At TRG, we recommend you check with us before saying “yes” to any Windows 7 upgrade, and here’s a prime example of why:
First, Microsoft slipped the Windows 10 upgrade into its recommended/automatic updates, leaving many users facing an OS change they didn’t want.
Now, in an apparent effort to boost a declining number of users making the jump to Win 10, the folks in Redmond have made a change that has flat-out crippled a large number of Windows 7 machines.
At issue is a Win 7 update (KB3133977) that Microsoft changed from “Optional” to “Recommended,” meaning that, for many users, it would now download and install automatically. The problem? Incompatibility with Asus motherboards, used by many of the world’s most prominent PC makers.
You don’t need to know what “Secure Boot in UEFI” is, only that it doesn’t play nicely with this update. This was a problem for only a handful of users … until MS changed the update to Recommended status and users worldwide were unable to boot their PCs.
Those hit by the problem encounter a red screen warning of “unauthorized changes to the firmware, operating system or UEFI drivers,” and no advice at all on what to do about it.
Asus has issued a workaround (find it here), and Microsoft has updated its support document to acknowledge the problem (taking the opportunity to add a plug for upgrading to Windows 10). But the larger point is that the issue could easily have been avoided. Microsoft seems hell-bent on forcing users down the path to Windows 10 whether they want it or not, and appears unconcerned at the prospect of crippling people’s PCs to get them to make the switch.
So before you click “Accept” on any Win 7 upgrades, look specifically for KB3133977 and just say no. The big picture is that Microsoft wants you to move on from Windows 7, but we can help. Contact us with any questions.