One Stop Solution To Removing Microsoft's Windows 10 Upgrade Malware

I wrote the other day that I had a close call, where Microsoft nearly updated my computer to Windows 10 from Windows 7 without my permission.  Microsoft's Windows 10 code has become the most annoying bit of malware on my computer.  I have had several readers as well as PCWorld recommend the free GWX control panel for making this threat go away.  I tried it the other day and it is really easy to use and seems to make the problem go away.   I cannot vouch for whether it creates any new problems, but so far so good.

  • marque2

    Interestingly I was a win 10 early adopter. And then one computer it decided all the network access was public, so web pages were restricted and it stopped updating. I then reloaded Win 7, and everyone, including myself liked it better. So I decided not to upgrade again.

    So I was gone this weekend, came back and there was windows 10 on the computer - and no-one knows how it got there. The only good thing about this upgrade was that it didn't require an outlook (or Win 365) account to get it running. I uninstalled the win 10 and brought it back to 7.

  • marque2

    Something to note, I really don't like being forced to have a microsoft account to use my computer. I know it is similar to Google asking for an account on my phone, but I can always refuse that, and when I choose can remove the google accounts - can't do that with Win 10. Also the start menu shows way too many advertisements for my liking. Oh, and though it is getting better, Cortana, in general doesn't work. At least it doesn't work as well as Siri or Google Now.

  • Daublin

    Microsoft is using compatibility issues to force upgrades in other ways.

    The latest SQL Server only runs on Windows 8 or above. Annoyingly, it doesn't tell you this until near the end of the install process, after it's done a lot of work.

    More interesting to most people :), DirectX 12 is only available on Windows 10. So you have to upgrade if you want good gaming performance.

    It's a drag. These unneccary changes to the OS are bad from an engineering point of view, but I guess Microsoft has to keep doing it to keep things like Wine from catching up. Less obvious is why this goes on so long in the industry; there's a lot of profit opportunity for someone who can make a Windows 7 clone for half the price.

    At any rate, to the extent I have to use Microsoft products, I feel I am along for the ride. I upgrade my machines that are capable of Windows 10, and will eventually replace the ones that can't be upgraded. More frequently, though, I do things with Linux whenever possible. Ubuntu in particular has made Linux really easy to install and use.

  • ErikTheRed

    The irony is that they just announced SQL Server for Linux...

  • ErikTheRed

    Very simple solution... just walk into any Apple store with a credit card.

    I'm not just being a snarky asshole (well, maybe a little). I've run both Linux and Windows for over a decade each. I still have machines running both of those plus OpenBSD (and an absurd electric bill to go with it), but my main desktop and laptop computers are all Macs. They are not perfect by any stretch and I nit-pick on Apple plenty ... but they are far less hassle to use and maintain than anything else out there. We're talking orders-of-magnitude difference. I do have some apps that absolutely require Windows and for those I use Windows 7 running through VMWare Fusion, but over time I find myself spending less and less time there. No fuss whatsoever (but have at least 8GB of RAM for that, preferably 16GB or 32GB).

    Not only that, but Apple seems to be the only computer / mobile device maker that actually remembers that you are buying a product to use, not a platform for them to beat you to death with advertising and pre-installed crapware. We actually have some seriously developed and maintianed custom scripts to strip the crap out of Dells, Lenovos, and whatnot that we buy.

  • ErikTheRed

    Yeah, there is a business-only version of Windows 10 (Enterprise Edition LTSB) that is nicely ad-free and can have all of the stupid BS locked down through group policies, but they make pretty sure it stays out of consumer / small business hands. I wouldn't even consider running any other version.

  • Shane

    I have finally become fed up with Microsoft and am doing what I should have done years ago ... switch to Linux. My computer needs are not great, so the transition shouldn't be too difficult. I play World of Warcraft and I believe this will be the tricky part of my transition.

