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  #1  
Old 28-October-2007, 16:47
Olozzj
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Default MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Microsoft officials are seeking to dispel rumors the company is performing stealth updates on Windows machines. They are also pledging to be more transparent in the future to prevent such misunderstandings from happening again.

Reports of secret updates began circulating after at least two sites reported that Windows Update pushed patches on machines - even though the automatic update feature had been disabled. Both this post (http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=779#more-779) on ZDNet Hardware 2.0 and this one (http://blogs.zdnet.com/hardware/?p=779#more-779) from Windows Secrets said machines running Vista and XP SP2 versions of Windows each had nine files updated on them despite being configured to prevent the auto-updates.

"It's surprising that these files can be changed without the user's knowledge," the Windows Secrets post said. "The Automatic Updates dialog box in the Control Panel can be set to prevent updates from being installed automatically. However, with Microsoft's latest stealth move, updates to the WU executables seem to be installed regardless of the settings - without notifying users."

That prompted a Microsoft program manager to write his own blog post (http://blogs.technet.com/mu/archive/...-to-date.aspx), explaining that the nine files related to the Windows Update service itself. Microsoft updates them from time to time to ensure that Windows Update will behave in dependable manner in the future.

"Had we failed to update the service automatically, users would not have been able to successfully check for updates and, in turn, users would not have had updates installed automatically or received expected notifications," the product manager, Nate Clinton, wrote. "That result would not only fail to meet customer expectations but even worse, that result would lead users to believe that they were secure even though there was no installation and/or notification of upgrades."

Windows Update can be configured in several ways. They include: (1) automatically download and install new patches, (2) automatically download them but allow the user to install them at a later time, or (3) simply notify the user that updates are available. Users who selected any of these options would have had files updated, he said.

There is a fourth option for Windows Update, which is for it to be turned off altogether. Windows Update "does not automatically update itself when Automatic Updates is turned off," Clinton wrote.

The issue has touched off concern among some that allowing Microsoft or any other company to install files without their prior knowledge and consent sets a dangerous precedent.

"The point of this explanation is not to suggest that we were as transparent as we could have been; to the contrary, people have told us that we should have been clearer on how Windows Update behaves when it updates itself," Clinton wrote.
Taken from The Register

Is it any wonder Dell are offering new PC's and Laptops with Ubuntu preinstalled, instead of the dreaded and hated Vista. I think Microsoft's days are coming to an end.

PS does anyone know if these updates were installed even when the Automatic Updates service is disabled?
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  #2  
Old 28-October-2007, 19:00
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

So now we know. Gates is a Bodysnatcher after all, and the Plan has move into the next phase.

Switch to Linux, before the zombies get you
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  #3  
Old 31-October-2007, 03:44
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

lol this is very true.

Personally, I'm quite happy running XP with 95% of non-essential Win services disabled. If MS start with more of these stealth updates, I will make the switch faster than you can say go lol
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  #4  
Old 31-October-2007, 14:43
Austin_KW
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

MS claim that the updates are necessary so that you don't lose the ability to update in the future. Sounds reasonable, might even be true

Not that I care, as a happy ubuntu user, the only time I boot windows is to remember how to help out some poor infected windoze user.
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  #5  
Old 31-October-2007, 17:11
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

lol
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  #6  
Old 31-October-2007, 17:58
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

They are beyond help
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  #7  
Old 01-November-2007, 11:06
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Mender Mender is offline
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

...
PS does anyone know if these updates were installed even when the Automatic Updates service is disabled?
Originally Posted by Olozzj View Post
As it says in the article you posted:
There is a fourth option for Windows Update, which is for it to be turned off altogether. Windows Update "does not automatically update itself when Automatic Updates is turned off," Clinton wrote.
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  #8  
Old 01-November-2007, 14:36
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Precisely! There are four options for Windows Update, but they shouldn't function at all if the service that runs it is disabled.

I say shouldn't, but you never know with the way MS have been lately!
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  #9  
Old 11-November-2007, 22:04
nellietheelephant
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

I really think the computer user should be in control. Reminds me a bit of direct debits I always preferred standing orders cos I am in control.
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  #10  
Old 12-November-2007, 01:32
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Linux is user-controlled, unlike some other systems I could mention.
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  #11  
Old 12-November-2007, 02:03
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Linux is user-controlled, unlike some other systems I could mention.
Originally Posted by tattaloop View Post
Hmm... I wonder what other systems you mean? Quite a hard one that, I mean, it couldn't be Windows

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  #12  
Old 12-November-2007, 11:31
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

I sometimes think maybe I am a bit of a bore about Linux, but people upload megapounds out of their wallets for microspaz win, then they bleat and whinge unendingly about it.



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  #13  
Old 12-November-2007, 13:21
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centaur centaur is offline
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Many of us would consider using Linux if it were far more user friendly, especially the drivers for stuff like wifi and scanners and the like.

It's all such a tedious fiddle to find them and then install them ime, having tried Ubuntu.
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  #14  
Old 12-November-2007, 13:39
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

I must admit that in 1997 when I started, it was a bit of a learning curve. The fact that I had used Unix before helped.

Driver business can get a bit complicated, and is made worse by the fact that some hardware manufacturers don't publish their specifications. They ask microspaz about the OS, then they write the drivers themselves, thus shutting Linux out.

