Tag Archives: Windows

W10Tel.cmd – batch file to prevent Windows 10 type telemetry on Windows 7 and 8.1

This batch file disables the telemetry settings, keeping related updates installed.
—>Disable/Remove Telemetry and Tracking Service by abbodi1406 | My Digital Life Forums

The above edited text is from a Pastebin (2019-12-11 revision (archive))

Enabling Windows 8.1 updates and telemetry blocking

Unblocking newer processors (Kaby Lake, Ryzen etc)

While you can still install Windows 7 (http://pastebin.com/gHCCFBkt) and 8.1 on newer processors, Microsoft does not officially support it, and has tried to pressure users into switching to Windows 10 by disabling updates on those PCs. This includes driver updates, security updates, and Windows Defender. The easiest way to bypass this is through a user made patch called wufuc. Let Windows do its first round of updates and restart before using it.

Alternatively, you can download updates manually from Microsoft's website, or use the third party tool WSUS Offline, as the block does not interfere with either.

Avoiding telemetry

Windows Update doesn't offer most of its updates individually anymore, even security ones. Now most of them are only released as part of a large monthly "rollup", which contains all the updates from previous rollups, and (since October 2016) backported Windows 10 telemetry.
—>2000011: Group A, Group B and Group W – what's the difference? | askwoody.com (archive)

To get around this, you can either disable backported telemetry, or install only security updates.

Disable backported telemetry

Finish installing your updates, then save the W10Tel.cmd script as a ".cmd" file and run it as administrator.
—>W10Tel.cmd – batch file to prevent Windows 10 type telemetry on Windows 7 and 8.1 (source (archive))
—>2000012: Neutralize Telemetry & Sustain Win 7, 8.1 Monthly Rollup Model
—>Disable/Remove Telemetry and Tracking Service | My Digital Life Forums

Use Security Only updates

Alternatively, you can manually download the "Security Only" updates made for businesses. By far the easiest way to do this is with the 3rd party tool WSUS Offline.

Run UpdateGenerator.exe, check your OS version, and check "Use security only updates instead of quality rollups". Then click start. It will make a folder of the publicly available updates that exclude telemetry. When it's done, go to the Client folder, run UpdateInstaller.exe, and follow the instructions until it's complete. Be sure to disable automatic updates in Windows, and to uncheck all "Security Monthly Quality Rollups" if you ever use Windows Update. If you keep the folders WSUS creates, you can re-run UpdateGenerator.exe again in the future. It will remember your settings and only download any new updates it's missing.

Preexisting telemetry

In addition to either of the above, you can also run the Ancile script. It will remove a list of unwanted updates and preexisting telemetry services.
—>Ancile_project downloads
—>Ancile: block spying on Windows 7 and 8 | ghacks.net (archive)

The above edited text is from a Pastebin (2020-01-15 revision (archive)).

Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Office 2019 setup and activation guide

This guide is to help you find an untouched copy of Windows, install, and activate it on any PC. Be very cautious of any copy you find unless you KNOW it hasn't been tampered with, and NEVER try to activate using tools from search engine results.

Quick install guide

1. Create a Windows 10 flash drive installer with Create Windows 10 installation media.
2. Install Pro edition or get Enterprise features by selecting "Education edition" while installing.
3. Activate Windows with the latest KMS_VL_ALL. The archive's password is "2019". Run the CMD file and choose #2.
4. Optionally delay upgrades up to a year under Update Settings > Advanced > Choose when updates are installed > 365
5. Optionally download and run WPD. Open "Privacy" and set everything to off. Look through the Advanced section and disable at your discretion. For more options, see "Ρrivaсy and tweaks" below.

Downloading and installing Windows (and Office)

Installing Windows

These are the steps to install Windows with the ISO you will download using the methods in the "Downloading Windows" section below this one.

Make your ISO into an install disk:
—>USB flash drive: Rufus
—>DVD: ImgBurn
—>Using Linux: WoeUSB

During setup, make an offline Windows account—a local account that isn't tied to Microsoft—by selecting "Domain Join Instead". If there isn't an option available, you can disable your Internet connection (unplug the cable or disable wireless) and go back.

