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Microsoft Operating Systems Windows

Microsoft is Making It Easy To Stop Windows 10 Rebooting Your PC Randomly For Updates (theverge.com) 249

Tom Warren, writing for The Verge: Microsoft is unveiling some changes to the way Windows Updates are applied to Windows 10 PCs with the upcoming Creators Update. The software giant has long been criticized by Windows 10 users for its aggressive approach to applying updates, and it's introducing some new options to prevent annoying reboots. "What we heard back most explicitly was that you want more control over when Windows 10 installs updates," admits John Cable, Microsoft's Windows director of program management. "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time." To stop these random reboots, Microsoft is adding a new snooze option that appears in a new prompt to let you know there's a Windows 10 update available. Snooze will stop an update installing for three days, and give you time to save any crucial work.
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Microsoft is Making It Easy To Stop Windows 10 Rebooting Your PC Randomly For Updates

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  • More testing before rolling out upgrades would be nice. I've had one "unable to complete" for a few weeks now. Reboots the system, discovers the install doesn't fit the hardware, rolls back. Whole process takes about 30 minutes.

    • More testing before rolling out upgrades would be nice. I've had one "unable to complete" for a few weeks now. Reboots the system, discovers the install doesn't fit the hardware, rolls back. Whole process takes about 30 minutes.

      This feature was introduced in Windows XP, and has been so popular that sometimes when you reboot a PC, you see a string of ten updates trudge away through their completion percentages, fail to install, and automatically get backed out. This gives you time for a nice lunch before having to get back to work on your still un-updated Windows box.

    • More testing before rolling out upgrades would be nice.

      Lots of things "would be nice". It'd be nice if I could stop paying rent and just get to live in my house for free. It'd be nice if I didn't have to work for a living. It'd be nice if there was vaccination for cancer. It'd be nice if we built a nice Moon base with a fancy hotel for tourists, and I could go there for free for a week.

      Lots of smaller things would be nice too: it'd be nice if Apple iPhones weren't overpriced and didn't have glued-in bat

    • Had a good one myself. Forced a reboot, spent 90 mins s..l..o..w..l..y installing the update, got to 94% then failed something and spent another 90 mins unrolling everything again - unusable for 3 hours. Repeat the next day, and the next. Clearing update caches, scouring logs for error codes, googling all the things, tearing hair - nothing helped, until I eventually found something that hinted at the actual cause: my EFI partition apparently wasn't quite big enough.

  • Only MS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DakotaSmith ( 937647 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:14PM (#53955139) Homepage

    "What we heard back most explicitly was that you want more control over when Windows 10 installs updates," admits John Cable, Microsoft's Windows director of program management. "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

    Only Microsoft would think that people don't want control of updates, or that unexpected reboots aren't disruptive.

    I've been in IT 39 years. Only an idiot doesn't know those two things.

    • Re:Only MS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gtall ( 79522 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:19PM (#53955199)

      Of course they knew it, but they figured the longer they could get away with the forced updates, the better off they were at stemming any disruption to their business model. It is all about monetization of the "user experience". You are nothing more than a fat, information bloated meat sack waiting to sucked dry the MS Mosquito.

      • Re:Only MS (Score:5, Informative)

        by wireloose ( 759042 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:44PM (#53956243)

        "What we heard back most explicitly was that you want more control over when Windows 10 installs updates," admits John Cable, Microsoft's Windows director of program management. "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

        Made me laugh aloud. People wanting their computers to work when they are using them, rather than having their o/s rebooting unexpectedly? Microsoft has known this since the earliest days of MS-DOS and refused to listen. Now they act like it's news, 36 years after the first complaints.

    • Re:Only MS (Score:4, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:22PM (#53955251)
      Oh they know. They haven't cared so far with Windows 10. Especially since some of those who got Windows 10 as a free update, they're not paying customers. Windows 10 was never the product. The user data was the product.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And yet they try to pass off the spyware as though it were a tool for feedback and not data harvesting. Too bad feedback only works if they listen to it.

