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User-made patch restores Windows Update for blocked processors

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 84 replies
Apr 20, 2017
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  1. In its drive to have Windows 10 installed on a billion machines, Microsoft has been more than aggressive in its approach to get users to switch from Windows 7 and 8. In fact, the folks in Redmond have been bothersome at best and borderline unethical at worst.

    The company started out with annoying popups that nagged users to switch. From there it graduated to using deceptive tricks to get systems to update without user consent, such as changing the behavior of the dialog’s close button to constitute consent for the upgrade. These efforts were met with harsh criticism from consumers and in some cases lawsuits were filed. There is even a petition to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) to investigate Microsoft on ethical grounds.

    Despite all of the pushback and negative press, the king of the PC market is still aggressively pushing Windows 10 onto users who are happy with the versions they are currently running. The latest effort has been to disable Windows Update on systems running newer chipsets, effectively denying users of Windows 7 and 8 access to critical security patches. According to Microsoft, this was done over compatibility concerns.

    Since not even lawsuits have stopped the company’s strong-armed approach, one user decided maybe it would be better to fight fire with fire. According to Digital Trends, a GitHub user, who goes by the handle Zeffy has produced a software workaround that will allow Windows 7 and 8 users to continue using Windows Update. The patch is available on GitHub, and he has also published the batch scripts there as well for transparency purposes.

    The fix patches Windows .DLL files so that the CPU version check is bypassed. Zeffy supposedly reverse-engineered the KB4012218 update, which was the update Microsoft put out to block Windows Update on computers running the Kaby Lake and Ryzen processors.

    Digital Trends concludes that the speed at which Zeffy was able to come up with the workaround indicates that Microsoft’s block was less about compatibility concerns and more about forcing users to switch to Windows 10.

    It is unknown at this time how Microsoft will respond. However, it is a safe bet that this will not go ignored. The company might just issue a patch with each update that undoes Zeffy’s fix, forcing users to reinstall it every time they update. On the other hand, Microsoft is notorious for throwing its legal weight around. It may decide that a copyright infringement lawsuit is in order. It would not be the first time in recent months that a company has sued after having its software reverse engineered. We just reported a couple of weeks ago that Blizzard successfully litigated against Bossland under similar circumstances.

    It will be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out, but you can expect Microsoft to continue to push people toward Window 10 one way or the other.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,789   +393

    There's always a possibility. I keep saying this... haha
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,836   +1,345

    Pretty much everyone know this was bound to happen sooner or later.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    So just upgrade to Win 10 if you haven't done so already. There is no real valid argument anymore not to do so. Even bypassing and blocking most of the installed spyware is not no longer much of a problem.
  5. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,889   +1,164

    Surprised it took THAT long ;)
    Cal Jeffrey and Trillionsin like this.
  6. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,294   +1,747

    Just let the older OS die already.
  7. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Evangelist Posts: 742   +273

    Good advice. Your talking to Microsoft right? I agree, let Windows 7 die. No reason to aggressively try and kill an operating system gangsta style. An operating system that has at least 3 "more" years of guaranteed security updates coming it's way.

    At the end of the day which operating system people use should always be their choice.

    "The more you tighten your grip, Microsoft, the more operating systems will slip through your fingers." :)
    Reehahs, Tommis, psycros and 3 others like this.
  8. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,294   +1,747

    When someone who buys a Ryzen or Kaby Lake PC still wants Win 7 because he thinks MS is stealing his credit card info then yeah... it's best to kill win 7 earlier than latter. I understand using it for compatibility problems, but some people need to be slapped back into reality. They really love to give stupid reasons not to upgrade.
  9. Steven Lawrence

    Steven Lawrence TS Rookie

    What about the small to medium sized companies that are currently using Win7 in the enterprise? I have not heard of them giving us a break from this policy. The best I can tell, when we order new laptops and desktops it does not give us a choice as to which processor we would like in our machines. And our software may or may not work on win10. We don't know because the upgrade would cost us more that we can actually afford.
    psycros and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  10. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,758   +631

    This is good news. I like how people think it is their right to tell people what to use and how to live. Liberalism at it's worst
    TheBigT42 and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  11. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 3,294   +1,747

    Just check if your software works or not and then decide on what you want to do. If it doesn't work then look for hardware that's not Kaby Lake or Ryzen and use win 7.
  12. GreenNova343

    GreenNova343 TS Maniac Posts: 354   +237

    So...you're going to trust the security of your PC (whether it's to fix bugs in the system or to guard against previously-undetected security issues, that's what Windows Updates help protect against) to an unknown coder? Can we trust his programming skills? Can we trust him to only include this supposed 'code fix' to allow Kaby Lake & Ryzen chips to continue using Windows 7?
  13. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +163

