Recent updates require a reboot – or do they?

I have a love/hate relationship with Windows Updates.  I mean, it’s GREAT that they keep everything up to date, but I have this CRAZY thing I do called “work” – and my “work” entails running programs for hours on end and queries that don’t cater well to a semi-random reboot.  I finally turned off automatic updates because I kept coming in expecting to see the results of my 17 hour query, only to see “A recent update required a reboot”.  With that nixed, I now do semi-automatic updates which seem to 9 times out of 10, require a reboot when complete.

Well, sorry – I don’t have time for an update, and I certainly don’t want to see a reminder every 250-350 seconds just in case I forgot.  If my blood pressure and stress could be combined and measured using something similar to a  thermometer, Windows Updates certainly pushes me way over the boiling point with little or no effort.
Fact #1 – Computers should work, especially when I need them.  They should never be down or broken.  They should especially NEVER hinder me from getting my work (or play) done.

Fact #2 – Software should get updated occasionally – about once every 3 to 6 months – not every two weeks or certainly not every week.

Face #3 – A software update should be something I ask for – and when I’m done with it, it should say “I’m done and you can reboot (if necessary) when you are ready” – once.

Definitions of later on the Web:

  • subsequently: happening at a time subsequent to a reference time; “he apologized subsequently”; “he’s going to the store but he’ll be back here later”; “it didn’t happen until afterward”; “two hours after that”
  • future(a): coming at a subsequent time or stage; “the future president entered college at the age of 16”; “awaiting future actions on the bill”; “later developments”; “without ulterior argument”
  • by and by: at some eventual time in the future; “By and by he’ll understand”; “I’ll see you later”
  • late: at or toward an end or late period or stage of development; “the late phase of feudalism”; “a later symptom of the disease”; “later medical science could have saved the child”

There is nothing in that definition that says EVERY FIVE MINUTES.  The windows message after an update says “Restart Now” or “Restart Later”  Not – Ask me again every five minutes.

God forbid I should be typing something something that would inadvertainly cause me to press an enter key or something that would force a restart.  Oh, and don’t worry about saving your work because while I am rebooting I will probably lose all of your work.  Yes, this has happened to me.

Did you ever ask yourself WHY they ask you every 5 minutes to reboot?  I have the answer – it’s because they have even MORE updates waiting to send you and until you reboot (you idiot!) they can’t send them to you to start the process all over again.  Reboots are necessary to finish the unending update process.  If you want to really save time, alter you autoexec.bat file to just reboot – then you won’t have to even be involved.

Possible ways around this :

1 – Format your hard drive and install Linux – This is a little drastic.  Did I try it?  Yes – I went back to windows after trying to install several of my favorite utilities on Linux only to find out how involved this is.  Linux is a terrific alternative if you have an unlimited amount of time to throw at it.  I don’t.

2 – Turn off windows updates completely – Oh, did you read any tech rag this week (not this specific week, just any week in general) – Windows updates are necessary to prevent your next door neighbor’s 12 year old from gaining access to your hard drive because he found a secret back door into internet explorer or office.

3 – Turn on complete automatic updates – then every day when you show up – your machine rebooted at night.  This is especially useful in a production environment where you run applications that take 24 hours – oh, what’s that sparky?  You were waiting on your results?  Too fucking bad – I rebooted and no, I didn’t save anything.

None of these are great alternatives.  What I did manage to find at work this week was the following command:

Go to Start->Run and then type “net stop wuauserv” in the box and press Enter

Viola – no more prompting.  I can reset in three days when I have some downtime.  No more 5 minute – spine tingling – death defying nagging.  Windows – thou doesth killeth me…!

You can put this in a batch file and save it on your desktop.

It’s like one of those stress balls, just in a more compact form.


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