back to article Chap 'fixes' Microsoft's Windows 7 and 8 update block on new CPUs

A developer using the handle “Zeffy” claims to have found a way around Microsoft's ban on updates for old versions of Windows on shiny new CPUs. Microsoft flagged its new policy early last year, telling world+dog that Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft, doing everything they can to kill the PC market

    1. oiseau


      "Microsoft, doing everything they can to kill the PC market"

      Don't worry ...

      They know that there are many millions of fans that will, in spite of all that MS has always done to screw them over, relentessly insist (time and time again) on having a MS virus running inside their kit.

      OEMs also have a heavy hand in the matter and there are no really viable/no fuss alternatives for these many millions of desktop users (which are certainly *not* part of the Reg readership).

      So ...

      What does MS possibly have to lose?


      1. oiseau

        So? - Addendum

        I see that my text has not been clear enough.

        So I'll attempt another go:

        The many millions of PC users out there are and will continue to be royally screwed unless "really viable/no fuss alternatives" are available to them.

        Just in case: a really viable/no fuss alternative is an OS that can be presented to them with a familiar interface so that they do not have to take a course to do what they *already* know how to use (however little that may be).

        Many years ago MS implanted the idea (which the general public accepted) that using a PC was *easy*, not something you had to learn about, so those are the (marked) cards you have to play with.

        So unless you offer something that is familiar enough, the great unwashed will stick to what that *is* familiar enough to them: the MS virus inside the new kit they just purchased.

        And yes, I'm writing this for *you* Linux devs out there, so worried about rolling out the next new wonder and getting your 10s of net fame for it.

        There you go.

        1. Justicesays

          Re: So? - Addendum

          Maybe the key thing to having an OS that "people recognize" is having your new OS actually being recognizable as the same OS?

          And making an OS "easy to use" might involve having, I dunno, a single place for settings, a single application style , obvious icons for performing tasks rather than expecting people to click and prod the edges of the desktop.

          Linux window managers now bear much more resemblance to windows 7 than windows 10 does at this point.

          But in any case, ChromeOS is apparently what is being given to kids in US schools now, so presumably that will be what the future spenders there are familiar with...unfortunately this means Google will also be familiar with them.

          1. Rol

            Re: So? - Addendum

            "Can you pop around and fix my computer, it's broke. Again!"

            "It's a full-time job keeping that Windows machine of yours running. Oh alright, as long as you come and pick me up"

            "Yeah, no problem, I'll be round yours in ten minutes"


            "That was a quick ten minutes"

            "Sorry I'm desperate to get the PC fixed as I have emails and stuff to deal with"

            "Well, you have webmail, so why not do your urgent work on my pc and I'll finish my cup of tea. Do you want a cuppa?"


            "There, done. Thanks for that."

            "Well let's get around to your place then and I'll install Linux on your PC"

            "Whoa! Linux? No way. After ten years I've barely mastered Windows, you're not going to have me start all over again, learning new tricks"

            "You've been merrily working away on a Linux machine for the past half hour"

            "What? This is Linux?"

            "Yes, and just like all my other friends, you're going onto Linux. If for no other reason, I have a life beyond being on permanent call-out to your blessed Windows computer"


            Note to self. Stop installing Linux on friends computers, because you rarely hear from them after.

            1. Philip Stott

              Re: So? - Addendum

              Hmm, OK, so it's been six months since I last kicked Linux's (Ubuntu) tyres, and yes it's now a perfectly capable, attractive, and easy to use OS ... but I'm a software developer/former Netware & BSD network admin with 25 years of experience. You will only have a quiet life installing Linux for your friends and family if all they want to do is surf the web, listen to music, watch YouTube and create the odd Libre Office document. They will be ringing your support line the second they try and plug in that dodgy eBay Chinese webcam/shinynewdevice. It is not ready for the mainstream.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "It is not ready for the mainstream."

                Au contraire!

                The mainstream is not ready for Linux.

                There is a tide in the affairs of men,

                Which taken at the flood,

                Leads on to Linux.

                And the Redmond tide is surely ebbing away.

              2. jbuk1

                Re: So? - Addendum

                In my experience you'll have more luck on Linux with the dodggy Chinese webcam then you will on a recent Windows machine with driver signing turned on.

              3. PeteA

                Re: So? - Addendum

                And, sadly, I doubt that GNU/Linux ever will be ready for the mainstream (although it's been my personal choice for over ten years). The distinction between Linux-the-kernel and GNU/Linux-the-OS is becoming more important than ever when one remembers that the ?majority? platform is now Google/Linux, aka Android. Linux is a nice kernel which, at least in my experience, is significantly superior to the Windows kernel; unfortunately, outside of Android, userland is at best clunky and at worst downright hostile.

                I'm willing to go through the pain of periodically having to reconfigure the bluetooth setup because of some breaking change in bluez/alsa/pulse/$PACKAGE and that of having to type some cryptic commands to get an A2DP connection in exchange for the computational efficiency, decent file systems and ability to build an environment that fits with my preferences, but that's the last thing that my (Mac-user) wife would want to have to contend with.

