please don’t restart my computer…please!


    This is probably the silliest dialog I’ve ever come across. Like popping it out of the blue when I’m in the middle of something isn’t irritating enough, it gives me two stupid options to choose from, ‘restart now’ or ‘restart later’, when the one I want is ‘leave me alone’. If you’re looking at the dialog for the first time, you’d probably assume ‘restart later’ is going to let you off the hook but no, it would haunt you, every 10 minutes, until you submit to the Gods of Windows and reboot.

    Now what happens if you just drag the annoying window (which, mind you, doesn’t have a close button) to a corner of the screen and continue with your work? It just restarts your system, pretending you do not even exist. The same would happen if you aren’t near your computer when the dialog comes up. It just reboots, giving no damn consideration to whatever you were doing, leaving you with absolutely no clue of why your screen is at the innocent looking login prompt when you return. Now, unless you are a geek who’d look into the system log for clues, wouldn’t you suspect your neighbor for the reboot? I, for sure, would!

    Now, for some reason, my computer always chooses to bring this prompt up when I’m not at my desk (more often, when I haven’t saved my work…Finagle’s law, probably) and my work’s already gone by the time I return. I finally decided enough is enough and googled for a way out. Here’s the not-too-obvious solution to get rid of this dialog without having to turn off the automatic updates:

Now, to get rid of it:
Start / Run / gpedit.msc / Local Computer Policy / Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update / Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations

You can configure how often it will nag you (I re-configured it for 720 minutes, which means I’ll be asked twice on a work day), or completely disable it.

I’m yet to check if the trick works but I’m hoping it would ‘cos the next time I see this nagging dialog on my screen…well, I’d just reboot (what more can I do?).

    While on the topic, looks like Windows Vista has a ‘new’ feature that allows you to update your system without requiring a restart (in other words, it doesn’t have this annoying dialog). Now, I don’t know whether am supposed to applaude Microsoft’s marketing strategy or smirk at it. Call a mere bug fix a feature and use that to sell your product! If I ever happen to run a company, I’d love to have one of those MS marketing guys sell my product. That way I can , once and for all, stop worrying about quality!

*** Update ***

To disable the automatic restart completely, you can also enable the ‘No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations’ option under Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update. In this case, it’ll not even prompt you the first time with the auto-restart dialog. Thanks Jeltje for pointing it out.


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