How to truly disable Windows Update

Dec 4, 2011
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Greetings All,

I am having a unique problem. Rather than not being able to connect I am having trouble preventing windows from connecting. I don't want windows calling home to microsoft and updating itself. I have turned off the Automatic Update service already and I turned off the setting under My Computer, Properties, on the Automatic Updates tab. In times past that was all that needed to be done, but some time ago it became apparent to me that windows was updating anyway so I determined the addresses windows was calling when it wanted to update and I put them in my hosts file, indicating that the ip address for those dns names was Until recently these measures would prevent windows from calling home and installing updates. Now, however it seems windows circumvents my hosts file but only for specific addresses. These include:

and there are others. I just successfully pinged each of these addresses at addresses that were most definitely not despite my hosts file containing the following entries:

I can only conclude that microsoft is actively opposing my right to decide whether windows updates are applied or not. This seems to me an outrage and I am hoping some of you can help me to re-assert my ownership of my computer. It is not appropriate for Microsoft to have dictatorial powers on my computer and I won't have it, but right now the only thing preventing windows from updating are barriers I put in place on my router. Luckily for me Microsoft hasn't gained any significant percentage of the marketplace for the operating systems of routers so I was able to indicate what I wanted to block easily and it simply worked. I expect the next thing Microsoft will do will be to expand the dns names from which windows can download updates thus making it more of a hassle to block all of them on my router, but that is off topic.

Can anybody out there help me? I have been unable to find a list in the registry of dns names for which the hosts file would be disregarded. If there is a list in the registry it is probably encrypted. Other efforts I've made to determine how Windows knows which addresses it should not check the hosts file to resolve have not been successful. I intend to check my entire system drive for the dns name examples I listed above but I'm not feeling optimistic at the moment. I find it disturbing that I even have to go to this length to be able to govern the actions of my own computer but I will never give up and accept that microsoft has more power on my computer than I do.

For all those people who want to ask me why I don't want windows to update, please don't bother. If you have an opinion about whether I should allow windows to update that differs from mine please respect my right to exercise my own free will; and keep your opinions to yourself. I have given this matter a great deal of thought and have made up my mind on the matter. Even if you feel I've made the wrong decision I hope that you agree with me that I should be the one making the decision, not microsoft. How would you feel if Microsoft was actively opposing some decision you had made? This is a dangerous precedent. Should we allow microsoft to have control of our computers? I'm sure that this is just the beginning. If we let them exert their control in this way, they will take other choices away from us as well. I for one will not have it, but right now I am only preventing it by the thinnest of margins. Any assistance you can provide would be most appreciated.

I expect there are some folks out there who are thinking "Love it or Leave it" with regards to windows. They are suggesting that I should use another OS .... well, that's a work in progress. My ability to compute using Linux is progressing rapidly and somebody I will leave Microsoft behind and never look back but for now I use Windows primarily. I have a legal license for Windows XP and I could update windows if I wanted, but I don't. I will not accept having my decision over-ruled by Microsoft or anybody. Even after I am happily using Linux there will still be people using Windows and I'm sure they will not want Windows disregarding their clearly indicated preferences any more than I do.

BTW, the hosts file continues to work as it should for all but a few of the dns names listed within it. I block a lot of ads servers and other web nuisances that way just as I have for years. So, the hosts file is not corrupt. The only entries it doesn't prevent access to are associated with windows update.

Thanks for reading such a long post. :)


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