                Just for a rant, I personally don't think that __any__ of the mainstream OS's actually get things right because the security contexts are defined in terms of users (UID in *nix, SID in Windows); that worked fine for non-networked machines with trusted code and ensures that the machine can't be hosed by a rogue process. Unfortunately, it doesn't take process isolation into account ("Facebook can access my photos, but Word can't") or the "soft" context (my holiday photos vs my "personal" collection) - even worse, a web browser is a single process from the OS perspective but can be doing almost anything across multiple different contexts. In my mind, we can't achieve real security until these types ideas (properly thought out) are baked-in to the kernel itself.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: So? - Addendum

                  While a user & not in any sense a developer I have just switched to a new, (To me) Linux distro & I'd suggest that any current/potential Linux users give it a try, (Live DVD).

                  It's called Rosa & its Russian despite which it's damned good, has large repo's & a clean desktop. It's available in all the main desktop versions although the KDE one is particularly decent.

              4. VinceLortho

                Re: So? - Addendum

                After the 750th return with a customer citing "No Linux drivers" they'll have one quickly coded.

                When I was building custom drivers for digital medical imaging systems one vendor refused to provide interface specs to our company citing we were too small to be bothered with. When our client (a very large medical school) added support for our software as a non-negotiable requirement for the multi-million $ contract to replace aging imaging equipment the OEM would not stop phoning and emailing until I answered.

                Money talks.

              5. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So? - Addendum

                adding new badly supported hardware to linux machine.

                Firstly the problem you are talking about is the hardware vendor only providing support for the "most popular" OS. Ignoring that there are lots of linux people willing to code drivers for decent hardware the premise that windows remains the "most popular" OS is being undermined by MS themseleves.

                Lastly there are lots of other vendors who do support linux, if your mate has bought a bit of kit that only works on windows and ignores all the other machines out there then they are not going to last very long and neither will the limited support the vendor did offer. Better to get him to get a refund as he has been gyped

                Having bought kit that was windows only but then had support dropped by the OS in the past, I can tell you that windows has a far worse support history than linux even when the vendor is a fly by night.

            2. TheVogon

              Re: So? - Addendum

              "Can you pop around and fix my computer, it's broke"

              Your computer is out of money?! Or did you mean broken?

          2. Fred Goldstein

            Re: So? - Addendum

            ChromeOS is a reincarnation of what we used to use back in the 1980s, under the name "computer terminal". Like the Xterms of the late 1980s, it is graphical, not 24x80 text only, but it is not a computing platform, just a front end to someone else's computer. So while it may be useful for classroom settings where the school wants to keep control,l it is no more a substitute for a desktop OS than is a Lyft app a substitute for a car.

        2. Palpy

          Re: So? "...writing this for *you* Linux devs"...

          As far as Windows-mimic distros, Zorin is one of the more well-known. I haven't run it for awhile. I have run Q4OS. It has a "Control Panel" (or "Settings", depending on which look you choose). It has "My Computer" and "My Documents". It has an application menu, just like pre-8 Windows, except that the applications are properly sorted into categories and not just tossed in any-which-way.

          Have a squint at this screenshot and this one, for instance. Both Q4OS Linux, and both would be instantly familiar to a Windows user.

          So some Linux devs have been working on Windows-look, easy-to-use distros. And have been for years.

          That said, we're back to Windows-only applications -- Office, Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc -- and games, and the dearth of machines offered off-the-shelf with Zorin or Q4OS or similar.

          And all that said, I'm mostly in agreement with your points. For the user that needs to go under the hood a bit, it's still Linux. You're not going to find a registry or a bunch of dll files, and your knowledge about SysWOW64 and System32 folders is not going to be of much help. You'll have to learn other stuff instead.

          1. illiad

            Re: So? "...writing this for *you* Linux devs"...

            Yes, that may be very nice for the 'normal office workers' but what about those who want to get their browser settings going??

            eg showing date created/ modified, and little tweaks to IE, needed for proprietary web software to work (yes, upper management are still too paranoid to leave MS.. :( )

      2. Vince

        Re: So?

        In my case, the Windows 10 shenannigans, the multiple changes in direction for Windows Phone/Windows Mobile that have resulted in total destruction of market share and app support, and the "you will rent this software" approach have actually lost my business and I'm switching our entire business to macOS and the Apple ecosystem for everything else too. Thus far, life is considerably better.

        1. Vector

          Re: So?

          "...I'm switching our entire business to macOS and the Apple ecosystem for everything..."

          So...your solution to the Windows lock-in problem is to replace it with the Apple lock-in problem?

          Now you've locked yourself into software and hardware.

          Expensive hardware at that...

      3. Snake Silver badge

        Re: So?

        "They know that there are many millions of fans that will, in spite of all that MS has always done to screw them over, relentessly insist (time and time again) on having a MS virus running inside their kit."

        When an alternative OS can run Adobe CS / CC, plus all the legacy specialized industry apps without overhead or adding VM management layers, get back to me.

        We run Windows because we must. Get over it and get it though the gray matter. Businesses run Windows because Windows runs the apps that businesses need to get business done. From Windows-only hardware support to millions of terrabytes of data in Windows-only application files, we are stuck with Windows for the foreseeable future.

        1. Agamemnon

          Re: So?

