back to article Samsung caught disabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

Samsung computer users could find themselves wide open to attack because the software the Korean giant bundles on its systems disables Windows Update. The problem was spotted by independent security researcher Patrick Barker after a Windows user complained that the Windows Update function, which automatically downloads patches …

  1. Captain DaFt

    I'd hazard a guess

    "It's hard to see why Samsung thought disabling Windows Update was a good idea,"

    Um, because Windows updated drivers don't collect data for Samsung?

    (The paranoia spreads so easily these days.)

    1. Oh Homer

      Re: I'd hazard a guess

      "It's hard to see why Samsung thought disabling Windows Update was a good idea, given that Microsoft regularly uses it to" ... Brick Windows.

      Personally, I've been violently opposed to automatic bricking "updates" at least since the time when the Content® manufacturing industry coerced Nvidia and Microsoft to push an "update" that deliberately disabled DVD playback on machines with certain graphics cards.

      So many supposed "updates" are intended solely to benefit the provider to the detriment of the user, that I simply don't trust them any more, and it seems more prudent to be cautious and assume bad faith every time. Indeed the whole "update" process is so subversive that I have no confidence that merely turning it "off" will in fact prevent it from running anyway, so I typically resort to removing the offending malware (i.e. the Windows Update service) instead. Although frankly I'd classify Windows in its entirety as malware, avoid using it unless threatened by armed bastards, and even then I'd have to think twice about it.

      Consumers are no longer valued customers, we're the enemy, and capitalism is war.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: I'd hazard a guess

        but this disables updates and overrides the inbuilt windows options. I don't automatically install updates but I *DO* enable the nag screen as I forget (this is home not WSUS at work, that is a different case). This software simply disables the update service - not good. Whilst blindly automatically installing updates might not be the best course for us techies, it IS a good idea for my dad.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd hazard a guess

          Ha ha... The usual plaintive cries of 'Install Linux.. Please... Please... Someone... Anyone...'

          Aren't you people embarrassed that all these years of begging people to use something free have added up to zero? Almost literally when looking at market share.

          Nobody wants it, except your billy no mates 40 year old virgin 'online buddies' , who sit discussing which distro has the least crappy drivers, while ordering the daily pizza...

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: I'd hazard a guess

            The mac with bootcamp isnt a crazy idea, windows is very easy to set up (assuming windows has mac drivers without too much of an issue) but im a cheapskate and my dad is poor :)

            I installed Ubuntu on a laptop first. I had never played with Linux at this point. Questions were asked that were far from English (sure, pushing next will work). The Epson printer/scanner wouldn't work afterwards and I needed to tinker in console. My dad wouldn't have a hope in hell of doing this.

            His Dell worked as follows (I talked him through on the phone). Switch on, add username and password, right click on wireless icon on desktop, put the big long set of letters from his BT hub pullout, get on internet. The printer he plugged in (ignoring the do not plug in till software installed sticker), installed CD by clicking on the "install" button (it worked anyway). Job done. One afternoon I remoted in after getting him to install some remote software and I set up chrome for him and removed all the internet explorer icons just in case. He uses avast and automatic updates - so far everything is hunky dory.

            There are so many drive by adverts that exploit IE holes - all of which have been patched by MS updates as things go along (sure he now uses Chrome but bear with me). People on Samsung laptops would not have had the same opportunity. I fail to see how scrubbing windows on Samsung laptops, muddling through installing Ubuntu - how do these people get Ubuntu anyway? Front of Your Spectrum (which was far better than Sinclair user)? - this is not helpful to people.

            Linux has its uses but at the moment it is not meant for general mainstream installation by the masses. Don't get me wrong, it isn't hard but you seriously overestimate the ability of a general person. Sure, pre configured and set up it is great (my kids use an old Pentium 4 laptop with puppylinux) but getting it set up is certainly not easy peasy (I would also imagine a brand new laptop with USB3 drivers not working in Windows would not be a cakewalk to set up in Ubuntu!)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: I'd hazard a guess

            "Aren't you people embarrassed that all these years of begging people to use something free have added up to zero? Almost literally when looking at market share."

            No one ever got fired for buying IBM.

