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Windows 10 cumulative update causes 'reboot loop' havoc for some users


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"Microsoft's first cumulative update for Windows 10 - KB3081424 - is causing havoc for some users. How do I know this? Because I spent a good part of my Sunday morning dealing with it, that's how.


The problem, in a nutshell, is that the update puts affected systems into an endless crash loop. The update tries to install, gets to a certain point, fails, and then displays the unhelpful "We couldn't complete the updates, undoing the changes."


If it stopped there things wouldn't be too bad, but because Microsoft now forces updates onto Windows 10 users, the OS kept trying - and failing - to install the update, which in turn placed the system into a periodic crash/reboot loop that put quite a dent in my productivity.


To make matters worse, the tool that Microsoft released to hide or block toxic Windows 10 updates (as reported by my ZDNet colleague Ed Bott) didn't allow me to prevent this update from attempting to install. So I was forced to either abandon the machine until a fix was made available or try to fix it myself.


I found a fix, but it involved some registry editing voodoo to remove legacy junk (which in my case was related to an Nvidia driver installed on the machine prior to upgrading to Windows 10), a task that some of you might not be comfortable with. Also, since this is not an officially sanctioned fix I'm not comfortable outlining the process here. That said, the fix that worked for me is described in a thread on the Microsoft Answers community if you want to give it a go."


The process and more in the article here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-cumulative-update-causes-reboot-loop-havoc-for-some-users/?tag=nl.e539&s_cid=e539&ttag=e539&ftag=TRE17cfd61

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This is one of the reasons I decided to go back to Windows 7 on my main computer after two weeks running Windows 10. I still have Windows 10 on two non-essential computers but don't trust Windows 10 to use on my daily driver. Hopefully the rough edges will be fixed in the near future.


I believe that the forced updates and the massive data harvesting / privacy invasion are the two largest design flaws in Win 10. It seems to me that Microsoft just can't get it right. They fix some of the worst problems with Win 8 / 8.1 then shoot themselves in the foot with these issues. Only time will tell if the market will embrace Windows 10 or avoid it like Windows 8.


Safe Travels...

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In talking today with a client using Windows 10 about this subject --

( I am not using Windows 10 at this time. )


Look at Security & Updates,


Consider the "Defer Upgrades" option -- applies to upgrades not security updates.

I suspect upgrades may be likely to contain more "problems" that the security updates.


Note in that sub-tree of pages has something about allowing either the Internet public or just your Local LAN compatriots use your PC as a host (aka "mule") from which to obtain their updates.

( This sounds a bit like the Skype administration/distribution networking. )

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It is going on my test bed laptop, a 17" Toshiba A8 quad core that I've upgraded to a very fast 256GB 3D SSD. It's not ready yet as I'm between houses now and living in my vacation trailer with it too hot to go out unnecessarily. I've been sidetracked every time I start to drive across two towns to the other side of Shreveport to swap some special desktop and laptop RAM with a buddy who still has a store front for a matched set of ram sticks to bring it up to 8GB. Once it is built it gets Windows 10. I am buying a 128 GB SSD/4 GB RAM Surface 3 tablet most likely in the next few weeks if they ever go on sale. I want one that comes native with Win 10 for comparison. But I was ready to upgrade from the ASUS T200 2 in one. It would be a keeper if it had two things. A full size USB3 port on the tablet instead of just on the keyboard requiring docking the tablet. The other is full HD. It has the lower resolution 1280/700 or thereabouts which doesn't compare to the Venue 11 Pro my SH now has. And it has both, but not the 64bit Window and only 2GB of RAM. Eventually, and before year's end, we will likely have upgraded all our systems.


The privacy issues are pretty much resolved if on setup you chose custom install and opt out on the appropriate boxes.

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The privacy issues are pretty much resolved if on setup you chose custom install and opt out on the appropriate boxes.


You can reduce the invasion of privacy, but there is no way to completely opt out of the data harvesting:




Of course this assumes that you trust Microsoft and don't believe there are back doors to be exploited... :D


Safe Travels...

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In Windows 7 this should work:

To un-join the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) in Windows 7 follow these steps.

a. Open the Start Menu, then copy and paste Change Customer Experience Improvement Program in the search box and press Enter.


b. To Un-join the Customer Experience Improvement Program select (dot) No, I don't want to participate in the program.


c. Click on the Save Changes button.


d. If prompted by UAC, then click on Yes (if administrator) or type in the administrator's password (if standard user).


Post back if it works for you.


Some tips on 7.

If you selected express settings when you first set up Windows 7, you essentially said that whatever settings MS wanted you to use. When setting up any new fresh install of Windows 7 choose custom settings and then deselect anything that says it will help your experience. Then when asked for your MS account or to create one, instead choose no account and set it up as a local account.


That pretty much will lock out MS on a Windows 7 machine. However:


If you use any search engine other than Aviator, which will cause problems with some online websites, you will be tracked by Google for Google searches, MS for Bing searches (my preference), by Apple using Safari, in other words, any online activity causes tracking, much of it outside the scope of non tracking agreements.


If you use FaceBook, Twitter, or most other active social media websites save one that I know of which I also belong to but do not post on yet, maybe never.


In other words, the only secure computer is one that is turned off, or if turned on, is not allowed to connect. By that I mean WiFi shut off at the modem or turned off or Ethernet cables disconnected.


I am a privacy advocate. I won't use Google products because they track, in violation many times, of the non tracking agreements that they say they support and MS tried to engineer.


I believe, as in the case of PayPal losing many customers and changing their policies on robocalls, that if we all object and they begin to lose customers that MS will react as they did when so many people could not operate their computer "comfortably" without a start button/menu which I never used except to shut down. Mu most used programs in Win 7, 8, and now 8.1 are all pinned to the taskbar in my desktop. I found the start page even better in 8 to choose desktop or work with my most used Apps, Bing weather, USA Today, Bing News.


Android is not a solution because increasingly, the "average" user in all IS' is not motivated enough by consequences to actually learn to do registry edits, use the command line, and other major tweaking mechanisms across the board.


Then users who want privacy use Google's Mail, Earth, Voicem etc. and seem to be unaware that Google reads every email, and listens to your every voice call, logs your every Earth view, accesses all your Picasa pictures for image identification in other programs and surveillance requests.


I repeat, don't give up, but my goodness all one has to do is gain access to your machine by hack or crack and your privacy is gone. That can only happen online. Until you leave your house at which time you are involuntarily surveilled by satellites, cameras mounted on every traffic light, security cameras on and in most businesses, by every purchase you make by credit card, check, or PayPal. Your cellphones have long been cracked, and home phones by copper? Hehe, they've wiretapped back in the pre-computer days when we were free from government monitoring. Fingerprints, DNA, retinal scans are all being used on computers for our security and those bleeding edge people who are using those strong local security measures are at risk in the US of having them subpoenaed.


Real privacy is gone even if you burned your computer, stopped your car's telemetry, canceled your banking accounts, and canceled all phone accounts. We used to trade gold, then paper to represent gold, it is almost to the point where coins and paper are about to be ditched as they cost a lot to produce when a plastic debit card, or better yet a one time chip implant, cost so much less over the course of a lifetime of trading our time, intelligence, and labor for food and energy, and some clothes, shelter, and furniture.


"Reality, what a concept!"

The late, great, Robin Williams


We can't stop it, but we can still opt out of Microsoft's CEIP in Windows 7. And I did in 8/8.1 on setup too. Yes I could do local accounts in Win 8/8.1 too.

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From your link, and the actual Microsoft description of the three privacy settings and how they will be used, that was linked to in the excellent ComputerWorld article you provided.




"Windows 10 Feedback, diagnostics, and privacy: FAQ


What do the Feedback frequency options control?

The Feedback frequency control lets you choose how often you’d like us to ask for your feedback as you use Windows. We recommend that you select Automatically. By providing feedback you agree that Microsoft may use your feedback to improve our products and services.

To change the Feedback frequency setting, go to Start, then Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics, and then, under Feedback frequency, select an option.


What other options do I have to send feedback to Microsoft?

At any time, select Start, and then type Windows Feedback to send us your opinions and suggestions. Windows Feedback is only available if you have Diagnostic and usage data set to Full (Full is the recommended setting).

To change the Diagnostic and usage data setting, go to Start, then Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics, and then, under Diagnostic and usage data, select an option.


How do I change the Feedback & diagnostics settings?

To change the Feedback frequency setting, go to Start, then Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics, and then, under Feedback frequency, select an option.

To change the Diagnostic and usage data setting, go to Start, then Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics, and then, under Diagnostic and usage data, select an option.


What do the different Diagnostic and usage data options mean?

As you use Windows, we collect performance and usage information that helps us identify and troubleshoot problems as well as improve our products and services. We recommend that you select Full for this setting.


•Basic information is data that is vital to the operation of Windows. This data helps keep Windows and apps running properly by letting Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also turns on basic error reporting back to Microsoft. If you select this option, we’ll be able to provide updates to Windows (through Windows Update, including malicious software protection by the Malicious Software Removal Tool), but some apps and features may not work correctly or at all.


