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Flash Player Prompting to Update with Auto Updates Disabled

New Here ,
Oct 25, 2013

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My scenario:

Windows 7 x64

Flash Player 11.7

mms.cfg located in C:\Windows\Syswow64\Macromed\Flash

mms.cfg settings:

AutoUpdateDisable=1

SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0

I opened the Flash Player Settings Manager and under Advanced tab, verified "Never check for updates" is enabled.

I have both Standard and Administrative users receiving the following warning to update Flash player. Again, I have verified the settings are correct and auto update is showing as disabled.

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Flash Player Prompting to Update with Auto Updates Disabled

New Here ,
Oct 25, 2013

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My scenario:

Windows 7 x64

Flash Player 11.7

mms.cfg located in C:\Windows\Syswow64\Macromed\Flash

mms.cfg settings:

AutoUpdateDisable=1

SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0

I opened the Flash Player Settings Manager and under Advanced tab, verified "Never check for updates" is enabled.

I have both Standard and Administrative users receiving the following warning to update Flash player. Again, I have verified the settings are correct and auto update is showing as disabled.

adobe.png

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LEGEND ,
Oct 25, 2013

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There have been many reports of fake update pop-ups, but the screenshot you posted looks genuine.

When you get that pop-up again, could you check the Task Manager's Processes tab, and see if you can identify which process is issuing it?

P.S. hopefully someone from the Flash Player team will also have a look at your post.

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New Here ,
Nov 05, 2013

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The message popped up again today. The process was FlashUtil32_11_7_700_202_ActiveX in C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash

I again verified in the Flash Player Settings Manager that 'Never check for updates (not recommended)' is selected.

I don't know if the processes the first time was ActiveX or Plug-in.

I also want to point out that not everyone is receiving this message, only some are.

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New Here ,
Nov 18, 2013

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We are seeing the same thing. I was going to post about it but it suggested I read this post. Which has not been answered. I am following all of the documenation for disabling flash updates and the control panel icon is showing that checks are disabled. I even went as far as disbaling the Flash Updater Service and removing the scheduled task Flash creates for whatever reason. As far as I can tell i have disabled this updater in 4 different places and some users are still getting prompted. Is this a bug? It used to work up until the last few months. Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Nov 19, 2013

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We are getting this issue as well for our users.

Currently running 11.9.900.117 on Win7 64bit Pro. Update to 11.9.900.152 is available and is NOT silently installing despite fact that mms.cfg is in users c:\windows\SysWow64\Macromed\Flash\ folder and set to

AutoUpdateDisable=0

SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1

Users are standard users not in admin group for their computers. We are getting many calls to help desk about this. The updates are supposed to be silent, aka no notification or interaction presented to users. Searching the forum & bugs this goes back to April of this year.

When is Adobe going to fix this?? We are tired of getting calls regarding this.

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New Here ,
Nov 19, 2013

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We've experienced this issue for quite some time now. We have AutoUpdateDisable=1 in mms.cfg, stored in %windir%\syswow64\Macromed\Flash\. If I look in the Flash Player settings, I see that automatic updates have been disabled. Yet several of our users get the update dialog.

It's amazing to me how Adobe is not taking it seriously. I have posted a bug report in the bugbase, and from searching this forum it's pretty clear that the problem is common.

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New Here ,
Nov 21, 2013

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I have posted my issue into bugbase as well.

https://bugbase.adobe.com/index.cfm?event=bug&id=3673004

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New Here ,
Nov 21, 2013

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I'm guessing Adobe is too busy doing damage control as a result of their latest "we lost all your passwords" hacking to fix something like this.

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Explorer ,
Nov 21, 2013

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Not prompting the users for updates (and either silently updating or never updating) is an essential feature for business/enterprise deployments.

When the users get prompted they get confused and calls come in to the IT Helpdesk. Both groups are then not happy.

I can't understand how Adobe cannot be on fixing this immediately.

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New Here ,
Nov 27, 2013

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Dear ituser22,

       Player 11.9.900.152 is our LOUD release, which means SilentAutoUpdate service is not enabled in the following 30 days even if you set "SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1" in mms.cfg. So, if you have player 11.9.900.117 installed on your computer with AutoUpdate service enabled (set "AutoUpdateDisable=0"), you will see the update panel popping out and leading you to our PDC center to download the latest flash player.

      We are sorry that our upgrading process confused you so much. Hope this note is useful for you. Thanks so much!

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New Here ,
Nov 27, 2013

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This doesn't answer the original question which is, why are we seeing prompts for updates even though we disabled automatic updates. Thanks.

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2013

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Thanks for the reply!

We are looking into issue now, but unfortunately we couldn't reproduce this issue. We may need your help. If the issue still exists with your computer, would you please do us the favour to provide more details?