          And there it is, right there.

          If Adobe would port CS/CC to Linux (not a far stretch from the code-base for the Mac) myself and others here will be ass-deep in folk *demanding* we install Linux on their desktops. My better half (Designer) would set her desktop on bloody *fire* (tendency to blame hardwre for softwre problems), place her hands on hips, and say "Well? Where's my new Linux box?" to which I'd respond by grabbing my coat and heading to Fry's (for new hardware, I already have half a dozen distros on my key-ring).

          *I* think InkScape is (very seriously subjectively) better than Illustrator HOWEVER, GIMP and Photoshop...isn't. Photoshop folk are not going to leave Adobe (I learned this at WiReD in the 90s) and until that little gap gets bridged, folk who could and would use the hell out of Linux (or BSD) won't because their Primary Work Tool simply isn't available.

          From a Professional/SoHo standpoint, there is very little else that Linux can't accomplish (better) than Windows (in every respect) but the lack of Creative Suite is a crushing liability...more than it seems it should be. But...there it is.

          An OS, no matter the quality, will always be hamstrung but the availability, or lack, of Applications users need (I'm not putting *want* here).

          [The Gimp...because, GIMP]

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: So?

            Don't personally use CS (my brother does, and I recognise all you say) but I do use Xara(*), which is Windows-only. My main machine at work is dual-boot Windows 7 / OpenSuse and I use OpenSuse for almost everything else.

            I've tried Inkscape (use it at home where there's no Windows at all) and it doesn't quite do it for me, though it's not bad.

            My theory as to why this type of software isn't available on Linux is very simple - Linux users aren't used to paying hundreds of pounds for software. Port Xara to Linux and the developers think people would expect it to be free, or at best a few tens of pounds. So they don't.


            (*)full disclosure - I came via Acorn's Draw, and Xara's shared heritage really helped the transition.l

          2. Hans 1

            Re: So?

            >If Adobe would port [...]

            I stopped right there, Adobe have a bunch of useless programmers so why in Bohr's name would you want to use their software?

            No, Adobe, you MUST stay on that Titanic with slurp, farewell!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    To see someone giving planned obsolescence a swift kick in the nuts !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good...

      yeah, those bastard Redmond teenagers


      1. Agamemnon

        Re: Good...

        I live in Redmond. You have no idea what little shits are spawned from the Kool-Aid drinking sub-primates that work for Microsoft.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Good...

      Now all you need is to get Intel and AMD to write drivers for Windows 7 for the new chips and chipsets...

      I thought that was a major stumbling block, that Intel, at least, weren't providing Windows 7 and 8 drivers for newer hardware.

      That means, Windows might work, but you won't be able to access all of the features of the hardware.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "you won't be able to access all of the features of the hardware."

        Which is acceptable, and very different from "you won't receive any fix, even if it is still compiled to work on older CPUs, just because we need to force you to use Windows 10, so we can also resell your data".

        Most of the time "drivers" for chips and chipsets are just a few .inf files describing them and optimizing some settings - as you can see the OS boots and installs even before you install them.

        1. Dave 15

          Re: "you won't be able to access all of the features of the hardware."

          Not sure this is about reselling data.

          I suspect it is more about windows 10 makes it simple for nsa and gchq to watch your every move

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And here is why windows is trash

    1/ Microsoft enforce arbitrary restrictions on existing products to try and force new OS upgrades

    2/ you can modify a DLL using a hex editor and the underlying OS doesn't mind executing that code... No wonder windows is such a huge steaming pile of malware serving zombie botnets.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: And here is why windows is trash

      So much for code signing.

      1. Erewhon

        Re: And here is why windows is trash

        "So much for code signing."

        RTFA -


        SFC scan errors will most likely occur as it will believe the integrity of the system has been compromised

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And here is why windows is trash

        "So much for code signing."

        Only boot and driver / kernel related code is checked in real time on Windows. Most other OSs wouldn't notice a binary change either.

    2. Chronos

      Re: And here is why windows is trash

      2/ you can modify a DLL using a hex editor and the underlying OS doesn't mind executing that code... No wonder windows is such a huge steaming pile of malware serving zombie botnets.

      Careful with that. I had to do just this with some binary blobs on a smart 'phone to get the "new" shiny Android GPS subsystem in Nougat to work (function name changes where the old function names got re-used, the bastards). That didn't notice a few bits flipped either.

      The point is not that Windows doesn't suck; it clearly does. The point is that all software sucks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And here is why windows is trash

        @chronos then you have a trash android device as my Nexus is extremely strict about any changes to anything on the system partition. The whole boot process is Checksum from start to end.

      2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: all software sucks

        "One question that arises frequently on alt.sysadmin.recovery is "Is there any operating system that doesn't suck?""

        "They all suck. Except AIX, which sucks raw eggs through a very thin straw."

      3. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: And here is why windows is trash

        What does the proliferation of botnets have to do with Windows not enforcing signatures on all system files? Malware doesn't have to be in the form of a system .dll to create a botnet or do encrypt your personal files. If the user has root level access, he's able to install programs that do root level things (malicious or otherwise), and signature enforcement won't stop that. The purpose of the OS, after all, is to run the programs the user wants to run, and if the user wants to run programs that end up doing harm, it's the job of the OS to make it happen. I don't like being told "no" by my PC... I own it, and if I tell it to do something, I want it to do it, not tell me "access denied" or what not.

