The Windows 10 Exorcist
by Gabriel Polmar
IMPORTANT: This script will make SEVERE changes to your system(s). That said, let’s move on.
For decades people have called Microsoft the Evil Empire. I refused to accept this descriptive term as they were simply a very successful software company which I have worked with, respected and watch grow. In time became beyond wealthy and even greedy but still, I refused to call them by this term. As the world turned to Cloud computing, Microsoft introduced to the world the last ever Operating System they claimed that they will ever make, Windows 10. Why? Windows 7 was great in so many ways. Windows 8 was an aborted fetus that didn’t know when to die and of course, they decided to skip out on Windows 9 since they wanted to turn every computing device into a part of their Skynet drone network, but Windows 7 and 8 could not achieve this for them. So now we have the demonically possessed Windows 10 which tracks everything you do and using some crazy network witchcraft calls home and tells them everything you do, every site, every email, your phone data, your fitbit, everything. Cortana is a wanna-be Succubus that tries to lure you in as if it’s Siri but nooooo, it’s just another tracking device.
I have noticed a significant decrease in performance since upgrading from Windows 7 x64 SP1 to Windows 10 x64 1909. My SSD in working more, my CPU cannot rest below 34% where it used to avg about 11%, memory went from 29% to 56% idle and of course there is the network traffic. I’ve watched tons of traffic going to MS related sites for tracking. This did not happen with Windows 7. Whether with Wireshark, TCPDump or just my (shout out time) pfSense monitoring, MS stuffed a bunch of demons inside of my machine and I wanted them out! So I did the research and tested on a boatload of VM’s before I was confortable enough to test it on a real machine, then I tested it on my (another shout out) Plex box and you know what? The difference is pretty significant.
“There are a bunch of scripts out there that can do this, right?” Sure. But I’ve tried them on sandboxed VM’s and for some reason there are so many privacy settings that were still not resolved. I have a lot of customers that rely on privacy, law firms, medical facilities and privacy is key to their business. They are small, medium and large businesses but Microsoft never gave fore-warning that privacy can only be achieved (so they say) in Windows 10 Enterprise. So I decided to give them the power to save themselves a lot of headaches. My customers are not paying for this. In fact my customers
So it only took me 2 days to realize that MS has totally screwed Windows 10 users by using their info as data that they can crunch in their Cloud infrastructure and create sales statistics that they can use for marketing purposes not only for themselves, but for their consulting clients as well. Who knows maybe they will be using their AI platform to compete with Google at th Ad business. Maybe they will sell data to Amazon and Alphabet. So after extensive research I’ve found Powershell scripts that may do it, they may not (they most likely will). I have a nasty compulsion about properly formatted and cleanly-written code. I did not like at all anything I found. So I tore apart thousands of lines of code trying to figure out what their goals were. I then used those code segments to build a roadmap and begun researching the pieces. Then after a few hundred hours of Google’ing various items, I’ve collected a massive amount of data. Now the job of reassembling all of this information into a working script. The first thing was to build a module, which I did do but decided to keep the core functions within the script since this will be a one-time exorcism (I hope).
Why do I care? The idea here is that you paid for Windows, you did not pay for your computer to be their private ad delivery service nor did you pay for them to spy on you. While I am all for profit, I believe that MS has crossed a line and betrayed the trust of customers and users. Also I work with a lot of businesses as customers and the one thing I have learned is when ANY system calls home without consent of the owner, it has breached a level of trust that needs immediate remedy.
This script is designed to operated on a multi-user system. While one user may run the script as admin,
other users will find that there are still crapware features and tracking telemetry activities happening on their account.
This script will load once for an administrator, removing all primary crapware. Each subsequent user who logs on
the script will then clean their profile as well. It is up to the system administrator to determine how to implement
this script and when to discontinue using it. The script will automatically determine if it has been previously executed under the logged on user profile as well as administrator to prevent itself from re-execution.
Simply run this script on each of the profiles on the computer, with an Administrator account being the first to execute the script and non-Administrators (or other Administrators) thereafter.
WINDOWS 10 HOME EDITION.
Sorry but once you run this script you will lose the ability to manage local users on your computer. I fixed this by releasing Windows 10 Local user Manager on 3/23/2021 and you can find it here. https://github.com/MegaphatNetworks/Windows-10-Local-User-Manager
If you are using this in a domain environment, I would suggest including this script in your logon script. Execution could be as simple as launching from a batch file such as: powershell.exe -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File .\ThisScript.ps1 Be sure it executes the first time logged in as a Domain Admin.
NON-DOMAIN/AD BUSINESS SYSTEMS.
Run the script the same way as listed above for Home Users.
HIPAA Compliancy Notice.
Windows 10 is NOT a HIPAA-compliant OS. Why? Because of all of the phone-home telemetry included. While I have not performed any network sniffing to determine if Windows 10 is actually sending any sensitive data back to MS, the mere fact that it phones home with your activity and has access to your information makes it inherently not HIPAA compliant. Will this script make your system compliant with HIPAA requirements? To some degree yes. It will disconnect the OS from having access to the sensitive data on your system. Microsoft has published information on how to make Windows 10 ENTERPRISE EDITION HIPAA compliant with a set of system tweaks. All I did is translate that from W10Ent to W10 Home/Pro. Then I monitored my network to see if my OS attempts to contact MS and using pfSense (LOVE IT) I was able to monitor all traffic on my systems. While I did notice some minor telemetry other than MS Updates, no data was transmitted.
ABOUT THE CODE:
Please note that it took about 200 hours of research, 300 hours of coding and testing to get this script working.
If you find it useful, please give us credit if you clone the script. If you really want to show your thanks, I would appreciate any donation you could make to help pay for the time I spend doing this as well as getting me more coffee to keep me coding!