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

April 19, 2017 // 9:11 a.m.

Tags: #amd #intel #kaby-lake #microsoft #ryzen #windows #windows-10 #windows-7 #windows-8 #windows-81 #windows-update #zen

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.

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