  1. Your OS type, your browser type, and the player version you are using.

  2. The installation logs.

       For windows 7 64bit, the log is under C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash

       For windows 7 32bit, the log is under C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash

        For Mac OS, the log is under: /Users/User_ID/Library/Logs/FlashPlayerInstallManager.log

  We may find some clue through the installation logs so that we could fix this issue as soon as possible. Thanks again!

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New Here ,
Dec 02, 2013

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Anping wrote:

Thanks for the reply!

We are looking into issue now, but unfortunately we couldn't reproduce this issue. We may need your help. If the issue still exists with your computer, would you please do us the favour to provide more details?

  1. Your OS type, your browser type, and the player version you are using.

  2. The installation logs.

       For windows 7 64bit, the log is under C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash

       For windows 7 32bit, the log is under C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash

        For Mac OS, the log is under: /Users/User_ID/Library/Logs/FlashPlayerInstallManager.log

  We may find some clue through the installation logs so that we could fix this issue as soon as possible. Thanks again!

I have uploaded the flashinstall.txt file to bug#3673004

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 02, 2013

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Anping wrote:

Dear ituser22,

       Player 11.9.900.152 is our LOUD release, which means SilentAutoUpdate service is not enabled in the following 30 days even if you set "SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1" in mms.cfg. So, if you have player 11.9.900.117 installed on your computer with AutoUpdate service enabled (set "AutoUpdateDisable=0"), you will see the update panel popping out and leading you to our PDC center to download the latest flash player.

      We are sorry that our upgrading process confused you so much. Hope this note is useful for you. Thanks so much!

We're also seeing the same issue and have a similar environment to the original poster and ituser22 (Windows 7 Enterprise x64 running 11.9.900.117 with AutoUpdateDisable=0 and SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1).

On an equally important note, how can administrators tell which updates are "LOUD" releases and will need to pushed out via Group Policy (or equivalent) even if silent auto-updates are enabled? I kept expecting our machines to update automatically as they had previously done and then finally created a manual update after reading your post. It would be very helpful if Adobe LOUDLY made it clear in the security bulletin for a release that it would not update automatically. I couldn't find any mention of it in the bulletin for 11.9.900.152. Thanks.

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New Here ,
Dec 03, 2013

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The original poster did not have the same settings. He was disabling autoupdates altogether. As am I. And we are both still getting prompted for updates. Do silent updates even work? I assumed it would prompt for admin rights, which our users do not have. The idea of supressing updates is so that IT can manage the deployment using tools that dont need local admin rights (SCCM). Our users are used to us handling updates for them. When they get a prompt about flash updates we look bad and Adobe looks worse (they already look bad daily). I'm surprised you can't recreate it. Maybe this bug was finally fixed in 11.9.900.152?

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2013

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I should have clarified that our environment is a mixture of the original poster's and ituser22's. More importantly, I should have proofread my post more carefully since we actually have AutoUpdateDisable=1 rather than what I originally posted (and can no longer edit). I apologize for the confusion.

Silent auto-updates do indeed work (at least they did until the 11.9.900.152 release). They use the background updater service that runs as the SYSTEM user so it updates even though all my users don't have admin rights. The service was already installed with Flash (introduced in 11.2, I believe) so all I had to do was push out the mms.cfg file. When combined with AutoUpdateDisable=1, it should also remove any prompts to the user about updating, although clearly that part is not happening.

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New Here ,
Dec 03, 2013

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Oh cool. To me it seems like AutoUpdateDisable=1 and SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1 are conflicting settings. In one setting you are say disable autoupdate and in the other you saying to enable it, but do it silently. Maybe that's why it works. They are treated as wholly separate settings.

It would be nice to use the SilentAutoUpdate and get out of the business of deploying plugins but we like to test the plugin first before giving it to our users. Good to know that service works. I actually went as far as disabling that service with GPO and it was STILL prompting for updates somehow.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 03, 2013

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Agreed. In fact, when I originally created the mms.cfg, I had AutoUpdateDisable=0 because it wasn't initially clear to me that setting controlled only the automatic update prompts (the "regular" automatic update) rather than the silent updates. I can see the potential value in having a separate setting for each option but the naming convention could be clarified, especially when one says Disable and the other says Enable.

If you are referring to disabling the background updater service, it's possible that service only works in conjunction with the silent updates and would therefore not affect the update prompts (although I certainly can't state that definitively).

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 04, 2013

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Hello,

Unfortunately, it's difficult to troubleshoot this issue after the fact due to how the auto-update notification is triggered.  If auto-updates are disabled in the mms.cfg file the update notification should not display, however, there is an edge case scenario that could result in the update notification displaying.

