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  1. Like
    ARikozuM reacted to Arika S for a blog entry, The AMA   
    Hi all.
    Bet you didn't know this place existed
    So I've decided to run an ongoing AMA for no real reason than to let others find out more about me and I feel like I need to open up a bit more in life, and since i spend so much time here, might as well start here. It's hopefully a way to deal with my shyness RL by letting others "ask me anything" and help me build confidence, plus i still have some form of anonymity so i'm more likely to share things here that i wouldn't with people I work with, are friends with RL Etc. So in effect you're kind of helping me 
    There's three ways you can do this. 
    Send me a PM here on the forums if you don't mind the question(s) being attributed to you If you would prefer to remain anonymous with your question(s), you can send an email to Arika.ama@gmail.com. Leave it as a comment at the bottom of this entry. Obviously other people will be able to see your question  
    I will endeavor to respond to every question as accurately as possible without revealing too much about my identity as I still intend to keep a disconnect between real life and online.
    Some questions may be unanswered depending on what was asked, ie too personal. If such a question is received, i will still respond, but just saying that it will not be answered.
    So you can ask my Anything, but not everything will receive an answer.

    Appropriate questions and answers will be put on this blog. Unless otherwise specified, I will not indicate who asked the question i will just list it and the answer. You can ask as many questions as you like.


    Questions and Answers will be listed below.
    The Basics
    Name: Erica S (that's all you're getting)
    Age: 27 (At time of posting)
    Gender: Female
    Nationality: Australian
    Answered Questions:
    Do you have any pets?: I have 1 cat, and she is a brat, but i love her.
    What is your favorite video game genre and how has it impacted your life? Has it taught you a valuable lesson or skill?: Definitely Simulation, and maybe as weird as it sounds, the one that has impacted me the most was Eurotruck Simulator 2. I have a much greater respect for trucks on the road while i'm driving. I used to hate driving around or behind them, but now i understand them a bit more.
    What brought you to this forum, and what keeps you here compared to other forum?: It started when i was researching what laptop to purchase. But I do this thing where i research too much and the longer it lakes the less likely i am to pick something and just go with it. So i wanted to get other people's opinions instead of just reading reviews and the manufacturer support forums. I never intended to stick around, but the longer i stayed the more i started learning about different things regarding technology. Plus there's some good people on this forum so i decided to stick around, and 3000 posts later, here i am :D 
    What’s your occupation ?: My official Job title is "Senior Team Member" which is generic as hell. I work at a fairly large financial institution in a "call centre" department that is specifically for supporting the rest of our staff, mainly the branches, but sometimes we deal with other departments. Basically if the branch doesn't know a process, policy, requirements, guidelines etc, they will generally call us. We're basically Google within our organisation if you could call them up to ask questions and steal less of your information. We don't deal directly with customers.
    Biggest fear besides social contact: As cliché as it might be; Death. It's just the uncertainly of it, not the event. How will it happen? When will it happen? What will happen to the loved ones I leave behind? (this being the main one).
    You go to the docs, not feeling well. Doc says stage 4 lymph cancer and gives you three months to live. What do you do with the remaining time?how dark. I would probably freak out for the first couple of days, but i would try not to change too much. most people would say "go traveling" or "do <expensive thing>" but i would save as much money as possible so it can all go to my partner after i pass. there isn't really anything that i would say "i have to experience X before i die". i would prepare everything i can so there's nothing my loved ones have to worry about finalising after it. last thing i want to do is give them things that will prolong their mourning.
    What's your favourite colour?: Depends on the context. But generally it's Blue or Purple
    Do you want to pursue your current career, or blow a hole in the side of the dreary office building in which you are imprisoned, hide for a decade, then return to conquer all civilization and impose a new world order?: Honestly, it's probably my co-workers that are the reason I'm staying in the role i'm in. we have a great team and I don't think i'd have the kind of connections I currently do if i went off to do something else. Some days i do wish i could just get up and leave because i deal with a lot of stupid people everyday. But ultimately it's a fairly easy job, laid back enough that i don't get TOO stressed and the pay makes me happy
    What would you say is the largest obstacle you’ve had to overcome and why?:  I haven't had many "hardships" in life, but the thing that stands out most would be bringing my self to drive again after a car accident when i was 19 that i had no right in surviving, let alone walking away with a few minor scratches. came over a blind hill as some guy crossed into my lane trying to turn into another street (80km/h speed limit so effectively around 140-160km impact for both cars). hit head on, airbags (which are not soft in any way) car written off. Ambulanced to hospital, xray'd, only had a scratch on my cheek from the (metal rods in) airbag. nothing broken, no internal bleeding. but just the feeling of dread in the split second. i didn't drive for the next like 8 months
    On such a male dominated forum for a normally predominantly male hobby/interest how do you deal with people misgendering you?: That's simple, I don't care. If people use the wrong pronoun when talking about me, or use any other gendered language that is incorrect, I just move on, I have no desire to try to correct people on it. It's not something I want to flaunt or constantly bring up. I've listed female on this AMA and my profile. Everything else doesn't matter because I don't want my gender to be my defining characteristic. 