If you don't have your own key, just skip when it asks. You do not need one to install modern Windows.

If you need help installing Windows beyond these basic steps, here's a detailed newbie's guide: How To Do A Clean Installation Of Windows 10 – Tom's Hardware (archive)

Downloading Windows

Windows 7

Windows 7 is no longer recommended, but available by following Getting Windows 7 guide.

Windows 8.1

You can download a Windows 8 ISO directly.
—>Download Windows 8.1 Disc Image (ISO File)
Generic install key: GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9
Enable updates and disable telemetry: Enabling Windows 8.1 updates and telemetry blocking (source (archive))

Windows 10

Microsoft makes it easy to download a Windows 10 ISO and (optionally) create installer media with the Media Creation Tool. The tool downloads Windows and creates the installer using DVD or USB flash drive. You may prefer to configure the tool to produce an ISO instead, to modify it before creating your installer media.
—>Create Windows 10 installation media

Windows 10 Education

Some useful official settings in Windows 10 are only available in Enterprise editions, such as disabling the Store, and the option to send the smallest amount of telemetry. Education edition is an easy to get, full version of Enterprise with all these settings and features. You can upgrade your existing Windows install right now by going to Settings > Update & Security > Aсtivation > Change product key > NW6C2-QMPVW-D7KKK-3GKT6-VCFB2

Education edition has the advantage (vs Enterprise LTSC) of disabling Windows Store advertising and is included in the setup of most Windows 10 installers. Otherwise, the only difference is that Enterprise LTSC has the buggy and limited ReFS filesystem, support for NVDIMM server RAM, and DirectAccess/Remote Memory Access for use in corporate networks. Virtually no one needs these, and if you do, you probably already have a business paying for your license. If you still want Enterprise LTSC specifically, you can enter this key instead: NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43

To check that it worked, go to Control Panel > System and make sure "Windows edition" says Education (ignore any error messages). You will then need to follow the steps under the Activation section below (assuming you aren't already activated with such a method).

You can also get Education edition directly while installing Windows, by selecting "Windows 10 Education" when it asks you to choose an OS. Do NOT choose "Pro Education" or "N" editions, which are inferior.

Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC

Enterprise LTSC (previously LTSB) is a minimal version of Enterprise intended for limited use devices like ATMs and kiosks that need consistency at all costs. Windows Update only provides basic updates for it, leaving out new components all other users get, which may impact OS behavior or prevent some new software/drivers from working correctly. Windows Store/Cortana/Apps are also missing from LTSC. Regular Enterprise/Education let you turn these features on/off easily, and have the same level of telemetry control as LTSC. New updates and features are integrated into the next major release, but these only come out every 2-3 years and must be installed manually from a new ISO. All other versions of Windows provide upgrades every 6 months, and allow you to delay them over a year.

Latest downloads as of 2020-01.
—> torrent magnet link
—>en_windows_10_enterprise_ltsc_2019_x64_dvd_5795bb03.iso – anonfile
—>en_windows_10_enterprise_ltsc_2019_x64_dvd_5795bb03.iso – mirrorace
Checksum: 615A77ECD40E82D5D69DC9DA5C6A6E1265F88E28
Source: February Refresh LTSC ISOs (17763.316) – 2019-08-19 | My Digital Life Forums (archive)

Other sources for Windows downloads

TechBench by WZT

TechBench by WZT is a link generating site that allows you to download Windows ISOs directly from Microsoft. You'll find most ISOs under "Windows (Final)".
Select your edition and click download. It will start downloading from a temporary link at microsoft.com.
To verify the download is coming from Microsoft's domain, you can right click the started download and copy the link in Firefox, or click "Show All" in Chrome.

