GB of ISP data if on mobile broadband), but if you have more than one machine you only incur it once.

      Only install new updates 2~3 after patch Tuesday when others will have vetted them for MS stealthware.

  46. Valarian

    So long...

    My mother, 66 and moderately IT literate, phoned me in a panic a fortnight back. Her little Win7 box, custom-built on a budget about 5 years back and running almost bugger-all aside from Chrome and a few lightweight hidden-object games, was running slow and spitting low-disk-space errors.

    I RDP'd and took a look. The drive is a 120GB rust-spinner partitioned into two volumes for System and Apps & Data. System had grown by about 9GB and now sported a weird Windows.~BT folder, which was the source of the sudden bloat. It was also locked so hard even Administrator couldn't delete the thing - I had to use 'Take Ownership' to be able to nuke it.

    I cleared-out the GWX KBs (she likes Win7, thought Win8.x looked abominable, and sees nothing persuasive about Win10) and tidied up. All good, until a few days ago when she called again with the same symptoms. Win10 was back, and short of poking a dangerous hole in my firewall and letting her PC partake of my WSUS governance I'm not sure I can keep it out. So she's probably just going to turn Windows Update off. Good job, Microsoft!

    Back at my gaff and in parallel to the above, I took a few days to mull it over and dispassionately consider the pros and cons.

    Then precisely a week ago I plugged a newly-created Ubuntu boot stick into my laptop, and without a moments' hesitation let it blow the Windows partition away, reformat, and install itself.

    I'm running my applications either as native Linux versions or Wine cuckoos. Everything works.

    Sure there's a learning curve ('sudo apt-what the heck? aargh quick Google') but on the whole I'm getting the hang of it. And importantly I feel like I'm in charge of my computer again.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: So long...

      Saw Uberstudent 4.1 on a cover DVD and thought how well timed...

      Now researching UberStudent and Edubuntu as suspect one of these will be forming the basis of any new 'student'/academic PC's I supply, when I get those calls from people with failed W10 updates in the coming weeks...

      But yes otherwise I've got the same problem as you with respect to Win7 PC's for the "older generation" (84 in one case) that have been running just fine with minimal intervention and now will require some major work to both restore to full working order and to keep them secure, given the only sensible way forward is to turn WUP off.

      Any one know if someone is planning to relaunch the Amstrad PCW8256 ? (http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2015/09/09/joyce_turns_30/ )

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: So long...

      Install Synaptic for nice GUI front-end to APT.

    3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: So long...

      I foolishly tried to run some windows software the other day, thinking that I was in a hurry and would just take the easy way out for once. I don't find Linux hard, but when the vendor apparently aimed to support Windows users it's got to be simple, right ?

      Turned out it isn't the easy way any more. So many hoops to jump through to get safe drivers installed, find an OS version that supports the appropriate features etc.

      SO glad to be back to apt-get. MS has lost the plot, and all those tales of Linux being hard to use and having to recompile the kernel to run your favorite screensaver are not just outdated, but lies.

    4. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: So long...

      "Her little Win7 box, custom-built on a budget about 5 years back and running almost bugger-all aside from Chrome and a few lightweight hidden-object games, was running slow and spitting low-disk-space errors."

      Xubuntu LTS with xfce4-popup-whiskermenu bound to mod4 and the panel unlocked, dragged to bottom, and locked again. Chrome installs fine. Looks like Win7 ish - my students can use it on my old laptop without further instruction. Would run fine on hardware suggested above.

      I'm not sure about the hidden object games but there are plenty of desktop games available.

      Or then why not a Chromebook with a minimal account set up?

  47. BleedinObvious

    Industry practice?

    I'm almost certain that Steam doesn't download games I haven't bought yet to P2P them to other Valve customers.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    turned off automatic updates because telemetry

    Seems my paranoia prevented at least one issue. My windows machines are online, but usually only end up in the same old places and "data" is kept on external drives.

  49. thebertmeister

    Treat it as a fun new game. It's the only way not to end up with your PC being defenestrated...

    I originally signed up for the Windows 10 upgrade, but after trying the final release in a VM and finding the UX to be terrible and reading about the privacy issues, I un-signed-up for it. However, every day in Windows Updates would be an "Upgrade to Windows 10" failed message. I then uninstalled and hide the two updates Microsoft tell you to uninstall and hide (KB2976978 and KB3035583) and after this, it seemed to stop with its Windows 10 nonsense...other than the text that should say "Installing updates..." on the Windows Update screen now says "Installing Windows 10..." even though it isn't.

