Feeds

Windows 8.1 Update 1 spewed online a MONTH early – by Microsoft

Someone left the barn door unlocked in Redmond, it seems

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Early leaks of upcoming builds of Windows are common enough, but the latest leak of code purporting to be Windows 8.1 Update 1 comes from an unusual source – Microsoft itself.

On Thursday, wily snoops discovered that the set of six updates that make up the forthcoming overhaul of Windows 8.1 can already be downloaded from Redmond's own servers, and some intrepid hackers even managed to get them via Windows Update.

This, despite the fact that the update has reportedly only just been released to manufacturing, and it wasn't expected to ship to customers before April, at the earliest.

The Windows Update method is tricky, as it involves tweaking a setting in the Registry. And while some online forum members report success using it, others say that Microsoft appears to have already blocked it, such that not all of the required updates appear in Windows Update any longer.

Fear not, though – there are apparently direct download links for all of the updates, and while you can't find them by searching Microsoft's site, helpful hackers have posted them all for you online.

Screenshot showing the leaked packages for Windows 8.1 Update 1

The largest of the leaked updates clocks in at 762MB, indicating it's a major feature release

Separate packages are available for 32-bit x86, x86-64, and ARM versions of Windows – yes, even the unloved Windows RT gets to share the Update 1 wealth – so make sure you only download the ones for the architecture you need, and don't try to mix and match.

Also, forum posters warn that it's essential to install all of the updates in the correct order, or the process will likely fail.

It is at this juncture that we at Vulture Annex in San Francisco would like to caution readers that performing this kind of unsanctioned brain surgery on Windows PCs can very easily have all kinds of undesirable results. If you don't feel 100 per cent confident that you know what you're doing, you're best advised to not try at all.

And if you do run into problems – or even if you don't – don't say The Reg told you to do it. In fact, here you go: Don't do this. It's a bad idea.

That said, if you absolutely can't restrain yourself, you can find complete instructions and direct links to the update packages in the order in which they should be installed here. (And if for some reason those links no longer work, presumably there's always BitTorrent – once the cat is out of the bag on something like this, we find it seldom crawls back in.)

When asked to comment on the matter, a Microsoft spokesman said only, "We look forward to sharing details about the update soon." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
'Google is NOT the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim'
Plus: 'Pretty sure iOS 8.0.2 will just turn the iPhone into a fax machine'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.