With Windows 10, Microsoft doubles down on forced updates and reboots (save your work!)


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/29/with-windows-10-microsoft-dou.html


Fucking ridiculous. Way to drive folks to another OS…


I didn’t even like the way Win7 did it. So many times I was ready to shut down and run out to an appointment only to find a five minute update. It only felt like an hour, and it never made me late, but still annoying.

Before you despair, there’s a small upside to losing your precious work. Doing it the second time is much faster, because you already did the thinking, and that’s the hard part. And now you get to do more thinking, which means a better product the second time.

Just keep telling yourself that.


I changed registry settings so that it couldn’t reboot with a logged-in user. It appears to have changed them back.


I just (in the last week) bought a Windows 10 laptop. I’ve been stalling putting Linux on it, mainly because my distro of choice, Arch Linux, has removed from its wiki the step-by-step, idiot-proof installation guide I used for my last laptop, apparently because if you needed it, you should be using another distro.

Time to bite the bullet and stop procrastinating.


I know the new update process can be annoying if you aren’t expecting it, but I’m not sure what other choice Microsoft had. For home users, regularly installing updates is an absolute necessity, and yet it’s traditionally been something that only gets done after something is already broken (or at Thanksgiving when the one technical person in the family updates everyone’s computers). If Microsoft simply left things the way they were, we’d end up with another Windows XP nightmare where nobody is patched and malware can run rampant. I’d argue that XP-era malware was far more disruptive than rebooting to install updates.

Keep in mind that Microsoft does try to let you configure when these updates get installed, so if you set the ‘active hours’ and restart time on your computer correctly, you won’t be interrupted while you’re actually doing work. These settings are all accessible from the Update & Security section of the Windows 10 Settings app - just search the start menu to find everything.


And yet, at the same time, When you try to log off and let the OS shut down yr programs, if one of them throws up any kind of dialog, you can’t get to it because Windows has already gone to its “the remaining programs are waiting to shut down” screen. It just amazes me that 15+ years of that idiotic sequence hasn’t been fixed.


Exactly. Whenever an update arrives, I receive a notice to that effect that lets me postpone the restart for a while (hours, not days). I’ve never had it restart unexpectedly whilst I’ve been in the middle of something.


I try to remember to turn off networking on my laptop when I’m using it to give a lecture; this normally prevents updates, but I’ve been caught when I forgot to hit the switch. I’m seriously considered repurposing my media center’s Raspberry Pi to serve as a lecture machine.

Besides forced updates, the other bad behavior that MS seems almost religiously committed to is focus stealing. In Windows 2000 and XP you could turn it off with a registry tweak, but they removed that tweak in W7 for no apparent reason and have been deaf to pleas to make it an option. For those of us who type fast, it frequently leads to mistakes, eg when a box pops up asking. “Do you want me to kill your dog? Type [shift]-[ctrl]-Q to cancel, any other key to proceed.”


Configure the active hours and restart options on your laptop and you won’t have to worry about disabling networking to make sure you’re not interrupted during a lecture.


I tried that, it didn’t work well because I forgot to change the times when my teaching schedule changed from one semester to the next. What finally did is just tell it to not download or update until I want it to. I still get unwanted popups at bad times telling me that updates are available, but I can just dismiss them.

Things are more difficult in classrooms that have their own computers, as I don’t have administrative access.


You are correct, sir! I work as a part-time volunteer, fixing my fellow oldsters’ computers. The most frequent issue is obsolete software. New Windows computers update themselves, but the free security software must be manually updated at least once every week, forever.


Gobdabnit, turn on the autosave! Determine how much you like remembering and retyping, and set an appropriate time interval.


after every Windows install, i have always run Win Update to get current, then simply gone to Services and disabled Windows Update from launching. never been bothered since. does this no longer work in Win 10?


is it so hard to install Linux? I did years ago and never looked back. Everything I can do on Windows, I can do on Linux. Wine runs the few Windows apps I can’t live without.


How to Geek: How to Prevent Windows 10 From Automatically Downloading Updates

/Google much?


It’s good that you get your computer fully updated after a fresh install, but it’s a horrible idea to try and disable all updates in the future. Microsoft releases a large number of security updates every month (Patch Tuesday is the second Tuesday of a given month), and keeping your computer unpatched puts you at risk.


Exactly. What happens if you need to do work when you need to do work, not at some pre-arranged time you’ve agreed with goddamn Microsoft?


I have a number of things that take hours to run, and I do them outside of “active hours”. Naturally I miss the “Imma gonna reboot now if you don’t touch the keyboard, 'kay?” warning.


Translation: “Why are you still using Windows for anything serious? Seriously, it’s been decades at this point since Windows has been competitive with serious OSs, that you’d actually use to do real work that you care about.”