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Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 16 Sep 2015, 23:02
by brainout
Click here, then click on the red 'comments' button, then search on 'Asok Smith' to see the quote below.

Asok Smith wrote:The really horrible thing that's going on is if you actually "upgrade" to Windows 10, but then roll it back, the upgrade keeps downloading and trying to reinstall forever. To wit:

How to Fix Infinite Windows 10 Reinstalls After Rollback From a W7/W8 W10 "Upgrade" and How to Fix Certain Other Rollback Issues

I just had a client who unwittingly allowed W10 to "upgrade" her W7 system. She asked me to roll W10 back to W7 because W10 was so fundamentally broken and slow it was unusable. Here's my story of that rollback.

First, the W10 All Settings menu was broken right from the get go after the W10 "upgrade", so until I fixed that, it was impossible to access Update and Security to perform the rollback.

Looking at Event Viewer, every time I tried to open All Settings, SynTPEnh.exe, one of the Synaptics touchpad driver helper programs, crashed.

Figuring that was causing the problem, I removed the Synaptics touchpad item from add/remove. For good measure, while I was at it, I removed Norton, figuring that might be problematic, as well as a few other applications like icloud, quicktime, and itunes, figuring they would be restored during the rollback anyway. Turns out that was a HUGE mistake though the rollback would have been impossible without removing at least the Synaptics software.

At any rate, after rebooting after removing all of this stuff, All Settings started functioning for the first time, and I could perform the rollback with Update and Security.

And then the nightmare began.

First, rolling back did not undo the original W10 reservation, so no matter what I did, I could not keep W10 from redownloading and reattempting to reinstall. Searching the web, I found no solution, but did find MANY people nearly in tears with the same problem. Looking at how all this works, it looks to me like probably everyone who rolled back from W10 is going to find that their reservation does not get cancelled and that W10 is going to attempt to reinstall forever.

But I finally came up with a solution that I think should work to solve this problem for everyone.

1. Make a Restore Point for insurance.

2. From the Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories, start a cmd window in Administrative mode by right clicking Command Prompt to expose the context sensitive drop down menu and left click on "Run as Administrator". Leave the cmd window open for subsequent commands, and after each reboot, immediately reopen cmd in Administrator mode like this for subsequent commands.

3. Set automatic updates to Never check for updates: cut & paste into the open cmd window:

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 00000001 /f

4. Disable and stop the Windows Update service (wuauserv): cut & paste into the open cmd window:

sc config wuauserv start= disabled

(note that the space after "=" is critical)

When that's done, cut and paste into the open cmd window:

net stop wuauserv

5. Now remove KB3035583: cut & paste into the open cmd window::

wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583 /norestart

Note, at this time, if you wish to go ahead and remove the recent plethora of W10 spyware that Microsoft has installed on your W7/W8 systems, you can repeat the above command as follows:

wusa /uninstall /kb:3022345 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:3068708 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:3075249 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:3080149 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:2990214 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:3012973 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664 /norestart
wusa /uninstall /kb:2976978 /norestart

(Note that not all of these will be on all systems.)

6. Restart the system. Note that sometimes after removing the above updates, the restart can take a LONG time, sometimes even hours; be patient, it should eventually complete.

7. Now delete C:\$WINDOWS.~BT via cleanmgr ("cleanmgr" cut and pasted into the cmd window), using its Clean Up System Files option which appears after cleanmgr makes its initial (lengthy) scan. After the second (lengthy) scan from using the Clean Up System Files option, you'll see one or two of the categories showing +GB sizes, though you can pretty much safely check all the categories for deletion if you wish (though I tend to leave the setup logs and error categories alone so you can see these in Event Viewer). Good instructions for doing this can be found at addictivetips DOT com/windows-tips/what-is-the-windows-bt-folder-on-my-hard-drive/

8. Delete the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder, which btw can't be deleted without first doing Step 4. Also, don't worry: when you eventually restart Updates, SoftwareDistribution will be recreated.

Cut & paste into the cmd window:

rmdir /s /q "%SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution"

9. Fire up regedit from the cmd window, and search for and remove all keys named GWX (and gwx). An easy way to do this is to use the match whole string option of regedit's search box. Also the search is case insensitive so all GWX/gwx will be found in one search no matter which way you type it. There will be 4-6 instances of this key in the registry.

10. Still in regedit, clear out all keys and values from HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate EXCEPT what's shown below. If the optional ElevateNonAdmins or NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption don't exist, ignore. If DisableOSUpgrade doesn't exist (and it probably won't) create it as a DWORD with value 1.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
"ElevateNonAdmins"=dword:00000001
"DisableOSUpgrade"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU]
"NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption"=dword:00000001

11. Still in regedit, clear out all keys and values from HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade except what's shown below. If DWORD values AllowOSUpgrade or ReservationsAllowed don't exist or have values of "1", create them and/or set to "0". Set DWORD OSUpgradeState to "1". Don't worry about OSUpgradeStateTimeStamp.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade]
"AllowOSUpgrade"=dword:00000000
"ReservationsAllowed"=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade\State]
"OSUpgradeState"=dword:00000001
"OSUpgradeStateTimeStamp"="2015-09-10 05:15:58"

