Preventing Windows 10 Updates

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Although its probably bad timing to discuss this during the weekend that the Wannacry ransomware attack was unleashed, taking advantage of systems that had not applied the Microsoft patch in March, unplanned MS updates can play havoc with our SmartSDR operating environment.  Often this can result in driver confusion with DAX and lack of functioning CAT ports.

Given the opportunity to plan these upgrades, its easy to prevent this by uninstalling SSDR/DAX/CAT prior to the upgrade then reinstalling it after the environment has stabilized (allowing MS time to fix whatever problems they introduce in the upgrade).

Attached is a link to an article that offers a couple of ideas on how to prevent the upgrades from happening.
http://www.computerworld.com/article/3182846/microsoft-windows/how-to-fix-five-windows-10-headaches....

73
Neal
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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Posted 11 months ago

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Jim Jerzycke

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Thanks, Neal!

I'm sure this will help a lot of people.

73, Jim
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Bill Turner

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For what it's worth:  I've been running Windows 10 since it came out, allowing all updates and never a minute's trouble with my 6300.

73, Bill W6WRT

 

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Only once did an update mess up my DAX but it was fixed with a reinstall. 
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Don

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Time to have developed a MacOs (not iOS) or Linux compilation of SSDR

Don, 73 de PE3DON
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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There are many fewer than there were, but there are also hams using DOS because windows causes too many issues.
As for the issues, I really haven't had a problem, except for one time when my DAX drivers had to be reinstalled.
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Bill W2PKY

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Hi Ria-
Please tell us you PC H/W config. Seems some H/W runs Win10 without issues and others have major problems running Win10 and SSDR. 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I have an old HP e9280t with a pegatron (Asus) motherboard, Core i7-930, AMD Radeon HD 4850 video card, 32GB RAM and 128GB Sandisk SSD.
(Edited)
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Bill W2PKY

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Thought you would say some brandy-new thing that had Win10 from the factory!
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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LOL! No sir. I use 100% old junk at home, except for my 6700. :)

I also typically keep PCs for 10 years. In fact this PC was a gift. I wasn't even thinking of replacing my old Dell Dimension which used RDRAM, but my SO took pity on me... 

However to be totally fair the SSD and RAM are not stock (thank you micro center!) It also came with Vista from the factory and a free upgrade to Win 7. 
(Edited)
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Rob G6EIH

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It very easy to stop W10 updates however it's not recommended.

Go to Control Panel\Administrative Tools\Services\Windows Update

Left click to change the Windows Update and change the Startup Type to suite your needs, setting the Startup Type to Disabled will prevent any updates or you can choose one of the other options.

After this weekend mine is now set to Delayed Start and updates will be installed.

Have fun.

Rob
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David Warnberg

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When you get a popup asking for money to unlock your PC just remember it was YOU who turned off automatic updates..

I just stopped DAX and CAT from auto starting and make sure I shut them off when not using the Radio and have had no issues...  I've also upgraded to Windows 10 pro
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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>"It very easy to stop W10 updates however it's not recommended."

Highly recommended for those of us who have our remote sites tethered to 4G/LTE cellular service where there is no viable alternative.  A complete stop to the data push requires more than a simple change in the Win10 update menu.  Neal's link addresses the right way to shut it down and involves changing the system registry.

Automatically-pushed major Win10 updates, Defender and miscellaneous in-the-background updates can consume a large portion of monthly cellular data.

For 4G/LTE remote site operation, many ops do not need the latest software updates just because they're available. My plan is to bring back the remote PC on an annual basis for updating and maintenance.  Hopefully, SSDR 2.0 and later won't always require the latest Windows install to function properly. 

Paul, W9AC
(Edited)
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WA2SQQ

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How can we read the entire article w/o having to sign up for this "service" - I get too much junk mail as it is.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Unless you know what you're doing, turning off updates is irresponsible. Don't do it. Herd immunity matters. 

If you lived through slammer and code red you know how much of a pain in the neck these worms can be. 
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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Ria,

For most installations, it probably is irresponsible to disable updates.  But where I have a PC installed in a communications shelter at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp that runs on a 4G/LTE network, I would rather take my chances.  The risk isn't eliminated but it's certainly reduced with no user-induced outbound web traffic there.  

On the issue of hacking, if I've left the network vulnerable to an attack in front of the firewall then a Windows update isn't going to help mitigate a lot of potential damage created by someone who just accessed the LAN side of the network.

If the worst attack occurs at my remote site, I would rather have a back-up PC and router pre-provisioned and ready to roll in on a moment's notice. 

Paul, W9AC          
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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This falls into the category of "you know what you're doing." For most other people, turning off updates endangers everyone. 
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Reg

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I am running Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB on my ham radio PC's.  Microsoft's description is, "The LTSB (long term servicing branch) allows businesses to refuse functionality-centric software updates while accepting only security-related amendments"  With no updates to functionality I have been running W10E LTSB since the release and I have not had a single case where a Windows Update broke the configuration.
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WA2SQQ

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How can one convert to this version, if desired?
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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If you're going to use Windows 10 Enterprise, and you only use your computer to run your radio and associated radio programs, one very cool option might be to enable the Unified Write Filter (UWF) on your system and directing your logs to a flash drive. What UWF gets you is the ability to discard any changes to the system each time you reboot. You basically never have to worry about malware because your system is entirely read only.

