Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Stop Vista's Update Auto-Reboot, permanently!

It's a story with Vista and XP that has played out over and over again across the lands. So you've been working away at some stuff, some word docs here, some bits of code there and some of all of it may or may not be in a position where you want to hit the Save button or do a "Save As" but hey never mind you're off out for a few hours...

...while you were out, Win
dows Update helpfully downloaded and installed a couple of fixes for your machine and now it needs to reboot the machine in order to complete the update. This is all fine but you're not there, and so Vista pops up a dialog giving the user the option to "Restart Now" or "Postpone" and a little countdown timer. When the timer hits 0 your box will restart automatically.

The number of times in the past I've come back from being out to see that login screen staring at be smugly and then logged in only to notice that it's actually "Logging In" rather than being "Unlocked" (the no apps running in the taskbar is a clue.)

It makes me SO angry, how many of these updates are SO IMPORTANT that they need to be fully applied to the machine RIGHT NOW??? Are there really hoards of 1337 barbarian hackers out there just waiting to take advantage of some vulnerability in CALC.EXE??? No, it's one of those broad stroke, treat all users like they're idiots policies that MS seem to adopt occasionally with security.

Anyway,
a while ago I found a solution, but I keep forgetting what it is and after doing a google search yesterday to try to track it down again I found a lot of dangerously incorrect advice on various blogs, the worst of which were people advising that users disable automatic updates altogether This, is wrong! So in the interests of having the info somewhere I know I can find it, and in the hopes that it might be useful to others I'm going to describe what I like to call the "middle ground approach". That being, you still get the prompts by Vista, and you can postpone the prompts for 10 minutes or 4 hours and after that time it will nag you again but it WILL NOT automatically reboot your machine and cause that "blood draining from face" moment you get when you realise that you've lost half a days unsaved work.

Anyway it's quite simple.
  1. Go to the start menu, and in the search type "gpedit.msc" Then hit enter. The Group Policy Object Editor should appear.
  2. Navigate to "Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update"
  3. In the list on the right look for the following setting: "No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installation." Double-click this and change the configured value to "Enabled" then click OK.
From now on when Vista needs a reboot you will be prompted with the following dialog:



It's worth noting two things though:
  • If you're on a domain, it's likely that domain policies will override anything you set here even if you are allowed to access the setting in the first place.
  • It appears that when the dialog pops up, it gets focus and the "Restart Now" button is highlighted. So if you're typing and you happen to hit "Enter", "Space" or "n" it will be effectively clicking the "Restart Now" button...

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you... found your blog via Google and this is exactly the solution I was looking for!

Israel said...

Thank you - I also used Google to find this perfect solution. It was killing me watching hours of work or processes and connections being lost on a few of my vista machines that are in a closet and only accessible by RDC. You are my hero of the day!

Jon the Canadian said...

Unfortunately, you cannot run gpedit.msc on vista home . Any ideas?

KiwiBastard said...

try the answers here - but short answer is you can't but there are some tools in that forum that might help

http://forums.techguy.org/windows-vista/570289-gpedit-msc-missing.html

Anonymous said...

So the ba$tasrd$ won't *allow* a Home user to stop all his work vanishing? Thanks, that's great. No, really. I just love that even if I kill the task that says "I'm shutting you down in 4 minutes" it comes back up and doesn't even restart the timer!

It must be controlled by a service in the background. I'll just have to work out which one. Otherwise I'll be forced to disable updates entirely. Retarded M$, as ever.

Arthur said...

thank you. it's just mind-boggling how MS people treat their customers...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this was the GPsetting i was looking for.

turboladen said...

Interesting... I've had that set for a few months now (the last time I got super pissed about Vista rebooting in the middle of emails/work), but forgot. I just got really annoyed with these reboots again, found your post, navigated here, and see that I already have the setting set to "Enabled". I'm still getting reboots all the friggen time...

Anonymous said...

Thanks this was very helpfull. For Home users there is always the option to have windows only download the updates and not install them. That way you can just install them when your done with your work.

Anonymous said...

You da man, your tip might have just saved me a rage induced heart attack.

Anonymous said...

i have vista home, you can change the settings in Control Panel>Security Center>turn automatic updating on or off

Anonymous said...

Another thing you can consider is to set the auto install time that fits your work schedule.
For example, mine is set to auto install important updates at 3:00AM. So as long as I make sure I save my work before 3:00AM, I am good.
When I run tasks overnight, I change the setting to download but not auto-install updates. But sometimes I forget!

Anonymous said...

Man, I really wish my XP Professional copy supported dx10 (or that game developers would start using openGL). Vista Home sucks. The computer manufacturer didn't even give me the 64-bit version of Vista Home, despite the computer coming with an AMD Phenom.