    Then on 12th August, it suddenly started logging "Update to Windows 10 Failed..." again and I once again had several gigs of Windows 10 installation files downloaded (I had previously cleaned this up). Turns out there was another update on 11th August that was an update to Windows Update that re-enabled it (KB3075853). So it looks like this is going to keep happening every time there is an update to Windows Update. This is SHIT.

    I did an awful lot of Googling but found nothing.

    Then I noticed that a new setting had appeared in Group Policy (I have Windows 8.1 Pro, not on a domain, so in gpedit.msc) under Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Windows Update called "Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update". Since enabling this policy (I haven't uninstalled the above update), I have not been bothered by Windows 10...until Microsoft find a new way to piss us all off.

    I'm completely happy with Windows 8.1 with ClassicShell configured to disable everything TIFKAM-related. It's like running Windows 7, just a bit faster - it's only very very rarely that I see anything that tells me I'm on Windows 8. Windows 10 at the moment is simply not ready for market. I'll have another look at it when it is - and hopefully by then Microsoft will have been forced to back off on some of the privacy idiocies.

  50. Tubz

    Lets see ..

    1. Ignoring opt-outs

    2. Unauthorised use of network resources

    3. Unauthorised storage of data

    4. User possibly incurring additional costs

    I'm sure, this is breaking many a law and should be severely spanked, fined and the muppet who signed this off, put in front of a judge !

    1. Nifty

      5. Stealing electricity

  51. Roland6 Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 R2

    Given the W7 updates also apply to Server 2008 R2 and the W8.1 updates also apply to Server 2012 R2, has any one yet seen these attempt to update? or are these sleeper updates that will be kicked into life when Server 2016 is launched?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012 R2

      They'd better not because we have a good few applications that don't play very well with 2012 let alone 2016. These were first build for Server 2000 so it is understandable.

      We are trying to re-write them for Server 2012 and the pre-release 2016 but all the extra security crud is proving to be a bit of a problem.

      On the other hand, I hope they actually do and MS get their balls sued off when some company goes titsup because their systems have been screwed by MS. Not in the US I might add where their EULA is apparently all nice and legal.

  52. Packet

    Rubbish (re: automatic updates)

    I have not enabled download or install updates automatically.

    I also religiously clean out C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

    I have those telemetry updates uninstalled / never installed in the first place.

    Yet, I still found ~2.36 GB of "windows update" after running disk cleanup as an admin.

    WTF?!?!

  53. SteveG

    They blew it

    I was all for an upgrade to Windows 10 - until I saw the security issues. Looks like I'll be sticking with 7 like people stuck with XP. See you in ten years Microsoft... Or I *may* set up a Win 10 machine for gaming, and gaming only. None of my development machines are getting 10 in any which way, shape or form. Samsung have likewise shot themselves in the foot with their sneaky voice recordings. Sorry Sammy, them two TV's I have of yours are my last!

  54. Fury556

    I've found this is essentially blocking one of our clients Win7 non domain PCs. IT has important and optional updates to install, has never requested and even removed all the GWX files but it will begin downloading windows 10 setup files as soon as you ask it to install any update for the system. It seems like the only way to get the updates is to let it download Windows 10 which is beyond stupid.

    1. cheshS80
      Stop

      Stopping the b*gger dead

      Who will rid me of this turbulent upgrade?

      After I found a couple of my PC's had mysteriously downloaded 6 Gigs of Win 10 rubbish this despite having updates set to "Download and let me decide when to install" - So I did a bit of digging , This is what I found.

      "Windows 10 Automatically Downloading On Windows 7 And Windows 8", as is reported here

      this was despite disabling GWX , hiding the updates and doing other suggested Registry Hacks

      It seems that a KB Update (KB3012973 - Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro) is the culprit, I can't find any info on M$ Site regarding it, but it was there.

      I also noticed that there were two entries in "View Installed updates" that said :-

      Upgrade to Windows 10 (No KB Number) - Failed - (Recommended)

      M$ are crafty bastards !!! - But dig deeper and there is an M$ solution, although I'm not sure I trust them further than I can throw them

      It is entitled - How to manage Windows 10 notification and upgrade options -

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

      So what can you do to stop the upgrade ?