    I knew a patch like this would come sooner or later but this is actually going to cause more harm than good in my opinion. there's either going to be a huge lawsuit (which I don't care about) or microsoft is gonna be releasing patch after patch to undo his work which means there's way more updates we need to watch out for. if you want to update windows 7 while running kaby lake or ryzen then simply don't install patch KB4012218. simple as that.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  14. Rockstarrrr

    Rockstarrrr TS Booster Posts: 97   +72

    Windows 10 is not good enough, its not stable enough and you can trust it like you did with Win 7. Its quite simple. I`ve been waiting for two years and its still not good enough. Will switch when Microsoft do their job. And if youre one of those "Its working for me", fine, just take a look at the internet, there was thousands of different problems with this new RS2 update.

    Its not good enough for business, for professionals. For games, maybe, I dont know.
    psycros, BSim500 and Cal Jeffrey like this.
  15. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 257   +151

    Too bad I couldn't try that last week.
    My intel ion cpu was blocked for updating the system to the Creators Update, but a brand new install worked and it's all going very well with that cpu.
    I got the iso of the update using the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool 4.31 x86 x64
  16. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    Sure. There are always going to be plenty niggling problems with a new release but most will get sorted pretty quickly. Everybody has their favourite OS and I can understand a lot aren't willing to let go of 7, they simply love it, I loved it as well but now it's time to let it go, it's had it's time just as Win 10 will have had in a few years from now. You can fight off installing 10 as long as you can but I'm sure you already know it's an exercise in futility.
    It reminds me of older people spending millions to fight off their advancing years, a battle they just can't win then only to wind up looking far worse than if they would've if they had just let nature take it's course.
  17. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 567   +297

    Yes, take a look at the internet --- issues with an update applies to pretty much any OS--- Android updates has it's woe's, so does MacOS...you won't know your experience until you try. My desktop is having an issue with apps hanging at the splash screen, but I have 2 other devices running Windows 10 Creators Update with no issues whatsoever. That being said, the nice thing with Windows is that you can roll back to a previous version if need be.
  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    The Creators Update really hashed up my machine. So badly that I couldn't even roll back and was eventually forced to reformat and start from the beginning. I don't know what caused it but it's running perfectly fine now, with the Creators Update installed. Damn, it was inconvenient. I'll update my laptop from Win 7 very soon and hope I don't run into the same problem.
    Cal Jeffrey and Rockstarrrr like this.
  19. Yeah this is the thing. I think people would be more happy to move to Windows 10, however everything the company introduces causes issues, really big issues, and half the time they completely botch a release of something.

    Basically what MS is doing is pointing a gun at their customers and giving them an option to jump off a cliff (go along with heavily botched and unpredictable updates) or get shot.
  20. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    This might be useful to some people. Luckily, I am still using ivy bridge and haswell PCs. Whatever reason people like or dont like it, in the end people will have choices and that is a good thing. Directx 12 is the only thing that will make me upgrade to Windows 10.
  21. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,836   +1,345

    I've actually heard more legit reasons not to upgrade that to do. Do you have any reasons why should everyone upgrade?
    Godel, psycros and BSim500 like this.
  22. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Maniac Posts: 306   +184

    When I can't do something in windows 7 that is when I will upgrade. Or dual boot Linux / Windows 10 (for games)
    BSim500 likes this.
  23. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 598   +1,201

    Except that Windows 7 UI still looks way better than "bi-polar disorder" W8-10... Perhaps a more accurate analogy is if all the youngsters turned all wrinkly trying too hard to turn themselves into a 24-32" mobile phone whilst the oldies just aged gracefully not trying to force anything. :D
  24. Rockstarrrr

    Rockstarrrr TS Booster Posts: 97   +72

    Ok, you like it, thats fine with me. I dont as its not reliable enough for my needs and purposes of those machines. I`m not fighting for or against Windows 10, its the Microsoft that its not fighting for us enough. Its madness that W10 is in this condition today, two years after its release. And I`m not even kidding - Mac OS X seems more and more attractive. So If Microsoft keeps pushing for W10 upgrades, we might as well switch to Apple.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  25. Rockstarrrr

    Rockstarrrr TS Booster Posts: 97   +72

    Win 8.1 with ClassicShell is basically improved Win 7 and I`ve been its strong advocate from day one. It really works great, its more modern and faster than Win7 no doubt about it. With ClassicShell you can skip altogether its Metro side but I gotta admit there are some benefits from it (start page with live tiles). You can even avoid telemetry, which is another bonus.

    Last classic Microsoft OS if you ask me.
    Godel and Cal Jeffrey like this.

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