            That's the attitude for Windows users today. In terms of home users, a significant number could easily switch to Linux and barely notice the difference. The only reason many don't is simply fear of the unknown. You are just being closed minded. A bog standard install of any of the more popular Linuxes, even many of the less popular ones will just work on most hardware these days. You might need a graphics card driver, maybe a printer driver, maybe even a scanner driver, but nothing more complex than the same driver installs you will need when installing Windows.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'd hazard a guess

            > Ha ha... The usual plaintive cries

            Please don't be so stupid, if you wouldn't mind. The bloke above was describing what works / doesn't work for him as the majority of posters do here.

            But my point is, you seem to have a rather outdated idea of what Linux desktop users look like. Expect a call from the 90's asking for it back.

          4. Looper
            FAIL

            Re: I'd hazard a guess

            "...Nobody wants it, except your billy no mates 40 year old virgin 'online buddies' , who sit discussing which distro has the least crappy drivers..."

            Says a truly cowardly specimen, who posts anonymously to avoid being called out, since he really is a clueless commenturd...

      2. Nigel 11

        Re: I'd hazard a guess

        Consumers are no longer valued customers,

        So opt out. Become one of the folks that we are forever being told "don't exist". Run Linux on your desktop, laptop, ... and become a participant in a community rather than a resource to be exploited.

        If that's too radical for you, dump the bloatware distributors. Build or buy a bare PC and buy your Windows from Microsoft. At least that way you'll be free of any 3rd party bloatware and will be able to nuke and reinstall whenever you need to.

        1. PNGuinn
          Happy

          Re: I'd hazard a guess

          Nooo...

          Build your own box (or if a lapdog choose the hardware carefully).

          "Buy" a copy of Debian - It's a tad cheaper than windows. Spend the dosh on the hardware.

          Install same.

          Install traditional init and remove systemd.

          Pin as reqiured.

          Browse and install software as desired.

          Job Done.

          Enjoy.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: I'd hazard a guess

            build your own pc, Linux, openoffice (libre etc); all really really good advice - for techies. Im not as old as some on here but my first PC was a home made DX2-66 with windows 3.1 - all installed from floppy with the DOS freemem tuning learnt as I went along. Before that I tinkered with Amigas (and soldered various 3.5" to 2.5" converters and CPU WAIT switches etc. I wouldn't dream of building my dads laptop for him or putting Linux on there - he simply wouldn't cope with it. A laptop that works off the shelf will do (I got him an XPS15 from dell marketplace open box refurb) coupled with MS office and he's happy. Auto updates installed.

            The people who are buying Samsung laptops and not performing a drive wipe as the first thing after unboxing are not the sort of people to go poking around services.msc They are people who are asked "do you want automatic updates enabled" when they first boot up and expect it to work. This is a 3rd party program that basically nukes automatic updates. I bet the wording (in the Samsung app) is "would you like Samsung to manage updating your drivers automatically?*"

            It is a dumb move with no real reason to do so. Driver updates are optional ones and ive never had drivers automatically update. there ARE reasons to automatically update internet explorer though- yes, techies et al will use firefox (not in windows of course) but they aren't the normal demographic for these PCs.

            1. Lallabalalla

              Re: I'd hazard a guess

              +1 for "DOS freemem tuning" - I'd forgotten all about that little joy :-)

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I'd hazard a guess

              > build your own pc, Linux, openoffice (libre etc); all really really good advice - for techies

              Not for technically inclined people ("techies", as you put it), but for those concerned about the efficiency, stability, and security of their computing platform.

              In my experience, those sort of people will know what they want and if they do not have the technical skills, time, or inclination to build such a product themselves, they will know how to avail themselves of one.

            3. Arthur Dent

              Re: I'd hazard a guess

              Indeed, techies will use Firefox - and if they are awake they will update it regularly. I set Firefox to update automatically, since the updates seem pretty reliable. And that Firefox Reset is provided indicates that the need for it is recognised, and I don't think that a non-techie user could cope with that, so I wouldn'd recommend Firefox for any non-techie user. The updates sometimes make rather large UI changes too, and that's another thing that makes it unsuitable for non-techies.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd hazard a guess

          Buy a mac from Apple and by windows from Microsoft

          use Boot Camp or an Hyper-visor

          you will see windows works great. :p

        3. Oh Homer
          Terminator

          Re: So opt out.

          Fait accompli, at least as far as possible, which sadly isn't very far, considering that Microsoft steals money from my wallet for an OS that I don't want and will never use, every time I buy a PC.

          These days it's a moot point though, since I, as with most people, probably have more chance of buying a new VCR than that equally archaic museum piece called a PC.