        The only way to realistically combat that kind of threat would be to lock the system down, iOS style, so that user programs have so few privileges that they are unable to do anything at a low level. It's pretty hard to get an iPad really screwed up, as I understand... but you have to cede a great deal of control to Apple (on a device for which you paid dearly) in order to get that level of protection, and you're sure to be frustrated by Apple's limitations before long.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And here is why windows is trash

      "No wonder windows is such a huge steaming pile of malware serving zombie botnets."

      That are mostly controlled by REMOTELY compromised Linux boxes....

      Windows will refuse to boot if you change OS kernel related files. It has better chain of trust model capabilities (Secure Boot) that most other OSs - say off the shelf Linux for instance.

  4. seven of five

    Oh, the irony

    Now you need open source code to run Windows.

    Actually quite funny...

  5. Zog_but_not_the_first

    So, the people who will save us...

    ... from Microsoft are:

    Developers! Developers! DEVELOPERS!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So, the people who will save us...

      "Developers! Developers! DEVELOPERS!!"

      Developers FUCK YEAH!

      Coding again to save the mother fucking day yeah!

      Microsoft your game is through, you only have to answer to...

      Developers FUCK YEAH!

      1. I Like Heckling Silver badge

        Re: So, the people who will save us...

        Have an upvote to cancel out the downvote... because I actually got the reference/joke. :)

        Fuck Yeah!!!

        1. Zog_but_not_the_first
          Thumb Up

          Re: So, the people who will save us...

          @I Like Heckling

          Have an upvote to cancel the downvote that someone gave you because you gave me an upvote to cancel my downvote because someone didn't get the joke.

          Or was actually Ballmer. Still smarting from making a fool of himself.

          1. I Like Heckling Silver badge

            Re: So, the people who will save us...

            @ Zog_but_not_the_first

            Ditto :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    microsoft rush to patch "Security" issue

    So Now M$ will spend all their Dev time trying to stop this "exploit" working in the next "UPDATE" rather than making software that is better against "REAL" security issues that are being exploited in the wild.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "rather than making software that is better"

      That's been the story for way too long...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Says a lot when an OS is so unpopular you have to trick or force people to use it, along with breaking the alternatives.

    There is also the assumption that windows update will actually work. I have one windows 7 pc that stopped updating properly months ago, and a windows 10 install that just refuses to run the creators update.

    Good job I use Linux for 99% of the time....

    1. seven of five

      updates stopped (around december?)

      Had the same issue here (gaming, hers and my mother, the three die hards I can not migrate) and it might be related to the silverlight update from december.

      Disable automatic updates and stop the wuaserv service (the one running under svchost control and staying up at an entire core), then rescan for updates manually. Should show up with three to four important patches, ~300Mb.

      Afterwards reboot and reenable automatic updates.


      1. TheVogon

        Re: updates stopped (around december?)

        "Disable automatic updates and stop the wuaserv service (the one running under svchost control and staying up at an entire core), then rescan for updates manually. Should show up with three to four important patches, ~300Mb."

        An easier method to resolve most of these type of issues is to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter at

    2. I Like Heckling Silver badge

      I had 2 PC's both running W7 that stopped getting any updates at all after I had to resort to blocking attempts to upgrade them without permission to W10.

      It took weeks of reading up on things and trying dozens of fixes before I finally got it working again... Worth noting that I got zero decent advice from MS and had to resort to the online treasure trove of sites that offer advice to people in these kinds of situations.

      What worked on one system, didn't work on the other though.

      I was going to upgrade my gaming rig to a Ryzen based system later this year... then I thought that I might be better of upgrading the 6 core FX cpu to the 8 core one instead and upgrading the GPU instead after reading about this (I heard about it last year and thought it was so stupid that it'd never actually happen).. So to hear just 2 days later that some clever dev has already found a way around it... the upgrade may be back on the cards once price drop to more sensible levels. I'm sticking with W7 until EOL in 2020 partly because I despise the way MS have pushed W10 and partly because my media server is used with Media Centre and there is no alternative that works with the Remote controls I have. Even after W7 is no longer supported I may continue to usebehind a firewall and continue to use it as my mediaserver, or perhaps convert it to FreeNAS.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Works for stalled as well as new

      Re new Windows 7 SP1 installation:

      1 Install W7 without any internet connection enabled

      2 Set the Windows Update option to 'Never download automatically'

      3 Install the following updates manually, in this order (download them on another PC)

      • KB3020369

      • KB3177467

      • KB3172605

      • KB3207752

      4 Connect to the internet

      5 Search for updates - shouldn't take more than 10 minutes

      6 Give thanks to from whom this advice springs

      1. psychonaut

        Re: Works for stalled as well as new

        or use wsus offline. miles quicker than win update

        i also wonder if that would work as a work around for the 7 and 8 update block from ms?