First, to clarify some comments regarding the update settings in the mms.cfg file:

The default update settings are:

  • AutoUpdateDisable=0 (notification update is enabled)
  • SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0 (silent auto-update is disabled)

Silent auto-update is an opt-in option, it is not the default setting.  When installing using the EXE installer if the system is not already opted into silent auto-update the user will be prompted to select an update option and the mms.cfg file will be updated with this selection.  The MSI installer does not write to the mms.cfg file, therefore, it does not prompt the user to select an update option.  When Flash Player is installed using the MSI installer Flash Player simply honors whatever settings are already present in the mms.cfg file.

SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1 enables silent auto-update ONLY if AutoUpdateDisable=0 is set.

AutoUpdateDisable=1 disables notification AND silent auto-updates

As of Flash Player 11.5, uninstalling Flash Player using the standalone uninstaller will reset the update options to the default setting (documented on page 8 of the Flash Player Administrator's Guide):

  • AutoUpdateDisable=0 (notification update is enabled)
  • SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0 (silent auto-update is disabled)

If your Flash Player deployment process is to first uninstall the Flash Player using the standalone uninstaller and then install Flash Player using the MSI installer the system will be configured for notification updates since this is the default setting.  In this case you must re-deploy the custom mms.cfg file to disable updates at the same time Flash Player is installed using the MSI installer (e.g. uninstall, install using MSI, deploy custom mms.cfg file disabling updates).  If the custom mms.cfg file disabling updates is not re-deployed at installation time it is possible for Flash Player to detect an update is available resulting in the upate notification displaying.

Regarding 'loud' releases, if you rely on silent auto-updates to update Flash Player within your organization, and want to avoid the update notification associated with a 'loud' release, you can host the updates on an internal server.  Details on how to do this are on page 19 of the Flash Player Administrator's Guide.

This functionality is tested extensively and we have not been able to reproduce the update notification displaying when updates are disabled.  Nonetheless, I will try using the various Flash Player versions mentioned in this thread.

--

Maria

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2013

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Maria, thanks for the information.

Is it possible that by having SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0 in my mms.cfg causes the occasional popup to update by somehow interfereing with the AutoUpdateDisable=1?

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2013

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Thanks for the detailed response Maria. I can say I currently only use AutoUpdateDisable=1 in my mms file and was seeing the prompts. We use only the MSI version from the enterprise deployment website and let it do it's thing with regard to removing the previous versions. We recently deployed the latest version and I'm hoping we won't see prompts when the next version releases.

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New Here ,
Dec 04, 2013

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Also with regard to how we are deploying the mms file. We use group policy preferences. That way even if the user or the installer delete or change the mms file, group policy comes back down and sets it back the way we want. To disable auto updates. The weirdest part is that the control panel applet shows disabled yet some users report they are getting prompts.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 06, 2013

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@bigdogchris,

AutoUpdateDisable=1 is the overriding setting, which disables everything.  How are you deploying Flash Player in your organization?

@axeshredder1,

How often does the Group Policy task run?  If there's a lag between the time the user modified/deleted the mms.cfg file and Group Policy resetting/recreating the custom mms.cfg file it's possible that Flash could have detected an update is available and configured the system for the notification update.

--

Maria

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2013

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Hi Maria,

Thanks for clarifying the settings. Is there any way to tell which flash releases are "loud?" Thanks.

We also use Group Policy Preferences for deploying the mms.cfg file. Great tool.

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New Here ,
Dec 09, 2013

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Maria, Group Policy refreshes by default every 90 minutes on windows clients. However, most of our users are not running as admins nor would they ever mess with that file. So to my knowledge that file always stays the way we set it (especially since we use the MSI to deploy Flash). Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Dec 09, 2013

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>Regarding 'loud' releases, if you rely on silent auto-updates to update Flash Player within your organization, and want to avoid the update notification associated with >a 'loud' release, you can host the updates on an internal server.  Details on how to do this are on page 19 of the Flash Player Administrator's Guide.

So the so-called "silent" updates feature isn't really completely silent? It'll do some of the updates silently but others will pop-up for the users (these "loud" releases, for example). That's really a misleading use of the term "silent" on Adobe's part. Admins see "silent updates" and then expect users not to be alerted of anything regarding these updates.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 13, 2013

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Release announcements are posted in the forums at http://forums.adobe.com/community/flashplayer/announcements and indicate whether or not the user will receive the update notification regardless if they're opted into silent updates for the loud releases, although the comment is not prominet on the page.  I spoke with the person that posts these and  future release notifications for loud releases will call this out more prominently.  To subscribe to release notifications, follow the instructions on this FAQ http://forums.adobe.com/thread/890491.  More information on loud notifications is available in this FAQ http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1152367.

--

Maria

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 13, 2013

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Thank you for the information, axeshr3dder1.  Based on this, the chance of Flash Player detecting an update and configuring the system is this situation is very, very slim.  I'll continue to investigate.