UWF is used a lot on thin clients and in corporate environments like call centers. The disadvantage is you need to explicit,ymdisable UWF when you want to upgrade any of the programs on your system. But for a system dedicated to one particular use, UWF can be very cool.

Peter
K1PGV
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VE7ATJ

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I know other people are probably running the latest 'Creator Update' of Win10 (aka 1703) with no problems (cuz otherwise the forum would probably be FULL of messages), but after this latest Win10 update, I'm getting the Win10 equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death -- complaining about an IRLQ with a value of less than ... (something -- the message doesn't go far enough) and saying that the error shows up in a module sysnet04 (or something like that).  I'm suspecting it's a problem with DAX or CAT, so I've shut off installing them for the time being to see if things stabilize.

As I say, I'm just providing this for info.  I need to do more investigation, but it just happened on a completely 'clean' install of Win10 and nothing else installed on the computer except for SmartSDR 10.16.1.  I wasn't even actually running the 6500 at that point -- Just reinstalling software.  

FYI...

Don VE7ATJ
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VE7ATJ

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OK, I've got some more info on this, and a possible fix, which I'm testing now.  The BSOD comes up with, as Peter says an IRLQ less than or equal error, relating to the Netwtw04.sys module/driver.  I checked on the Windows Insider forum, and others have mentioned the same problem -- especially when accessing the internet over a wireless connection.  One contributor said he got rid of the problem by upgrading the Intel Wireless Drivers. That makes sense to me, as all my 'crashes' occurred when I opened up MS Edge browser.

Unfortunately, Windows Update doesn't know anything about updated drivers, so you have to go directly to Intel's support website, download their driver update application, then let it decide the new driver package for you and install it.  I just completed that now, so we'll see if it stabilizes the situation.  I'm not quite wiling to put this baby back into 'Production' mode just yet, but at least the problem and solution make sense.
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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" I'm getting the Win10 equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death -- complaining about an IRLQ with a value of less than ..."


Sorry to hear that, Don. The crash would be "IRQL not less than or equal" (believe it or not, that's the entire message). This usually indicates a fatal flaw in a driver.


If you have the crash dump file (memory.dmp) feel free to email it to me at my call sign at ARRL dot net and I'll take a look and at least let you know what happened and which driver is at fault.


Peter

K1PGV
(Edited)
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VE7ATJ

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OK thanks Peter.  I may take you up on that.  For now, I've 'not' installed CAT or DAX, but I may try installing them one-by-one and see which one causes the fault.  It seems to be directly 1703 related, tho, cuz I have another laptop running Win10 1609 running the full SmartSDR/CAT/DAX with no problems.

I'll be playing a bit more tonight tomorrow and will let you know what I find.  Thanks for the offer of help.
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VE7ATJ

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Latest update (for those interested)... After updating the WiFi drivers, now the laptop won't recognize, nor install printer drivers!  I tried working on it for a week, gave up and sent it off to the geek squad.  They saw the same problems, and after another week of trying different scenarios finally decided on a clean re-install of the entire Win10 1703 O/S.  Voila -- no more problems with crashes, and the printers work fine.  Don't ask me how/why THAT worked, but I'm grateful to have my laptop back with everything working.
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AA0KM

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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http://www.wearethemighty.com/article...

Pentagon has us all beat.

When I did *ahem* government work I remember dealing with 8 inch disks and 9 track tape.
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Michael Coslo

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We had a mini warehouse of old data storage technology so we could retrieve data. I recall being impressed by an early writable laser disk - about 18 inches in diameter. But we had tape drives, Zip drives, floppies of every size, some sort of thing called a removeable hard drive that looked a little like a zip drive,  even ancient machinery like 286 computers. 

Before that, it was  punch cards.

I was lucky enough in school to see some old core memory drums that were donated to the school.  Fortunately we didn't have to save any of the drums.
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Doug K0DV

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Don't want one of those forced Win 10 updates? A bunch of us have had great results using "Never 10."  https://www.grc.com/never10.htm
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Michael Coslo

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That's the upgrade, not the updates. If you bought a computer with W10, you are stuck, unless you have the Enterprise version. You can always buy the enterprise version, and encourge Microsoft to keep borking the computer, since they get money for two OS'. The one you paid for when you bought the computer, and the one you bought so the darn thing would work right.
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Ed Woodrick

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This is a great idea. After all, Wanna cry didn't work on machines that had been upgraded and patched as recommended. Blocking the updates are a great way to experience wanna cry. And don't forget that if you aren't at the current or N-1 updates, there are supportability issues.
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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85% of affected computers were running WIn7. I am not sure how many WIn10 systems were actually affected.

73
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I know quite a few hams running Windows 7 because they don't trust the Windows 10 updates. 
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Michael Coslo

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There are many reasons to not like the W10 OS and updates, as well as the telemetry that you send them. The updates often turn on the telemetry that you thought you turned off. And even if you turn off all of the software switches, it sends telemetry any way. This is why I use my W10 laptop witout anything of importance on it.

Also folks, remember that Wannacry is a social engineering malware. So don't go clicking on links that you aren't certain about that you get in your email.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It's not strictly social engineering. It looks for nearby machines to infect and infects them due to a vulnerability. Just like code red, just like slammer. 
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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According to Kaspersky Labs, less than one tenth of one percent of systems infected with WannaCry were running Windows 10.

But note that there are something like four times more systems running Windows 7 than running Windows 10.

Peter
K1PGV