      2. pLu

        Re: Works for stalled as well as new

        Might as well install the big Convenience Rollup Update for Windows 7 SP1 (KB3125574) while you're at it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Says a lot when an OS is so unpopular "

      Over 400 million users doesn't seem unpopular to me!

      Even if you don't like the Windows 10 concept if you a) disable the telemetry and b) install a Windows 7 style interface why would anyone care it wasn't Windows 7?

  8. TonyJ Silver badge

    Oh, Microsoft, WTF are you smoking?

    You seem to be hell bent on destroying all support from your customers and whatever little good feeling you had left. If any, at this point.

    I've spent almost all of my career around Windows and Citrix but I am watching both companies make what appear to be monumentally stupid decisions time after time after time.

    We all get it - you want to push as many customers (feels more like victims the way you're going about it though, tbh) onto your shiny new platforms. You always did. But at least you gave us time and allowed us to make the choices as to what and when.

    But here we are again - your Enterprise customers need stability. They need trust. They need to know that you won't keep trying to monetise their every frigging click.

    I'm currently at one place that still uses Vista. Windows 10 is being slowly rolled out - with the emphasis on slowly - to make sure things like, oh you know, legacy applications still work.

    It's getting harder and harder to justify your thinking. Scratch that - I don't even bother any more.

    1. WonkoTheSane

      "Oh, Microsoft, WTF are you smoking?"

      I dunno, but I'm pretty sure the place where they grew it will be on the news once the cops find it.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge


        It was home grown in Seattle... a guy I knew at school moved there just for that reason!

      2. Wee Heavy

        "Oh, Microsoft, WTF are you smoking?"

        Washington state? Microsoft probably has a license to grow the stuff. Which would explain a lot.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: "Oh, Microsoft, WTF are you smoking?"

          and the message to all new hires:

          "Welcome to Microsoft! Here's your bong."

      3. Agamemnon

        I was going to say that it's completely legal here and in concentrated form(s), but then I realized that what they're smoking and what I'm smoking probably aren't similar.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "You seem to be hell bent on destroying all support from your customers and whatever little good feeling you had left. If any, at this point."

      They're just trying to be thorough about it.

    3. P. Lee

      >Scratch that - I don't even bother any more.

      That's my view. Window is just too hard.

      Difficult because something is powerful and flexible is one thing. Difficult because of an inappropriate UI or because a vendor is attempting social engineering or licensing shenanigans is something else.

  9. msknight

    Give Linus Tech Tips a nudge

    Linus Tech Tips gets their hands on some of the latest processors. They'd be in a good position to check this.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I asume if you run Windows in a VM

    there is no concern?

    1. dgc03052

      Re: I asume if you run Windows in a VM

      Not zero concern, but it is easy enough to solve.

      For example, a Virtualbox 64 bit client I have shows the Xeon host cpu type, but you can override that the configuration files. YMMV depending on the Hypervisor.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I asume if you run Windows in a VM

        Not so in Vmware ESXi but hacking the .dll will work for now.

        I am sure whatever you can do in Virtualbox can be replicated but I have not tried yet !!!

        I have a 56xx Xeon in a home lab, so not exactly latest tech, yet get the same MS message as the new CPU's.

        MS seem to be quite happy to 'p*** off' all their old customers in the rush to monitise everything via the wonderful world of windows 10.

        1. dgc03052

          Re: I asume if you run Windows in a VM

          Looks like I might have mis-remembered where I did this, or at least I don't find the reference for VirtualBox at the moment, but shows cpu id masking in VMware...

          I think I ran into this trying to run an older Mac image on a new (non-Mac) machine, required some hacking, but nothing major.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lol, just lol.

    Didn't think someone would formulate a fix this quickly.

    It's crazy to see how much things have changed over the last two decades. With Win95/98, Windows seemed unstoppable as a desktop platform. Linux and other alternatives were niche players, the general perception was that the software wasn't good enough for general use, and if you put a Linux machine in front of a user they wouldn't be able to cope with the changes in interface. I tried SuSe in 2001 for the first time on an old PC and apart from the arcade games it came with, there was very little in the way of support for games on it.

    Fast forward to now and Microsoft seem determined to destroy their own userbase with their imposed UI and telemetry changes, Valve's initial push for multi-platform seems to be slowly working with games, and browser/office software available for Linux is extensive and in some cases easier to use than Microsoft's Office suite. The perception of users has changed from what I've seen as well - the smartphone generation, comfortable with Android and iOS don't seem as insistent on Windows and can get to grips with most interfaces you put in front of them. I flattened the better half's netbook recently and put Debian on it for her (it crawled under Win7) and she's over the moon. Was expecting some complaints about things that were different or software that wasn't there, but none ever materialised.

    I see Microsoft in real trouble here. A combination of their direction and their rivals catching up (or surpassing them) could shift their grip on the Desktop. I can forgive them the odd duff version (ME, Vista, 8) but this is different. They're imposing changes on users that aren't desired nor helpful. For me, the final straw has been the telemetry collection - if you could easily turn it off I'd (reluctantly) upgrade, but I have no interest in hacking through the registry and configuration of an OS where the next well-hidden update could turn it on without me being easily alerted. They're starting to alienate the bulk of their userbase - the user who isn't that familiar with Windows or how it works, but they use it because they're more familiar with it than any other OS. Like my non-techy parents, who had their shared laptop borked by a Win10 upgrade that was forced on them and couldn't be rolled back.