When Flash Player detects an update is available it creates a value in the RunOnce registry entry ([HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce] "FlashPlayerUpdate").  This value executes the command that displays the update notification window when the user logs on.  To prevent the update notification window from displaying you can create a Group Policy rule to check for the existence of this value (FlashPlayerUpdate) and delete it if is found, and/or add a log off script to check for the existence of the value when the user logs off/shuts down.  If the value doesn't exist when the user logs on, the update notification window does not display.

--

Maria

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New Here ,
Jun 23, 2014

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Great news ALL!

I have had an open case with Adobe Support for a better part of June and I just received confirmation the Adobe Engineering team is able to replicate the issue.

They have logged a high priority bug, bug number #3759054.  I'll provide confirmed solution once provided.

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New Here ,
Sep 08, 2014

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Hi KevinBach,

Did Adobe provide an update to your issue?

I am experiencing the same problem.  I have placed the MMS.CFG file into both x86 and x64 director and it seemed to resolve the issue for a little while and now it has come back.

I can't find that BUG ID you quoted in your post.  Any help guys?

Cheers.,

Luke

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New Here ,
Sep 08, 2014

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@Luke

Adobe responded to me on a follow up email on 8/4 confirm that "the product team is able to reproduce this issue, but only on an older version of IE11. The workaround is to deploy the mms.cfg file to the following two locations on the systems:

C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\

C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash\"

I'm not sure I believe the only version is IE11 because I can replicate all day long on IE10.  In any case, we have added the mms.cfg file to both locations for WIN7 x64 OS and problem is resolved.

No update on when they will update their admin guide to reflect this requirement or when they intend on updating the code but this is a must for that OS moving forward in conjunction with IE10 or higher.

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New Here ,
Sep 08, 2014

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Hi Kevin,

Thank you very much for your very prompt reply.

I currently have that file copying to both locations and the issue has resurfaced.  I've just removed the checkbox from "Apply Once".  Perhaps it needs to be re-written occasionally.

We are using IE11 on a Windows 7 x64 environment.

Thanks again.

Luke

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2014

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@ Luke

I set my mms.cfg gpp preference action to Replace.  Works as needed.

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New Here ,
Jul 16, 2014

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I have exactly the same issue with some users. MMS.CFG has:

AutoUpdateDisable=1

SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0

Flash player settings panel advanced tab reads  "Never check for updates (not recommended)", but user is still prompted to update.

I look forward to Adobe's resolution of this issue; it makes Flash player impossible to manage in a corporate environment.

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New Here ,
Sep 17, 2014

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Hi everybody,

I also have the same problem, "never check for updates" is selected but still the user is prompted to update.

When you go to Adobe - Flash Player : Settings Manager - Global Notifications Settings Panel  you can uncheck the box for “Notify me when an update to Adobe Flash Player is available. Strangly enough this seems to be a user setting and not a computer setting for all users. Adobe should uncheck this setting when administrators disable to check for updates, if you ask me.

Kind regards,

Wikke

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New Here ,
Apr 19, 2015

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I just edited the file C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\mms.cfg from this:

  • AutoUpdateDisable=0 (notification update is disabled)
  • SilentAutoUpdateEnable=1 (silent auto-update is enabled)

To this:

  • AutoUpdateDisable=1 (notification update is disabled)
  • SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0 (silent auto-update is disabled)

Note that using Notepad, etc. to save the file did not work, since access was denied.

Since on Windows 7 64 bit both edit and edlin are missing, I just downloaded vim for windows and used 'vi' from the command window (cmd.exe).

From a command line editor you can save the file.    I restarted the computer to make sure it took effect.

Message gone.

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New Here ,
Aug 04, 2015

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As well as what gaiusg99716536 has posted we do the following in our environment.

Using a batch file for the install add the following line:

SCHTASKS /Delete /TN "Adobe Flash Player Updater" /F

This will remove the actual scheduled task in Windows that runs the auto updater service for Flash.

This will stop any kind of updating checks for Adobe Flash.

You can double check that this task already exists using task scheduler in Windows.

We also copy the mms.cfg to the following locations on our x64 systems:

C:\WINDOWS\System32\Macromed\Flash

C:\WINDOWS\SYSWOW64\Macromed\Flash

Hope this helps.

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maria__1 LATEST
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 04, 2015

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Hi 90520388,

The scheduled task is only for Background Updates.  It is not involved in any way with Notification Updates.  To completely disable Background and Notification Updates, put the following in the mms.cfg file:

AutoUpdateDisable=1

SilentAutoUpdateEnable=0

This does not delete the scheduled task, and the task will still wake up periodically to check the mms.cfg file settings to see if it should query the Adobe servers for an update, but it'll see that Background Updates are disabled and go back to sleep.  It will never actually send a request.

Also, the bug requiring the mms.cfg file to also be saved at C:\WINDOWS\System32\Macromed\Flash on 64-bit OS has been fixed and this work-around is no longer required.

--

Maria

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