Archive for December, 2006

Fucking Windows Update!

December 18th, 2006 No comments

I am furious with Windows Update.

Kudos to Microsoft for making the software so much better in Windows XP SP2, so much so that I am now willing to use it (I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole in previous versions). But it has an annoying habit, and has now done something which has made me incredibly angry.

As soon as it has updated, it asks if you want to restart your computer. Now, normally this is a very good idea. However, I have been running some seriously long processing tasks on my computer over the past couple of weeks (read: it takes 3 days to finish, and it is a time critical thing that this gets done), and therefore I just cannot restart when it prompts me to (Yes, I realised that I *should*, but just could not).

What is annoying is the interval that it prompts you to restart. It’s about every 10 minutes, and gets very very very annoying. There should be some option to let you turn off the reminder, or to reduce the frequency of the prompting, just for that one set of updates only.

What has angered me is that Windows Update has automatically restarted my machine, because I wasn’t there to tell it not to. Fortunately, my long processing job had finished, but I was half way through another job which would take a couple of hours. I’ve now lost that work. I have also lost the first draft of this post.

If I had been running my routine at the time, then I don’t know what I would have done. In fact, it would probably have cost my company a lot of money.

But it is not as if this is the first time that this has happened to me. It did the same thing to me the other day at home. Fortunately that time I did not lose any work because Firefox restored my session, and I was using the VMWare console, so simply re-attached.

Something needs to be done about this. It is not up to Windows Update to restart my computer without user interaction. It is, quite frankly, dangerous.

I’m also contemplating something else about this functionality. I wonder whether we could get Windows Update classified as a virus or piece of malware – after all, it is willing to restart a PC at an unscheduled time, when I don’t want it to, and without my interaction. Surely that’s got to be enough to give it a classification.

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