        4. asdf

          Re: I'd hazard a guess

          >Run Linux on your desktop, laptop

          Or if you truly want to get away from the svchost.exe experience that Linux is becoming (windows lite) run *BSD.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: I'd hazard a guess

        "Personally, I've been violently opposed to automatic bricking "updates" at least since the time when the Content® manufacturing industry coerced Nvidia and Microsoft to push an "update" that deliberately disabled DVD playback on machines with certain graphics cards."

        Where is Microsoft mentioned in that article, other than a bug in the media player?

        1. Oh Homer
          Headmaster

          Re: Where is Microsoft mentioned in that article

          It isn't. I know of Microsoft's involvement simply because I was one of the victims who received the offending "update" via the Windows Update service.

  2. petur

    article picture

    for once I totally agree

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: article picture

      And the Bynars will be performing the updates...

      "Gentlemen, if this is what you call "enhancement", you've got a gift for understatement."

  3. djstardust

    Windows Update is a nightmare

    First thing I do is disable windows Update when I get a new PC. It nags and nags you to install the updates and a couple of times it has shut down the machine when I've been in the middle of working on something.

    Surely MS can find a better way of implementing updates silently .... and until they do it stays well and truly disabled.

    P.S. I don't surf porn, warez or gambling sites so it must be safe .......

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

      I set Windows Update to download and notify, then I can plan the update for when my computer isn't doing something.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

        I set Windows Update to download and notify, then I can plan the update for when my computer isn't doing something.

        I set it to just notify. If I'm tethered to my 4G phone, I don't exactly appreciate the laptop deciding it'll take my 1GB quota all to itself just for Windows update.

        Then there's the situation when you're a guest on someone else's network, it's rude to start downloading lots of data without their permission.

        It's about time Microsoft understood that.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

          If you're on windows 8, set your tethered connection as a metered connection. Now if Dropbox respected that too....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

            If you're on windows 8, set your tethered connection as a metered connection. Now if Dropbox respected that too....

            … and for the Windows 7 users here that are using other peoples' networks? Sorry, only a quarter solution. I say quarter because it ignores those who are not running Windows 8 and it ignores the guest network user case.

            Most of the time my machines are booted into Linux, however the one I'm typing on dual-boots Windows 7.

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

              "… and for the Windows 7 users here that are using other peoples' networks? Sorry, only a quarter solution. I say quarter because it ignores those who are not running Windows 8 and it ignores the guest network user case."

              Upgrade to Windows 8? It has been out since 2012. If you are running Ubuntu then 12.04 was released the same year (to show a comparative age). I don't think i'm running any machine older than 14.04 personally so just update if you want the new features.

        2. Adam 1

          Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

          >I set it to just notify. If I'm tethered to my 4G phone, I don't exactly appreciate the laptop deciding it'll take my 1GB quota all to itself just for Windows update.

          That is probably the most useful enhancement in Windows 8. If only they kept the Windows 7 shell.

        3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

          Only tangentally related, but it bugs me when software assumes 'wifi' == unlimited, 3/4G == metered.

          On many occasions I had it exactly the other way around, and it did bite on occasion.

          (Mi-fi with 'three' - 15Gb for 16 quid - coupled with unlimited unteathered data on the tablet Sim)

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

            Right. And the fact that the option YOU use(Notify, no download) exists clearly indicates that they do inderstand.

            Ignoring whatever "indistand" means (probably an off-by-one error)…

            The fact that when you set it, it nags you to set it back to download and install when you check for software updates tells me otherwise.

            It's also something one has to toggle each time they connect to a foreign network… i.e. it can't just assume that, by default, all networks are "metered", and that only certain networks (such as the network marked as a "Home" or "Work" network) are safe to assume are "unmetered".

            They pop up a dialogue box when you connect to a new network asking if it's home, work or public, how hard is it to ask: "May I download software updates via this connection?"

    2. Matt Piechota

      Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

      P.S. I don't surf porn, warez or gambling sites so it must be safe .......

      You missed the Sarcasm/Joke Alert notification. I hope.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't surf porn, warez or gambling sites so it must be safe

      Turns out that of those, only warez are likely to get you infected.

      You local hobby/church/blog hosted on WordPress six versions behind the current, well that's the usual culprit.