    Not sure what kind of games you are into but, what are your experiences with online games that use voice chat?: I've given up on using voice chat. The "good" experiences outweigh the bad in terms of numbers only. but the bad experiences outweighed the good in terms of everything else. Most of the time the reaction was "cool a girl" that's it. Just wanting to get a girls attention is rarer (at least in my case), generally it was people berating me, verbally abusing me (for any little mistake, or even like dying in a FPS game where respawning is a thing) sexual comments, unwanted PMs and friend requests. Some people just get really weird when playing an online game and they know there's a girl, it's like they lose all semblance of how to act normal because there's the anonymity of being online.
    Who's your Hollywood crush?: I'm going to cheat and give you one of each
    Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch specifically with Dr Strange look (and omg the voice)
    Actress: Natalie Portman
    Whats your favorite musical instrument and why?: I never learned to play it, but it would be the Harp. String instruments are by far my favourite type of all instruments. the harp is the most graceful in my opinion and the most interesting.
    What was your favorite subject in school?: It's a close race between Drama and Graphic Design. Neither of them actually help with my current job but they were by far the most enjoyable classes
    Pineapple on pizza? Also, What's your favorite topping?: I do like me some Hawaiian Pizza, so yes, I think pineapple is fine. Favourite is either Aussie or just BBQ Meatlovers.
    Are you gay?: I'm not "gay", no. You would most likely be able to classify me as Bi, with a male preference. When I was single I was more prone to look for a boyfriend but i wouldn't say no to another female if i liked them. I have had girlfriends before when I was younger but those just kind of happened.
    If you had to chose a super power, what would it be - and why?: 
    Shape-shifting. Who wouldn't want the ability to like like what ever they wanted? Most people would say flight or something boring, but with Shape-shifting i could turn into a bird (or, hell, even a dragon) and be able to fly anyway. it's just such a versatile power that has endless possibilities. My backup would be Telekinesis.
    What is your favourite computer part, and why?: Keyboard is what i'm the most picky about. It's hard to find a keyboard i'm happy with, but once i find it, i can swap out as many other parts as needed, but the keyboard will stay the same.
    I see that you like simulator games. What are some simulator games that you like to play?:  Mainly been playing DCS World lately. Every now and then i'll boot up EuroTruck Simulator 2, Train Sim World 2020 and Xplane 11. But DCS is definitely my go to.
    Being a female would you say that you fit the Ozzie stereotype of excessive drinking and cursing or would you class yourself as having a more feminine personality?: I barely drink. i drink like twice a year. I do curse when I'm around people im comfortable with (not excessive though), I also know how to turn it off when i need to be professional or around new people. I wouldn't call my self feminine either. I feel like I'm half way between girly and tom-boyish. To be honest, I have no idea what i am.
  2. Informative
    ARikozuM reacted to Delicieuxz for a blog entry, Resources for disabling Windows 7 / 8 / 10 Telemetry & Data-Collection   
    If you are aware of updated information regarding telemetry and data collection in Windows 7 / 8 / 10, or know improved methods to disable it, please share it.
    For Windows 10
    General Privacy Guide's for Windows 10 version 1803 and 1809
    This guide includes instructions on how to disable or remove various invasive or unwanted aspects of Windows 10. Some of what the guide includes instructions for:
    - Basic Windows 10 set-up choices
    - How to remove various apps, such as Windows Store, and other native Win 10 apps
    - How to disable Cortana via registry
    - How to remove various telemetry services and scheduled tasks
    Some of what this guide shows instructions for may already be done by programs such as O&O ShutUp10.
    For 1803: https://fdossena.com/?p=w10debotnet/index_1803.frag
    For 1809: https://fdossena.com/?p=w10debotnet/index_1809.frag
    For 1903: https://fdossena.com/?p=w10debotnet/index_1903.frag
    Using an edition of Windows 10 that lets you set the telemetry as low as possible
    Windows 10 Enterprise and LTSC allow you to use the group policy editor to lower the amount of data-harvesting to Security Only. The Security Only setting may appear in Windows 10 Pro, but setting the group policy to that setting in Pro doesn't have any effect as the Telemetry Only setting is disconnected from any functionality in Pro.
    Licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise and LTSC can be purchased for cheap off of eBay.
    To set data-collection to Security Only in Windows 10 Enterprise and LTSC:
    1. Open the group policy editor
    2. Navigate to: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Data Collection and Preview Builds
    3. From the list of that sections policies, double-click on the policy titled Allow Telemetry
    4. Set the policy to Enabled, and then set the policy to Security Only from the drop-down box
    5. Click OK to close the window
    O&O ShutUp10
    O&O ShutUp10 is an excellent free piece of software that provides many options to reduce the amount of data that is harvested by Microsoft. I strongly recommend using it and reading the description of each item that can be enabled or disabled to stop a lot of unwanted data-harvesting.
