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DLL patch unlocks Windows 7, 8.1 updates on Ryzen, Kaby Lake

DLL patch unlocks Windows 7, 8.1 updates on Ryzen, Kaby Lake

An unofficial patch to a Windows Update DLL appears to allow the installation of locked-out security patches on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Kaby Lake and Ryzen systems.

A self-professed reverse engineer has developed patches to allow Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 installations on Intel's Kaby Lake and AMD's Ryzen processor platforms to continue to receive updates, even as Microsoft makes good on its promise to support the parts only in its latest Windows 10.

Either as a means of concentrating its efforts on its latest release or in an attempt to convince the last holdouts to upgrade from older versions, Microsoft has officially opted to withhold operating system updates - including critical security patches - from anyone daring to run the last-generation Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating systems on Intel and AMD's latest Kaby Lake and Ryzen processor architectures. While the operating systems will appear to run normally, Windows Update will not offer the latest updates unless the user upgrades to Windows 10 or moves to an old processor platform - or installs a series of unofficial patches from a self-professed reverse engineer.

Identified only as 'zeffy' and first spotted by Bleeping Computer, the hacker - in the classical sense - has written up his work on patching Windows Update so that it will correctly download and install the latest Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 patches even on Kaby Lake and Ryzen systems - suggesting quite strongly that Microsoft's decision to withhold said patches has less of a grounding in technical compatibility and more in encouraging Windows 10 adoption.

Using a set of scripts released by 'zeffy,' Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users are able to patch the problematic dynamic linked library - wuaueng.dll - and unlock full Windows Update support on the latest processor families. There's only two major caveats: one is that the DLL needs to be re-patched every time it gets updated, and the other is that the procedure is entirely unofficial and could - in theory, at least - result in unexpected behaviour from patches installed in this manner.

Full details of the patch procedure can be found in zeffy's GitHub repository.

12 Comments

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Guinevere 19th April 2017, 09:24 Quote
Yep, this sounds perfectly safe. I'm happy to endorse Zeffy.
Quote:
When I'm not flying my wing suit or hanging by one arm from Russian cranes I'm happy to let Zeffy override Window's software update setting for me. He has a GitHub repository so you know he's legit and just fighting back against the new world order and their chemtrail / Windows 10 conspiracies.
Gareth Halfacree 19th April 2017, 09:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
Yep, this sounds perfectly safe. I'm happy to endorse Zeffy.
Yet you'll happily install binary-blob updates from Microsoft itself with no idea what's in 'em? At least you can view Zeffy's patches.
B1GBUD 19th April 2017, 10:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree

binary-blob
Binary Binary Large Object? ;p

EDIT..... Ahhhhhhh

I'll shut up now
Corky42 19th April 2017, 11:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Binary Binary Large Object? ;p

EDIT..... Ahhhhhhh

I'll shut up now

There was me thinking it was Gareth's name for someone whose eaten far to many twix and hula hoops. :D

EDIT: Blocking updates on newer hardware does make me wonder if one day the reverse may happen, blocking updates on older hardware because that old CPU doesn't support TPM, SGX, or some other security feature, it's all for your own good.
Jimbob 19th April 2017, 13:25 Quote
" suggesting quite strongly that Microsoft's decision to withhold said patches has less of a grounding in technical compatibility and more in encouraging Windows 10 adoption."

No, it suggest Microsoft doesn't want to spend time and money on QA for an out of date OS on newer hardware which will function better on Windows 10.

In a few months when an update causes a BSOD on KabyLake systems don't start crying about it.
TheMadDutchDude 19th April 2017, 13:52 Quote
The CPU is still fully supported. You can run XP on Skylark without any issues.... it's just crap.
MLyons@BOXFX 19th April 2017, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude
The CPU is still fully supported. You can run XP on Skylark without any issues.... it's just crap.

QA and it running are 2 different things. I honestly think it's a bit of both. They want people on windows 10 to make more more but also don't want to spend the resources on making sure everything works for them on windows versions before 10.
TheMadDutchDude 19th April 2017, 16:03 Quote
Eh. The only thing stopping it from working is Microsoft. Plenty of people still run X58 on Windows 10, and that's not officially supported. Try finding drivers for X58 for Windows 10. :D
Corky42 19th April 2017, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbob
No, it suggest Microsoft doesn't want to spend time and money on QA for an out of date OS on newer hardware which will function better on Windows 10.

In a few months when an update causes a BSOD on KabyLake systems don't start crying about it.

You may have to explain that one too me, how exactly is Windows 7 & 8.1 out of date, one doesn't reach the end of extended support for 3 years and the other is still in mainstream support for another 8 months, it was only released 2 years before Windows 10.

In a few months if, and it would be a big if, a security update caused a BSOD on a Kabylake or Ryzen system then the only people who would be crying would be Windows 8.1 users as they signed a contract with Microsoft when they bought it that said Microsoft would support new features until January 9, 2018.

For a company that says trust is of utmost importance to them their not doing a very good job of earning that trust by reneging on contracts with their customers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MLyons@BOXFX
QA and it running are 2 different things. I honestly think it's a bit of both. They want people on windows 10 to make more more but also don't want to spend the resources on making sure everything works for them on windows versions before 10.

Microsoft sacked most of their QA staff a few years ago in favor of insiders and home users.

Also if Microsoft want people to use their newest OS maybe they should make an OS people want to use instead of forcing people into using it.
MLyons@BOXFX 19th April 2017, 16:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude
Eh. The only thing stopping it from working is Microsoft. Plenty of people still run X58 on Windows 10, and that's not officially supported. Try finding drivers for X58 for Windows 10. :D

I'm not really qualified enough to talk about it. I would guess its got to do with a bunch of things but yes Microsoft are most likely the main factor in it. I can semi understand why Micro$oft are doing it but I don't agree with it.

I agree on the QA point. They should provide full support but I can see why they wouldn't want to as win 10 seems to be a goldmine for them.
Nealieboyee 20th April 2017, 06:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42

... it's all for your own good.

Ah yes, Microsoft's motto....And Apple's.
jb0 21st April 2017, 09:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42

EDIT: Blocking updates on newer hardware does make me wonder if one day the reverse may happen, blocking updates on older hardware because that old CPU doesn't support TPM, SGX, or some other security feature, it's all for your own good.

See, that could make a degree of sense. "We make heavy use of these new features your processor/chipset/etc does not support. Please upgrade your hardware."
It is a realm only the movie companies have really sought to enter, though.


THIS, on the other hand...
"Your system is made entirely of hardware that is fully backwards-compatible with hardware these patches will install on, but since we said only Windows 10 gets the new parts, NO PATCH FOR YOU! Just be glad we didn't throw a killswitch and completely disable your OS... yet."
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