    4. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

      I set Windows Update to notify, then I make sure the damn thing isn't trying to install Bing desktop or some equally stupid nonsense, download updates at a time of day when my internet bandwidth is cheap, and install at my convenience.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows Update is a nightmare

        And Silverlight (no matter how many times I hide that effing thing)

        Dear MS, I do not want that [redacted] installed on any machine that I use or control.

        Got it?

        Yours

        Admin

  4. DryBones
    Coat

    Translation

    "We or our hardware supplier cannot be arsed to provide updated drivers to Microsoft."

    Innit? I can't believe every one of Window's drivers is written by Microsoft, or that Samsung is wiring these chips up in ways they aren't actually designed to work. Naive, I know...

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Translation

      Drivers on Win updates servers are usually written by chipset providers not OEMs, OEMs just wrap them lightly if at all. Even if the OEM provides a working copy to Microsoft, update is prone to supplying a different version that matches the chipset signature.

      That in itself would be just annoying if the drivers work, the real problem is piss poor testing from Microsoft. I have a DVBT card with working drivers that update persistently tries to 'update' to broken versions. A WiFi dongle that has no known working drivers but Windows still tries to install them - causing an instant kernel crash and making Windows unbootable. Both driver are WHQL certified.

      Win update is quite capable of breaking PC's and leaving no clue about how it happened if you let it run automatically. At least they allow me to hide specific updates or the backup image would get more use.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Translation

        This is, of course, assuming Windows can find the correct driver...

        I live in France. My older XP box is set to English (British). When I plugged in my phone, Windows took a while to find and install the MTP driver. It works, yes. But it speaks Italian - WTF?

        I wonder how many "breakages" are the driver finder/loader installing not quite the right thing?

    2. jason 7

      Re: Translation

      It seems pointless tampering on the OEMs part.

      I get a lot of machines to rebuild and I like to get the latest drivers installed. Often I'll get the latest 2014 driver for their standard integrated Intel graphics and the installer will suddenly say "this is a custom version of the hardware and wont take this driver! See the OEM website for their driver!"

      So I go to the say Samsung/Toshiba site and find that the latest driver for that machine is dated 2009 and its the one the machine was shipped with. Oh that's great!

      OEMs are doing their best to screw themselves and not just the customer. They don't need to screw with standard off the shelf parts but they do.

      Just leave it alone.

      1. dogged

        Re: Translation

        > Often I'll get the latest 2014 driver for their standard integrated Intel graphics and the installer will suddenly say "this is a custom version of the hardware and wont take this driver! See the OEM website for their driver!"

        Ah yes, dell.com. God damn you, Dell.

        1. jason 7

          Re: Translation

          Dell?

          Hmm I find they are not too bad. The only Dell parts I've had issues with are their 19 in 1 card readers. For some reason they tamper with the standard Teac firmware making drivers for later OS usage difficult.

          Though thinking back there was a issue with Nvidia drivers for the Dell M4400 laptop. It could take standard Nvidia drivers but only two specific releases.

          That's about it.

  5. James 51

    It would be nice if you could download a clean copy of windows and use your license key to install it. Would solve a lot of problems.

    1. Anonymous C0ward
      Pirate

      You can use a clean copy, if it's W7 at least

      Needs activating with the OEM's certificate and SLP product key the same way you'd do for a SLIC-modded BIOS (if you were a dirty pirate).

      1. jason 7

        Re: You can use a clean copy, if it's W7 at least

        I always keep a full Retail copy of any version of Windows handy. I buy them cheap at release date.

        I've found a retail copy can be used to fresh install Windows using 99% of keys whether OEM or not to activate.

        Hit and miss with OEM copies.

  6. Innocent-Bystander*

    Another Reason to...

    Wipe and reinstall the second you power on your new system.

    Samsung does a Lenovo... must be using the same crack dealer.

  7. Alistair
    Windows

    solution?

    get it home, wipe it clean and reinstall the OS?

    I've never liked any "hardware vendor software" - including the damned audio stacks that took off with the ICE chips. Usually the hardware vendors have pages with hardware updates, this suffices for those of us with a technical bent. Have to feel sad for those that get mangled by the vendors. We could of course come up with a law..... </ducks>

    Personally my step would be get it home and wipe it clean and install <choose linux distro here>.

    <grumpy old troll>

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: solution?

      > get it home, wipe it clean and reinstall the OS?

      That'd be nice, but on my HP laptop, the reinstall partition didn't work, and it took a week to get my install media. HP thought I was going to pay for it too, until I mentioned the EULA said I could get media just for asking.