    The only reason I keep Windows now is for games. Steam on Linux gives me access to about a third of my library at the moment (hopefully that will continue to slowly increase), I'm fortunate enough to be able to do all of my work on Debian or a Mac, the available Linux software is good enough for my needs. Think I'll be going Debian with my next PC build - probably dual boot with a carefully airgapped Windows 7 install for games that won't support Linux. If Microsoft keep this up, 7 will be the last domestic version of Windows I use.

  12. Hilmi Al-kindy

    Many applications are only available in windows with only limited support on Linux and Mac. As long as that is the case Windows will continue to rule.

    In astronomy, some key applications have no complete viable alternative on the Mac and linux. Many alternatives support limited range of hardware and are missing specialised functions. So either you get custom written software, limitwd hardware choices or limited functionality. Only remaining option is Windows. And no Indi does not have broad support like ASCOM

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      "Many alternatives support limited range of hardware and are missing specialised functions"

      Is this hardware connected via USB ports or RS232?

      If so you can probably use a Windows VM for driving your telescope/camera/etc since most emulators allow for simple connection of common PC I/O ports.. Then you don't have underlying hardware platform issues and can easily save the VM and move it to another machine as needed.

    2. David Shaw

      for those dedicated Astronomy apps why not try using, say, Windows 7 in a VM on a 2012 core-i5 Macmini (12GB)

      OS X 'El Capitan' (10.11.6) runs Win7x64 in VMware Fusion 6.0.6 very well - snappily even!

      macOS 'Sierra' (10.12.4) runs Win7x64 in Parallels Desktop 12 reasonably well (it was cheaper than the VMWare 8.5 upgrade) however kids complain that Roblox is laggy - it was better in VMware 6.0.6

      or, install Linux Mint on a multi-core/multi-thread PC with 12 - 16GB RAM then sudo apt-get install virtualbox;sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-dkms

      I just counted and I now have around thirty VM's on disk, I'll be migrating some to my new Pentium Kaby Lake G4560 build

      1. Hilmi Al-kindy

        I don't see the point of installing linux so I can run windows in a vm when I can run windows natively. Also, lots of hardware is serial but more and more hardware is natively usb like cameras.

        Same applies to othwr areas, astronomy was just an example

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          "I don't see the point of installing linux so I can run windows in a vm when I can run windows natively"

          Err, wasn't the point of the article that you won't be able to, unless you got to Win10 or stick to old hardware? A pretty good reason to virtulise in my book.

          Also easier to change hardware (no re-licensing as Windows won't see the change) and less malware problems as many of the nastier sort don't run in VM environments to thwart analysis, and there is a damn sight less* for Linux in the first place if you use it for email and web browsing.

          [*] less != none, you still have to patch Linux boxes and not to do dumb stuff.

        2. Infernoz Bronze badge

          @Hilmi Al-kindy

          Virtualbox supports USB 1.1 , 2.0 and 3.0 via the optional Extension Pack, so that is a non issue.

          VirtualBox supports Snapshots (say before a risky change), and supports saving the current state of the OS so that you can park the OS faster than its own shutdown method, then restart it later with the reloaded state.

          Using a VM also allows other VMs to be set-up to access a stopped VM's virtual disk(s) e.g. to do repairs which would otherwise need an external CD or USB drive, or separate machine with a full OS.

          I run a Windows 7 server-like instance on a Windows 10 box for portability, security, control and recoverability, reasons. Being a VM allowed it to be rapidly moved to another machine temporarily until I was able to get a failed machine replaced, without the quite significant time & hassle of a new OS install and application set-up! I could probably have run the same VM on a Linux box too.

    3. DNTP

      Re: limited availability on Linux/OSX

      Bioinformatics is like that also. A lot of our older instrumentation is Windows-only and under support contracts that probably would not be concordant with VM's, and many third-party licensed applications are Windows exclusive.

      That said all the open source stuff that we also depend on is heavily oriented toward Linux/POSIX. This actually causes problems with training since working here is often the first time that some of the younger generation has ever used a non-Windows PC.

      Companies providing modern next-generation sequencing equipment and the computers to run it have also taken a giant step away from Windows dependency and I can say professionally that this is a great benefit towards support, reliability, and development.

    4. Pete4000uk

      I noted that during an episode of 'The Sky at Night' a few months back, one of the large observatory s used Debian on its desktops

  13. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Microsoft does not care

    about the non corporate user base.

    Think about it.

    They have this lovely cash cow of Windows 10 and Office 365. They have most businesses by the short and curlies. Even more so with a bit of upselling and you get Sharepoint added into the Mix.

    Bingo! You have a cash flow from renting software that pretty well every other business on the planet can only drool about.

    Their dabbling with phones and surface is enough to keep those who might be considering moving away on message.

    XBox is a side show by comparison (IMHO).

    I am so happy that I got off the corporate merry-go-round and ditched MS for good.

    YMMV and probably will.