      First :- What you need is

      for Win 7 - KB3065987 installed (may already be installed but best to check) - Note This article describes an update that contains some improvements to Windows Update Client in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. This update is incompatible with Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) servers without the hardening update 2938066.

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3065987

      and for Win 8.1 - KB3065988 (may already be installed but best to check) Note - This article describes an update that contains some improvements to Windows Update Client in Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, or Windows Server 2012 R2. This update has a prerequisite.

      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3065988

      Second :-

      Open up your registry editor using the Start Menu search or by pressing WIN + R and typing regedit and hitting enter, and then navigate down to the following key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

      You will probably have to create the "WindowsUpdate" key on the left-hand side, which you can do by right-clicking the Windows node.

      Click on that new key, and then create a new 32-bit DWORD called DisableOSUpgrade on the right-hand side, and give it a value of 1.

      So only time will tell if this has killed the beast for good !!

      About time M$ came clean and issued that as a formal statement rather than the BS line of :-

      "we help customers prepare their devices for Windows 10 by downloading the files necessary for future installation. This results in a better upgrade experience and ensures the customer’s device has the latest software.”

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apparently Microsoft has adopted a pay per click revenue stream?

    Here's my take on it, W10 is very intrusive and chocked full of spyish looking "features". I've disabled each of their preparation updates and still found telemetry being sent via a carefully sneaked in scheduled task. Telemetry was sending them data about my pc for over 10 minutes on a 90Mbs pipe. How much data is that? Alot, considering I never opted in for the upgrade and have no intend to upgrade to W10 (now, most likely ever).

    Now this? Wow, just wow. For non tech folks, it would just be easier to give up and let it upgrade (like the compulsory updates for smart phones).

    Microsoft can take W10 and shove it up their com port. This just re-enforces my belief that there is nothing "generous" about their offer to give you W10 (even if your W7 is pirated). That right there tells me everything I need to know. They really really want this operating system on everyone's PC... no thanks.

    When the EOL W7, looks like I'll be joining the Linux crowd. I hate Linux, but at least it's not doing this kind of crap.

    For those of you who say "you've got nothing to worry about, it's microsoft." um, yea. right.

    Microsoft LLC (brought to you by NSA)... sigh...

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      https://github.com/dfkt/win10-unfuck

    2. jonfr

      More options then Linux out there

      You can always test out *BSD that is out there. You got several distros to work with. You have.

      OpenBSD

      NetBSD

      FreeBSD

      GhostBSD

      PC-BSD

      This are all the major BSD versions that I know of. There are others used in different tasks.

  56. Jim-234

    Not too long ago a 120gb SSD and 4gb of memory made for a great windows 7 platform.

    Now it seems you need at least a 240gb SSD and 8gb of memory to run well & not be worried about running out of space.

    Given how things are going, I'm starting to lean towards 480gb SSD and 16gb of memory when possible just to be on the safe side, especially if you want office & room for game installs left over.

    An interesting thing is to watch the memory usage monitor when installing the 1 Gig + batch of updates for Windows 7 SP 1 fresh installs and see how much memory it feels free to gobble up.

    Then of course there is the whole thing that the 1GB + of initial patches for a windows 7 install takes about 10x longer than the actual initial install of the OS, no matter how fast your SSD and CPU are, or how much memory you have it seems.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    U.S. PC owners should file a complaint

    Here is the FTC online complaint form. Tell them what you think of Microsoft's downloading of files to your PC without your permission. If you have had to pay more money for the increased data downloads, you should tell the FTC as you might get your money refunded.

    https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc

  58. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Facepalm

    And in the wider press?

    "Windows 10 - the best yet!"

  59. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Perhaps people should help Microsoft by each sending their servers millions of SYN packets every second. I know Microsoft did not ask for them, but they will be delighted to get them in case they decide to use them later.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Mushroom

      SYN packets?

      You would need to do it ANONYMOUSly...

      Where's the BatSignal icon when you need it?

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hardware suppliers not ready?

    done a few windows 10 install jobs now....