        I also have a problem with doing their job for them. I don't want to buy Windows 10 (or buy a version of Windows that got upgraded to 10, same thing), and submit any data to them, even if it's to make their lives easier and to fix bugs. If they want that data, they can rehire their QA team or they can PAY me for it. I won't work for them for free.

    • I kind of thought that this was fixed back in 2002. Even this new fix looks like a regression from back then.
    • Most people don't want to care about any of that in my experience it's the power users doing the complaining. Ask any average mobile user what version their software is and 99% won't be able to tell you.

      • All the power, none of the responsibility.
      • by e r ( 2847683 )
        1. Mostly that's because my phone doesn't reboot when the apps on my phone are updated.
        2. I don't use my phone for important work
        3. The crappy version of Lagdroid that Samsung put on my Galaxy S III is no longer being updated anyway.
    • Re:Only MS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @04:01PM (#53956465)

      The absolute worst aren't even the reboots in my experience - it's when you need to run out the door, go to shut down your laptop so you can slam the lid, toss it in a bag and go... and you get the dreaded "don't you dare touch this laptop for the next 5 minutes to 8 hours, important updates you can't control have started. Do you (a) hang around for an indeterminant amount of time waiting for the 5 minute... no, 1 hour... no, 30 seconds... no, 2 weeks... no... updates to grind away and miss your meeting/flight/dinner; or do you slam the lid anyway and run the very real risk of screwing up the OS.

    • Re:Only MS (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @04:06PM (#53956519)

      Only Microsoft would think that people don't want control of updates, or that unexpected reboots aren't disruptive.

      I've learned to expect the highest level of unawareness from Microsoft, even on regarding the most obvious topics. Sometimes I think they say things like this just to gauge the level of outrage and "WTF?" that follows.

      It's almost as if none of them use a computer, at least not one running Windows. They sound genuinely baffled that an unexpected reboot would be cause for concern. It's mind-boggling.

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      It *is* a pain, but not that difficult to mitigate. The reboot is a scheduled task which can easily be modified, or even disabled.

      A bit more of a task for non-technical folk, sure, but not nearly as daunting as poking around in the registry.

  • add windows 10 enterprise gpo's to pro!

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:16PM (#53955163) Journal

    It would be nice to have a notification on the shutdown menu stating how many updates are about to be installed before you shut down or restart, to avoid the computer unexpectedly becoming temporarily both useless and unable to shut down while it's installing updates. This is a major problem for computers that aren't used often and have to shut down or start up in a hurry...like dedicated presentation laptops.

    • Isn't it always one update [slashdot.org]? Or does that not apply to Windows 10?

      That one update may take 30 minutes to install on a Core i7 with an SSD, but it's still only one update. And twice a year, the "one" monthly update is a completely new OS image.

    • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:05PM (#53955803)
      Which is why serious work doesn't get done on Windows. The corollary to an above comment that "only an idiot doesn't understand that uncommanded reboots are disruptive" is the statement that only an idiot would bring along a system to do a big presentation that is subject to frequent uncommanded reboots and brick periods.

      I do all of my presentations on Linux machines and I set all of my machines to either disable auto filesystem checks on boot entirely or at least have the boot set up so I can CTRL-C out of it if needed. Why? Because my schedule gets set by me, not by some geek in another timezone who thinks he knows better than his lusers.
      • Must be nice to not have to deal with average Joe users at all...they see an interface that looks a little different from the Windows they're used to, and they're paralyzed. Putting an unfamiliar operating system on a computer they have to use would literally be at least as disruptive as changing Windows' UI language to Japanese.

        Can't remember the last time I used a distro that didn't let you Ctrl-C out of fsck on boot by default. All I have to watch out for on Linux is update-apt-xapian-index on older computers, where it amounts to a surprise CPU and HDD stress test.

        • It's not Windows, you can uninstall that xapian crap, it's about as useful as nepomuk.

          • Yep that's what I do on computers that can't handle it. I first tried disabling the cron scripts for it, but they get re-enabled if it's updated.

