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Rufus and the controversy surrounding Microsoft’s blocking of Windows downloads

Rufus is a free and open source application focused on creating bootable USB drives. Last week, users reported losing one of its features due to Microsoft blocking Windows downloads from its servers.

If you follow us regularly, you must know it perfectly because it’s the tool we use for all the tutorials and software tests we publish. Although there are other similar applications (for Windows, macOS, Linux or other systems), when it comes to working with Windows images, in our experience Rufus is the best option available.

Clarify that Rufus can “burn” images from local storage media that the user previously downloaded or you can download them from the same app connecting to official Microsoft servers by installing the Fido script. This last feature stopped working in the last few days.

Rumor has it that this was Microsoft’s response (as a “punishment”) to the arrival of one of the features that Rufus added to its latest versions, which allows bypass the requirement to use Microsoft accounts (MSA) in the upcoming Windows 11 22H2 release. In the same section, you can also uncheck TPM and Secure Boot, two of the most controversial hardware requirements added to Windows 11.

As for the accounts given (informally) as the reason for the ban, to say that Microsoft insisted we use their accounts as opposed to using local accounts to sell their own apps and cloud services. You already know our opinion on this: both types of accounts have their advantages, but it should be the user who is free to decide and not the order of the provider.

Block downloads in Rufus

As a result, Rufus users were getting error messages when trying to download Windows 8, 10 or 11 using the mentioned feature from the app itself, as you can see in the cover image. The authors of the script confirmed the block: «Microsoft made a deliberate change prevent downloads from a source other than your own website».

In a GitHub discussion thread (in addition to Microsoft’s spot), other developers have asked for help re-enabling the feature. And it looks like they succeeded because a new Fido update already allows you to bypass the block.

We just tested it and Rufus works perfectly, both when “burning” saved images and when downloading them integrated in the application.

Of course, you can always download system images beforehand from Microsoft’s web portal, although the built-in downloads in Rufus save us this step. The Redmond company has not commented on the case, and the accusation of “deliberate blocking” cannot be confirmed, but it was unnecessary controversy As this other feature of Rufus, the only thing it does is connect to official Microsoft servers as seen in its source code.

Source: Muy Computer



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