In what is yet another case of a manufacturer making things harder than they need to be, Samsung is pushing customers to use its own utility in favor of Windows Update to keep their laptops updated.
All Samsung laptops come with a tool called SW Updater that checks for any updates to bloatware that comes pre-installed, along with driver and software updates. While such utilities are available from most vendors, what's unique about Samsung's SW Updater is that it was found to disable Windows Update, preventing Microsoft's default updater tool from finding new updates.
A researcher discovered the problem while debugging Samsung's utility, finding a program called "Disable_Windowsupdate.exe" that constantly monitors the Windows registry to block access to Windows Update. Even if you manually enabled Windows Update, Samsung's program was found to prevent access to the utility after every system restart. The researcher confronted a Samsung customer service representative to confirm that the manufacturer was indeed blocking Windows Update:
ringzero: Thanks Rep! My question is, why does this software actively monitor the registry and deliberately cripple Windows Update by forcefully disabling it?
Rep: SW Update tool helps in automatically detecting the hardware on the laptop and installs the supporting drivers for them. I am afraid; this tool has directly no effect on the registry of your laptop or Windows Updates.
ringzero: Rep, I am afraid that you're incorrect. SW Update drops an exe named "Disable_Windowsupdate.exe"
ringzero: When SW Update is installed, Windows Update is always disabled. If it's enabled, or set to a setting of your liking, it'll be re-disabled on reboot.
ringzero: If SW Update is uninstalled, Windows Update stays enabled persistently throughout reboots.
Rep: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
Rep: When you enable Windows updates, it will install the Default Drivers for all the hardware no laptop which may or may not work. 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.
Samsung's move to block Windows Update could just be a measure to ensure that any system updates rolled out by Microsoft don't break Samsung-centric bloatware. If you're using a Samsung laptop, all you need to do is uninstall SW Updater and enable Windows Update to continue receiving updates in a timely fashion. Coming on the heels of Lenovo's Superfish incident, this is just another reason why manufacturers should re-consider filling up brand-new machines with bloatware.