        • .they see an interface that looks a little different from the Windows they're used to, and they're paralyzed

          What? Absolute bullshit. I hand novice users my laptop all the time. I show them how to move the mouse to the top-left corner so they can click firefox. Nobody has a problem or even further questions. If they wanna open something else, they do the one step I taught them: Move the mouse to the top-left corner, and if it's not a button in the left pane, they look around. Within a second because the upper-left corner gives an overlay such that everything past it is somewhat-opaque gray, their eyes focus towar

        • Must be nice to not have to deal with average Joe users at all...they see an interface that looks a little different from the Windows they're used to, and they're paralyzed. Putting an unfamiliar operating system on a computer they have to use would literally be at least as disruptive as changing Windows' UI language to Japanese.

          So how did the Average Joes manage to figure out how to use Windows 8-10?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Obfuscant ( 592200 )

        Which is why serious work doesn't get done on Windows.

        Unfortunately, some software is only available on Windows. People who don't program for a living tend to program to the style of the system they have at hand, and because Microsoft has so polluted the programming environment with system specific things, those programs become system-locked until someone with programming skills can convert it. If the source is available. If there is money to pay someone to do the programming.

        This applies alot in the scientific community. Really smart scientists, or their gra

      • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:46PM (#53956265)

        Which is why serious work doesn't get done on Windows.

        Hahahahah. Post like this is the reason the entire community isn't taken seriously.

        Seriously.

    • This is one of the scenarios where Hibernate helps. Much faster (and more predictable) than shutdown/startup.

  • by Kitano123 ( 2631243 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:17PM (#53955169)

    How about you just restore the exact customization options that are in previous versions of windows because that's what I want.

    • As much as I appreciate having control your statement will fall on flat ears. Millions of unpatched Windows machines is exactly the reason the old process was considered broken.

    • Those customization options left you with a dialog that says 'update now/remind me in 10 minutes/4 hours', with the default set to 'update now'. So if the dialog pops up just when you press Enter, the update proceeds to reboot your system. That was better than Windows 10, but not by much.

      Its saving grace was that it could be disabled with a Registry hack, allowing a sane update schedule (i.e. weekly).

  • Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:18PM (#53955191)

    Sorry, not good enough. I want to be able to fully control when or if my system receives updates, which specific updates it gets and when or if my system reboots. A delayed forced reboot is still a forced reboot. I only apply updates that fix a problem that I am having and 99% of all Windows update have exactly zero benefit to me. I also have some work projects where I need my computer to operate 24/7 for an indeterminate number of days or weeks.

    The spyware, adware and reverting configurations needs to end too.

    • I resorted to disabling svchost.exe from accessing the network. Now I just restore access when I want to update. It probably cuts off other MS services too, but none that I use or want.
    • There is a fix for all of those problems, it's called Linux. :)

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:18PM (#53955193)
    1) Use a wireless connection
    2) Lie to the OS and tell it it's a "metered" connection
    3) Tell the update manager to not download uploads over metered connections

    I remember I put this into place when I just wanted to hop on my Windows 10 gaming desktop and play some FPS before bed. If Windows updates were active, they'd stupidly try to download at the same time, which would also excite the AV components, and cause lag enough to get me killed over and over again.
    • I just wanted to hop on my Windows 10 gaming desktop and play some FPS before bed. If Windows updates were active, they'd stupidly try to download at the same time, which would also excite the AV components, and cause lag enough to get me killed over and over again.

      Sounds like you need to git gud.

    • No need to use a wireless connection. You can set metered as the system default through the registry on weird and Bluetooth connections too.

      The latter, I.e. the only fucking metered connection I've ever used is the reason I looked for this seeing in the first place.

    • by e r ( 2847683 )
      Think about the absurdity of needing to trick your own OS into behaving the way you want or need it to.
      Why not just use a different or better OS?
  • How about not assuming that my machine needs to be able to reboot itself randomly whenever I'm not there to click?