    Quoted from the developer's website:
    O&O ShutUp10: https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10
    Setting up a custom firewall to block Microsoft telemetry servers
    Download and install this custom hosts file, and this custom PeerBlock Microsoft IP list which is regularly updated from information obtained via Wireshark: https://encrypt-the-planet.com/windows-10-anti-spy-host-file/
    Review this thorough guide (a website account is needed to view it): https://encrypt-the-planet.com/completely-disable-windows-10-telemetry/
    Spybot Anti-Beacon
    Another good tool for blocking unwanted communication between a PC and Microsoft. It adds a lot of IPs to the Windows hosts file
    Spybot Anti-Beacon: https://www.safer-networking.org/spybot-anti-beacon/
    Debloat Windows 10
    Use the free Debloat Windows 10 script to do as it says in its description:
    Debloat Windows 10: https://github.com/W4RH4WK/Debloat-Windows-10/blob/master/scripts/block-telemetry.ps1
    Manually block Microsoft data-collection servers in your Windows hosts file
    There have been suggestions that Windows 10 ignores Microsoft servers in the hosts file, but Spybot Anti-Beacon adds a bunch of Microsoft servers to it and so maybe they know something different.
    The Windows hosts file is located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. To open it, right-click and select "Open with", then choose Notepad and press OK. Then save the file when you're done editing it and then close it.
    You can try adding these Microsoft data-collection servers to your Windows hosts file:
    Disconnect Microsoft telemetry server connections
    From: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/privacy/configure-windows-diagnostic-data-in-your-organization   (US page)
    And:   https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/privacy/configure-windows-diagnostic-data-in-your-organization   (UK page)
    More details on Windows 10 endpoints and ways to disconnect them: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/privacy/manage-windows-endpoints
    My Digital Life's excellent repository on Windows 10 telemetry and its removal that contains sections on:
    Delete Telemetry Services
    Delete Remnants of Diagtrack and Cortana
    Task Scheduler Block
    IP Re-Routing
    Hosts File Block
    Packages Uninstall Lists
    PEERBLOCK for Blocking Telemetry
    Windows 10 IP Range Block List
    Apps Online Uninstall
    Disable Windows 10 Telemetry Service
    Disclaimer: This suggestion has been reported to be deprecated and so likely has no effect on the amount of telemetry Windows 10 collects
    It was previously suggested that some Windows 10 telemetry and data collection could be disabled by doing the following:
    Go to Services and Applications -> Services in the left pane. In the services list, disable the following service:
    Connected User Experiences and Telemetry service     (called "Diagnostics Tracking Service" in Windows 10 version 1151 and earlier)
    Again, doing this likely has no effect on the level of telemetry that is collected.
    For Windows 7 and 8
    The surest way to run Windows 7 telemetry-free is to install Windows 7 from an early-to-mid 2015 ISO and then permanently disable Windows Update.
    I have a June 2015 ISO of Windows 7 available for download in this post:
    Block Microsoft data-collection servers in your Windows hosts file
    For this, follow the same instructions mentioned in the Windows 10 section of this guide.
    Windows 7 / 8(.1): Guidance on avoiding telemetry-containing updates including a list of security-only updates with download links for each (updated February 2019):
    Windows 7 / 8(.1): A thorough guide to identifying telemetry updates, removing the Windows telemetry service, and blocking Microsoft's telemetry servers
    Aegis script: Disables, uninstalls, and blocks a bunch of Windows 7 / 8 telemetry & data-collection updates
    Since around mid-2015 (and possibly a bit earlier), Microsoft has been back-adding telemetry harvesting into Windows 7 and 8(.1) through the updates that are installed by Windows Update. 
    These updates are not required, and can be declined from installing and also will not be downloaded and installed if Windows Update is disabled. But, if a person has automatic updates enabled these updates will be automatically installed. If a person doesn't want these to be installed, they can be quickly uninstalled and blocked from being re-downloaded and installed by running a script that knows which updates to permanently block from being searched-for by Windows Update, and from being downloaded and installed.
    Aegis Script is one such script, though it was last updated May 18, 2016.
    The Aegis script will also remove and block any prompts in Windows 7 and 8 about downloading and installing Windows 10.
    Original script link, and discussion: Script for Win 7/8 to block all telemetry updates and Windows 10 upgrade components
    Direct-download backup link for Aegis v1.18: https://mega.nz/#!dhExAbBa!fehYhbTNz5dIBh72psfXLfwv9wMk0uhMpGli-c0pBn4
    For a list of the Windows 7 and 8(.1) updates that the Aegis script addresses, and also of the post Aegis scrip Windows updates to avoid because they have telemetry in them, see the bottom of this post.