Bob said...

I hate bill gates!!!! FUCK!!! FUCKING FUCKER!!! GODDAMN BASTARD! FUCK! Mother fucking cock sucking asshole rebooted my computer yet again, not save all the fucking tabs in IE while he did this! FUCKING COCK SUCKING BASTARD! Thanks for your blog, now I can finally say "FUCK YOU" to bill gates when he comes along to reboot my computer without my knowledge again! GGGRRRRR!!!

Finally said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks this was very helpfull. For Home users there is always the option to have windows only download the updates and not install them. That way you can just install them when your done with your work.

11:07 AM

that should do it, now the computer won't shutdown on me by such things. :) whew!

lovine said...

Haha Bob, I feel the same way.

Another solution would be to use Linux instead :P

Anonymous said...

viagra for sale without a prescription viagra covered by insurance marijuana and viagra viagra australia cialis v s viagra online viagra cheap viagra canada viagra 34434 buy viagra meds online what does viagra do women taking viagra free sample pack of viagra viagra and hearing loss viagra free sites computer find

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.xbox360achievements.org/forum/member.php?u=259462]mexitil cost per pill[/url]

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good idea, but when I do the search for gpedit.msc on my Vista machine, it finds nothing. So I remain stuck with the option of turning off automatic updates or accepting the restarts.

Jim said...

Thanks for this. Now to get back to my resume updates that were lost thanks to Mr Bill.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.blingforfun.com]hip hop jewelry[/url],[url=http://www.blingforfun.com/pendants/cat_9.html]hip hop pendants[/url],hip hop watches,[url=http://blingforfun.com/belts/cat_18.html]bling bling[/url] ,hip hop,[url=http://blingforfun.com/chains/cat_7.html]hip hop chains[/url],hip hop bling,[url=http://blingforfun.com/chains/cat_7.html]iced out chains[/url],[url=http://www.blingforfun.com/chains/cat_7.html]wholesale chains[/url]
hip hop jewelry
wholesale hip hop watches
hip hop rings

Anonymous said...

http://blogginggym.com/user/view.php?id=5574
http://www.pstanley.net/moodle/user/view.php?id=963
http://ako.net.nz/lms/user/view.php?id=4028
http://ako.net.nz/lms/user/view.php?id=4029
http://www.drama-education.com/site/user/view.php?id=7901
http://et.ladniak.pl/user/view.php?id=2007
http://educationorb.com/dias/user/view.php?id=3892
http://cfvalongo.esb.ucp.pt/moodle/user/view.php?id=16297
http://www.drama-education.com/site/user/view.php?id=7902
http://www.pstanley.net/moodle/user/view.php?id=962
http://educationorb.com/dias/user/view.php?id=3893
http://schoolsense.co.uk/user/view.php?id=2168
http://schoolsense.co.uk/user/view.php?id=2169
http://educationorb.com/dias/user/view.php?id=3891
http://et.ladniak.pl/user/view.php?id=2006

Anonymous said...

car wash supply
the history of the car
collector car auction
mini car museum
car gps portable
the duggers clown car
car rental and logan international airport
allen race cars

Anonymous said...

http://wpacouncil.org/user/41575
rc race cars cheap
cars movie mader
car hire weston super mare
car stereo with inunput
car rental shorewood wi
macks used car lot
python car alarm maxima
replacing car door handle springs

Anonymous said...

religious car clips
motormite help car parts
car physics programming
car parking at telstra stadium
stock car driving lessons
transport cars overseas
elec cars
car sale school

Anonymous said...

ads on car
car washes in edmonton alberta
remot car starter
car polishing products
umaine car accident fort kent
craigs list used cars inexpensive
reposessed car
okc cars for sale
csonka car fresh
club car cowl

Anonymous said...

modiferz car club
luxury car donation
sony car cd players
toyota to 20 cars
sextons car audio reading
pics of cars girls marijuana
uk car fastest acceleration

Anonymous said...

car collectibles
fatest car 2007
greenville car accident attorney
honda car company
how do you open a car hood keys locked in car
mississippi car accident
discount car audio speakers
me electric car plans
buying a used car in british columbia
fastest electric rc car motor

Anonymous said...

special olympics car donation
dogging car stories
online car stereo coupon
custom car interior parts
tyrell 6 wheel race car
kazakhstan car dvd players
broker car discount insurance
printers car office

Anonymous said...

car theft return to scene statistics
sextons car audio
southern california car donation
mercedes car 125 spare parts
nascar 2005 car setups
ward car
old car donation
cost of 6 months car tax

Anonymous said...

car auto accessories
mother waddles car donation
car air horn compressor
fastest uk cars
bml car specification
rental car adelaide australia
car stereo theft return to scene statistics