•Enhanced data includes all Basic data plus data about how you use Windows, such as how frequently or how long you use certain features or apps and which apps you use most often. This option also lets us collect enhanced diagnostic information, such as the memory state of your device when a system or app crash occurs, as well as measure reliability of devices, the operating system, and apps. If you select this option, we’ll be able to provide you with an enhanced and personalized Windows experience.


•Full data includes all Basic and Enhanced data, and also turns on advanced diagnostic features that collect additional data from your device, such as system files or memory snapshots, which may unintentionally include parts of a document you were working on when a problem occurred. This information helps us further troubleshoot and fix problems. If an error report contains personal data, we won’t use that information to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. This is the recommended option for the best Windows experience and the most effective troubleshooting.


Who sees the diagnostic and usage information that’s collected through feedback and diagnostics?

Microsoft employees, contractors, vendors, and partners might be provided access to relevant portions of the information collected, but they’re only permitted to use the information to repair or improve Microsoft products and services, or third-party software and hardware designed for use with Microsoft products and services."


That page is here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/feedback-diagnostics-privacy-faq


I do trust Microsoft to live up to their last sentence on that excerpt above:


". . . but they’re only permitted to use the information to repair or improve Microsoft products and services, or third-party software and hardware designed for use with Microsoft products and services."


MS sells software. Google sells our data to advertisers and by steering our searches to our interests. Most folks still use Google software and searches trusting Google will sell their info. And to those who say it is not personally identifiable, then I have to ask how can they know who to send the personalized ads to?


I trust Google less than MS. I use no Google products knowingly. Android is a wild west festival for criminal data gatherers, malware writers, etc. and no apologia that it can be secured when about half of cells using Android are older unsupported phones and Android versions. My wife's and my older Samsung phones have not seen an update or patch in years. Samsung recently got caught programming their Windows 8/8.1 computers and tablets NOT to accept MS updates because of driver issues. Drivers they have not developed in a timely manner. I like what MS is doing in not only producing the software, but now ordering their hardware, phones and tablets, directly from the ODMs (Original Design Manufacturers)in Taiwan and China, just like Apple, HP, Dell, and all the rest do. Samsung, Acer, and ASUS were the only exceptions but now also outsource some of their branded products too.


So pick yer poison. I gave a link a few posts ago to MS no tracking lists. They tell the tracking companies do not track. Despite that, there is no teeth in the association and they only voluntarily participate and some, like Google, got caught violating the do not track because they claimed their tracking beacons were not cookies. Anyway go to settings in IE, then to manage add-ons, then click on tracking protection. Then click to show lists, then install the no Google list. Then try to surf if you think you were not being tracked before. You'll quickly uninstall the No Google tracking too as I did.


Like Jack said once, he knows the Google terms of service (TOS) and their End User License Agreement (EULA) states clearly that they read all Gmails and monitor all voice calls for keywords to send you advertising. Ever wonder how those ads for what you looked for this morning start showing up on the sides of all webpages? It is the ad ID that you allow to be placed on your device by accepting express install instead of turning things off on a new device when doing the initial setup of settings.


Here's an article about how to secure Windows 10: http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-secure-windows-10-the-paranoids-guide/


Cortana has to phone home for her to work, so that is on function that nothing sent to MS will stop. Like those who use Android and say they have nothing to hide, or the Apple folks using navigation and Apps, I think I trust MS. They were, after all, the first to start the trustworthy computing initiative way back in 2002 to combat malware for their customers.


Microsoft has come a long way.

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Great Dennis!

I still have three Windows 7 systems, my SH's desktop, and two laptops one of which I'm selling, and the other will be my Windows 10 test bed. Gotta run, theother half of the new house just got here!


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Once again I am a little slow responding. RV, thanks for answering DJW's question.


While I know that no operating system is perfectly secure, I believe Win 7 has fewer privacy concerns than Win 10. Yes, I have read a great deal on how to plug the holes, but frankly I don't think users should have to do this. I know most Win 10 users will be blissfully unaware of the privacy concerns and simply use Microsoft defaults. Even if they hear about this issue, how many will have the technical ability to address it?


On the topic of forced updates, I got a faulty one last week that prevented updating network configuration until Microsoft pushed a fix several days later.


Safe Travels...

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No problem, I'm keeping two Win 7 units a desktop and a laptop which will be my 17" Windows test bed whenever we get the new house done and move in I don't have access to all my parts in boxes from the old house. We are still in our 28.5" fiver. Her desktop should go to Windows 10 sometime around six months from now. My desktop around the same from Win 8.1, which I love on my desktops, tablets, and phones.