      > Personally my step would be get it home and wipe it clean and install <choose linux distro here>.

      Yup, my desktop is Debian Testing, but there are some things (Suzuki Diagnostic Software) that requires Windows and isn't happy with VM USB implementations (because it's horribly written crapware)

      1. iLuddite
        Pint

        Re: solution?

        "...until I mentioned the EULA said I could get media just for asking."

        You found a customer BENEFIT in the EULA ? You deserve a ribbon for your badge, awarded for success in the 'needle in the haystack' campaign.

        1. hplasm
          Pint

          Re: solution?

          You READ the EULA ?

          Have another pint!

      2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: solution?

        > Personally my step would be get it home and wipe it clean and install <choose linux distro here>.

        I wondered how far down I would have to read before I came across the first correct answer. Not too long, but longer than it should.

        I cannot for the life of me think why you would want Windows. I spend a large part of my time using a browser -- Firefox naturally (it's the only browser I know that does what I WANT).

        If I have to write a document or use a spreadsheet I have Open Office. So I don't have to go anywhere near the nasty shite that M$ pushes out. And I don't have to pay to be retrained to do exactly what I used to do.

        Lobotomy -- that's the only thing I can think of that would make people stick with Windows.

        (Also the sign of a downvoter.)

        1. LucreLout

          Re: solution?

          I cannot for the life of me think why you would want Windows

          That you struggle with basic concepts is no indicator that the rest of the world must. Try starting from a position of everyone not being like you and not wanting what you want, and see where that train of thought takes you.

          If I have to write a document or use a spreadsheet I have Open Office

          Me too, because I only have to use the office software the way I want to at home, and I don't push the capabilities of Open Office enough to need MS Office.

          Lobotomy -- that's the only thing I can think of that would make people stick with Windows

          Linux on the desktop isn't going to happen. I don't mean this week, month, or year, I mean ever. It is never going to happen. Sure, you'll always find some people that want to use it, but they, you, will always be a very small minority. I realise that won't be popular with a lot of Reg readers, but it's no less a fact for that.

        2. BuckoA51

          Re: solution?

          Anyone who's used both Excel and OpenOffice Calc will tell you that Calc is absolute garbage. I did my accounts in Calc this year (because I'm poor) and it must have crashed at least two dozen times.

        3. Pookietoo
          Thumb Down

          Re: I cannot for the life of me think why you would want Windows

          I've been using Linux for just about everything for more than 5 years (started using it about 20 years ago) but I can see that there are legitimate reasons people may need (or even want) to use Windows. Saying that they're all stupid doesn't really make you look all that smart, you know?

          In case you hadn't noticed, there's a bunch of MSFT shillsfans populating the fora at the moment, looking for every excuse to talk-up WindowsX/Office on Android/any of their other attempts to regain market/mind-share, and Linux Loons make an easy target for them.

        4. heyrick Silver badge

          @ RegGuy1

          Linux ain't happening here. I tried a recent Ubuntu on my box and though it correctly detected my computer's fancy dancey sound hardware, there was not a single sound. Not a peep. As I watch DVDs and such, not having sound is a deal breaker.

          1. Pookietoo

            Re: Linux ain't happening here.

            Getting audio right can require a bit of tweaking sometimes, particularly if there's e.g. an audio device in your graphics card and another in a PCI or USB slot. Also PulseAudio doesn't always do its thing properly, so sometimes it's useful to temporarily disable it and revert to plain ALSA.

          2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: @ RegGuy1

            Audio is something that has worked in FreeBSD for ever.

            Did you try that?

            Multiple source mixing existed long before it did in Windows, and long before Linux invented a new audio standard because they couldn't fix their OSS implementation (From what I gather, in Linux-world, if you can't get software to work properly, it's law that instead of fixing the implementation, you must instead invent a new API/protocol. *cough* alsa *cough* pulseaudio *cough* dbus *cough* udev etc.etc.etc)

            There are far more OS options out there than just Windows, Mac, and Linux (and even FreeBSD)

            1. Pookietoo

              Re: instead of fixing the implementation

              The thing about free software is that each software "product" is developed by a team of people who want to work on that product with that team - on the whole people aren't going to work on stuff that doesn't interest them, or work with people they don't like. And there's politics, of course. When OSS (which never worked very well with Linux) went proprietary it was obvious that Linux people would develop an alternative, and by the time it went free again people had invested heavily in ALSA development.