12. Reboot

13. Set automatic updates to: Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them: cut & paste into the open cmd window:

REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update" /v AUOptions /t REG_DWORD /d 00000002 /f

14. Re-enable and start the Windows Update service (wuauserv): cut & paste into the open cmd window:

sc config wuauserv start= auto

(note that the space after "=" is critical)

When that's done, cut and paste into the open cmd window:

net start wuauserv

15. Now check for updates via Windows Update in Control Panel, and you should no longer see Windows 10 try to download and install, but instead normal W7/W8 updates should be working again. Be sure to uncheck KB3035583 (and any of the others you remove in Step 5), and then right click on them and select Hide, so they will never come back.


However, for me, the REAL nightmare began!

As it turns out, when you roll back from W10, the old W7/W8 registry is restored but NOT any modified and/or deleted Program files. Thus, there's a complete mismatch between the restored W7/W8 registry and any programs altered or deleted when in W10.

In my case, after the rollback to W7, icloud, Norton 360, Quicktime, iturns, Citrix and others had registry entries as if installed, but all of the installation files were missing.

Naturally, none of these would reinstall because of the (corrupted) apparent pre-existing installation, and of course they couldn't be uninstalled since the uninstaller files were missing.

So I used several tools such as zuninstaller and Windows Cleanup Utility to remove the Add/Remove objects, and manually removed other entries from HKLM/SOFTWARE. ccleaner might have been very helpful here, but I don't really trust it.

But worse, thousands of the "restored" registry entries had been corrupted in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\UserData\S-1-5-18\Components by having no ownership! Thus they could not be overwritten when reinstalling the programs.

I spent hours using powerful features in Registrar Registry Manager (RRM) Home Edition to find these keys and remove them in bulk. RRM was particularly vital because it could remove the no-owner keys, whereas regedit could not. Basically, once I found a bad key in Components, I did a search for all instances of that key in Components and then did a bulk delete with RRM.

Eventually, I was able to reinstall the programs I had uninstalled in W10.

Bottom line, Windows 10 itself is an absolute and total travesty, and rolling it back is likely to be a complete nightmare. Windows 10 is BY FAR the worst OS ever made by Microsoft, much worse than even W8.x, because W8.x can be made to behave pretty decently with Classic Shell and a few other tweaks, and does not have half the programs moved into the dumbed-down app mode and half the controls split beteen Control Panel and half in the dumbed-down app mode All Settings.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 19 Sep 2015, 03:46
by hupostasis
I just had a client who unwittingly allowed W10 to "upgrade" her W7 system. She asked me to roll W10 back to W7 because W10 was so fundamentally broken and slow it was unusable.


I think that claim is slightly unfounded. The client's system was the cause of being slow, not Windows 10 itself. I've stuck Windows 10 on very old machines (2005 / 2006) and it ran just as fast, if not faster than Windows 7.

And I've successfully upgraded a computer built with trash parts from Win 7 to 10 and it operates fast without issue.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 19 Sep 2015, 04:35
by brainout
Well, there are thousands who report quite the opposite in tenforums, in wilderssecurity forums, in bleepingcomputer.com, almost anywhere you look. So don't take the anecdotal evidence as true for everyone. That would be computer eisegesis.

In fact, take almost any Amazon review of Win10, or Computerworld, Infoworld, PC World, or ZDnet article on Windows 10 and look at the comments, see how the preponderance of them is about how people couldn't get Win10 to work. Or, query on 'Windows 10 Problems', and see how many thousands of problems are reported.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 19 Sep 2015, 19:19
by hupostasis
brainout wrote:Well, there are thousands who report quite the opposite in tenforums, in wilderssecurity forums, in bleepingcomputer.com, almost anywhere you look. So don't take the anecdotal evidence as true for everyone. That would be computer eisegesis.

In fact, take almost any Amazon review of Win10, or Computerworld, Infoworld, PC World, or ZDnet article on Windows 10 and look at the comments, see how the preponderance of them is about how people couldn't get Win10 to work. Or, query on 'Windows 10 Problems', and see how many thousands of problems are reported.


But I've used Windows 10 on *four* computers and did not have a bad experience with any of them. I had minor issues with one machine, but that's because I forced drivers on Windows 10 that were never made to work with Windows 10 (since the machine was so *old*); and I still had a usable computer in the end. Which actually is a testament to just how flexible Windows is.

Generally the issues people talk about are from when they upgrade a messy Windows 7 install, probably riddled with viruses and weird programs.

Okay, so I'm technical with computers and haven't had an issue as a result. And the people who are having issues are regular people (or clueless computer techs). I suppose the argument would then be: "Windows *should* work for people who are not technical". My argument in response would be: anyone who uses a computer should be technical. Ironically that's probably not Microsoft's response since they want a slice of the non-technical market using their products.

