No More GWX!
A reader writes:
Ralph, here is shocker that I got this past week. I put my laptop in sleep mode during the middle of the day and then later that night I looked at the screen to find it running. I looked closer to see that it was installing Windows 10 without my permission or any action by me. You talk about hijacking a computer: this is just about the ultimate: it warning me not to shut off the computer to stop it.
Microsoft wonders why people hate them, and then they do cr*p like this. If I were a lawyer I would sue them for hijacking my computer. Had I needed to do some work, I could not have for several hours. What was a nice, easy-to-use computer is now a pain, because it takes more steps to do simple tasks. The startup menu is a real piece of cr*p, and so bad I am now pinning most programs I run to the taskbar. Don't like doing that on general principle, but it beats wading through multiple picks to do something that had been simple.
The good news is that you have 30 days to uninstall Windows 10.
The other good news is that many other people and tech publications are also outraged at Microsoft taking over computers like a poorly-written virus from Eastern Europe. The bad news is that Microsoft doesn't care about you, but what else is new!
The reason this occurred to your computer is that Microsoft unilaterally changed the Windows 10 update (the GWX program -- "Get Windows 10") to a recommended update. If you have Windows set up to install recommended updates automatically, you get snookered.
Should you stay with Windows 10, you can get a replacement for the confusing Start menu through Start10 from Stardock. I used their Start8 program extensively to fix the dreadful-UI problem of Windows 8 running on computers belonging to relatives and friends. $5 from http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/download.asp.
(Here's a tip for any release of Windows since Vista: to find a program or file quickly, just click the Start button, and then begin typing; no need to go into search mode with Explorer.)
In general, my advice to people is only upgrade to Windows 10 if they have a touch screen computer. Otherwise, stay with Windows 7 (or fix Windows 8 with Start8). The biggest headache about Windows 10 is not the unnecessarily confusing UI actually, but having to turn off all of Microsoft's surveillance options.
To keep Microsoft from invading the privacy of your computer, I recommend installing GWX Control Panel from http://blog.ultimateoutsider.com/2015/08/using-gwx-stopper-to-permanently-remove.html. It is free, and I found it to be effective. My highly-optimized desktop computer is how I make my living, and I cannot have Microsoft attempting to destroy my livelihood.
As the GWX Control Panel reports on my computer's status: "No traces of the Get Windows 10 app, Windows 10 upgrade settings, or Windows 10 installation files found. You appear to be safe!"
Meanwhile, I have a Windows 8 computer that Microsoft still hasn't figured out how to update to 8.1, despite many attempts by the software behemoth for two years now.
Count me among the victims. Was in the middle of a Bricscad session and before I knew it Win10 shut me down & was downloading. Good thing not a lot was lost, but this is downright sinister! My inclination is to revert back to Win7 but if I do will that take a chance of really screwing something up?
Posted by: Tim Neumann | May 23, 2016 at 01:21 PM
This article may help you move back to normal Windows:
"How to go back to Windows 7 or 8 after an unwanted Windows 10 upgrade" by PC World
Posted by: Ralph Grabowski | May 23, 2016 at 02:56 PM
Classic Shell is another start menu replacement
Restores some sanity to those with Windows 10.
Windows 10 strikes me as some sort of unfinished art project i.e. It's largely form over function. Has many flash looking windows that open with little to no useful content. In most cases to do anything you need to pick the details option (if there), which simply opens the original Windows 7 one. Why do something in one step, when you can do it in two or three?
Making a VPN connection is the worst. this used to be a simple one step process. Now you have to go through several windows to do the same. Why?????????
My search in Explorer has also got alzheimer's. Can't find files that I can already see in the current folder.
Posted by: Jason Bourhill | May 29, 2016 at 04:08 PM
Cloudy with a chance of Windows...
Posted by: Grant Taylor | Jun 01, 2016 at 08:18 PM
I HATE Microsoft. I had no idea how horrible it was with a PC until I got one. At my job, they did have MS computers, but we had an IT person to trouble-shoot.
Then I got a desktop MAC for home. The difference was amazing. I also got a PC for in the living room. Worst decision. The thing (PC) like many have said, automatically updates, you have no warning, no choice. It is barbarian. I hate the PC and MS. Now that I have spoken to so many people, I realize that those who continue to use a PC/MS is because they never tried Apple -- they don't know the difference! And Microsoft plays at the heart strings of people who never tried a MAC. I am on this PC now, and am so aggravated. It already erased my first post, and then it moved me into a different tab. There is no rhyme or logic to it. Bill Gates has left it to, obviously, incompetent programmers, or lazy people, and those who don't know the difference, think they just have to put up with this. Not so! I am going to get a used MAC for my living room and dumping this PC. I become so aggravated using it, and it's not worth it anymore. (Make a bet that Bill Gates secretly uses a MAC.)
A friend of mine in Canada who is a well-known computer person world-wide, is the one who told me to get an Apple. He said to me: "Run, do not walk, to your nearest Apple store and buy a MAC." Until then, I only used Microsoft - at work and home. I DID run to Apple, got my MAC and realized it is a dirty little secret that Microsoft is good. Microsoft, obviously, has no intention to make its machines better -- not to mention taking them over without your permission -- I have lost enough stuff from that. One minute I'm working on a project, and the next, the machine is shutting down -- and I have no control over it!!
Get a MAC - you won't regret it. No wonder Apple has been growing -- as people switch, they don't go back to MS. Maybe people didn't like Steve Jobs, but he was the smarter of the two of them (Bill and Steve). A MAC is truly a beautiful design. Just go through an Apple store and browse - you'll automatically see the difference. I love Apple!
Posted by: Lee | Dec 19, 2016 at 01:38 PM