    For identifying data-collection-containing updates since 2016, here is an updated list of which updates to avoid or uninstall: https://pastebin.com/jWX2zHdr
    Overview of what the Aegis script does
    Direct-download backup link for Aegis v1.18: https://mega.nz/#!dhExAbBa!fehYhbTNz5dIBh72psfXLfwv9wMk0uhMpGli-c0pBn4
    (This information was retrieved from an archived version of the voat.co page discussing Aegis, via http://pastebin.com/1Xb2h39Z, and was last updated March 27, 2016, and so will not mention any changes to the script after that time)
    Description: Blocks 201 bad hosts, change windows update to check/notify (do not download/install), disable automatic delivery of internet explorer via windows update, disable ceip/gwx/skydrive(aka onedrive)/spynet/telemetry/wifisense, disable remote registry, disable 31 scheduled tasks, disable windows 10 download directory, remove diagtrack, sync time to ntp.org, hide/uninstall 50 kb updates (see below).
    Directions: Download, unzip, disable anti-virus, right click on aegis.cmd, click "run as administrator", follow on-screen instructions.
    Note: If unable to uninstall some kb's this post may help.
    Internet Explorer:
    Some updates which may contain critical security patches for ie, as well as automated delivery of ie and related updates, will be blocked. Due to the obvious security risk posed by running an unpatched browser we strongly advise to uninstall ie. If you plan to continue to use ie you should probably not run this script - or manually patch and do so at your own risk.
    All code except sed and setacl is provided as open source so you can look and see for yourself what it does. It has been thoroughly tested on my own systems and scanned with VirusTotal, and to the best of my knowledge it does not contain any harmful or malicious elements. However I assume no liability for any problems so use it at your own risk.
    There is no official license - you are welcome to modify and share my code and you do not have to give me credit. I do appreciate any feedback and I will give you credit if I use your ideas. This script is the product of a collaborative effort and does not belong to any one person.
    Windows Update:
    This script will not block Windows Update however it will change your Windows Update settings to 'check/notify but do not download/install'. If you have problems getting Windows Update to work properly after running the script you may need to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter or the System Update Readiness Tool. If you have recently installed updates and have not yet rebooted you should reboot before running the script. If you are on a fresh install you may want to install all updates before running Aegis for the first time, otherwise it may take a long time to update.
    Here is a possibly-incomplete listing of updates that Aegis removes and blocks, using the format:
    kb update ID
    update description
    update for windows activation technologies
    update for adding itracerelogger interface support
    description not available, update was pulled by microsoft
    description not available, update was pulled by microsoft
    update for upgrading windows 7
    Ugh, screw this.
    [kb2976978](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2976978) | update for windows 8.1 and windows 8 [kb2977759](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2977759) | update for windows 7 rtm [kb2990214](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2990214) | update that enables you to upgrade from windows 7 to a later version of windows [kb3012973](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3012973) | upgrade to windows 10 [kb3014460](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3014460) | update for windows insider preview / upgrade to windows 10 [kb3015249](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3015249) | update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 [kb3021917](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3021917) | update for windows 7 sp1 for performance improvements [kb3022345](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3022345) | update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry [kb3035583](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3035583) | update installs get windows 10 app in windows 8.1 and windows 7 sp1 [kb3042058](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3042058) | update for cipher suite priority order (contains winlogon spying elements) [kb3044374](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3044374) | update that enables you to upgrade from windows 8.1 to windows 10 [kb3046480](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3046480) | update for migrating .net when upgrading to later version of windows [kb3058168](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3058168) | activate windows 10 from windows 8 or windows 8.1, and windows server 2012 or windows server 2012 r2 kms hosts [kb3064683](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3064683) | update for windows 8.1 oobe modifications to reserve windows 10 [kb3065987](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3065987) | update for windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2 july 2015 [kb3065988](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3065988) | update for windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2 july 2015 [kb3068708](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3068708) | update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry [kb3072318](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3072318) | update for windows 8.1 oobe modifications to reserve windows 10 [kb3074677](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3074677) | compatibility update for upgrading to windows 10 [kb3075249](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3075249) | update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in windows 8.1 and windows 7 [kb3075851](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3075851) | update for windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2 august 2015 [kb3075853](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3075853) | update for windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2 august 2015 [kb3080149](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080149) | update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry [kb3081437](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3081437) | august 18, 2015, compatibility update for upgrading to windows 10 [kb3081454](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3081454) | september 8, 2015, compatibility update for upgrading to windows 10 [kb3081954](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3081954) | update for work folders improvements in windows 7 sp1 (contains telemetry elements) [kb3083324](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3083324) | update for windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2 september 2015 [kb3083325](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3083325) | update for windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2 september 2015 [kb3083710](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3083710) | update for windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2 october 2015 [kb3083711](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3083711) | update for windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2 october 2015 [kb3086255](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3086255) | september 8, 2015, security update for the graphics component in windows (breaks safedisc) [kb3088195](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3088195) | october 13, 2015, security update for windows kernel (reported to contain a keylogger) [kb3090045](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3090045) | windows update for reserved devices in windows 8.1 or windows 7 sp1 (windows 10 upgrade elements) [kb3093983](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3093983) | security update for internet explorer: october 13, 2015 (ie spying elements) [kb3102810](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810) | windows 10 upgrade elements [kb3102812](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102812) | windows 10 upgrade elements [kb3112343](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3112343) | update for windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2 december 2015 [kb3112336](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3112336) | update for windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2 december 2015 [kb3123862](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3123862) | updated capabilities to upgrade windows 8.1 and windows 7 [kb3135445](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3135445) | windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2: february 2016 [kb3135449](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3135449) | windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2: february 2016 [kb3138612](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3138612) | windows update client for windows 7 and windows server 2008 r2: march 2016 [kb3138615](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3138615) | windows update client for windows 8.1 and windows server 2012 r2: march 2016 [kb3139929](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3139929) | security update for internet explorer: march 8, 2016 [kb3146449](https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3146449) | updated internet explorer 11 capabilities to upgrade windows 8.1 and windows 7         Updates including post-Aegis that contain telemetry, updated to June 2018:   Windows 7/8/8.1 Updates to avoid as of the June 2018 "Patch Tuesday":
    KB971033,  Activation exploits
    KB2876229, Skype
    KB2882822, replaced by KB3068708
    KB2952664, telemetry crap
    KB2970228, new Russian ruble symbol, breaks fonts
    KB2976978, Windows 10 update crap for Win8
    KB2977759, telemetry crap
    KB2982791, Causes crashes
    KB2990214, telemetry crap
    KB3004394, faulty update
    KB3018238, only applies to Windows Server 2008
    KB3021917, telemetry crap
    KB3022345, telemetry crap
    KB3035583, telemetry crap
    KB3050265, telemetry crap
    KB3065987, telemetry crap
    KB3068708, telemetry crap
    KB3075249, telemetry crap
    KB3075851, telemetry crap
    KB3080149, telemetry crap
    KB3081954, telemetry crap
    KB3083324, telemetry crap
    KB3083710, telemetry crap
    KB3097877, Casuses crashes
    KB3102810, telemetry crap
    KB3107998, Lenovo fix to remove blocker
    KB3112336, More WIN10 crap
    KB3112343, More WIN10 crap + MS monitoring of win10 upgrade
    KB3121255, crash during backup of PI Data server fails
    KB3123862, Windows 10 update crap
    KB3125574, Apr 2016 rollup with bad ones in it
    KB3133977, BitLocker can't encrypt the drive and the service crashes
    KB3135445, WIN7 update client to force WIN10
    KB3137061, Azure virtual machines network outage data corruption
    KB3138901, No Internet multiple users log on Remote Desktop Services
    KB3139923, MSI repair doesn't work after you install updates
    KB3147071, Connection to Oracle database fails. Causes browser lockups?
    KB3150513, telemetry crap
    KB3184143 removes the Get Windows 10 app
    KB3172605 July 2016 update rollup (re-released Sep 13 2016)
    KB3179573 August 2016 Rollup
  3. Informative
    ARikozuM reacted to Delicieuxz for a blog entry, Eleven different ways to disable Windows Update in Windows 10 (updated March 2019)   
    A highly important aspect of owning property, such as your computer hardware, the data on it as well as any data it generates, your Windows operating system, and other software you've purchased, is exclusively being the person that has the authority to make decisions over it, and being able to make the decisions that you know are the best for your situation.
    As the European Union and Australia's top courts have ruled, and as even the US Supreme Court has indirectly supported, you own the software that you purchase, and you possess full property rights apply to your personally-owned software (with no comparable court in the world ruling contradictory to the European Union and Australia's top court rulings). The ownership rights that people possess over their software naturally includes full decision-making authority concerning whether their software may become modified or not, such as by updates.
    In recent years, ever since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has shown itself to be struggling to grasp the understanding of these things. Microsoft's efforts to oppose and sabotage Windows and PC system owners' ability to control and stop updates from being installed on their machines and modifying their OSes and storage drives against their wills constitutes a clear violation of property laws and is vandalism of people's computer systems and their personally-owned Windows OSes.
    If you'd like more information about your ownership of your software, including Windows 10, and to learn about the nature of software licenses and EULAs, you can check out this link: You legally own the software that you purchase, and any claims otherwise are urban myth or corporate propaganda
    Despite Microsoft's ongoing failure to meet its legal obligations to respect Windows owners' rights and property, there are a variety ways to take back control of your OS and make it more secure and reliable by controlling Windows Update. Here are 10 of them:
    Method 1
    One method is by using the Group Policy editor. The Group Policy editor is only available in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. If you have Home edition, you will have to follow one of the other methods.
