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June 24, 2015

Samsung disables Windows Update on some PCs with its own software tool

Samsung_Large_LOGOIt now looks as if Samsung is disabling Windows Update on some computers, so as not to interfere with its own update tool.

This behavior is not only bad but, very sneaky and, was discovered by Patrick Barker, a Microsoft MVP who was researching the issue for another user. While analyzing the user’s system registry, Barker found that installing Samsung’s SW Update tool forced Windows Update to stop working. Attempting to re-enable Windows Update didn’t help, as Samsung’s software would simply disable the Microsoft update tool again upon rebooting.

Barker contacted Samsung support, where a representative confirmed the activity to him, noting that Windows Update installs default drivers that may not work with Samsung’s computers.

“For example if there is USB 3.0 on laptop, the ports may not work with the installation of updates. So to prevent this, SW Update tool will prevent the Windows updates,”

Keep in mind that SW Update isn’t installed on Samsung PCs by default—it’s only available as a direct download from Samsung’s website for computers running Windows XP and higher—and it’s unclear how many computers are affected. But as VentureBeat points out, other users have complained of this issue before to Microsoft. Only now is the exact cause becoming clear.

Barker is encouraging users to report SW Update as malware.

This is a very important issue:
Windows Update is a crucial piece of software, handling not just feature updates but the latest security patches from Microsoft. If Samsung has no way to maintain driver compatibility without disabling those updates, that’s a major issue.

Our problem with Samsung’s representative reply just doesn’t seem to hold water. Why does other OEM’s not have a similar setup to Samsung’s. Could it be that they don’t see the same problems as Samsung does or, does this go deeper than that and Samsung is not letting on.

What do you think?

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini