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Microsoft wants to tell you what you already know...a LOT


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I recently reinstalled Windows 7 on my system and after doing all the updates, and against my better judgement, installing the latest update rollup, which I knew contained a notification system about the upcoming end of support for Windows 7 (read, a nagging utility to bug you until you cave and install Windows 10 so they can start monitoring, tracking and keylogging everything you do on your PC for their own profits).

Well, I was doing one of my usual tasks setting up my computer on a fresh Windows install of going through Task Scheduler and eliminating or disabling any items I don't want running in the background and lo and behold, a new entry was discovered pointing to a new executable that resides in the System32 folder called sipnotify.exe that uses the Windows 7 logo/flag as its icon, and the entries (of which there are 2, not just one) in Task Scheduler provide the following rather illuminating description for the location of the item:

\Microsoft\Windows\End Of Support

So I'm sure you can guess what this utility's purpose is.  And just in case you can't, I'll tell you.  It is there simply to inform you that your version of Windows is no longer supported and to urge you to upgrade to the latest version of Windows, i.e. Windows 10.  Once the fateful day of January 14th rolls around next year, I'm sure this little executable is going to be very busy:

End.thumb.png.f127c632931b15aa5f9be4ac10e0da14.png

It is scheduled to launch every time anyone logs onto the machine, any time anyone unlocks the machine for any user account, and if that isn't enough to 'persuade' people to upgrade, it is also scheduled to run at 12:00 PM every single day.

Needless to say I will be deleting these scheduled tasks as I have no use for them.  I don't need Microsoft to tell me that my operating system is over 10 years old and is no longer supported and that my only option, if I wish to continue using Windows, is to either install their new, bloated, secretive, spying, unconfigurable operating system known as Windows 10 or to continue running the same reliable, secure, much more privacy and user control focused version of Windows that they will no longer be providing patches for (and rightly so, 10 years is a long time in the software world so I don't expect them to continue to support it or to dedicate any developer resources to it; I just want them to leave me alone so that I can continue to use the operating system I prefer in peace).

Originally this utility was rolled out in update package KB4493132, however now that Microsoft has been bundling updates in monthly rollups, the level of control over which patches will and will not get installed on your system has pretty much vanished.  This is yet another 'improvement' that shows just how focused Microsoft is on putting control over things into the hands of their customers and incidentally is identical to the tactics used by PUP vendors to sneak in unwanted programs and add-ons with legitimate software installers; something Malwarebytes flags as PUP more often than not as illustrated by the search results on their online threat database here, however I don't expect them to start flagging any Windows Updates as threats any time soon, though if Microsoft continues with these sneaky tactics someone may have to.

You can learn more about this issue by reading BleepingComputer's article on the subject here as well as How-To Geek's writeup on it here.  Those articles are a bit outdated now that the patch has been bundled into the monthly rollups but is still relevant to understanding what this is what it is for.

Thankfully the notifications can be disabled, either by editing the scheduled tasks (which is what I'm going to do; I'll simply delete them) or by using the checkbox to disable future notifications about it once the first notification shows up.

It doesn't so much bother me that Microsoft is informing users about the end of support for Windows 7 as much as it bothers me that they falsely claim that 10 is a superior alternative.  If Microsoft were to offer an option for a version of Windows without all the embedded telemetry, spyware and advertising that doesn't wrestle control of the OS from its users and place them squarely into the hands of the OS itself and its developers, especially one that actually looks like a modern operating system rather than a flat, featureless, lazy design that resembles a UI mockup more than an actual functional UI, I'd be all over it.  The promise of Longhorn died with Vista, but its spirit was resurrected in the OS that followed called Windows 7, and ever since then Microsoft has been falling all over themselves trying to be just like Apple and Google instead of remembering how to be themselves.  Microsoft has done some great things in the past and they've given us some astonishing software, unfortunately I just can't count Windows 10 among the better ones and that's unfortunate, especially considering the fact that Microsoft has stated that 10 is to be the last version of Windows.  I'm sure there will be changes and 10 may some day get a nice facelift and might even adopt some of the user-centric philosophies I praise so much in Windows 7, and if that day comes I will certainly make the switch, but until then it is full steam ahead with Windows 7 into the unknown future for me.

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Microsoft has published a new update rollup, this time bundling the end of support notice into the security update rollup release for this month (sneaky bastards :P) and they've gone and changed the name of it, likely to try and bypass any existing tools and scripts designed to disable the end of support notifications.  Rather than being located under End Of Support as they were before, they are now simply titled EOS and are located under Microsoft\Windows\Setup in Task Scheduler rather than the dedicated Microsoft\Windows\End Of Support location they were stored in previously, but it's the same thing, and in fact this new notification will be displayed on boot to every Windows 7 user starting on January 15th 2020 and cannot be dismissed without user interaction/intervention (I take this information directly from Microsoft's own documentation for the update on their website) so needless to say I will be deleting these newly created scheduled tasks:

EoS.png.9b5ac5e1b151b5f6a688766a54459fb4.png

The new updates call yet another executable, this one using the Windows 10 flag/logo for its icon and as with sipnotify.exe, the new executable, named EOSNotify.exe, it is located under C:\Windows\System32.

Edited by exile360
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@David H. Lipman, here it is.

It can be disabled and/or deleted via command prompt:

Disable:

schtasks /Change /DISABLE /TN “Microsoft\Windows\Setup\EOSNotify”

schtasks /Change /DISABLE /TN “Microsoft\Windows\Setup\EOSNotify2”

Removal:

schtasks /Delete /F /TN “Microsoft\Windows\Setup\EOSnotify”

schtasks /Delete /F /TN “Microsoft\Windows\Setup\EOSnotify2”

 

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So A Batch file could be...

@Echo off
schtasks /Delete /F /TN “Microsoft\Windows\End Of Support\Notify”
schtasks /Delete /F /TN “Microsoft\Windows\End Of Support\Notify2” 
schtasks /Delete /F /TN “Microsoft\Windows\Setup\EOSnotify”
schtasks /Delete /F /TN “Microsoft\Windows\Setup\EOSnotify2” 

Reg File...

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SipNotify]
"DateModified"=hex(b):80,aa,b1,1c,0d,aa,d5,01
"LastShown"=hex(b):80,aa,b1,1c,0d,aa,d5,01
"DontRemindMe"=dword:00000001

 

Edited by David H. Lipman
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Yep, that's one of them.  There are several telemetry functions, services and scheduled tasks in Windows 7 that need to be disabled if you don't want the OS phoning home to Microsoft.  I have a massive batch file and reg file I use for this and other OS optimization and security functions and of course I also comb through Task Scheduler manually and also disable CEIP via gpedit.

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22 hours ago, exile360 said:

Yep, that's one of them.  There are several telemetry functions, services and scheduled tasks in Windows 7 that need to be disabled if you don't want the OS phoning home to Microsoft.  I have a massive batch file and reg file I use for this and other OS optimization and security functions and of course I also comb through Task Scheduler manually and also disable CEIP via gpedit.

@exile360  well Sam, if theres more ways to shut it down than the one I posted above... think about posting it please?  I read this on Woodys site: https://www.askwoody.com/  but I was interupted before I saw what else there was to turn off.   it happens..... If there not going to support Win 7 - I don't need my pc to phone home..... regards....

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