    Setting the Group Policy editor policy for Automatic Updates to Disabled does the following: "If the status for this policy is set to Disabled, any updates that are available on Windows Update must be downloaded and installed manually. To do this, search for Windows Update using Start."
    To Disable the automatic updates group policy:
    Step 1 - In the start menu, search for Group Policy, and open the policy editor
    Step 2 - Navigate to: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
    Step 3 - In the folder containing policies for Windows Update, double-click on the policy titled "Configure Automatic Updates"
    Step 4 - In the top-left area of the window that pops up, check the box that says Disabled
    Step 5 - Press OK to close that window

    If you don't want to stop Windows Update from letting you know when new updates are available, but want to stop automatic downloads and installations of updates, then follow this guide to set the automatic updates policy to "Notify for download and notify for install":
    If following that video guide to stop automatic downloads and installs of Windows updates, then after about 2 months, you might start getting full-screen pop-ups after you boot into the OS saying that updates are available for your OS. There are additional guides online showing how to disable those full-screen pop-ups (which shouldn't be happening in the first place, but Microsoft is not a good company and acts abusively by nature).
    Method 2  ---  now possible with Windows 1803 and newer!
    Windows Update can be fully disabled by opening Services and then disabling the item for Windows Update. To re-enable Windows Update at a later time, just re-enable its service.
    If using Windows 1803 or newer, you will have to first give your Windows account "ownership" over the WaaSMedicSvc.dll file that's located in C:\Windows\System32, and possibly over the entire System32 folder. A guide on how to do that is here.
    After you have control over the WaaSMedicSvc.dll file, then do the following:
    Step 1 - Go to C:\Windows\System32\
    Step 2 - Locate and delete or rename the file WaaSMedicSvc.dll
    Step 3 - In the start menu, search for and open Services
    Step 4 - In the Services window, search for Windows Update and double-click on it to open it. Press Stop, and the set the Startup Type to Disabled. Then press OK to close the window.
    If you need to re-enable the Windows Update service at a later time:
    Step 1 - In the start menu, search for and open Services
    Step 2 - In the Services window, search for Windows Update and open it. Press Start, and the set the Startup Type to Enabled. Then press OK to close the window.
    If using Windows 10 1709 and earlier, then the WaaSMedicSvc.dll file that automatically resets the Windows Update service isn't there, and so all it takes to disable Windows Update in earlier versions of Windows is this:
    Step 1 - In the start menu, search for and open Services
    Step 2 - In the Services window, search for Windows Update and double-click on it to open it. Press Stop, and the set the Startup Type to Disabled. Then press OK to close the window.
    Method 3
    Here is another Group Policy editor method. If you have Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can run the Group Policy editor (GPEdit.msc) and set the Windows Update Source to a non-existent URL.
    Step 1 - In the start menu, search for Group Policy, and open the policy editor
    Step 2 - Navigate to: Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
    Step 3 - In the folder containing policies for Windows Update, double-click on the policy titled "Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location"
    Step 4 - In the upper-left of the Set the policy to "Enabled"
    Step 4 - In the top-left area of the window that pops up, check the box that says Disabled
    Step 4 - In the lower-left area of the window, under Options, set the intranet update service address and the intranet statistics server address to a URL that doesn't exist
    Step 5 - Press OK to close that window

    Method 4
    Use 3rd-party program NTLite to completely remove the Windows Update module from Windows.


    Removing Windows Update via this method apparently, or might (according to one person), also remove the "turn Windows features on or off" section in the Windows control panel. I don't know if this is true, and it sounds strange to me, but if it does then individual Windows components can still be enabled or disabled using PowerShell.
    For information on how to do that, visit this page: https://www.ghacks.net/2017/07/14/use-windows-powershell-to-install-optional-features/
    Here's a quote of the comment which appears to me to claim that removing Windows Update via NTLite also removes the "turn Windows features on or off" section in the Windows control panel:
    Method 5
    In Windows 10 1803, Microsoft behaves criminally and vandalizes Windows owners' OSes by re-enabling WU-restarting scheduled tasks and the WU service via a new service titled "Windows Update Medic Service". If "Windows Update Medic Service" could be independently disabled, it would be possible to first disable that service and then disable the Windows Update service and have it stay disabled. However, Microsoft is not an honest and fair player, and doesn't respect their customers nor even treats them as people with legitimate interests and goals concerning their personally-owned OS. So, things aren't quite that straight-forward.
    However, they're still somewhat straight-forward, and here are some programs that will block Windows Update and disable the offending Windows Update Medic service:
    Disable Windows Update with one click using StopUpdates10:
    https://www.thewindowsclub.com/block-updates-windows-10-stopupdates10    Alternative link: https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/stopupdates10.html
    Block Updates on Windows 10 using Windows Update Blocker, a 3rd-party tool which disables Windows Update:
    https://www.sordum.org/9470/windows-update-blocker-v1-4/    Alternative link: https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/windows_update_blocker.html
    Block Updates on Windows 10 using StopWinUpdates, a 3rd-party tool which disables Windows Update:
    Control Windows Updates with Sledgehammer scipt:
    Method 6
    There is a method to disable Windows Update involving using an offline Windows account (instead of a Microsoft account) described here:
    For people not wanting their personal and personally-identifiable data harvested by Microsoft, it is strongly recommended to use a regular, "local" Windows account anyway and not a Microsoft account to log into Windows, as using a Microsoft account significantly increases the amount of personally-identifiable Windows usage data that is harvested by Microsoft.