    I have found a couple of main stream LARGE hardware suppliers without the full set of win10 utility/drivers for their extra above keyboard buttons.. eg wifi on/off buttons !

    so it REALLY is not ready yet......

    if a Lenovo always restarts when told to shutdown, without specific tweaking of settings deep in power management..

    then it is NOT READY yet...

    a 60Gb SSD loops with "out of diskspace" "needs to cleanup" now.... (no data just win10 and office2010 installed) so don't go there...

    watch out for below the fold privacy uncheck options that don't show on letterbox laptops!

    one can keep hiding the MS Store charm icons, and taskbar icons, but they will keep reappearing, removal is futile, as they keep reinstalling....

    on the other hand I have other customers who cannot install win10 due to data warehousing privacy issues... so ..... when are these going to be clarified....?

    AND system-restore seems to be being left turned OFF after win10 installs - why ?

    just my 7.5pence worth....

  61. NotMyRealName

    Behind the Curve....

    I have been derided for clinging to WinXP far beyond its sell-by date. However, I had no option: my pension didn't stretch to buying Win7.

    That said, I have done my best to effect belt-and-braces security. My firewall is strong: it passes all the Shields Up tests. I've installed an AV program but I also regularly run Malwarebytes and Trend Micro Housecall. I launch my browser within Sandboxie. My browser's default setting is not to accept any cookies: why would anyone accept them as the norm? I've also installed browser add-ons such as Adblock, Certificate Patrol, NoScript, Ghostery, Wot, and also Masking Agent: the latter because I don't want to broadcast that I'm still using WinXP!

    My browser homepage is startpage.com, from where I can anonymously search via Google, or via the equally anonymous Duckduckgo. Seriously, why would anyone want their searches to be logged, and current searches to be filtered based on information derived from their previous searches? Or perhaps that only matters to people whose jobs/interests involve wide-ranging, eclectic, research? And, if I go to a site where I have to log-in, I bar 3rd party cookies. Thus far, that hasn't prevented me from accessing the sites that really matter to me.

    Given my budgetary constraints, I will soon have to get to grips with a verson of Linux. In the meantime, I'm so glad that I am exempt from the insidious encroach of Win10!

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: Behind the Curve....

      I have been derided for clinging to WinXP far beyond its sell-by date. However, I had no option: my pension didn't stretch to buying Win7.

      If in UK contact a local Linux User Group (LUG).

      Consider getting either Xubuntu (if your hardware is running XP SP3 ok it can *probably* cope with Xubuntu) or Lubuntu isos put on an old USB stick (2G fine) so they are bootable and run 'live sessions' to become familiar with Linux. A second USB stick can be used to store files &c so will not touch your existing hard drive.

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Behind the Curve....

      If you're using a router from your ISP and have not set up a DMZ, default host or explicit port-forwarding, the chances are that the reason why Shields Up! reports your system is closed is because of the operation of NAT on the router.

      Shields Up!, although a useful indicator has not really been a good test of how secure your PC is for quite some time, probably since USB broadband routers became passée.

      For Windows security, you really ought to have a decent firewall installed on the PC itself, with both inbound and outbound filtering turned on. AV tools are not particularly good at so-called zero day vulnerabilities, and the fact that there are no more XP fixes means that a whole slew of already discovered problems still count in that day zero, as for XP there will be no more day zero+one regarding fixes from MS.

      The sandbox is a good move for browsers, provided that it does not leak!

      You will also notice over time that the AV, adblocker and anti-malware tools will become less useful for XP, as the providers get less and less interested in XP.

      Really, it is not safe to use XP on the Internet, even with all of the protections you've detailed. Don't just think of your safety, try to prevent becoming part of a bot-net, because that can hurt us all. Do us a favour, work out what Windows programs you absolutely need, find out whether they run in Wine, and then complete the move to a Linux.

  62. Syntax Error

    Win 10 is like a virus. In view of all the bugs it should never of been released at this stage. Its like selling a car with faulty brakes.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. Behind the curve

    Dell Dimension 2400, 2GB Ram, P4 2MB 2.6GHz. Guess what, locked BIOS.

    Won't install anything from pendrive or CDR, has to be pressed original XP supplied with the machine.

    Fortunately 7 Home Basic isn't going to update to 10 on my netbook as the machine won't run 8 let alone 10 and probably never will with 2GB RAM and an x32 Atom.

