Category Archives: Microsoft Windows

Network Connection Status Indicator (NCSI)

… Windows machines try to request two URLs (www.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt and ipv6.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt, the former over IPv4, the latter over IPv6) to ascertain whether a given network is routed to the Internet and if there is a captive portal in the way (NCSI stands for “Network Connection Status Indicator”).

Ref.: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/even-when-told-not-to-windows-10-just-cant-stop-talking-to-microsoft/

See also: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/networking/2012/12/20/the-network-connection-status-icon/.

Ad for Windows 10 camouflaged as a security update, how low can one sink?

KB3146449 is another update one should avoid installing.

From its own description:

Updated Internet Explorer 11 capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

And:

This update adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10.

Continue reading Ad for Windows 10 camouflaged as a security update, how low can one sink?

KB2977759 and KB2952664 now available in WSUS

A couple of KBs, KB2977759 and KB2952664, related to the dreadful Appraiser stuff, appeared in our WSUS instance this week. The former just made it on my list of KBs one should avoid. Both was promptly declined.

The list encompasses:

  • KB2952664, Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
  • KB2977759, Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM
  • KB3022345, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry (superseded by KB3068708, see below)
  • KB3035583, Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
  • KB3068708, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3075249, Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
  • KB3080149, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3123862, Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

Another bad KB? KB3123862

Earlier this week Microsoft released another batch of Windows updates. Among them are KB3123862. As usual, the title displayed by Windows Update gives no clue to what this update actually does: “Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB3123862)”. Clicking on the More information link reveal the following:

Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

This update adds capabilities to some computers that lets users easily learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10.

“Easily learn about Windows 10”? “Start an upgrade to Windows 10”? I have an experimental laptop at work where I learn all I can about Windows 10 and the applications we use at work. That’s all I need at the moment.

No, thank you. I don’t want to install Windows 10 until I’m willing. Needless to say, this update was never installed on my Windows 7 computer at home, and the update was promptly hidden.

I feel really sorry for the computer illiterate. How are they supposed to know what’s good or bad for them?

The list of bad KBs when it comes to Windows 10 and its intrusiveness is expanded to cover:

  • KB2952664, Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
  • KB3022345, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry (superseded by KB3068708, see below)
  • KB3035583, Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
  • KB3068708, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3075249, Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
  • KB3080149, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3123862, Updated capabilities to upgrade Windows 8.1 and Windows 7

Bad KBs

Microsoft continues their sneaky trend by camouflaging Windows 10 related updates as “Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems”. I would avoid installing these six (five actually) updates, identified by their KB numbers:

  • KB2952664, Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7
  • KB3022345, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry (superseded by KB3068708, see below)
  • KB3035583, Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1
  • KB3068708, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry
  • KB3075249, Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7
  • KB3080149, Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry

I can’t rule out if other similar updates has gone undetected by myself. Continue reading Bad KBs

KB3035583

Microsoft is pretty sneaky. They camouflage their Windows 10 downloader, KB3035583, as a recommended Windows 7 update with no indication of what good this update does. Only by clicking on the first link is its true intention revealed.

Norwegian description of KB3035583, sadly with no indication of what the update actually does
Norwegian description of KB3035583, sadly with no indication of what the update actually does

As a contrast, the dreaded KB976002 browser choice update was well marked with its intention even in its (long winded) title. Luckily, we don’t see that update anymore.

Dell Latitude E7240 and Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260

Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 fails to notify Windows 7 when the SSID changes. The result is that the wireless interface retains the previous and possibly invalid IP addresses and other settings. The latest driver, A11, only a few days old, isn’t helpful at all.

I usually avoid installing Intel’s own utility for managing wireless connections, as I feel this should be left in the capable hands of the operating system and the driver. Maybe I should think twice about that.

The current solution is to manually force Windows into releasing and renewing the IP addresses after switching to a different SSID.

@echo off

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /release6

ipconfig /renew
ipconfig /renew6