Question How to make Windows 10 as close to Windows 7 as humanly possibly?

stethnorun

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I looked through the pinned comments and didn't see a thread about this, so sorry in advance if this gets asked all the time. Basically, I hate the fact that I have to upgrade to Windows 10 but I'm doing so now because I installed an M.2 SSD and Windows 7 install can't even see that it exists. So I'm just looking for a guide or help with turning off EVERYTHING about Windows 10 that makes it "better" than Windows 7. And by better, I mean better for Microsoft, not for me. I want to block as much data-collection as possible, I want to stop things running in the background meant to "assist" me, etc. And also if I could make it look and act like Windows 7 on the surface, even better. Thanks in advance!
 

Math Geek

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you can try updating your win 7 iso. i've had no issue with nvme or any other type of drive for installing win 7 once i updated my iso. try this out and see if it works for you as well.

https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/384921-Windows-7-Image-Updater-SkyLake-KabyLake-CoffeLake-Ryzen-Threadripper

if you stick with win 10 you can block a good bit of the data collection but every time it updates it will undo what you did. for starters, this is a good thing to install. it blocks a lot of stuff easily.


but the reality is that most of it is built into the kernel of win 10 and runs below the software layer. meaning no software is going to stop it from happening. in fact, i used a firewall to block 100% of the internet in and out and still have traffic going to ms servers. the only way to really block it all is to have a firewall device between you and the internet that is not on the pc itself. this way no matter what windows does to get around your software, it is blocked once it leaves the pc. all you can do.

i do know of a win 10 install that has everything stripped out of it, but that includes the windows store and many other things you may want to use. basically every feature has telemetry built in so anything you do use opens you back up to the mining of your data. you can find that here if you wish to play with it. works fine but you do lose the windows store along with anything else along those lines from ms.

https://ameliorated.info/index.html

you do have to use that telegram app to get the download link if you wish to mess with it.
 

stethnorun

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Yeah I would love to use Linux one day but A) I gather there's a steep learning curve and B) I'm big into gaming and I know it's a hassle and a half to get games to run on Linux without problems (and some games simply can't). If I'm wrong about that, please correct me as I'd love to use it. But last time I checked, the cons far outweighed the pros.

And cool, that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for Math Geek! I don't care about ANYTHING Microsoft wants to "do for me" or "sell to me". I just want a platform to put Steam + Games, a non-Google browser, and things like Discord. Basically, Windows 7 :p

I'll try the first link first and then move on to the ameliorated link if that doesn't work.
 
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Math Geek

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the win 10 ame has no problem with steam/origin and so on. i've been playing with it and have found no limitations other than not having the windows store. well, that assumes you don't want to use all that windows bloat they include cause it's all removed. :)

kind of like rooting your android phone to remove all the google apps. due note though that since windows update is removed you'll have to keep up with the major releases and getting the new iso from the ame people. otherwise you'll need to grab the admin installers for the updates and install stuff manually.

i just like to be sure folks understand what they are getting into using these type things.
 

stethnorun

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Honestly, most of the time I've used Windows 7, I left Windows update turned off altogether. Never noticed a problem. And I use Avast so I'm not too concerned about security.
 
Not all of Windows 10 telemetry (and other) trackers were back-ported to Windows 7/8.
There are some things you can do to drastically reduce the amount of privacy and telemetry tracking in Windows 10.

First would be to use Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC. This may or may not be feasible for you. LTSC has some functionality differences/limitations compared to the standard Windows 10 Home/Pro/Enterprise, that you should be aware of, before going this route.

There are also 3rd party apps that work to curb the privacy, tracking, and data collection in Windows 10. O&O Shutup10 and Privatezilla are two good ones.

I run Win 10 Ent. LTSC and further tweak with O&O Shutup10 and Privatezilla. I dislike the automatic, non-consensual collection of my metadata.
 
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stethnorun

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Math Geek, if you were me, which would you do? The fixed Windows 7 or the ameliorated Windows 10? I'm tempted to think Windows 10 to get access to directX12 and all, but I'm waffling back and forth.
 

stethnorun

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Not all of Windows 10 telemetry (and other) trackers were back-ported to Windows 7/8.
There are some things you can do to drastically reduce the amount of privacy and telemetry tracking in Windows 10.

First would be to use Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC. This may or may not be feasible for you. LTSC has some functionality differences/limitations compared to the standard Windows 10 Home/Pro/Enterprise, that you should be aware of, before going this route.