    Still tries to download the damnable thing and now I have to manually kill windows update on every single restart or system slows down to a crawl (documented).

  64. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Dr Syntax sed: "Not many MS shill type comments in here, what's up?"

    Fear?

    Nah; busy downloading Cinnamon Mint. Seems a reasonable way to rid myself of the nagging from MS. It would seem that the essential Windows apps I cannot live without all work under PlayOnLinux. Or so I'm told...

  65. LittleTyke

    How can I tell whether my Windows 7 drive has received these unwanted files from Microsoft? I removed the "Get Windows 10" widget a few weeks back, but maybe they'd been downloaded already.

  66. jonfr

    Illegal activty by Microsoft

    This is illegal activity by Microsoft in any country that has computer crime law. As it falls under chancing person computer without permission, illegal use of bandwidth and so on.

    I can't see how Microsoft can justify this. This is also how the cloud is supposed to work in personal PC level. I don't want that. I do need Win10 for gaming in few months. I'm only going to limit it to that activity.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey, El REG

    Hows about a definitive "uninstall and stop this shit from downloading" guide.

    And what to do IF its already downloaded.

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: Hey, El REG

      If it's already there and you want to upgrade, someday...leave it there and it won't download again.

      If you don't want to upgrade ....why are you still using Windows? Your present OS will die someday, so why not just switch to Linux now? Sure there's a learning curve; but why keep learning about Windows?

  68. JJKing Bronze badge
    Flame

    Bloody thing downloaded itself onto my C and D Partition of my HDD. The C Partition one also downloaded 2.7GB worth of Updates as well. Would never have known it was there due to the HIDDEN attribute on the ~BT folder. Lucky I have show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives selected.

    Windows 10 is insidious.

  69. buckyball

    The last virus you'll ever run

    For fun, a former colleague and I came up with the idea of a "last virus" which silently carves out space on your drive, installs Linux there, installs a window manager which looks like Windows and when complete, reboots into "Winux". Finally, it reclaims the space formerly used by Windows and adds it to the storage pool.

    We had a lot of fun theorizing how it might be made to work and got a lot of laughs (some of them evil) along the way.

    Any takers? (Bwahahahaha)

  70. buckyball

    The Windows Free Zone

    Berekeley, CA is a "Nuclear Free Zone". My house is primarily a Windows Free Zone. My main machine maintains a bare-bones Win7 install in Virtualbox for work apps and my son's machine dual-boots Win7 and Linux Mint. Otherwise, all systems are Pure Linux (TM).

    All Linux installs are Linux Mint 17.2 (Cinnamon Edition 64-bit).

    http://linuxmint.com/

    I should point out that the recent (entirely voluntary) upgrade from 17.1 to 17.2 was a single mouse click and single reboot, taking less than 30 minutes to complete. Now THAT's how an upgrade should be!

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My (paid for) disk space does not belong to Microsoft

    I chose to opt into Security Patching - as such I decided Microsoft can install whatever patches are necessary.

    What I did NOT agree to, was a 3GB forced download of a new Operating System installer, especially when I'd EXPLICITLY REJECTED this by declining the update and REMOVING the patch which nagged me to do so.

    This is some underhand bullshit, and I will take my objections around Microsoft behaviour to

    our Microsoft TAM and also ensure Windows 10 goes nowhere near our 15000+ PC estate.

    Microsoft seem intent on stupid decisions without realising the long term repercussions......

  72. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Story is confirmed

    I have a laptop with W8.1 on it that is not registered to receive the "free" "upgrade" to W10. I just checked, it has the $Windows.~BT with a date stamp of 20-August-2015. This has been occurring for awhile now.

  73. Shark
    Thumb Down

    Do we get a warning when Microsoft will impose this on us!

    Yes; I would agree that Microsoft would be very shitty to impose this on to anybody that does not want this windows 10, in which one I feel that they are going to get problems with updating from what seems that I have already heard about! Like with their Windows 8.1 and with the many mistakes what they are trying to improve on, since the cook up from Vista... It makes anyone wonder why Microsoft is losing so many customers and losing faith in them to make a better O.S; Since from the good old XP!

    It would be very kind if Microsoft would give us some warning when they are going to impose or force this on us and what month that they are thinking about to do this?

    I myself am very happy to stick with Windows 7 and do not want the CRAP Windows 10!

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