xiven.com stating the blatantly obvious since 2002

We have ways of making you restart your computer

In Windows XP SP2 RC1:

Dialog box - Title: Automatic Updates - Message: Updating your computer is almost complete.  You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect.  Do you want to restart your computer now? - Options: Restart Now / Restart Later

Nothing out of the ordinary about the above dialog box. Perfectly innocent.

Except for the fact that:

  1. It's actually an always-on-top window.
  2. Clicking Restart Later actually means Bug me again with this dialog box in 11 minutes time.
  3. With the default setting for Windows Automatic Updating, these updates are installed without even asking you first. Therefore the popping up of this dialog can be completely spontaneous.
  4. Every time it pops up it steals focus away from whatever you are doing, be it writing some stunning piece of code, losing at the game of your choice or even writing a weblog entry.
  5. Restart Now is the default action (so if you happen to have pressed enter just after the dialog appeared, it's restart time).

Posted: 2004-05-01 16:46:30 UTC by Xiven | Cross-references (0) | Comments (59)

Cross-references

None

Comments

  • Mr. Clark (2004-05-16 23:02:47 UTC)

    I have ways of finding your website >_> lol jk

  • Spoom (2004-10-15 21:55:56 UTC)

    Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update -> Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations. They hid it well but it's there :^)

  • Xiven (Registered) (2004-10-16 23:01:31 UTC)

    Thanks for the info. ☺

  • cv (2005-02-09 14:50:10 UTC)

    Dear God - thank you!!!!

  • Keith Mason (2005-05-20 18:51:36 UTC)

    You're a god send.

  • erik (2005-05-23 09:56:27 UTC)

    Great, thanks, I've been looking for this for ages!

  • dave (2005-06-15 15:03:01 UTC)

    By the gods, thank you! That's been jiving my ass for a long time.

  • geekoid (2005-06-17 02:41:25 UTC)

    There're a few nice settings in there as well! Very handy tip. Thanks!

  • simonseztech (2005-06-22 04:49:41 UTC)

    Thanks. Very handy.

  • Dave K (2005-07-08 21:29:48 UTC)

    Awesome! works like a champ!

  • Erock (2005-07-13 01:42:31 UTC)

    Thank You Spoom... that damn dialog has been the bane of my existence ever since I installed SP2

  • MaPLe (2005-07-13 22:10:08 UTC)

    Thanks Spoom, I love you.

  • Anonymous (2005-07-14 02:43:37 UTC)

    I get an error that gpedit.mcs and gpedit dont exist when i whent though run and i tried doing a search of it and still couldnt find it.

  • Xiven (Registered) (2005-07-14 12:39:14 UTC)

    Unfortunately gpedit.msc is not available in XP Home, so I think you're out of luck.

  • Anonymous (2005-07-15 03:43:43 UTC)

    oh ok ty now i realy need to find my pro cd...

  • Frank (2005-08-10 02:31:59 UTC)

    So, if you leave it at the default 'not configured' or set it to 'disabled', it prompts you again in 10 minutes. If you set it to 'enabled' you can change the time of the next prompt. How do you spell 'this sucks!'?

  • Mike (2005-08-10 12:26:15 UTC)

    Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update does not appear to be available on windows 2000. All the other options are there but not that one. This is annoying me and getting in the way of my coding so much that I've decided to no longer install windows updates until I find a solution that works on 2000.

  • Henric (2005-08-11 10:03:29 UTC)

    According to the docs, it doesn't work.
    If you set it to active = don't show more than one popup, it will automatically reboot after 10 minutes instead of showing a new nag-screen. So you only get one nag-screen, but if you press "Restart later" it will reboot after 10 minutes.

    BUt then I have a Swedish version of Windows. Maybe XP translated it wrong, and it really works like you say. Who knows...

  • Henric (2005-08-11 10:04:25 UTC)

    Where XP = Microsoft...

  • Badge (2005-08-15 19:20:18 UTC)

    For the guy with Windows XP Home...

    1. Copy the text below into Notepad. Save it with a .reg extension. Open and confirm that you want to copy the data into your registry.

    ==>
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU]
    "RebootRelaunchTimeoutEnabled"=dword:00000000
    "NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers"=dword:00000001

  • Anonymous (2005-08-21 04:47:46 UTC)

    Thank You Badge it work fine :)

  • Patrik Öster (2005-09-04 00:04:00 UTC)

    If you accidentally press Enter, then shutdown begins. Quickly type this in the Start - Run field:
    shutdown -a
    This prevents an ongoing shutdown to take place. There are more parameters to use, checkout shutdown -?
    You might need to write cmd first to get to the command prompt.
    This goes for Win XP but might work with other Windows versions as well.

  • Anonymous (2005-09-11 22:08:57 UTC)

    Is there a way to save gpedit.msc and transfer it to another computer? I tried, but the new computer can't see the changes in the file.

  • david rylander (2005-10-23 17:38:01 UTC)

    Is there a way to disable this reboot altogether? As pointed out in previous posts if you set it to disabled it still reprompts after 10 minutes and if you set it to enabled you can only set a number of minutes to the next reprompt with a maximum of 1440 minutes (24h).
    This update shit is crashing my render stations every time there are new updates installed.

  • david rylander (2005-10-23 17:42:17 UTC)

    Nevermind, I did find some other options for this in the windows update policy folder.