Some chip-makers love Linux, though, and freely publish their specifications.

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  #15  
Old 12-November-2007, 18:07
Austin_KW
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Many of us would consider using Linux if it were far more user friendly, especially the drivers for stuff like wifi and scanners and the like.

It's all such a tedious fiddle to find them and then install them ime, having tried Ubuntu.
Originally Posted by centaur View Post
Exacty, that must be why as a ubuntu user I never get request for support from family and friends who are windoze users.
Lucky windows users never have networking or driver issues, and why would they want a tedious fiddle with linux configuration, when they can just have everything in one super registry

Anyway I have to go, as I need to; say yes to this firewall alert, reboot, disinfect and remove spyware, clean my registry and hidden MS footprints, just as soon as this defrag finishes and my virus database has been updated.
Oh wait, no I don't, I guess I will just have to continue the tedious fiddle with my linux. Please!!
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  #16  
Old 12-November-2007, 23:11
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

If I knew what disinfecting and removing spyware was, or had ever heard of the registry, I would agree with Austin_KW
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  #17  
Old 13-November-2007, 13:06
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Anyway I have to go, as I need to; say yes to this firewall alert, reboot, disinfect and remove spyware, clean my registry and hidden MS footprints, just as soon as this defrag finishes and my virus database has been updated.
Oh wait, no I don't, I guess I will just have to continue the tedious fiddle with my linux. Please!!
Originally Posted by Austin_KW View Post


Hmm, this situation sounds very familiar...

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  #18  
Old 13-November-2007, 14:30
Austin_KW
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Booted my XP partition last nite, downloaded and installed all the updates. Except now it is stuck in a loop where it downloads a 55MB sql update fails to apply it, next reboot it downloads a 55MB sql update fails to apply it, next reboot ...
But at least it is not tedious...

Not that I am a crazed linux fanboy. I actually rather like XP and a clean XP install can be snappy, quick and usable but by the time you install all the updates and all the security software it becomes a dog on my old laptop. Running linux my 3 year old laptop is much faster and more stable than it has ever been.
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  #19  
Old 14-November-2007, 16:50
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Talking about Linux, I'm posting this from my brand new Asus Eee ultra-mobile laptop.

I must say, it's rather snappy at doing things, especially browsing the web.

The keyboard's a bit iffy, and i've just hit the wrong key

But otherwise, it's great and i love it.

Last edited by Olozzj; 14-November-2007 at 16:54. Reason: Hit the wrong key
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  #20  
Old 14-November-2007, 17:01
Austin_KW
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

Talking about Linux, I'm posting this from my brand new Asus Eee ultra-mobile laptop.

I must say, it's rather snappy at doing things, especially browsing the web.

The keyboard's a bit iffy, and i've just hit the wrong key

But otherwise, it's great and i love it.
Originally Posted by Olozzj View Post
I want one!!!. They are creating a buzz with that product, Which one did you get and how much .

Also how is the batter life while surfing, there is a rumour that the wifi eats battery power?
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  #21  
Old 14-November-2007, 19:46
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

I want one!!!. They are creating a buzz with that product, Which one did you get and how much .

Also how is the batter life while surfing, there is a rumour that the wifi eats battery power?
Originally Posted by Austin_KW View Post
I got the 701(?) which has the 7" screen, 4 GB Flash HDD (and customised Linux OS which spreads the content to prolong life), 512 MB RAM (which I believe is DDRII) and the 4 cell battery. Also came with the carry wallet thingy, which looks very posh lol

In total I paid just over the 200 mark for everything.

Surfing is brill, really speedy. Comes pre-loaded with Firefox, and is also equipped with some sort of flash-playing software. I've had it on power all day, just switched to battery at 18:15 and I've got 98% remaining - and I'm surfing whilst on youtube too.

Really wonderful machine, well worth every penny. Boot up times take no longer than 20 seconds (wow!) for everything to be loaded fully. The OS has some weird but wonderful menus, which make accessing programs and internet links fast and efficient.

The only downside is that the keyboard takes a little getting used to; when I first got it, I found myself knocking all of the surrounding keys, but now I'm almost fluent in touch-typing with it.

If you want one, probably the best place for joe public would be eBuyer although you're only permitted one per user. (I got mine trade wholesale, as I work in a PC shop lol)

Well, summary, well worth every penny, so go get one!!!
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  #22  
Old 18-November-2007, 14:09
tattaloop
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

I may misinformed, but I think M$ have a way to prevent you from using the same disk to install doze on two computers, which is a bugger if you are a company buying lots of computers for a network or something.

Now they can buy lots of these eee jobs instead.

This could be some kind of Linux tipping point, and it must be already really putting the wind up M$.
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  #23  
Old 19-November-2007, 19:00
Olozzj
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Default Re: MS installs stealth Windows Updates, even when disabled!

This could be some kind of Linux tipping point, and it must be already really putting the wind up M$.
Originally Posted by tattaloop View Post
no doubt.

It's not the disc that holds you back by the way, you can use the same disc for as many computers as you like; the drawback is the product key you enter when you're installing. You can only use the product key on one computer, and if it's an OEM key you're only permitted to make a maximum of three hardware changes (such as motherboard and processor) or else you'll need to purchase a new one.
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