Another Win 7 laptop I set up to sell. A really old but very nice HP laptop with 7 that is great but not for anyone who wants more RAM or an SSD because it was native Win 7, but has old SATA mobo, not IDE, but had 2GB of DDR2 RAM. 2X1 GB. I had 2GB stick and ordered another 2X2 GB sticks as I was just finishing up another laptop I factory restored back to Vista. It had 2GB as well and I gave him the odd 2GB stick for three on his 32 bit system, and the matched new 4GB set on the 64bit one I have for sale. Like your description of the average person not noticing the issues you and more than a few others have with privacy on Win 10, 99% of folks using this one for school or biz will love it. But with DDR2 mobo I'd not recommend Win 10 on it just yet, because of old hardware. It is snappy running 7.



Many of the same folks use android phones, you may be one too, unless you run iPhones. I think it's a bit hard to worry about trusting today's MS, yet willfully put up with Android phones with known patched issues but the phones are no longer supported. That's why I switched to Windows phones. Microsoft will not make the mistake Google did and leave passing along the patches, or not, up to each vendor.

Like you and Stan have said about Linux being attractive because you could use old hardware to run any way you want with Linux on systems that can no longer keep up with the current Windows, I am that way about buying phones. I'll never go contract and it looks like my prepaid carrier, Verizon is going essentially 100% prepay.


In any event, Goggle is the privacy boogeyman to me. I like Google's initiatives but will not be assimilated into the collective. And my cell phones are bought new, overstock for under $100.00 despite their new price being over three hundred two years ago. I think folks will see MS become very much like Apple in that they will have a unified Windows ecosphere. But significantly, their tablets are running full PC OS', and their phones will be on the same cloud and have the same "feel."


But you will still be able to run Linux on Windows hardware. But unlike Apple, you will still be able to run Windows on hardware sold by others.



If I want navigation on my Windows system, they will have to access my location data.


If I want it to remember recent locations it will need those too.


If I use one drive at all they need to know me, and they have allowed opting out of all of it, which remains to be seen.


I can't believe I'm saying what Jack said to me last year or so. The payoff to having a unified ecosphere that I'm already familiar with overrides MS getting a thousandth of what is allowed for strangers to upload to play Angry birds. Or use a streaming music service.


If you don't want any OS to access any data then you can't have YouTube accounts because Google owns it. No navigation because they need to access your info.


When I tell Cortana to call my wife, she knows to call Lynda and says so.

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I am still in the Android world when it comes to phones. We are in a contract for our 2 phones and have at least a year to go. I very well may look at Windows phones once we are in a position to upgrade. In a couple of months we should be in the new house. At that point we will have high speed internet through Century Link. At that point I will drop our Jetpack and look at plans for just the phones. I will no longer need the 20 GB plan we presently have for the 2 phones and Jetpack. Perhaps at that time Verizon will consider a change to pay as you go plans for us. We'll see.


I do not believe, at least for now, that I will get a desktop PC. Our laptop convertibles do what we want and I am not nearly into playing with various apps as I used to be.

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I'll be selling the 27" All in One someday and won't be getting desktops again either. Once I get a Surface 3, that will be it for at least six or eight months! I agree that my tablets and 2 in ones do all I need too.

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I would love the Surface Pro, but cannot justify the cost at this time. Plus the form factor is considerably smaller than our Asus TP500 convertibles. The other thing that is irritating is that the ext. keyboard adds quite a bit to the cost. I realize MS would prefer us all to go strictly tablet mode, but I am not ready to do that yet. I'm getting older and my eyes are not quite what they used to be. Plus my fingers do not play as well with the virtual keyboards as they do with the real keyboards. Even on our touchscreen convertibles I generally use it in laptop mode with the keyboard. Every once in a while while playing a game for example I will convert to tablet mode and use the touchscreen, but it just feels foreign to me. Oh well. old and set in my ways, exactly what I used to try to convince others not to be, LOL!

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Re Microsoft vs Google (Android): Let's assume that Google has access to everything on my Android phone. I leave the GPS off to save battery so location is rather spotty. Worst case, Google knows I am somewhere in Florida and can see my contact list. Now Microsoft on the other hand has stated in the Windows 10 EULA that they will access, store, and share all of my files (even in private folders), emails, contacts, browsing history and more. Thus they have access to all of my financial records (Quicken), tax records (Turbo Tax), medical records, email, and a ton of other sensitive personal information. I think you can see why I am more concerned with Microsoft.


Safe Travels...

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