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Microsoft does not care

      It's just a matter of time before enterprises start wising up and moving to Libre or Open Office, and the only real showstopper is Outlook/Exchange which doesn't (yet) have a feelalike open source alternative.

      As for me, despite having Office 365 I recently installed LibreOffice so I could get some work done - Excel 2016 is horrifically bug ridden, keeps freezing, crashing or just stops updating the screen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Zippy - Re: Microsoft does not care

        Based on all IT managers I know, Microsoft will enjoy a long life on enterprise computers. They are blissfully unaware of any alternative and they can barely spell the word Linux.

        So, to contradict you, enterprises will never wise up. Ever!

        P.S. Me too I was able to salvage a corrupted MS Excel fie using LibreOffice.

      2. Infernoz Bronze badge

        Re: Microsoft does not care

        I saved a trainee consultant from having to fork out for Office 365 just to make a simple change to a provided document by showing him LibreOffice.

        I also found pre Office 365 Excel really crap for multiple spreadsheets (a significant pain for work) because it can't (reliably) show multiple at the same time (I have no idea this has been fixed in Office 365), but LibreOffice can and is much better at parsing delimited text files too! You can even get a usable port of LibreOffice for Android, which I found very useful with a BT mouse and BT keyboard.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Microsoft does not care

          For multiple spreadsheets in Excel you have to load up a separate instance if you want to put them side by side and have independent control of both. Much easier with 2 screens. Also having two instances opened means you can copy and paste as CSV, great if you have some dodgy formatting that wont play ball and you need to move between sheets (you know the stuff Oracle Right Now or SAP likes to spit out).

        2. TheVogon

          Re: Microsoft does not care

          "I saved a trainee consultant from having to fork out for Office 365 just to make a simple change to a provided document by showing him LibreOffice."

          No need to have to download and install that crud, or pay for Office 365


          Office online is free...

      3. Huw D

        Re: Microsoft does not care

        If people think it's just moving to Libre/OpenOffice and a decent replacement for Outlook/Exchange to appear for Linux to become a solution then they need their bumps felt.

        My clients are Insurers/Finance Companies/Architects/Lawyers. Office and Email are small potatoes compared to the investment in the software that actually runs their businesses. There are no Linux alternatives and I suspect there never will be,

    2. moonpunk

      Re: Microsoft does not care

      I’m not sure I understand the point you’re trying to make (other than the usual “Microsoft are evil and we all hate them <blah> <blah> <blah>…”

      You say “Microsoft does not care about the non corporate user base” but this move absolutely does harm to the corporate user base - almost exclusively.

      A consumer buying a new PC today with the latest Intel Kaby Lake chipset will likely buy the PC complete with an OS. It is highly probable that the OS bundled with that PC will be Windows - and the vendor will install Windows 10 (not least because the drivers to support the Kaby Lake chipset on Windows is only for Windows 10). There won’t be many consumers that will be buying a new PC to run a previous version of Windows on - that’s for sure.

      However, there will be many corporates who will! They will do a deal with the vendor to bulk buy PC hardware and (if bought in sufficient numbers) to buy without an OS. They will want to run a previous version of Windows (8.1 or 7) - just some of the reasons for this will be: -

      - They have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement which already provides them with a Windows licence

      - They don’t have Software Assurance with that EA agreement and therefore don’t have access to Windows 10 (thereby needing to run a previous version)

      - They have specific Line of Business applications which are incompatible or not supported on Windows 10

      - They have a corporate build of a previous version of Windows and now is not a good time for them to invest in creating a new one

      Microsoft are absolutely not caring about the corporate user base here - the complete opposite of what you’re whinging about!

  14. Patrick R

    Microsoft capitalisme

    From "IBM compatible" in the 80's to "Windows incompatible" today. We call it progress.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easiest fix ever ...

    don't bloody install Windows.

    message ends.

    1. TheSolderMonkey

      Re: Easiest fix ever ...

      Er, yeah, OK.

      Let's think about that. My current tool set is:

      Freescale codewarrior.

      Lattice Diamond.

      Green Hills Multi

      Cypress PSoC creator.

      Cadence ORCAD / Allegro.

      Texas Instruments BQ Eval, Battery management studio & TINA.

      IDT Timing commander

      Xgig Analyser

      Eagle & KiCAD.

      GreenPAK designer

      PLX SDK.

      etc. etc.

      I don't use an OS, I use the tools that run on the OS. I give not a poop about the OS itself, provided it is functional and stable.

      I'm a hardware designer. I'm using tools developed by chip vendors to allow me to poke around inside their chips. The tools are generally ONLY written for Windows, because that's what everyone has.

      I *could* run Windows in a VM under Linux. But I would spend my entire day in the VM. The Linux layer wouldn't add much to my experience. The VM is an unwanted extra layer of complication.

      I don't condone or even like what Microsoft are doing. The truth is I hate the direction they are taking their company. I want to buy software, not rent it. And they can copulate freely with themselves if they think I'm going to voluntarily sign up for W10's snooping.

      So I'm on W7 and will remain so. When I need new hardware, I guess I'll the only option will be W7 under a VM, it's not something I'd want. It's just the least unpalatable option.

  16. Jonathan 27

    Until Microsoft releases a patch that actually doesn't function on your new CPU, because they don't test them anymore.

