Windows 7/8.1: Updates KB2952664 & KB2976978 (02/08/2018)

Windows Update[German]Also in February 2018 Microsoft released the updates KB2952664 (Windows 7) and KB2976978 (Windows 8.1). The updates are offered as optional and should evaluate the compatibility on Windows systems. Here are a few words about these updates.


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This night I received several comments and e-mails from my German blog readers mentions this update. Also my Windows 7 SP1 shows this optional update KB2952664 as pending.

Update KB2952664 (Windows 7)

The description says: Install this update to fix problems in Windows. For a complete list of fixes in this update, see the relevant Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information. After installing this component, you may need to restart your computer.

These two optional updates are offered cyclically by Microsoft. Theoretically, you could install these updates on the system and it’s good (Microsoft will know what suits for Windows users). But let’s have a look at what the updates really do.

Update KB2952664 for Windows 7 SP1

Update KB2952664 is a ‘Compatibility update for keeping Windows up-to-date in Windows 7’. It’s also provided for Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft says:


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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. 

The update is rolled out cyclically – the current version dates from February 8, 2018, with the KB atricle dating from October 2017. The update can also be downloaded from Windows Update Catalog.  

Update KB2976978 for Windows 8.1

Update KB2976978 is also a compatibility update for Windows 8.1 (Windows 8 has reached end of life). This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The same functions provided for update KB2952664. The current updates dates February 8, 2018 and will be offered via Windows Update. A download from Windows Update Catalog is available.

The problem with this update

Microsoft is rolling out these updates cyclically. From July 2015 to July 2016 the GWX app for (forced) upgrades on Windows 10 has being included. Since the expiration of the free upgrade, Microsoft writes in the KB articles:

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.

So nobody has to fear an upgrade to Windows 10. And the note that helping Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates for Windows would be one reason to install the update. But there is the sentence:

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. 

This causes many users to refuse the update. But the biggest problem with these updates is a different one: These updates have been good for problems in the past and also had to be withdrawn by Microsoft in some cases. There were machines that hung themselves, where the fan was running at full speed, or where websites or the machine was freezing for short periods of time (see here). Here, here and here are older threads mentions install errors with these updates. Here someone mentions boot issues in November 2017. Weighting all this risks against the benefits of a ‘diagnosis update’, I recommend to hide these updates.


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6 Responses to Windows 7/8.1: Updates KB2952664 & KB2976978 (02/08/2018)

  1. Pingback: KB 4023057 is back again. Again. @ AskWoody

  2. Yohan says:

    Hi.
    In march, on one of my computer, KB2952664 has been presented as important, this time.
    It seems Microsoft really wants this update to be installed !
    I’ve hidden it again !

    • guenni says:

      Yeah, I got this feedback within my German blog too – just hide that shit and be happy ;-).

  3. Yohan says:

    By the way, this computer works well !
    Touching wood ! Just wood, not “Woody”

    • guenni says:

      Touching Woody (Lenonhard) have sometime the same result ;-).

      He do a great job with his askwoody platform.

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  5. Thomas L says:

    Just to let you know: KB2976978 was installed silently on 13th July 2018 again after i hid it in the past. I deinstalled it. This morning 10th August 2018 during PC boot some updating was going on without consent. KB2976978 was installed again and now it is NOT deinstallable anymore. F-ck you MS!

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