UUP (Unified Update Platform) Generation Project

Similar to the above: UUP (Unified Update Platform) Generation Project (v2.4.8 RC2) [by @rgadguard & mkuba50]

UUP dump

Again, similar to the above: UUP dump

Microsoft Office 2019

Versions of Office are available through TechBench by WZT. To install, right click file and select "Mount", then run installer from "This PC".
—>Microsoft Office 2019 direct download

Activating Windows (and Office)

Activating using KMS_VL_ALL

You can easily activate Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Office 2019 by using KMS_VL_ALL. It works on all versions of Windows 8 and Windows 10 (including Enterprise, Education, and Enterprise LTSC). DO NOT USE SEARCH ENGINES IN SEARCH OF ACTIVATORS. Even if you know the name of what you're looking for, you will most certainly get a nasty file. If you are not getting official files from My Digital Life or the official repositories, you are not to trust the files.
—>KMS_VL_ALL releases repository
—>KMS_VL_ALL alternative downloads (archive)
—>KMS_VL_ALL – Smart Activation Script | My Digital Life Forums

Uninstall Disable any 3rd party antivirus, extract the 7z file using the password "2019" (using 7-Zip or WinRAR), then run "KMS_VL_ALL_AIO.cmd" and select [2] Install Activation AutoRenewal. If you are actually using an antivirus other than Windows Defender, add an exclusion for "C:\Windows\system32\SppExtComObjHook.dll" before re-enabling your AV software.

Activating using existing license

If your computer came with Windows 10 or you have ever used a key to activate it, you can reinstall Windows from scratch at any time and it will reactivate as soon as you connect to the Internet, as the motherboard's ID is associated with a Digital License on Microsoft's servers. You can also use a Windows 7/8.1 key to activate Windows 10 by entering it under Settings > Update & Security > Activation > Change product key

Privacy and tweaks

There are some things you may want to change out of the box with Windows 10.

Security and privacy programs

There are commonly used applications that disable telemetry and unwanted features like Cortana or Onedrive cloud storage. O&O Shutup10 has an easy preset when you select Actions > "Apply only recommended settings" that works well for most people. You can also run WPD after that, and safely set everything in "Privacy" (not under Advanced) to off and telemetry to "Security". Advanced users can also run Blackbird.

Most of these changes can be made manually but it would be a huge waste of time when the above programs will take care of it for you. The following article provides a guide to the manual modifications: Windows 10 and Privacy | ghacks.net (archive)

Windows Feature Upgrades

Delaying the major updates ("Feature Upgrades") that are released twice a year will let you avoid most most bugs, by giving Microsoft time to beta test them on more trigger happy users. This does not interfere with everyday security patches, and lets you take Feature Upgrades half as often by skipping straight over some of them. You can set this up to a year in:

Update Settings > Advanced options > Choose when updates are installed > Defer feature updates this many days

Group Policy Settings

Some advanced group policy settings to change. Available only in Education and Enterprise editions. Run gpedit.msc.

—>Group Policy settings that apply only to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education Editions

Disable Telemetry

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds
"0" is the minimum telemetry setting, and only works in Enterprise (including Education & LТSC). Other versions of Windows will treat "0" as a "1". Be sure to ENABLE the "Allow Telemetry" policy before selecting a value.
—>More from Configure Telemetry settings on Windows 10 devices

Disable Cortana

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search > Allow Cortana > Set to "Disabled"

Disable Web Results in Search

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search > Don't search the web or display web results in Search > Set to "Enabled"

Disable OneDrive

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive > Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage > Set to "Enabled"

Disable Windows Store and Apps

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Store > Disable all apps from Microsoft Store > Set to "Enabled"

ISO modifying

There are tools that try to remove major components from Windows before install (Telemetry Destroyer, Optimize-Offline, etc.). They may be useful if you're really hands on with your system and don't mind things breaking from time to time, but the benefit to most users is questionable. They may interfere with some software, games, or basic features you use in the future, and are often undone during major updates, so using an Enterprise edition of Windows and the right applications and settings is a better choice.

If you do want to mod your installer, MSMG Toolkit (of the the MDL forums) lets you add/remove almost any Windows component, and is another way to disrupt telemetry services. When taking Feature Upgrades be sure to use the tool on the latest ISO and upgrade using that.
—>MSMG Toolkit – Downloads
—>Create custom Windows 10 installations with MSMG Toolkit – ghacks.net

Safety Concerns

The biggest mistake people make when installing Windows from the Internet is trusting what random users, torrents, and websites claim is safe. Many people don't realize you're more likely to find an infected source than a good one. Luckily there are some easy ways to double check what you're getting.

