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Sneaky Samsung SWUpdate installs software without consent - and won't remove it!

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by iain_m, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. iain_m

    iain_m Notebook Geek

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    Sigh. This is exactly why I hate OEM crudware. :mad:

    I thought I'd post the following, in case anyone else runs into the same issue.

    I have a Samsung NP700G7C-S01 laptop, with a lean Windows install (no Easy Software Manager, Easy Settings, etc.). I wanted to check for updated drivers. Since Samsung, in their wisdom, requires "SWUpdate" to do this, I installed version 2.1.6.45 of SWUpdate from the Samsung site.

    Having downloaded the drivers I wanted, I then uninstalled SWUpdate, because I didn't want any kind of service or startup item left running on my laptop.

    The program appeared to uninstall correctly.

    After a reboot, I noticed an odd process in Task Manager: CommonAgent.exe, with no available description. Clicking through to its location revealed that within a Program Files(x86)/Samsung folder, there were now directories called "Common" and "S Agent". The latter contained CommonAgent.exe.

    The directory also contained a program called sAgentUninstallUtility.exe. I ran this, and it did nothing whatsoever.

    Looking in msconfig startup items and services, I could find no trace of CommonAgent.exe, nor was it in the startup folder of the start menu. :confused:

    I eventually discovered that it was running as a scheduled task, set to launch on every user login. I deleted it from the Windows Task Scheduler (under Task Scheduler Library).

    I also deleted the Common and S Agent directories from Program Files(x86)/Samsung.

    This kind of nonsense is why I detest OEM software that crufts up a user's computer for no discernible reason. I would even go so far as to call CommonAgent.exe malware, since it was installed and left on my computer without my consent, even though SWUpdate itself appeared to have been uninstalled.

    Shame on you, Samsung. :mad:
     
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  2. mox123

    mox123 Newbie

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    I just registered now to thank you! i have been using computers for over 10 years and only today i realized that you could schedule tasks as anther way of getting around msconfig

    wow I am just shocked that task scheduler allows apps to be scheduled in this way, is there not any way to make it more secure

    thanks again, it was s agent that kept bothering me with popups of installing other crapware that would bog my laptop down, no wonder the average joe continues to complain of problems and continuously returning their laptops, it is so bogged down with crap that it just builds up and the system crashes


     
  3. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Samsung S Agent is indeed annoying -- both because it doesn't uninstall itself AND because it is a bit of a latency hog while running in the background.

    Most Samsung tools (including Easy Settings) load as Scheduled Tasks, which I agree is not the most well behaved (as also described that thread linked above). Unfortunately, many other vendors are starting to use Scheduled Tasks as their primary mechanism (Google is one example). I think because it provides control over what triggers loading, which is not available when loaded simply from a Run key in the registry (those you see in MS Config).

    The very latest SW Update actually just did away with S Agent and doesn't install it anymore. That's good. Unfortunately it still forgets to remove the leftover S Agent during the update, so you have to do that manually. AND it installs a similar agent as service, now baked into SW Update itself so that you can no longer prevent it from automatically loading, the way I described here.

    All that said, SW Update really does make installation on these Sammies a snap. That's the good part.

    Update: Oh, and welcome to the forum mox. You'll find lots of good information here and many helpful people :)
     
  4. iain_m

    iain_m Notebook Geek

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    You're welcome - glad the info was useful.
     
  5. drpaulmhine

    drpaulmhine Newbie

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    I'm not too opposed to SW Update suggesting software updates on occasion since it does not come up with messages too frequently. However, I do object to it telling me that I need to install and/or update programs that I do not want ton the computer, e.g. Norton Antivirus Suite. I have another antivirus that I much prefer but SW Update keeps telling me that I need to install the Norton Suite.

    How can I remove unwanted reminders from SW Update while keeping the reminders that I can use?

    Paul
     
  6. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hi Paul, welcome to the forum.

    If you click on the SW Update icon in the taskbar tray, you should be able to disable those notifications. I cannot even show you what it looks like: I disabled it immediately after my last install a few months ago -- and I haven't seen a single reminder since.

    With the latest version of SW Update you can also completely remove the s Agent software that does all this checking in the background. Use the steps described by iain_m earlier in this thread.
     
  7. drpaulmhine

    drpaulmhine Newbie

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    Thanks for response, Dannemand. I know how to disable all notifications but, as explained in my previous post, I was wondering if it possible to disable some unwanted notifications only.

    Paul
     
  8. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Sorry, I overlooked that aspect of your question. I am afraid I don't think that is possible :(

    Personally I just start SW Update every few weeks when I want to check for updates. But I can see how what you ask makes sense. Sort of like Windows Update.
     
  9. TANWare

    TANWare Just This Side of Senile

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    Since I only use mode shift and easy settings for the keyboard all the rest of Samsungs software is gone..................
     
  10. Reine

    Reine Newbie

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    Same as mox123, i completed one of my 'favorite' activites - registration - just to say THAK YOU VERY MUCH, iain_m!
    Good luck everyone. :D
     
  11. iain_m

    iain_m Notebook Geek

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    No worries, I know how irritating this kind of problem can be, so am glad to be able to help.

    Actually I am a bit disappointed all round with the Samsung driver/software for the laptop - am about to start another thread about that! :mad:
     
  12. Reine

    Reine Newbie

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    Hello again!
    I noticed that my FN hotkeys from FN+F1 to FN+F12 (except volume which is at FN+F5, F6 and F7) don't work anymore and language change button which is situated next to space button doesn't work aswell.
    Is it because of uninstalling that sneaky software?
     
  13. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    The software which handles the Samsung Fn key calls is part of the (Easy) Settings package.

    John
     
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  14. Reine

    Reine Newbie

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    Thanks, John.
     
  15. TristanN47

    TristanN47 Newbie

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    Just registered to add to this post.

    I installed SW update on my Series 5 Ultra just wanting to check for touchpad software as upgrading from win 7 to 8 got rid of the one finger scroll.
    Contacted samsung and they pretty much said if the feature isn't there....then it isn't there....too bad.

    Uninstalled SW update & it came back the next day. Did it again & same issue.
    Found this post a month ago & removed the scheduled task and thought all was well.

    It came back and created an icon on the desktop.

    I then deleted all Samsung folders on the machine, removed the service, deleted the scheduled task, removed the startup entry, checked the firewall for anything random and it STILL was able to install itself again after the next reboot.


    I just wiped the drive, a tad extreme, but a hidden service phoning home to reinstall itself if a complete joke.

    Leaves a bad taste in your mouth regarding samsung products, this experience will stay with me for a while..
     
  16. iain_m

    iain_m Notebook Geek

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    Wow, although it didn't come back again on my machine, I couldn't agree more about the bad taste left by the experience.

    I'm not an Apple fan, but it often seems to me that other laptop manufacturers act as sales staff for Apple by providing such terrible customer experiences - bloated and unreliable factory software, very belated driver updates (if at all), and often completely clueless customer support.
     

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