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Falling into the Windows 10 PIT again

Posted by on July 17, 2016.

In the past, I wrote about Microsoft’s “Asimov” and how it appeared to be running on my Windows 7 machine. I was not participating in the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program but a KB was loaded and producing errors related to that program. I describe such applications as Privacy Invading Technology (PIT).

Fast forward to today and I see a process (compattelrunner.exe) grabbing many resources on my now upgraded Windows 10 machine. The program is related to telemetry data going back to Microsoft. I upgraded to Windows 10 many months past and disabled all the privacy-sharing items. I was shocked to see the process running.

Internet references state compattelrunner is part of the OS – specifically, it is part of the updates that prepare the system for Windows 10 installation and occasionally sends MS reports of potential compatibility problems so that they can be incorporated into the process. However, I already updated to Windows 10!

I quickly checked my customer experience settings:

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The GUI said I am not participating, but it is also grayed out. Am I “not” participating?

Digging deeper, I discovered it is in the task scheduler and set to run indefinitely:

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I could not disable this task. I grabbed my Windows 10 Laptop and noticed it too has this telemetry data gathering service set to run (and in fact it was running too) in the same way:

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The “compatibility appraiser” was purported to send data to Microsoft to help with the upgrade to Windows 10. However, they must like the data they are getting because it still runs. Apparently, I cannot trust the settings in Windows. I also saw a boatload of other scheduled tasks like this I did not recognize.

O&O Software to the rescue…

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They have a free tool called O&O ShutUp10. It is a portable app, which means you can just run it – no installation required. It provides an easy way to fine-tune a number of these settings, including an easy way to set all “recommend” settings. An ironic twist… they are a Microsoft Gold Partner. I am not endorsing the program and I have not fully vetted. However, after using it I saw a lot less scheduled tasks in my task scheduler and Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser is gone. Thanks O&O Software!

 

Ashampoo Too…

ppage_phead_box_anti_spy_for_windows_10Update – Ashampoo also makes a free too for this called AntiSpy for Windows 10. I like the way they document some of the setting. Both tools seem good and both are free.


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Submitted in: Martin Zinaich | Tags: , ,