Microsoft Windows 10 v1511 MCT is back, baby. Here's why it vanished...

Media Creation Tool download is GO! Grab your USB sticks.

Microsoft Windows 10 MCT 1511 November update download
U-disk Cool discounts Co. LTD

Microsoft is sorry for yanking the Windows 10 November update a few days ago. But now the version 1511 download is back via the Media Creation Tool (MCT).

It turns out that all the dark rumors of why Microsoft did this were wrong. Redmond isn't backtracking on ISO downloads, there wasn't a critical crypto bug, and there's no plan to throttle availability.

The problem was simply that they found a bug in retaining some privacy settings when you used MCT to update an existing Windows 10 install. And with all the ridiculous hoo-hah about Windows 10 being “spyware,” who’d blame Microsoft for being extra sensitive about the issue?

Can’t Redmond catch a break? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers need to be careful what they wish for.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

We want answers, darnit. Chris Williams tells us why Microsoft yanked its latest Windows 10 update download: It hijacked privacy settings:

Redmond disappeared the update, which could be fetched via the official media creation tool (MCT).

MCT is aimed at IT professionals and enthusiasts juggling many PCs: rather than have each computer upgrade...via gigabytes of Windows Update downloads, you can instead download and create a single...image to a DVD or USB stick. ... So when the November MCT download was a pain in the ASCII.

Now Microsoft's finally come clean. ... Fair play to Microsoft for shedding light on the blunder. ... In effect, installing version 1511 of Windows 10 via the MCT on Windows 10 machines overwrote the user's privacy settings.

The November now available again via MCT.

There are more questions than answers. Paul Thurrott powers through the jetlag, with Microsoft Resumes Windows 10 1511 Downloads, Explains Itself:

After days of silence and confusion, Microsoft has finally explained why it silently pulled Windows 10 version 1511.

What’s not why Microsoft waited so long to explain itself.

Suffice to say, none of this matters in the slightest, which makes the pulling of 1511 and the resulting weird silence even weirder.

I guess Microsoft wanted to wait until they had an update to the update to fix the update, no? Here’s the update to fix it—KB3120677. It's explained in KB3121244—Some settings may not have been retained when applying the November update:

Recently we learned of an issue that could have impacted an extremely small number of people who had already installed Windows 10 and applied the November update (Version 1511). ... A few settings preferences may have inadvertently not been retained for advertising ID, Background apps, SmartScreen Filter, and Sync with devices.

In the meantime, users interested in checking their settings can find them by going to Settings, then Privacy.

Sigh. What we need about now is a hyperbolic headline. How about Gordon Kelly’s Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Automatic Spying Worse:

[The] massive Windows 10 update ‘Threshold 2’ has far more good features than bad ones.

[But] the negatives in Threshold 2 [include] it resets many user preferences (including...your preferred web browser) well as silently deleting third party system monitoring apps like: CPU-Z, speccy, 8gadgetpack...

It is this kind of overriding desire for control and a disregard for user choices which is harming Windows 10. [It's] a modern and highly capable platform, but it has been buried under ludicrous layers of control. ... It all feels unsavoury and unnecessary.

How can Microsoft reignite the love for Windows 10? I’d say a good start would be to stop doing daft things like this.


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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