    Honestly, give up and move for a supported OS, doesn't matter which one. Microsoft is dedicated to making your life difficult, so why let them?

  17. handleoclast


    If this patch becomes popular, Microsoft will take note and start releasing updates that fuck things up if you run them on old CPU architectures. They told those architectures were not supported but you chose to hack your OS to run them so it's all your fault.

    Yeah, it's a shame that due to the time it took you to resolve the problem by purshasing new computers and restoring data from backup (you do have backups, don't you?) that your business went bust. But it's your own fault. Thank you for using Microsoft.

  18. inmypjs Silver badge

    Of course we wouldn't have this problem if...

    Windows 10 wasn't so completely shit they couldn't give it away.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @inmypjs - Re: Of course we wouldn't have this problem if...

      Did they really give it away ?

      1. TheVogon

        Re: @inmypjs - Of course we wouldn't have this problem if...

        "Did they really give it away ?"

        They still do. See

  19. Roland6 Silver badge

    Any one received a warning?

    Looking at Zeffy's GitHub page, I wonder if anyone who has installed the March rollups has been given notification, that they have had to positively acknowledge and give opt-in consent, that their system will only in future be receiving security updates.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Aye right!

    I know many Fortune 500 CIOs who'll be rushing to install an unknown patch from Github so they can buy new PCs just to run Windows 7.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Aye right!

      Don't give the man down-votes for he speaks the truth.

      Not only Fortune 500 CIOs but millions of other various levels of IT management will do the same.

  21. GrapeBunch

    Not the promo for "Romeo and Juliet"

    Zeffy. Movie director Franco Zeffirelli gives new twist on old tail.

  22. Dinsdale247

    Why are you B!tching?

    - Apple pushes massive updates to all phones and computers ensuring your old hardware becomes useless

    - Android Phones RARELY get any patches at all unless it's a flagship and even then...

    - Google only supports two major versions of their own OS. Period.

    - Linux kernel changes CONSTANTLY break drivers and board support packages. Try maintaining a GNU/Linux embedded system

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why are you B!tching?

      -Apple have always followed the timed obsolescence paradigm, well known and not unexpected in any way.

      -Android Phones are not comparable with a general purpose OS designed for a x86/x64 based PC.

      -Googles stance is once again not a surprise and unknown to their customers.

      -Linux does not ship *working* on a set of hardware then out of choice of a developer *stops working* because of no other reason than 'because you can make it break'. (i.e. surely an embedded system stays working as the hardware does not change. Only if you choose to change the s/w and/or hardware will it possibly break.)

      MS have chosen to stop the OS updating on a configuration that has previously worked or could reasonably be expected to work based on previous CPU's that have been used.

      The CPU's are not incompatible with the basic x86/x64 instruction set and only if MS choose to use instructions in their s/w that are intended to 'mis-fire' on the new generation of CPU's to prove a point, will they be a problem. [Why would you build in such an issue by choice? I am sure Intel have been working with MS to create this problem/opportunity ..... win/win for both companies.!!!. Google are NOT the only company that can work with the chip makers.!!!]

      MS is doing all this 'contrived nonsense' to evolve their customers to a image of the 'Apple model' with control over the OS, hardware and software with timed obsolescence as a control to keep the customers moving/buying all the time. PC's/Laptops etc last too long and the OS is too stable from a purchasing point of view. This keeps the 'handle cranking' by itself just like in the 'Apple scented garden' !!! :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why are you B!tching?

        The next move will be win10 will start evolving so that 'certain' features are *only* available if you use certain hardware that is 'Designed for win10' [i.e. the right hardware / CPU combination that is licensed by MS]. Sound familiar ...... Apple Hardware for Apple OSes and Apple certified s/w & h/w addons, at a point in time some of the hardware will not be supported and not run with the latest OS properly, if at all.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is Windows? It sound innovative.

  25. Fenton

    Does not Compute

    So the hack lets you get new updates, compiled for the previous architecture. Will never have been tested on the newer chips, so may well end up with performance issues/stability problems?

    Time to move on I think.

  26. Carl D

    MS are already on to it

    Looks like Microsoft have already taken steps to block this workaround. As expected.

    Pity they're not as quick off the mark with PROPERLY TESTED updates and bug fixes these days...

  27. WebLogons

    Do VMs really solve this issue?

    I was always led to believe that a host and a guest (VM) "saw" the same CPU. So, for example, if the host was Linux running on a Ryzen, then any guest VM would also see a Ryzen. Is this not the case?

    1. TheVogon

      Re: Do VMs really solve this issue?

      Not necessarily. A Hypervisor can make your VM think it is on an older generation CPU than the actual one in use.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3D people like me have been downgrading to Win 7 because Windows 10 ties up the vRAM on our graphics cards - 1.3Gb unavailable on an 8Gb card is significant - but moreso because the available vRAM is limited to that of the lowest-rated card - having three GTX 1080s does not equate to 24Gb vRAM, but 8 - so if I want the vRAM I paid nVidia for, I have to run 7 on bleeding-edge hardware. But hey, there's only a couple million of us - spare a thought for the NHS running XP...

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