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Clicking "Check for Updates" in Windows 10 Makes You Download "Preview" Patches - Says Microsoft

LAwLz
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In a recent blog post from Microsoft, we get an interesting insight in how updates are delivered to Windows 10 users.

 

At Microsoft, they have different tiers of updates.

B releases are the regular monthly updates, also known as "patch Tuesday". The second Tuesday at 10:00 am pacific time Microsoft pushes out a collection of security and feature updates to Windows user. This is the same model they have used for a very long time and it is fairly well know.

 

What is new however, is that now they also have "C" and "D" updates.

C and D updates are "preview releases" which gets released the firth and fourth week of the month respectively.

What may come as a shock to some people, is that if you click on the "check for update" button in Windows 10, Microsoft classifies you as a user who "seeks out" updates, and will push the preview C and D updates to your computer.

 

This is why, for example, only people who manually clicked on "Check for updates" got the 1809 update which deleted files on their discs. According to Microsoft, those users who manually checked for updates were "seeking out preview updates" and got pushed a preview update.

 

Here is the quote from the blog in question:

Quote

We also release optional updates in the third and fourth weeks of the month, respectively known as “C” and “D” releases. These are preview releases, primarily for commercial customers and advanced users “seeking” updates.  These updates have only non-security fixes. The intent of these releases is to provide visibility into, and enable testing of, the non-security fixes that will be included in the next Update Tuesday release. Advanced users can access the “C” and “D” releases by navigating to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and clicking the “Check for updates” box. The “D” release has proven popular for those “seeking” to validate the non-security content of the next “B” release.

 

 

I am not sure about everyone else, but I have often clicked "check for updates" just to make sure I got the latest updates installed. I had no idea clicking on that button could potentially download preview versions of updates that hasn't been rolled out yet. If I knew that, I wouldn't click it.

 

 

Sources:
How-To Geek - Now Windows 10 Has C, B, and D Updates. What is Microsoft Smoking?

Forbes - Microsoft Admits Normal Windows 10 Users are 'Testing' Unstable Updates.

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Oh I was waiting for this to get posted. 

5 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

I am not sure about everyone else, but I have often clicked "check for updates" just to make sure I got the latest updates installed. I had no idea clicking on that button could potentially download preview versions of updates that hasn't been rolled out yet. If I knew that, I wouldn't click it.

This is completely true for most of people here. I have no idea at what point MS decided that "optional" updates were actually part of QA, and that optional updates as such were actually optional, after showing them in our mouths for years. 

So basically, if you want to check at the end of the month if you have all downloaded updates, you are going to download untested crap. Now this is next level of bs. 

The ability to google properly is a skill of its own. 

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6 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

those users who manually checked for updates were "seeking out preview updates" and got pushed a preview update. 

This is just so dumb, is there a tier that is lower than alpha?  (Junkware10 is pretty much still in alpha stage, not up for debate.)

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I'm confused. I've clicked "get updates" on every single one of my computers and I didn't get those updates. (I mean, I clicked it a long time ago but still.)

 

Also this is really shitty and shady. 

 

Is this the same as the option in windows 7 that was "Get optional updates at the same time as normal updates?"

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3 minutes ago, jagdtigger said:

This is just so dumb, is there a tier that is lower than alpha?  (Junkware10 is pretty much still in alpha stage, not up for debate.)

In laymen terms, the tiers are like this:

  • Fast insider ring - You get updates very early.
  • Slow insider ring - You get updates slightly slower than the fast ring, but you're still getting essentially alpha updates.
  • Release preview ring - You get major updates before they are pushed out to everyone. They are mostly ready for release.
  • Manually checking updates - You get C and D updates which are preview releases for what is about to get released next month.
  • Windows 10 Home and Pro, just waiting for updates - This is the "standard" release channel.
  • Long Term Servicing branch (aka LTSB, or LTSC) - This is the branch which gets feature updated at a delayed phase to ensure stability. This is essentially what used to be the standard release channel back in Windows 7. Instead of getting a major update twice a year, it gets major updates every 2-3 years.

 

At least I think that's the structure. Microsoft aren't exactly transparent about the update process.

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29 minutes ago, LAwLz said:

if you click on the "check for update" button in Windows 10, Microsoft classifies you as a user who "seeks out" updates, and will push the preview C and D updates to your computer.

seriously, if I check for Windows update through CMD or Powershell then sure. Click for Update is something random people just click on when they first got their computers...