The fact still remains, however that Windows 10 is not slow.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 19 Sep 2015, 20:53
by brainout
It is reported as slow by many techies, not newbies. Please don't use anecdotal evidence as proof. Instead, do some research first. Just because YOU are having a good experience, doesn't mean your experience is true of the whole. It's fine to say you had no problem, but YOUR not having a problem does not refute the validity of those who do, for they too are computer techies, for the most part. Which, you'd know if you actually did some research.

Now, you're free to say whatever you like, but that also means rebuttals like this are free to occur as well: I gave you the method of verifying 'my' claims, since I've been studying the experiences of the many for the past two months online. So all YOU need to do -- as said prior -- is GOOGLE. So it would perhaps be a good idea to research claims before you claim to rebut them by mere dismissal that they are all somehow incompetent but you are not.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 19 Sep 2015, 22:12
by hupostasis
brainout wrote:It is reported as slow by many techies, not newbies. Please don't use anecdotal evidence as proof. Instead, do some research first. Just because YOU are having a good experience, doesn't mean your experience is true of the whole. It's fine to say you had no problem, but YOUR not having a problem does not refute the validity of those who do, for they too are computer techies, for the most part. Which, you'd know if you actually did some research.

Now, you're free to say whatever you like, but that also means rebuttals like this are free to occur as well: I gave you the method of verifying 'my' claims, since I've been studying the experiences of the many for the past two months online. So all YOU need to do -- as said prior -- is GOOGLE. So it would perhaps be a good idea to research claims before you claim to rebut them by mere dismissal that they are all somehow incompetent but you are not.


Well that's who my "cluess computer techs" statement was reserved for. They're the same kind of computers techs like the car mechanics who insist you need an oil change and new brakes every time you bring your car in.

Looking at pages of people complaining about performance, goes hand-in-hand with what I had already said:
http://www.tenforums.com/performance-ma ... -slow.html

owensdj wrote:Getting a black screen for a few minutes at boot is not normal. Something left over from Windows 7 is causing a problem with your upgraded Windows 10. Like I said, upgrades usually don't work well. You need to make sure the upgraded Windows 10 install is Activated with Microsoft and then do a fresh reinstall using a bootable DVD or USB flash drive.


Cross referenced with my statement:
hupostasis wrote:Generally the issues people talk about are from when they upgrade a messy Windows 7 install, probably riddled with viruses and weird programs.


And the people in that thread who did install Windows 10 from scratch had their problems go away. Why? Because they had a messy Windows 7 install.

Also continued here, the person having the 'slowness' performed an upgrade:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comm ... he_update/

Windows 10 will work on old core duos or pentium 4s and run okay. The system requirements are more or less the same as Windows 7 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/windows ... ifications).

And here's proof with one guy who installs it on an old Pentium 4 with 2 GB of RAM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfu6W6eaWBQ
The machine runs without an issue and isn't slow by any means once installed (of course some more CPU / GPU intense things like 3D games and movies will stress out the old P4s). Since it was the preview you'll see an exception message pop up on shut down, but all of the previews have done that. It is no longer extant on the commercial version.

Windows 10 isn't going to be any slower than Windows 7, unless you have a poor upgrade or a bad hard disk drive (or just a bad computer in general). People who *directly* claim that Windows 10 is slow are wrong since the operating system does not need a lot to have the basics operating.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 19 Sep 2015, 23:03
by brainout
You're cherrypicking to justify a position taken rather than looking at the whole. Don't be guilty of what you accuse the eisegetes of doing. I didn't have a bad installation nor bad operation experience with Windows 10. But the number who have, who are experts also, is so vast it's in all the tech news and comments. To pretend all those people are wrong but your experience is right, when they have specifics proving the fault is in the OS, is like the KJVO ignoring mistranslations.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 20 Sep 2015, 01:54
by hupostasis
brainout wrote:You're cherrypicking to justify a position taken rather than looking at the whole. Don't be guilty of what you accuse the eisegetes of doing. I didn't have a bad installation nor bad operation experience with Windows 10. But the number who have, who are experts also, is so vast it's in all the tech news and comments. To pretend all those people are wrong but your experience is right, when they have specifics proving the fault is in the OS, is like the KJVO ignoring mistranslations.


Basically, if someone does have issues with the Windows 7 to 10 upgrade, they should just install Windows 10 from scratch. So...
*If the 'upgrade' is slow, install fresh
*If your fresh install is slow, it has to do with your hardware or drivers <-- this is the point I'm sensitive over, since even an old computer can run it pretty fast

Microsoft can't fix issues pertaining to the upgrade since there are so many variables of software that people use (which is what I meant by a messy Windows 7 install). And people should know that. For example, watch what happens when you upgrade a single install from Windows 1.0 to Windows 8.0:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPnehDhGa14
(you end up with a load of junk)

If Microsoft doesn't state outright that your software and things you have done to configure Windows can interfere with the upgrade process well... the people performing the upgrade will have to take it up with Microsoft.

Re: Rolling Back from Win10, by Asok Smith

Posted: 20 Sep 2015, 03:22
by brainout
Okay, you're not thinking through or researching as I'd asked. So you just dig in your heels, I won't reply further.