Skip to comments.Like It Or Not, Microsoft Silently Downloads Windows 10, Grabbing Valuable Disk Space
Posted on 09/11/2015 9:18:22 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Just when we thought that all the hoopla surrounding privacy in Windows 10 and questionable disclosure practices was starting to die down, Microsoft has to go and stir the pot once again with another seemingly overzealous move. Its not enough that Windows 10 is installed on over 75 million PCs and counting; Microsoft is aiming for one billion installs within the next two to three years.
And to get to that one billion figure, Microsoft wants to entice customers to upgrade their Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines to Windows 10. Making the upgrade free during the first year of availability is a big factor in getting people to make the upgrade, but Microsoft is also wanting the upgrade process to proceed smoothly, minimizing any installation glitches and cutting down on download/install times for the operating system.
Its that last point that has Microsoft facing enormous heat this morning even from diehard Microsoft supporters. As it stands now, customers are given the choice to install Windows 10 if they wish. Microsoft has a little pop-up that appears for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users that allows them to reserve their copy of Windows 10 and install at their leisure. If you choose to proceed with installing Windows 10, you enter in your email address and wait patiently for the download to proceed. It was assumed that if you didnt want to install Windows 10, you could just ignore the prompt and go about your business without any further intrusion from Microsoft.
That isnt the case, however, says The Inquirer. One of the publications observant readers discovered a massive $Windows.~BT folder on his machine despite the fact that he never gave Microsoft the go ahead to initiate the Windows 10 download/installation process.
The symptoms are repeated failed 'Upgrade to Windows 10' in the WU update history and a huge 3.5GB to 6GB hidden folder labelled '$Windows.~BT'. I thought Microsoft [said] this 'upgrade' was optional. If so, why is it being pushed out to so many computers where it wasn't reserved, and why does it try to install over and over again?
I know of two instances where people on metered connections went over their data cap for August because of this unwanted download. My own internet (slow DSL) was crawling for a week or so until I discovered this problem. In fact, that's what led me to it. Not only does it download, it tries to install every time the computer is booted.
Not cool, Microsoft, not cool at all. If this is true, sneakily downloading a multi-gigabyte operating system in the background without the customers express consent is rather bold, especially in an age when some customers may be on metered connections or simply dont have the disk space to spare to accommodate a 6GB install. Microsoft has already come under fire for forced automatic updates in Windows 10, which have hit those with metered connections hard.
With that being said, whats Microsoft position on all of this? How could the company possibly explain why it is forcing Windows 10 installation files on to customers computers without permission? Surely the company has a reasonable explanation for its actions? In a statement to The Register, a Microsoft spokesperson wrote:
For individuals who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help upgradable devices get ready for Windows 10 by downloading the files theyll need if they decide to upgrade.
When the upgrade is ready, the customer will be prompted to install Windows 10 on the device.
In Microsofts eyes, if you have agreed to automatic updates in Windows, its fair game to send Windows 10 down the pipe. Making Windows 10 freely available to a large portion of the Windows install base should be reason enough to get many customers to upgrade. The awesome new features in Windows 10 like Continuum, the return of the Start Menu, and even Xbox One game streaming are great reasons to upgrade to Windows 10. But let the customers choose when he or she is ready to commit to downloading a massive ISO dont make the choice for them on the chance that they might want to upgrade in the future.
I loaded it on my laptop, and had to take it back off, touchpad wouldn’t work correctly.
Microsoft giving away something for free makes me more suspicious than anything else...
WHY do they want us to have Windows 10 so bad?
Perhaps that is why, for the last 2 weeks, I’ve seen ‘windows update at XX%’ with the percent # moving up one or two each day. I finally, with the help of a Freeper, got into Windows and stopped the automatic updating.
Look on your C: drive, see if you find a folder called $Windows.~BT. That file is created by Windows to “assist in an upgrade to Windows 10.”
Oh, it’s a “hidden” file, so you have to turn on visibility of hidden files to see it.
can it be deleted with no quirks?
How does one take back off a Windows version upgrade? I'm toying with the idea of loading Windows 10 myself.
"Helping get ready if they decide to upgrade" is not an update. Weasels.
Elementary, my dear Watson.
So they can revert your installation of 10 to a subscription-based model in the future.
Don’t want to pay every month/year?
Revert back to your prior operating system then.
Drug dealers work a lot like this, what with their “free samples”.
My first boot up of Win 7 (2 PCs) I disabled ANY and ALL Windoze updates. 4 years later, with not one patch or update I’m running just as I did then. After I cleaned out all the preloaded crap that came on them.
I’m stuck with Windoz because of certain work related software I have been using for 20 years. But if/when I am forced to use Win 10, I am setting up one machine for work ONLY, and setting up another for everything else using Linux.
Microsoft wants to look at purchase orders and customer emails they will see absolutely nothing of interest. Nosy bastards.
So they want you to use automatic updates and then blame you for using automatic updates.
Naif that I am, this never crossed my mind. FUMS.
I don’t have the file but do have the pop-up and the update is listed and I always uncheck it. Wonder if the file is auto only for those who accepted the reservation?
“Helping get ready if they decide to upgrade” is not an update. Weasels. “
Sort like the pre-break, breaks we used to have at work.
Yes, but Windows will re-create it.
I have declined all Microsoft attempts to get me to take my "free" Windows 10. The folder is still created.
At this moment, the $Windows.~BT on my main computer is more than 5GB in size.
A friend of mine tried to load a free version of Windows 10 onto his laptop, and the laptop crashed. He still hasn’t been able to get it running again. He can’t even reboot the laptop to disable the Windows 10.
Found it on my C drive. 4.05gb! Is it safe to delete it?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.