The malware in most copies of Windows is almost impossible to detect. The only sure way to know you have a clean copy is to confirm it's exactly the same as what Microsoft released. This is actually very easy to do, using a short row of numbers called a checksum. As long as the file you download matches the SHA-1 checksum provided by a reliable source, you know what you have is identical to the original. Microsoft no longer releases these freely, but users with access to paid MSDN subscriptions still repost them:
—>Microsoft SHA1 Hash Archive from my.visualstudio.com
—>Search | My Digital Life Forums (must be logged in)
—>Download Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 ISO Images Direct From Microsoft (archive)

When you've found a checksum number, you can compare it easily with tools like these:
—>IgorWare Hasher
—>7-Zip (via the Windows context menu)

Similarly, most legit activators have been repackaged with malware, including most of the top search engine results. Your safest bet by far is to stick with the most reputable and community trusted sources, which have been hosted on the MyDigitalLife forums for several years. Checksums are provided here for convenience, but you should get into the habit now of verifying your software directly against its official source any time you have to download it somewhere else.


Well made KMS activators like KMS_VL_ALL have worked seamlessly for the life of Windows 8.1 and 10, by running a local copy of the activator to wake up occasionally and change the end date. It is possible Microsoft could do something in the future to disrupt this, but so far it has worked correctly as long as the activator is not removed. PCs upgraded from a previous valid copy of Windows have a permanent license for the life of the computer (see: Windows 10 Upgrade Offer (archive)).

Useful software

Enable classic Windows style Start menu with Open-Shell Menu.

The above edited text is from a Pastebin (2020-01-16 revision (archive)).

Windows 7 with RYZEN setup guide

Install Windows 7 onto AM4 Motherboard with only USB 3.0 ports

This assumes you are using a USB keyboard/mouse and your motherboard only has USB 3.0 ports. Windows 7 Installer does not support USB 3.0 input and you will be unable to progress past the language select screen. Use one of the following options to Install Windows 7 on your USB 3.0 motherboard. PS/2 keyboards and mice will work fine. This author is uncertain if there are any AM4 motherboards with USB 2.0 or PS/2 ports.

1. Disable xHCI in BIOS

If this is an option, it will tell your USB 3.0 ports to behave like USB 2.0 ports. Easiest option, if it is an option.

2. Check Motherboard product page on manufacturer website for media creation tool

Assuming you have the appropriate ISO, the manufacturer will likely have a media creation tool that will mount an ISO to USB and incorporate the drivers necessary to allow Windows Installer to support USB 3.0 You may also want to try a different applicable manufacturer's website and attempt media creation with their tool.

3. Manually incorporate USB 3.0 drivers into Mounted ISO

Follow this guide: How to Install Windows 7 with only USB 3.0 Ports (archive)
Pay close attention to step one and make sure your motherboard is compatible with the USB controller you select.

Enable Windows Update for Ryzen hardware

By default, Windows Update will not support Ryzen CPUs. Windows Updates KB4012218 and KB4012219 do a scan of your hardware and prevent you from downloading updates released past March 16th, 2017. This section outlines how to bypass this restriction with a simple patch.

Bring Windows 7 to the latest updates available without the patch.

There will be some updates that will download. Install them and reboot. We need them in order to allow the patch to work its magic. If you attempt to run the patch in step b), you will get an error that Windows is not of the proper version.

Download the wufuc patch by zeffy

Download the wufuc patch and run it. This will disable Windows Update from registering your Ryzen CPU as Unsupported Hardware.

Restart and update

At this point, you should restart your computer and run Windows Update without the Unsupported Hardware warning. If everything has been done correctly, you will be able to use Windows 7 until Microsoft plugs this hole, or Windows 7 support is dropped in 2020.

Good luck!
Written October 3, 2017

The above edited text is from a Pastebin (2017-10-03 revision (archive)).