There are also 3rd party apps that work to curb the privacy, tracking, and data collection in Windows 10. O&O Shutup10 and Privatezilla are two good ones.

I run Win 10 Ent. LTSC and further tweak with O&O Shutup10 and Privatezilla. I dislike the automatic, non-consensual collection of my metadata.
What are the limitations of Ent LTSC? Is it like using a Server OS or something weird?
 
What are the limitations of Ent LTSC? Is it like using a Server OS or something weird?
A few of the differences -

There is no Microsoft store so you can't one-click install programs from there. If you can get the package installer you can powershell it in though.

There is no Cortana.

There is no Microsoft Edge.

There are no feature upgrades. The base Windows 10 version of your LTSC will never change. The latest is LTSC 2019, based off Windows 10 1809. Microsoft is committed to supporting each version of LTSC with critical and security updates for 10 years.

There are other small differences like calculator is the old Windows 7 calculator because the newer calculator is actually a Windows Store program.

Note that many people (myself included) consider the above differences a positive, not a negative. ;)

Microsoft says that it's possible that new hardware (CPU, motherboard, etc.) may not be supported.

There are other minor differences - you'll have to research a bit to get a full list. It's not like running a server OS at all. You install games, programs, whatever, just like you would on any other Windows 10 version (with the exception of the Microsoft Store).

It's just a different (IMHO, better) flavor of Windows 10. I love not having to deal with features that I don't want, being forced on me, breaking things left and right because Microsoft's QA is currently a raging dumpster fire.
 
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There's no way to completely disable all of the tracking on windows 10, even with those third party programs, using a pi-hole makes things better, but to get rid of the orwellian spying, you have to stop using windows 10.
 

Math Geek

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i personally refuse to use win 10, which is why i know so much abut how to keep win 7 working :)

i'm not a huge gamer so no dx 12 means nothing to me but might be a deal breaker for some. that's understandable if gaming is top of your want list for a pc.

obviously some folks disagree with me, but i refuse to be a part of such a massive surveillance program that is win 10. i can prove that those privacy settings do NOTHING but give you a false sense of security. turning those switches to off changes nothing in any way. i can prove that even blocking 100% of internet traffic does not stop windows from phoning home. i'm still working on what the traffic is, but it is substantial and goes to MS ip's. i'm looking into a couple other odd tings added in win 10 to see if possibly there is a different way to stop the data mining. for instance, there is a default user that you can't access. it does not show up in any log but it has deeper rights and permissions than even the main admin account. i'm tinkering with removing this user to see what happens. most likely it is part of the way they force install whatever they feel like on your system, but that is just a pessimistic guess on my part. it has to be deleted from the install files due to windows itself protecting that account better than our gold stockpile!!

hopefully that answers your question about my personal choice. but i use win 7 with a ton of updates removed since as noted above MS added about 20 updates that add data mining!! those need to go or you may as well use win 10.

i am working on mastering linux since i realize win 7 won't be a long term solution. figure i have another year if i'm lucky before they push some nuke to win 7 to prevent it from working at all. once i got linux down enough to use it day to day, i'll never use windows again.
 
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i can prove that even blocking 100% of internet traffic does not stop windows from phoning home.
Wait, how does windows 10 phone home without internet?! You mean the ultrasonic stuff? I've read that devices can interact with each other to spy on you on frequencies only dogs can hear.
 
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Math Geek

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Wait, how does windows 10 phone home without internet?! You mean the ultrasonic stuff? I've read that devices can interact with each other to spy on you on frequencies only dogs can hear.
no i mean you tell your firewall to block all traffic. this prevents anything from coming or going from the pc. there should be no traffic from your pc if everything is blocked. however, in win 10, even if you tell the firewall to block all traffic, it will still send packets to MS. again still looking at the traffic to see what it is and it is not as much as normal, but there should be none and there is a good bit of traffic. this happens with windows firewall or a 3rd party one. does not change what is happening.

so MS is gathering on you even when you explicitly go out of your way to stop all traffic.

now obviously if you disconnect the ethernet or remove the wifi card then this does not apply since there is no physical connection for any traffic to use. that's one way to block ms data mining .....
 
i personally refuse to use win 10, which is why i know so much abut how to keep win 7 working :)
Once you put a good choke collar and leash on Windows 10 (LTSC and disabling all the privacy concerns/telemetry settings) it's much better. I hold no illusions that I have turned off/disabled EVERYTHING but it's much, MUCH better than just flipping those stupid toggles.

You can also adjust the local policies on Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC, further adjusting some of the fine-grained privacy and telemetry settings.
 

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