    2. RAMChYLD

      Re: solution?

      This is normally my modus operandi too (although I'd also buy a new hard drive with the laptop, just so I can swap out and put the old one back in if I needed it for warranty purposes). Unfortunately with my latest laptop Asus seems to have done some sort of black magic with it, I can't install Windows 7 without turning off UEFI (which I refuse to because I want to use GPT partitioning), the boot disk keeps freezing at the "Starting Windows" screen.

      And well, Linux won't cut it. I'm very tempted, but the video chipset of the laptop won't be able to run games in Wine smoothly enough. and I do want to play games on this laptop. And well, it does the same thing with Linux as well. The Ubuntu logo appears animates, then freezes up. If I make it boot into command line with a minimalist bootCD like the Clonezilla LiveCD, it will only boot to completion if I specify "vga=normal". Anything else will cause the video freeze.

      In the interest of full disclosure tho, the laptop has AMD Enduro.

  8. asdf
    Trollface

    trollish but ...

    I guess Samsung has hit that part in its Sony lifetime curve where it starts making some meh hardware and annoying it customers as opposed to getting them excited. Getting about time to sell its soul and buy a media studio next.

    1. LaeMing
      Unhappy

      I was thinking the same.

      Samsung used to be a preferred brand for me across the whole CE field.

      But they are getting too much like Sony now.

      NEVER go full Sony!

  9. Mage Silver badge
    Unhappy

    There is a problem though!

    I had to switch Windows Update to manual review:

    1) Wrong Printers, graphics, audio drivers installed by MS Update breaking stuff

    2) Stupid MS ware I don't want getting added.

    3) Some updates forced a reboot!

    LOADS of MS Updates are nothing to do with security, or are for vulnerabilities in stuff that anyone sensible has uninstalled or disabled.

    Also even if Samsung give MS all the "latest" drivers, there isn't any assurance it doesn't go wrong. Windows has become a mess and Win 10 is going to be worst yet.

    DLL Hell was nothing as to what is coming.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: There is a problem though!

      Intel drivers seem particularly prone to this problem - I don't think I ever had an oem set work perfectly installed over vendor wifi or graphics drivers.

      Whilst I don't condone what Sammy did sometimes the settings ui's need rewriting so a normal human can use them.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: There is a problem though!

      Drivers AFAIK are always offered as 'optional' updates, never as important ones, and thereby should not be installed without user approval. Recommended updates can also be set to require manual approval.

      Moreover, I was never offered one for my hardware (Intel, Asus and nVidia) nor for my printers (HP and Canon). Probably because I keep them updated myself, thereby WU never finds something to update.

      Only my Surface gets driver updates from MS.

      Uninstalled software doesn't receive updates, unless it was removed improperly. Disabled software needs to be updated anyway, how could the system know if you're going to re-enable or not?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: There is a problem though!

        Did you already install the 'important' update to your non-domain windows 7 machines so that they can start nagging you to upgrade to windows 8.1/windows 10?

        1. Nunyabiznes

          Re: There is a problem though!

          There's the lonely upside to still being on Vista. MS isn't going to nag me about upgrading to 10.

          I think they've written me off.

      2. Sandtitz Silver badge

        Re: There is a problem though!

        "Drivers AFAIK are always offered as 'optional' updates"

        Correction: If there is no driver installed THEN Windows Update will load the driver if available.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: There is a problem though!

          It's the plug&play mechanism that can also use WU as a source for drivers.

    3. Hans 1
      Mushroom

      Re: There is a problem though!

      >DLL Hell was nothing as to what is coming.

      I had to install SAP JCo on a clean install Windows 7 box and, seriously, it was DLL HELL. Add to that dependency walker was being silly, JCo, a library for connecting to AS ABAP from Java depends on a bunch of stuff, most notably IESHIMS.DLL - yes, the binary in C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer, so obviously not on the path. Oh, and before you ask, if you run a 32-bit JVM, then you need 32-bit JCo and C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer in your path.

      It also depends on a C++ redist of the same "bittiness" as your JVM, however, I did not mange to work out which version, ended up installing 2013, 2012, 2010, 2008, and 2005.

      On Linux, I do "ldd /path/to/some.so", see what is missing and can easily install required libs with apt, no Google "Which MS redist has SOME.DLL" > google "<result>" > "select bittiness", "click Download" > "Untick Bing bar, bing search engine, and MSN homepage hijacker > click download (again) > click back (I use Chrome, I need the direct links that only appear AFTER you click "Download" the second time and go back) > Click link.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: There is a problem though!

