Microsoft and KB2952664 and KB2976978, a never-ending story

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 23, 2018
Updated • Jul 23, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft released new versions of KB2952664 and KB2976978 for Windows 7 and 8.1 on July 11, 2018, something that the company does several times a year. We reviewed previous updates released in February 2017 and October 2016.

MS PowerUser reports that Microsoft changed the level of both patches to critical. The updates were optional or rated as important in the past, and Windows users and administrators could not get rid of these updates permanently.

While it is possible to hide the updates, any re-release by Microsoft would bring them up again in Windows Update and other update management systems.

Microsoft pushed Telemetry a lot in its products in recent years. The company tries to gather usage data to help prioritize development and react to issues and bugs more quickly.

While those are certainly important goals for Microsoft, it is clear that many users don't want anything of that; they paid for the operating system and don't want data about their usage collected and transferred to Microsoft; especially so if the chance exists that it could leak private information.

Microsoft burned a lot of bridges in the past when it included the Get Windows 10 application with updates and made the Telemetry updates prerequisites for it.

It is my personal opinion that Microsoft is not very good at communication when it comes to these things, and that the company would not face as much criticism if it would provide clearer and all-cards-on-the-table information about what it collects, why it collects the data, and what it does with the data.

Microsoft added options to recent versions of Windows 10 that gives users access to the Telemetry data that the company collects, and options to control Telemetry collecting. While Microsoft refuses to integrate a simple off switch even on Windows 10, it is at least possible to limit what Microsoft collects.

Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users and admins are in a slightly different boat. The operating system don't include Telemetry collecting natively, but will collect data if users opt-in to the User Experience Program.

Users don't have any say in the matter when they join though; there is no option to view the collected data, delete it, or limit it.


Title: Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 7


Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 8.1

Description (identical)

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The diagnostics evaluate the compatibility status of the Windows ecosystem, and help Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates to Windows. There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.

Microsoft notes that Telemetry is only collected if users participate in the Windows Customer Experience  Improvement Program; that would mean, on the other hand, that the updates are useless if users did not opt-in to the program.

Born notes that the Telemetry updates did cause issues such as boot issues, error codes during installation, or freezes. He recommends that users hide the updates and don't install them and that is in my opinion the best option as well.

Closing Words

I don't think that Microsoft will get it right any time soon. Pushing Telemetry updates as critical updates will certainly install them on more user systems, but whether that is a good idea or note is up for debate.

Now You: What is your take on this?

Microsoft and KB2952664 and KB2976978, a never-ending story
Article Name
Microsoft and KB2952664 and KB2976978, a never-ending story
Microsoft released new versions of KB2952664 and KB2976978 for Windows 7 and 8.1 on July 11, 2018, something that the company does several times a year.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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