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1

 

Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync

 

Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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One thing that I'm finding funny, is that the first release version of 1809 was more stable than the current release.

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FFS I often do a lot of benchmarking on systems that might not be on otherwise. On Win10 systems, to prevent them from downloading and installing updates while I'm benching, I do a manual check to get it out of the way. Didn't know I was asking for trouble by doing that. I really should stop being lazy and re-introduce network-level blocks against the updates which I lost when my previous router died. Network level blocking seems to be the only reliable solution to this mess. Can't trust software settings on system.

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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Clicking "check for updates" should do precisely that: Check for updates, but not download them. You know, like "check for updates" works in Windows 7.

 

Any available updates should be listed after checking for them, and then people should have to and get to press a button to download those updates if they want to.

 

13 minutes ago, porina said:

FFS I often do a lot of benchmarking on systems that might not be on otherwise. On Win10 systems, to prevent them from downloading and installing updates while I'm benching, I do a manual check to get it out of the way. Didn't know I was asking for trouble by doing that. I really should stop being lazy and re-introduce network-level blocks against the updates which I lost when my previous router died. Network level blocking seems to be the only reliable solution to this mess. Can't trust software settings on system.

Maybe disabling Windows Update entirely would be a better thing to do for benchmarking. I have a link in my signature to a guide with methods to disable WU.

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16 minutes ago, porina said:

FFS I often do a lot of benchmarking on systems that might not be on otherwise. On Win10 systems, to prevent them from downloading and installing updates while I'm benching, I do a manual check to get it out of the way. Didn't know I was asking for trouble by doing that. I really should stop being lazy and re-introduce network-level blocks against the updates which I lost when my previous router died. Network level blocking seems to be the only reliable solution to this mess. Can't trust software settings on system.

don't connect the testing rig to the Internet and only install stuff by downloading the necessary files from another PC then?

CPU: i7-2600K 4751MHz 1.44V (software) --> 1.47V at the back of the socket Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (BCLK: 103.3MHz) CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 RAM: Adata XPG 2x8GB DDR3 (XMP: 2133MHz 10-11-11-30 CR2, custom: 2203MHz 10-11-10-26 CR1 tRFC:230 tREFI:14000) GPU: Asus GTX 1070 Dual (Super Jetstream vbios, +70(2025-2088MHz)/+400(8.8Gbps)) SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB (main boot drive), Transcend SSD370 128GB PSU: Seasonic X-660 80+ Gold Case: Antec P110 Silent, 5 intakes 1 exhaust Monitor: AOC G2460PF 1080p 144Hz (150Hz max w/ DP, 121Hz max w/ HDMI) TN panel Keyboard: Logitech G610 Orion (Cherry MX Blue) with SteelSeries Apex M260 keycaps Mouse: BenQ Zowie FK1

 

Model: HP Omen 17 17-an110ca CPU: i7-8750H (0.125V core & cache, 50mV SA undervolt) GPU: GTX 1060 6GB Mobile (+80/+450, 1650MHz~1750MHz 0.78V~0.85V) RAM: 8+8GB DDR4-2400 18-17-17-39 2T Storage: 1TB HP EX920 PCIe x4 M.2 SSD + 1TB Seagate 7200RPM 2.5" HDD (ST1000LM049-2GH172), 128GB Toshiba PCIe x2 M.2 SSD (KBG30ZMV128G) gone cooking externally Monitor: 1080p 126Hz IPS G-sync

 

Desktop benching:

Cinebench R15 Single thread:168 Multi-thread: 833 

SuperPi (v1.5 from Techpowerup, PI value output) 16K: 0.100s 1M: 8.255s 32M: 7m 45.93s

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5 minutes ago, Delicieuxz said:

Maybe disabling Windows Update entirely would be a better thing to do for benchmarking. I have a link in my signature to a guide with methods to disable WU.

I've had less than 100% success rate with doing so via OS settings.

1 minute ago, Jurrunio said:

don't connect the testing rig to the Internet and only install stuff by downloading the necessary files from another PC then?

I've got an alternative approach with some customised portable Win7 installs used only for benching. But not everything works great on Win7 now, and some things will require internet access to test. So Win10 is unavoidable.

 

I still like my preferred solution of blocking the access to windows update at network level, just that what I'm currently running doesn't allow that and I need to stop being lazy and implement it again. That doesn't mean I don't update, just that I get to choose when that happens.

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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6 minutes ago, porina said:

I've had less than 100% success rate with doing so via OS settings.

The Group Policy setting has been working for me in Windows 10 Enterprise. Which OS setting didn't work for you?