        That's an issue with shity, piss poor written software. Not Windows.

        Blame the software writer for being an half arsed amateur, not MS.

        I haven't had DLL issues in years.

        1. jelabarre59

          Re: There is a problem though!

          > Blame the software writer for being an half arsed amateur, not MS.

          I thought MS *was* the half-arsed amateur....

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: There is a problem though!

        On Linux, I do "ldd /path/to/some.so", see what is missing and can easily install required libs with apt,

        Really? I think you forgot the bit where you have to download a new Perl module from CPAN, which takes most of the evening finding and installing the 27 other modules that are interdependent, plus the new (or maybe old) version of GCC you have to install so that you can recompile something you don't need but is part of the library dependencies, and the trendy new scripting interpreter that you've never heard of before and which the developer has used for the startup, instead of using bash like everyone else.

      3. Tim Almond

        Re: There is a problem though!

        "I had to install SAP"

        Stopped reading there.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: There is a problem though!

          SAP - A weapon that can be made out of a soft leather pouch filled with lead shot.

          SAP - Some German Software that beats the living daylights out of anyone trying to install and/or use it.

          not a lot of difference really.

          And when it goes wrong it spews loads of technical German at you just to make sure that you know who's boss.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: There is a problem though!

            You forgot:

            SAP - A fool [purchaser]; someone who is prone to being taken advantage of, or who has been taken advantage of, usually in a situation that is easily perceived by others as foolhardy.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is a problem though!

      dll Hell followed by Side-by-Side followed by what? Probably something "spaces" to go along with containers and already used trademarks.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finished m' chips!

    I was going to have a biscuit...

  11. tekHedd

    Wait, is that why I had to reinstall windows?

    I have a Samsung Series 7 Gamer, that's right, the ridiculously bright orange model, and their bloatware is... interesting. It manages to mostly stay out of the way in terms of hurting performance, but there's a lot of it and it's hard to disable any one piece without breaking all of it.

    After a clean install of windows, necessary after windows update stopped working and refused to download updates, hmm, OMG somebody please tell me I didn't have to reinstall all of my software because of something they did on purpose... Ugh.

    Anyway, after a reinstall from the factory image, there is no way to make the cool "gamer mode" switch to work like it did when the computer was new, it's just a normal power switch. Samsung's "cool" stuff is very invasive and apparently not installable. But I'm somehow less interested in getting it to work, now...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I still believe Microsoft should stop

    updating drivers that are working correctly.

    Case in point, on my new Acer Aspire laptop the track pad is barely usable and there is no way to adjust its settings. I downloaded the corresponding driver from Acer but Microsoft's generic driver is newer so it tells me to shove off. It gives me shivers to think what will happen when Windows 10 will force its updates on all consumer PCs.

    Lucky for me I always keep a live USB key that would still allow me to enjoy the use of my hardware.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I still believe Microsoft should stop

      There. Fixed it for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I still believe Microsoft should stop

      Just configure Windows update to only do the important ones. You only get security updates. I've had drivers sat on my recommended list since I got this pc 9 months ago, it's never tried to install them.

    3. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: I still believe Microsoft should stop

      on my new Acer Aspire laptop the track pad is barely usable

      Not sure if this is relevant to you but I've just bought an Aspire. OpenSuse didn't even recognise that there was a touchpad until I went into the BIOS and turned off the "enable fancy touchpad features" setting which apparently needs some kind of esoteric I2C driver in order to work. Now the touchpad works exactly as I'd expect, multi gestures and all.

      Maybe Windows would prefer that too - and run the touchpad perfectly well under a generic HID driver? Have to admit that the first thing I did with the Aspire was pop the bottom off, ditch the not-brilliant HDD and install OpenSuse on an SSD. I'm not entirely happy with the video driver; there's a lot of weirdness going on when the thing boots, but once booted it's fine, and I can always play around.

      M.

    4. jelabarre59

      Re: I still believe Microsoft should stop

      > It gives me shivers to think what will happen when Windows 10 will force its updates on all consumer PCs.

      You mean something like this

  13. Bob Dole (tm)
    Mushroom

    Surprise, surprise, surprise

    Yet another reason to follow these simple steps when purchasing a new laptop:

    1) Purchase a brand new, unused SSD drive and copy of your favorite OS.

