Open-Source Patch Circumvents Windows Next-Gen CPU Check

Published: April 20, 2017 3:04 PM /


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An open-source patch has been created to circumvent a Windows Update CPU check in Windows 7 & 8.1 as reported by Bleeping Computer.

Microsoft had previously stated that the latest CPUs will not be compatible with all updates on Windows 7 & 8.1. Users of Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake CPUs, AMD’s “Bristol Ridge” CPUs, and Qualcomm’s “8996” CPUs would have to upgrade to Windows 10 in order to receive the latest in security & reliability changes from Windows Update. The release of KB4012218 in March had finally begun the rollout of this change for some users, rendering them unable to get the latest updates on older Microsoft operating systems on PCs with the latest hardware.

Github user Zeffy, however, has done a bit of reverse-engineering and figured out a way around this issue. Zeffy has released a series of four open-source batch files on Github that will disable the CPU check and allow users to install updates as normal if they're encountering this CPU compatibility scenario. The batch scripts were created by reverse-engineering KB4012218 and comparing files on previous versions of Windows. To get around the CPU check, users will simply have to run the scripts to disable it.

The batch scripts flip a bit in a DLL that flags the currently-installed CPU as compatible. Future updates may replace the original DLL that performs this check, necessitating that the batch files are run once more. As the scripts are open-source, the technically-savvy Windows users out there in the world can check the code and ensure that nothing nefarious has been added alongside the code that disables the CPU check.

Although the change in policy was seen as controversial by some users, Microsoft had given everyone plenty of time to prepare for the change - they had originally announced the policy way back in January of 2016.

What do you think of the requirement for owners of newer CPUs to switch to Windows 10? Do you think that Microsoft was reasonable in enacting this change? Let us know in the comments below!

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