Messages - Blackbird Dev [ switch to compact view ]

Pages: prev1 [2]
General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« on: April 28, 2016, 04:48 PM »
It's sad that I didn't notice the errors that I have today, when I first ran Blackbird, yesterday. But now I cannot access Explorer until it has given up on opening some program. (...)
I'm sorry to hear about your experience. We've had thousands of users with no issues, this seems strange. (...).
-Blackbird Dev (April 28, 2016, 08:28 AM)

- Thank You for answering, so I was reminded to tell:

The problem I had with Explorer this morning, has gone! I don't understand what caused the problem. Since it's gone, I must conclude it was not made by Blackbird! The only reason I can see right now is, that maybe Agnitum Outpost Security Suite Pro for a moment forgot what was good and what was bad, because of the big Windows update. That update really was huge.

But the point is, I didn't change anything, and everything is working fine - so Blackbird must be okay.  :up:

That's great news! We'll sleep better tonight :) Have seen Windows 10 get stuck when updating before, seems to be a pretty common issue.

General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« on: April 28, 2016, 01:26 PM »
Whoops! Spoke too soon. Blackbird is a bit like a blunderbus! I think I shall avoid it.
This is what it does (per readme.txt):

Blackbird V6 (version 0.9) Readme
[email protected]


> Disables OneDrive
> Disables Cortana
> Disables Bing-integration
> Disables Wi-Fi Sense
> Disables Windows/Office Telemetry on all Windows versions
> Disables Xbox Live services
> Disables web content evaluation / URL check-in ("SmartScreen")
> Disables Windows Media Online DRM
> Disables Windows P2P Update sharing
> Disables all application metric-data collection agents
> Disables all AutoLoggers
> Disables Start menu ads
> Disables Windows Error Reporting
> Disables Diagnostic Tracking / "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry" service
> Disables WAP-push Message Routing service
> Prevents all location/contacts/handwritting/password sharing
> Prevents cross-device synchronization
> Prevents device meta-data collection
> Patches various data-leaks (IE/EDGE/Defender/Explorer/MRT)
> Removes Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
> Removes your unique Ad-ID tracking token and disables further Windows advertising profiling
> Removes GWX and all Windows 10 Upgrade triggers, icons, messages and other nagging
> Removes Windows 10 Upgrade setup files on Vista, 7, 8, 8.1
> Removes a bunch of Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 telemetry updates
> Blocks 130+ different tracking/telemetry/ad servers (supports IPv6/IPv4, Wifi/Eth)
> bonus (some) Youtube, Skype, Facebook ads blocked


> Double-click blackbird.exe,
> Click Yes if prompted by UAC,
> Blackbird will perform a quick security scan (green means good - red means bad),
> Press any key to apply,
> Get some coffee (optional),
> Reboot the computer when it's finished. All done.

You can also invoke Blackbird from CMD with the following command-line switches available:

blackbird -v   >  Verbose mode. Displays additional information on all changes as they're being made.
blackbird -s   >  Silent mode. No additional user interaction required, good for scripts
blackbird -r   >  Recovery mode. Restores all values changed by Blackbird to default Microsoft values.
blackbird -k   >  Kill Cortana completely (prevent searchUI.exe from loading) / can be unkilled using Blackbird Recovery mode.
blackbird -e   >  eMule LowID fix (experimental).
blackbird -f   >  Show frequently used programs in Start menu.
blackbird -x   >  Enable Xbox Live services.
blackbird -d   >  Disable Windows Defender.
blackbird -h   >  Disable Hibernation (deletes hiberfil.sys file from root).
blackbird -u   >  Disable automatic installation of updates / Sets to manual download and install only.
blackbird -m   >  Disable automatic installation of Malicious Removal Tool updates.
blackbird -?   >  Displays help information.

You can only run a single switch at one time.


Q: Blackbird is stuck/hangs/crashes.
A: It takes a while (up to 1h on older CPUs) but if you're sure it's stuck, close blackbird, open cmd as admin, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file.
    Type "blackbird -v" (without the quotes). This should give you a more detailed view of what's going on.

Q: Blackbird shows errors like "access denied", "unable to read file", "system error"...
A: This is normal, especially under W10. Try closing and running Blackbird again, this somehow forces Windows to behave. Not sure why.

Q: My antivirus reports Blackbird as malware.
A: This mostly happens with the 32bit version but we assure you, it's a false-positive. Use the 64bit version if possible, AVs seem to like it better for some reason.
   We suspect this occurs because of the nature and relative obscurity of our software (registry editing,telemetry dismantling,..)
   Some files are extracted during usage but they are all deleted before you even exit the program.