    I don't care if you make that the default, but as a power user, I want the ability to change the settings because I know best for my situation, far moreso than some "one size fits all" mandated by Redmond.
    • How about making the "Reboot Now" button the default one on the query dialog? That regularly trips up people typing away without watching what's happening on the screen.
  • "... unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

    No shit Sherlock. A 5 year old could figure that out in 2 minutes and this has been the case since Windows XP. The truth is your users are rebelling because you are were taking an FU we do what we want approach to your customers and MS is discovering that with tablets and smartphones and Windows 7 install base, most customers are not all that locked into MS products.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:38PM (#53955443)

    If you are going to insist on automatic updates, ensure that they can be applied to a running system, up to hotswapping parts of the kernel. Or just back off. My system is not a toy and is certainly not your toy. You don't get to decide if I get interrupted either today or 3 days later,

    • You don't get to decide if I get interrupted either today or 3 days later....

      Since you're still using Windows after all these years of Microsoft doing those very things, you have informed Microsoft over the years that it does indeed get to decide if you get interrupted either today or 3 days later. You have indicated that you will accept it, you will like it, and you will always come back asking for more abuse.

      Microsoft knows that you are its slaughter sheep, and it will continue treating you as such until you stand up for yourself and switch to something else. Otherwise, you are

      • by iamacat ( 583406 )

        Since you're still using Windows after all these years of Microsoft doing those very things

        Where did you get this impression?

      • Since you're still using Windows after all these years of Microsoft doing those very things,

        Windows 10 debuted July of 2015. That means it has been a total of about 19 months that anyone has been using it. Where do you get "all these years" from?

        Oh, you didn't realize that the first thing many people (including me) did when getting a new Windows machine was to turn off automatic updates. No, you don't get to count "all those years" of using Windows before 10 as proof that everyone who uses Windows loves and accepts automatic updates and reboots.

        You have indicated that you will accept it, you will like it,

        Wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:45PM (#53955527)

    Oh it exisits, it's called Windows 7, which market share increased this month [theinquirer.net]. Even Windows XP is still at 8% market share three years after end of support. This all shows the failure of Microsoft.

  • by Unknown User ( 4795349 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @02:47PM (#53955543)

    "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

    Who would have thought that?

    Now they just have to figure out how to disable all telemetry in Windows 10, and I might even start to use it!

  • Give me control as to when to download the update.

    I have a metered connection that is unlimited between 2:00am and 6:00am. Let me schedule the download so I don't burn through my available bandwidth with OS updates!

    And don't hog my bandwidth when I'm actively using the computer!

    Installing and reboots are the least of my concerns.
  • When my employer switched from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012, the patch team was surprised to discover that users could set their own work hours for when the system couldn't be patched. That feature could screw up the mandatory 6PM-12AM maintenance window and leave systems out of compliance. A fix was implemented to prevent user from using that feature.
    • The difference here is that the employer owns the machine and sets the schedule, not MS. I have no problem with companies implementing changes like this on their own hardware...I have a problem with MS deciding when and how my machine updates.
      • I have a problem with MS deciding when and how my machine updates.

        Tell that to the user who believes that their employer-provided workstation belongs to them, them alone and no one else. They don't like being reminded that their employer could easily replace their workstation with a box of crayons and still expect them to get the job done with that.

  • by evolutionary ( 933064 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:01PM (#53955741)
    Why on earth would anyone in their right mind allow a system to "randomly" reboot in the first place...
    • Because they hate humanity and want it to suffer.

    • Because Microsoft has realized (a long time ago) that their users actually appreciate being screwed over.

      What I see is that most Windows users have such low expectations for the way their computer works, yet are opposed to alternatives. There is some strong cognitive dissonance involved.

      Not everyone is a gamer who plays games that only run under Windows, or uses Photoshop. Most users today just need a browser and perhaps an email client.

    • Why on earth would anyone in their right mind allow a system to "randomly" reboot in the first place...

      It doesn't. When an update is discovered, its downloaded to the computer when not using a metered connection. Then the user is notified for three days that a reboot is pending. If the user doesn't reboot, it will only issue a reboot during scheduled hours, based off of the computers activity history.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:11PM (#53955879)

    Obligatory "Are they not merciful?" post.

    Wow, Microsoft is letting ME have a little more control of MY computer.

    My Benevolence-O-Meter may not be able to withstand such punishment.

  • Still beta software then eh?