    Method 7
    SimpleWall is a 3rd-party firewall program that has built-in protection rules for Windows Update that can be enabled.
    Method 8
    There is a registry tweak to disable Windows Update, which might work for people on Home editions of Windows 10:
    Step 1 - Open the Run command (Win + R), in it type: regedit and press enter
    Step 2 - Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Step 3 - In there create a ‘32-bit DWORD’ value called ‘AuOptions’ and under ‘Value Data’ type 2 and click ‘OK’
    Step 4 - Open the Settings app (Win + I) and navigate to -> Update and Security -> Windows Updates. Click ‘Check for updates’ which applies the new configuration setting
    Step 5 - Restart your PC
    Alternatively, you can try this registry edit:
    Key: NoAutoUpdate 
    Type: DWORD 
    Value: 1 
    To enable updates again, remove the "AU" registry key or delete NoAutoUpdate DWORD.
    This Microsoft documentation offers alternate registry edits to disable Windows Update:
    Method 9
    You can also manually block Windows Update in your router's firewall, or in 3rd-party firewall software such as Comodo Firewall and PeerBlock. An advantage of using this method is that there is nothing that Microsoft can do to over-ride, reset, or ignore the block.
    Be aware that some people have claimed that adding Microsoft servers to the Windows hosts file and to the Windows Defender Firewall will not block then because Windows 10 is maliciously designed to ignore any instructed blocking of Microsoft's own servers. I don't have confirmation that this is true, but if it is then you're going to have to block Microsoft's servers in a a 3rd-party firewall program such as those mentioned previously.
    These are all or some of the Microsoft servers to block in your router's firewall or 3rd-party firewall software to block Windows Update:
    That list was last updated in 2015, so there could be some servers to add to it. There is an updated list of Microsoft's data-harvesting servers to block, and a hosts file with Microsoft's data-harvesting servers already included in it, here:
    There might be an updated list of Microsoft's Windows Update servers on that site, too.
    Method 10
    You can turn off your Windows 10 OS' connection to Microsoft's Windows Update server.
    "Used to download operating system patches and updates. If you turn off traffic for these endpoints, the device will not be able to download updates for the operating system."
    Source process: svchost 
    Protocol: HTTPS
    Destination:  *.windowsupdate.com
    Destination:  fg.download.windowsupdate.com.c.footprint.net
    For more information on that approach, see this link: https://mspoweruser.com/these-are-the-websites-your-clean-install-windows-pc-connects-to-by-itself/
    Method 11
    Prevent Windows Update's ability to connect online via the registry. I haven't tried this method and I'm just reporting it as I've seen it stated.
    People should be aware that the reason why Microsoft tries to prevent Windows Update from being disabled is not due to security of your PC (if that was Microsoft's goal there would be a security-only updates setting, and it would be truly security-only), or making things easier for Microsoft's support efforts (which are dedicated from the outset of a new Windows release to run for a certain time-frame, and can't be reduced otherwise Microsoft would be guilty of false advertising), but is to provide Microsoft as many opportunities as possible to reset your Windows and default programs settings, as well as your data-harvesting settings, all back to the Microsoft defaults where Microsoft is able to harvest as much personal and personally-identifiable data about you as possible, while having lots of opportunities to add more data-harvesting to your OS.
    And at the "Basic" setting, which is the most minimal data-harvesting setting in Windows 10 Home and Pro versions, Microsoft is continuously harvesting your personal and personally-identifiable data from over 3,500 individual data points. Altogether, that data forms a meticulous and comprehensive picture of all your activities in your Windows OS.
    Also, Microsoft's documentation on the volume of data they are harvesting at the Basic setting is incomplete, as watching Microsoft's Diagnostic Data Viewer tool on the transmitted data reveals transmitted data containers that can't be referenced in Microsoft's documentation.
    Selling your personal and personally-identifiable data is a big part of Microsoft's business model now - despite that it is actually illegal for Microsoft to do it because Windows 10 is legally and factually a product (which you own) and not a service (which you merely access). So, Microsoft harvesting your data is analogous to a thief entering your home, taking your possessions, and selling them for profit. This activity by Microsoft, where they commercialize Windows owners' PCs without a license, constitutes the indictable crime of unjust enrichment.
    Another major reason why Microsoft wants to force Windows updates on people's personal Windows OSes is because the large bi-annual Windows 10 updates grant Microsoft frequent opportunity to deliberately break any 3rd-party UI customization software twice a year.