Q: I don't like what Blackbird did to my computer. How do I change it back?
A: Start cmd as administrator, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file, type "blackbird -r" (without quotes) and press enter.
   This will run Blackbird in Recovery mode and will restore all changes made by Blackbird back to their default Microsoft values.

I killed the app. as it does all those things by default, and I don't want them all - e.g., I don't want OneDrive disabled.

Fortunately, you can use the command line to cause Blackbird to restore to windows default all those things it changes by default. I may have to run that now as I have no way of knowing whether I killed it in time before it had managed to make any changes. It doesn't seem to run a report or anything to tell you what it actually succeeded in doing.

Of course, restore to windows default is not necessarily the same thing as restore to what it had been before.

I'd recommend extreme caution as running this tool could arguably be a bit like sticking a screwdriver in amongst a bunch of live wires and trusting in the outcome. A black box approach.

...Use screwdrivers with insulated handles.

Hi IainB,
I'm gonna completely agree with you, Blackbird does mess around with A LOT of system-critical components (startup tasks,registry,services,system files,network config, to name a few..) and all the tweaks have to work in perfect unison to not disrupt normal usage.
Add in some false-positives and you've got yourself a highly suspicious exe. The irony being that Blackbird was written because we didn't trust the other tools.

We try to test each version extensively but things do slip by. A Windows update throws something off, a 3rd-party application gets in the way.. It's not easy and we have extremely limited resources.
To give you an idea, the Blackbird code has ballooned 5000% since the original version (v0.3) while our wallets have deflated by negative 20%.
Blackbird does offer a Verbose mode switch (blackbird -v) that shows all changes as they're being made. While not exactly a report, it shows exactly what's going on behind the progress bar in real-time.
The issue with Blackbird only restoring to Microsoft defaults is a problem we've been trying to figure out how to best implement a solution to but currently we can only safely offer the MS-defaults option. Working on it.

Not to get all emoticoni but we get nothing out of this. Our only motivation is trying to help because forced-anything is wrong in our opinion.
So since we've committed ourselves to this mess because apparently we're masochists deep-down, I'd like to invite all of you to tell us what needs improving.

We want to make Blackbird better for you.
If it turns out it causes more problems than it fixes we'll suspend the project and start from scratch. The last thing we want is to piss-off PC dudes.

General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« on: April 28, 2016, 08:28 AM »
It's sad that I didn't notice the errors that I have today, when I first ran Blackbird, yesterday. But now I cannot access Explorer until it has given up on opening some program. Because of the lack of access, I don't even know what program that is - except the problem has to be due to Blackbird! Right now I am very disappointed - and very embarrassed for having lured others into this BlackHole.

I'm sorry to hear about your experience.
We've had thousands of users with no issues, this seems strange. Can you provide some more details like the exact Windows version? (build number would be great)
Did you try running Blackbird in Recovery mode? While it may set everything back to Microsoft defaults all options can be customized to your preference after.
If you wish you can reach us at [email protected], we'll get to the bottom of this.

Hi Curt,

I don't wanna sound like a promo-tool but our software unintentionally resolves issues with CompatTelRunner.exe.
A user in this thread > ( apparently had similar problems.
When I say "unintentionally" I mean that the software we provide targets telemetry as a whole, so keep that in mind.

You can check us out at

General Software Discussion / Re: Anyone using Blackbird?
« on: March 20, 2016, 08:11 AM »
Hi guys, I realize this is an old-ish thread but I wanted to clear a few things up.

What's with the malware scares?
Initially we structured the Blackbird exe in a very lazy and suspect way and for some reason the 32bit version was singled out by antiviruses, our hosting provider, and yes, Google, as malware.
Google came into play about 10 minutes after Blackbird was made available on MajorGeeks, showing "Reported unwanted software" on our site when Chrome or Firefox users with checked "Block reported attack sites" option visited us.
That list is maintained by Google.

The only way to remove this is by logging in to your Google account, placing a google-supplied html file on your website's public root dir and letting them audit the site again. That whole process kinda struck us as strange but after confirming the Blackbird 32bit exe was the cause we decided to remove it from the site and asked MajorGeeks to help us out with hosting, which they kindly agreed to. This wasn't a viable option for the future since it's a mess to maintain and looks unprofessional, so we rewrote huge parts of Blackbird and released version 0.9.88 to solve such problems.

One more thing, Blackbird is not a realtime protection application, it doesn't run in the background. It's a Run-Once-And-Forget kinda deal.
Like a certain gentleman and scholar mentioned before, Blackbird is just a fancy script packed inside an exe. It uses "persistent routes" in a neat way to block freshly pulled IPv4/6 addresses.
Working on proper technical documentation for geeks as I type this.

Pages: prev1 [2]
Go to full version