    2) Immediately after unboxing the laptop, remove the hard drive.

    3) Put the brand new hard drive in.

    4) Install your OS.

    I happen to have a fairly new samsung laptop. I didn't even power the thing on before I had replaced the hard drive. Windows 7 installed everything with zero issues - all the downloaded drivers worked. I'll throw the original hard drive back in when I decide to sell it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Re: Surprise, surprise, surprise

      good, and for the 99.99% of the rest of the world who are not Techies?

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Surprise, surprise, surprise

        ...or just don't have the spare cash to waste a perfectly good HDD etc.

      2. hplasm
        Facepalm

        Re: Surprise, surprise, surprise

        "good, and for the 99.99% of the rest of the world who are not Techies?"

        They won't be reading this...

  14. IT_Ray

    meh...

    this is just one more leg in the race to the bottom... I wonder what douchebaggery Goggle, Apple, or Adobe did today... congrats samsung, you are almost in the club...

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: meh...

      Honestly, to me they joined the club when they started region-locking their cellphones so that you can't use a phone from one country with a sim card from another, all in the interest of forcing you to use roaming while maintaining an illusion that their phone is not region-locked.

      http://www.androidcentral.com/heres-how-region-locking-works-european-samsung-galaxy-s5

      I don't care if it will unlock after 5 minutes, region-locking is region locking.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows is the malware & spyware - running it is the security risk Disabling one of Windows' exfiltration agents isn't going to make much difference.

  16. kryptylomese

    Solution

    All sing it together! "Just install Linux"

    1. hplasm
      Devil

      Re: Solution

      What!? And let all the Winfans get their grubby mitts all over it!!!???!! 1111tyone!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The headline is misleading and the article does nothing to support the term bloatware - it just looks like drivers. I don't have any sympathy for Samsung after their various spying tv issues, which seem to be more incompetence than anything else, but it looks like the author is deliberately exaggerating the issue here. As others have implied there can be real problems when Microsoft instaals its own drivers on laptops instead of vendor's own. I always use Dell certified drivers on my laptops and run Windows update manually.

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Windows updates I can understand their viewpoint

    When Windows Update on my W7 PC removed my recent vendor network drivers and replaced them with their own older notwork drivers.

    This took me ages to fix as I had to use another PC to search the internet!

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Windows updates I can understand their viewpoint

      Why didn't you just roll back the driver in device manager?

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Windows updates I can understand their viewpoint

        Because I did not know what it had done, so I looked it up on the internet, on a PC with a working network connection.

        You see not everyone is an expert in operating systems, to me they are a tool, and nothing else, as long as they do not annoy me (and many do) and I can run what I like I am happy.

        But I have been working in the world of Xbase now for around 30 years.

  19. dajames Silver badge

    "... it isn't as egregious as the Lenovo Superfish debacle"

    Isn't it?

    It's pretty damn close.

  20. TRT Silver badge

    There is something to be said for that approach, however...

    How that the Windows Update dialogue box has been infected by Windows 10.

  21. mike acker

    bad idea

    Samsung: this is a good way to get onto the DO NOT BUY list

    go back and figure out a better way.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: bad idea

      Yes. I think you'd now be on mine if I'd bought one of your infected laptops described above. You've escaped by a whisker.Take note.

      I still haven't forgiven or forgotten the two hassle- and stress-filled days of my life which Sony inflicted on me, by putting malware on audio CDs a good many years ago. I have a personal "buy Sony last" policy and that will last until I'm six feet under, or until Sony is in the corporate graveyard, or until enough competing vendors do enough even worse things that Sony fall off the bottom of my list.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: bad idea

        And those bizarre Sony network blocks that slip onto the end of the power brick when you buy a VAIO. You know, the ones that mimic the hardware address of the Vaio's wireless card and thus royally f*** up layer 2 switching in e.g. enterprise networks that have both wired and wireless networks.

  22. grthinker

    grthinker

    The only thing that keeps me using Microsoft is Quicken. Nearly as I can tell, they don't offer a cloud product that will record my past user history. When I can get rid of Windows, I will!

    1. jelabarre59

      Re: grthinker

      > The only thing that keeps me using Microsoft is Quicken

      Have been running Quicken98 under Wine for years now (yes, Q98, since the later versions have nothing to interest me in upgrading to them).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    In other news.

    Microsoft caught enabling Windows Update to run its own bloatware

    I'm joking, of course, see icon.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022