 

There are also a lot of additional methods given in this link:

 

 

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1 minute ago, Delicieuxz said:

The Group Policy setting has been working for me in Windows 10 Enterprise. Which OS setting didn't work for you?

I used the disable service method early on but found it re-activating itself later on. Policy setting only works on pro and not all my systems are. Network router block is the only reliable one, at least excluding my router hardware reliability... I really don't want to manage it per-system either so that's another plus for network level block.

TV Gaming system: Asus B560M-A, i7-11700k, Scythe Fuma 2, Corsair Vengeance Pro RGB 3200@2133 4x16GB, MSI 3070 Gaming Trio X, EVGA Supernova G2L 850W, Anidees Ai Crystal, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB, LG OLED55B9PLA 4k120 G-Sync Compatible
Streaming system: Asus X299 TUF mark 2, i9-7920X, Noctua D15, Corsair Vengeance LPX RGB 3000 8x8GB, Gigabyte 2070, Corsair HX1000i, GameMax Abyss, Samsung 970 Evo 500GB, Crucial BX500 1TB, BenQ XL2411 1080p144 + HP LP2475w 1200p60
Gaming laptop: Lenovo Legion, 5800H, DDR4 3200C22 2x8GB, RTX 3070, SK Hynix 512 GB + Crucial P1 TB SSD, 165 Hz IPS 1080p G-Sync Compatible

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3 minutes ago, porina said:

I used the disable service method early on but found it re-activating itself later on. Policy setting only works on pro and not all my systems are. Network router block is the only reliable one, at least excluding my router hardware reliability... I really don't want to manage it per-system either so that's another plus for network level block.

Yeah, the 'disable the WU service' method stopped working with Windows 10 1709.

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I'm scared of checking for updates because it will start downloading them and install automatically, and I don't know what kind of updates are and it doesn't matter, I know it will. 

And I don't know if is going to ask me for a reboot, If I hadn't an SSD and a fast PC I would be pissed

Thanks god there is the option for networks with limited data plan, I remember when there wasn't any...

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I'm absolutely getting fucking sick of how retarded windows 10 is when it comes to updates. Its actually the worst part of the OS.

 

I have to image windows 10 machines on a daily basis and the lack of update control on when or when not I want to update wastes large amounts of time in my day.

 

Just give us a fucking registry flag so that advanced users can managed their own machines.

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I think they are called recommended (which are also default) settings for a reason.   About the only time this doesn't make sense is when some average Joe is told to make sure they have the latest updates when trying to find out why something isn't working.   In my mind when problem solving you should only have upto the latest stable version, nothing past that.

 

But I guess that just as much an issue with people who just want to pass the buck on problem solving or don't know how to solve certain problems.

Grammar and spelling is not indicative of intelligence/knowledge.  Not having the same opinion does not always mean lack of understanding.  

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Great idea, not ethical. Might be what people want, but you need to ask permission. 

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If this was a free OS I would get it. However people are paying out the ass for a product that is not stable and gives users no control over updates and the massive amount of data-harvesting Microsoft does. 

 

Voting with your wallet is usually the fix, but with Linux and MacOS the only competition Microsoft knows they can take advantage of consumers 

That's an F in the profile pic

 

 

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6 hours ago, LAwLz said:

I am not sure about everyone else, but I have often clicked "check for updates" just to make sure I got the latest updates installed. I had no idea clicking on that button could potentially download preview versions of updates that hasn't been rolled out yet. If I knew that, I wouldn't click it.

Same here.  Whenever I'm working on a computer at work, I automatically check for updates (sometimes repeatedly) to make sure that it's all up-to-date.  I had zero idea that I was introducing potentially unstable updates to a customer's computer.  This is completely outrageous.  There's a reason MS has the insider ring option.  Those people understand they're beta testing and are willing to accept the risk.  There is absolutely NO reason for a company the size of MS to use its customers as guinea pigs like this, especially not without their permission!

5 hours ago, Delicieuxz said:

Maybe disabling Windows Update entirely would be a better thing to do for benchmarking. I have a link in my signature to a guide with methods to disable WU.

I used GPEdit (Pro version) and set Windows Update to only check, but not download or install any updates without my approval.  I've occasionally did a manual check to ensure that I am actually up to date, but I won't be doing that again anymore.

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I'll be honest, I routinely forget that button even exists.

 

I have Windows on all my devices that have it configured to download them but not install them without telling me, so I never have to check for updates.

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