    I have worked for MS, I have worked on their products and I am at this point sick of them. Why should I have to pay for a new version of Word or w/e 20 times with each new computer and each new release. Truly the functionality hasn't changed in 20 years. I am sick of the OEMs with their crapware that I can't do a clean install to get rid of unless of course I pay for an upgrade disk. I am willing to spend the time to ramp up on Linux because I don't see things on the crapware nickel and diming front getting better (actually I see it getting far far worse)

    I can't say much about Linux at this point other than I just loaded an Ubuntu bootable jump drive and it was very easy and has already covered about 90% of what I do ( I am very browser centric because of the pain of loading software on Windows). I hope things go as smoothly moving forward as I start to learn the ins and outs of Linux. Just my two cents.

    Also I tried to do a clean install of Windows 7 and I was having a lot of problems getting it up to date. It would just hang at the 3rd checking for updates. I think they are going to do what they did to Windows 7.5 phone users. Arrggghhhh MS can pound sand.

  • Stan

    I "upgraded" to 10 early on because a lot of people at the time said it was better with improved gaming performance. That process was not fun (took a few tries) and I even tried going back to 7, but ran into severe problems with that. I still don't like 10 and take issue with a lot of its data gathering--I'm seriously considering trying Linux. Your comment assuaged some of my fears; I'll probably install it on one after my next PC purchase.

    For the Horde!

  • Steve

    That's not your imagination. Over the weekend, Microsoft has started force-updating computers to WIn 10, and people are upset about it. Also, per your comment about outlook, you'll find your outlook .pst files missing, and your mail redirected to office 365.

    (My personal opinion) this is to force all your data to reside on the Microsoft cloud, so Microsoft can then datamine it. It goes along with the telemetry code that records & sends everything on your computer to Microsoft, and then installs a keylogger recording to Microsoft. (Note: They have been backporting these "features" to WIn 7 & Win 8. Check the tech boards to see which KB packages to uninstall/avoid to have a clean PC).

    (My opinion) the motive behind this is because Microsoft saw Facebook, Google, supermarket loyalty cards, & Apple's app store; and said, "I've got to get me some of that, And since I own the OS, I can force people to be a part of it, whether they want to or not."

  • marque2

    I don't Mac because their cheap laptop with tiny 11' screen is a grand. I pay about $400 for a laptop, that is about my price range.

  • marque2

    On my laptop Win 10 causes the fan to always run and it seems to almost constantly take 20% CPU, windows 7 is quiet. I think Win 10 must take a lot more CPU, bit it is doing it for all the MS garbage that no-one wants.

  • ErikTheRed

    Eh, depends on what your time's worth, I guess. Part of my job involves helping companies spec machines for their employees, and we're responsible for total cost of ownership over the life of the system. Generally speaking, the cheap machines wind up costing far, far more in the long run once you factor in maintenance costs, employee time lost to unavailability, having to replace them more frequently, etc. We've found that the "sweet spot" is typically between $1500 and $2000, and we shoot for 7 years of useful life. In those categories of builds, Apple usually winds up being slightly cheaper for a similar system - but we rarely use Apple with customers because of software requirements, lack of high-quality management tools, etc. Internally we use them because overall they're far more secure and have the lowest maintenance costs by substantial margin.

    But there's also re-purchasing software, which can be ugly. Learning a new system sucks no matter how good it is . There are still plenty of other downsides, but from a cost standpoint it's pretty hard to beat them unless your time is free and you enjoy spending it fiddling with computers (nothing wrong with that - many people do).

  • Matthew Slyfield

    I won't use any apple products for a very different reason. My parents had an Apple IIGS at the time the first Macs were rolled out. The IIGS was very much superior to those early Macs, but Apple discontinued it to promote Macs.

  • ErikTheRed

    Certainly an interesting application of Carl Menger's theory of subjective valuation.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    It's a reputation thing. They killed a superior product to better market an inferior product. Can you guarantee that they won't do it again in the future?