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @03:23PM (#53956007)

    John Cable, Microsoft's Windows director of program management: "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

    I'll guess I'll be sending in my application for a top job at Microsoft. I don't know jack shit about programming, but clearly that's not a requirement for pulling down top dollar in a position that is ALL ABOUT EFFING COMPUTER PROGRAMS.

  • Tells us that Microsoft's executive staff is accustomed to having their PCs reboot at random times, with no option to have whatever they're working on, and being unavailable for extended periods of time while it does.

    Which tells us a great deal about Microsoft, and Windows. (And how important the work their executive are doing really is.)

  • "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time"

    No, kidding.. Good to know you are able to "hear" things :P

    That's not an ideological point or anything, it's just that when I'm at work, believe it or not, I don't want my laptop to reboot and halt my apps.
    How come bright people at Microsoft thought I would feel different ?? Total mistery to me...
    WHat is the purpose of doing those unwanted reboots ? A taste to make my life harder ? A reminder to override with linux ? Seri

  • Set the Windows Update service to a disabled state. Once Patch Tuesday has come and gone, enable it when you have a moment and then manually check for updates. When updates have installed, reset Windows Update service to disabled.
  • I'm more interested in when Linux can make it easy for me to stop using Windows.

    I would love nothing more than a fully game-functional OS that doesn't come with a Bill Gates buttsexing me.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      There are a good number of Linux-compatible titles on Steam these days. Way more games than there were for OSX when I had my brief flirtation with Apple hardware in the 2000's. And way, way more than there were on Linux, back in the heyday of Loki games. You can run the steam ones with no fuckery whatsover. If you don't mind a little fuckery, I hear you can get at least a couple of the MMOs working with wine. Dunno about Skyrim, though. Haven't tried my VR headset on Linux yet, either, although apparently V
  • John Cable: "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time"

    Donald Trump: "Nobody knew health care could be so complicated"

    Is John Cable channeling Donald Trump? Because these two statements are horrifyingly similar in that they both show an almost unheard of level of cluelessness.

  • "We also heard that unexpected reboots are disruptive if they happen at the wrong time."

    Really? You needed users to actually tell you this?

  • There are plenty of issues in Windows, but for me personally, this is the absolute worst offender. The OS should never ever reboot my computer without my explicit permission. Specially when I have a tonne of stuff open. Just copy how Mac OS handles this. It is OK to periodically remind me that I need to reboot. But never proceed to do it when and as you see fit. Your guesses on when it is OK to do so are going to be wrong. Resists the temptation. Again, copy Mac OS in this regard. If they can get i
    • by e r ( 2847683 )
      Or better yet, copy how most Linux distros do this: never reboot and never nag me to update in the first place (unless I opt-in to the nagging).
  • It is very rare that I don't shut down my computer properly overnight. So I want to simply turn off automatic reboots completely. The second thing I don't like is when I turn on my computer in the morning, I need to wait a minute while it is applying updates. When I say "update and shutdown", why can't the computer update, shutdown, restart, fully apply all updates, and shut down again when done?
  • This very update rebooted without asking me last night. *laugh*

  • Make it so that you can tell Windows 10 to wait before rebooting for a user-configurable amount of time (anywhere from 1 hour to 3 days) with a "do it now" button you can activate anytime before the set time (i.e. if you know you dont need the PC for a while)

  • Translation (Score:4, Funny)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @08:34PM (#53958705)

    Well, fuck. Even the shills we have hired at various Microsoft-praise-sites are now bashing us for rebooting their machines at random. So we decided to tone it back a notch, hoping that this will appease enough people to the level where they're probably pissed at us for rebooting their machines but not enough to actually consider switching to a system where they got control.

    Let's see whether that's enough to make them shut up.

  • 3D Printing Fail (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Justin Fliss ( 4701259 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2017 @10:15PM (#53959235)
    I was 3d printing an very large object on my printer and the print time was 21 hours. I was checking on it all day (its really fun to watch) and then finally after it was printing for 18 hours I walk back in to the room and see my printer sitting there motionless and my computer had an 'updates were installed' message waiting for me. THANKS WINDOWS 10, that was super important.

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