    Microsoft does this because any 3rd-party UI customization software stops Microsoft's own UI systems from harvesting your personal and personally-identifiable data. Since Microsoft wants to steal as much of that data from you as possible so that Microsoft can then sell it for their unjust enrichment, Microsoft seeks for chances to break your custom software, and typically does so with each major update when Microsoft resets your Windows, program defaults, and data-privacy settings at the same time.
    Trying to reason with Microsoft is like talking to a deranged psychopath who doesn't care about you in the least and who is only looking to exploit you as though you are not even human, and expecting them to see common sense and express empathy. Microsoft seeks to dominate and harvest, and not to serve and take into account its customers' needs and interests. Under Satya Nadella, Microsoft views its customers as its enemies to be defeated.
    I hope this help many people regain their rightful control control of their operating system and to have a much more comfortable and stress-free experience in their own OS.
    Old information:
    In Windows 10 version 1803 and onward, the "Windows Update Medic Service" keep re-starting Windows Update and related scheduled tasks and re-creates Windows Update related scheduled tasks even after a person manually stops them, disables them, and removes the scheduled tasks. You could find another way to disable Windows Update Medic Service, which otherwise keeps re-starting Windows Update, and then disable Windows Update and any associated scheduled tasks.
    One way to disable Windows Update Medic Service might be to disable Remote Procedure Call, which is what starts Windows Update Medic Service: http://batcmd.com/windows/10/services/rpcss/
    Or by deleting the file "WaaSMedicSvc.dll" that's in the %WinDir%\System32 folder or possibly replacing it with another file and setting its permissions to "read only".
    There is some information on disabling Windows Update medic Service and preventing it from re-enabling on this page: https://www.sordum.org/9470/windows-update-blocker-v1-1/
    Method -- (superceded by current method 2)
    Remove the files for all Windows 10 services that violate the commands of the system and Windows OS owner.
    As of Windows 10 1803, the three offending Windows 10 services are:
    - Windows Update (wuauserv)
    - Windows Update Medic Service (WaaSMedic)
    - Update Orchestrator Service (UsoSvc)
    Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS), which might be thought of as also being involved, reportedly doesn't have any influence over the Windows 10 updates regime.
    The files to be removed to stop the 3 offending services are all in the directory Windows\System32, and are the following files:

    wusa.exe - windows update stand alone installer
    wuapi.dll - windows update
    wuaueng.dll - windows update
    wuauclt.exe - old windows update
    UsoClient.exe - update orchestrator
    usoapi.dll - update orchestrator
    usocore.dll - update orchestrator
    WaaSMedicAssessment.dll - new medic service
    WaaSMedicSvc.dll - new medic service
    WaaSMedicPL.dll - new medic service
    One Windows owner has reported that removing these files has fixed the Windows Update service from re-starting without authorization, without any detrimental effects on the rest of their system's operation. I haven't tried this method myself, and if anyone wants to add their feedback after trying it, please do.
  4. Like
    ARikozuM reacted to Mira Yurizaki for a blog entry, Project Dolly: A look into cloning Windows (Preliminary Results)   
    A couple of days ago, I decided to examine if cloning Windows was as bad as everyone says it would be, in that you'll run in to problems and other issues. So I'm using my laptop as a test bed for this project to see if anything really happens if you clone Windows.
    When I started this project, I installed Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update to the laptop's SSHD, then installed programs that I would've used in a normal setting, and imported the settings of two of them (Visual Studio Code and Firefox). I also ran a 3DMark test suite and used the laptop as I normally would outside of gaming for a day. Today, I did the cloning process, which is cloning the SSHD contents onto the SSD. Since I have a Samsung SSD, I used Samsung's Disk Migration utility.
    So here's the immediate results of the project so far:
    When on the SSHD Power on to login screen was 18.8 seconds. Reboot time from when the screen blacked out to login time was 26.8 seconds, with a BIOS time of 5.8 seconds. Superfetch was enabled The drive was being indexed The partition was 4K aligned (this is important) When on the SSD: Boot time was about 12.28 to 12.98 seconds with a BIOS time of 5.8 seconds Superfetch was enabled The drive was being indexed The partition was 4K aligned Trim was enabled and Windows knew it was an SSD in disk defragmenter 3DMark and CrystalDiskMark runs showed no anomalies, indicating that no system software got buggered. So far the only "issue" was after booting into the SSD for the first time after the cloning, Task Manager appeared to take longer to load. I did also notice one other thing while I was on the SSHD, it's actually not that bad to use. Perhaps it already cached the important things that I use but it wasn't really that bad compared to using an SSD. Load times were barely longer if I noticed and the system was still running mostly buttery smooth. Heck, most of the time when I logged in, it was practically instant (i.e., no "loading" or spinning circle)
    I've already set myself on the path of no return by cleaning the SSHD. From here until the end of the month or so I'll be monitoring for issues that crop up.