  • Qualith (2005-10-25 22:02:41 UTC)

    I read this in another site (can't remember what).
    When the dialog appears, just execute this command from a Dos promt:

    net stop wuauserv


    This will stop the windows update server and so will stop the anoying dialog. When you restart your computer (at last when you want ;-) ), the server will autostart, so no matter with this.

    You can make a .bat with the line above and run every time you need it.
    This solution works with all NT versions.

  • Tom (2005-11-05 04:12:09 UTC)

    Microsoft sux a$$ fur forcing this sh|t on us!!!

  • Pendelton (2005-12-22 22:16:34 UTC)

    None of the suggestions here or that I have found appear to work on 2000.

  • Anth (2006-01-08 01:15:44 UTC)

    I can go you one better. Open notepad. Paste the following in:
    start /B net stop "Automatic Updates"
    Then save the file to your desktop as "Stop annoying popup box.bat" (use the quotes, it overrides appending .txt on the end, just paste the whole thing in there quotes and all). Then, whenever you get that lovely popup box, click this little button on your desktop and popups are gone until YOU reboot. If you want to make it cooler, save that bat file somewhere else, like c:\windows, browse to the file, right click, hit send to, and choose desktop, then you can rename it as you like and if you right click and go to properties, you can change the icon to whatever you want. Enjoy. Questions, email tonyb452@hotmail.com. We must unite to destroy the red, err, microsoft menace!

  • Rufus (2006-01-21 19:30:25 UTC)

    The group policy editor settings mentioned above will work with all versions of Windows later than 2000 ServicePack 3

  • Austin (2006-02-17 08:27:09 UTC)

    Badge's solution did not work for my PC. I am a proficient user and network admin, so I understood your instructions, and did merge the registry file (on XP Home SP2) yet the automatic dialog box persists on coming up. So unless these registry updates DON"T TAKE EFFECT until the next restart (i doubt), then this fix doesn't work.. at least for my case..

    Thanks for trying to help us out though.. just an FYI for everyone..

    if it can be confirmed to work for someone, please post here to let us know..

  • Austin (2006-02-17 08:38:03 UTC)

    oh, and a note to all,

    first, this functionlity is an annoyance that i would like to fix once and for all: i used the other solution to stop it for now though.

    but second, the key combination "ctrl+s" is on my trigger finger at all times, and it should be for you too. i do it so much, sometimes it gets in the way (sometimes). this habit carried over from Win3.1,Win95,98,ect.. and although XP is more stable, this functionality still saves my ass from numerous electronic and also human errors.

    ctrl+s is now subconsiously connected to my brain, so that whenever i've made a "good point," i reward/protect myself by pressing the ctrl+s combination. i don't even really notice it anymore. right now i'm wishing i had that combination in this comment box, but then that means i'm probably leaving too long of a comment... and i probably should have just restarted my computer (=

    good luck all,
    Austin

    p.s. oh yeah, another good habit is to every once in awhile pause, click the "Save As..." menu item, and give your work in progress a slightly modified name (like "mywork a1.doc", then "mywork a2.doc", ect.). that way, if you accidently click "select all" - "delete" - and then somehow "save," you don't loose all of your information. well there are other obvious mistakes it protects against, but that's the worst example i could think of... these two tips will reduce stress and have clinical benefits similar to those of Yoga.

  • Anonymous (2006-04-12 06:19:13 UTC)

    ur the best

  • Xagyg (2006-05-11 16:30:55 UTC)

    ctrl+s?? You want to stop text output to your screen whenever you make a good point? Um....

    Okay, sure, it took me a while to remember that the Windows UI guidelines say that ctrl-S is 'save' instead of x-off. Sigh. Kids!!!

  • Rob G (2006-05-23 07:35:45 UTC)

    Being an experienced network admin, tell me something that doesn't need a restart when you change it in Windows :)

  • Anonymous (2006-06-18 12:06:20 UTC)

    Being an experienced network admin, tell me something that doesn't need a restart when you change it in Windows :)

    Lol, couldnt have put it better myself.

    I've tried the registry trick on my xp home laptop and since i havent had it reboot ones and OneCare doesnt bitch about me having auto-updates switched 'off' (why do m$ think "ask me first" means off?! It makes the onecare status turn red, do they think im that stupid that they have to warn me about myself?

  • Don C. (2006-07-24 23:43:38 UTC)

    My version of Windows XP SP2 can't find gpedit.msc.

  • MrBlogg (2006-09-15 10:10:25 UTC)

    For anyone having trouble with this in Windows 2000, & unable to find the Windows Update section of group policies, try this first:-

    Configuring Automatic Updates by using local Group Policy
    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. Type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
    3. Expand Computer Configuration.
    4. Right-click Administrative Templates, and then click Add/Remove Templates.
    5. Click Add, click Wuau.adm in the Windows\Inf folder, and then click Open.
    6. Click Close.

    You should now have the options as described by Spoom in the comments at the start of this thread.

  • Tom Oliver (2006-09-23 07:04:32 UTC)

    Hey Xiv, it's been a while hasn't it. I bet you've missed me in the time I haven't been here. Are you ready to give me my lawnmower yet, or are you still trying to be stubborn? I don't like you being so stubborn, when it's so easy for you to give me the lawnmower.
    Aslo, I've found something you'd really really like. If you like Tifa (for some weird reason), you would love this site. http://www.pick-up-lines.info/dating_sim_flash_game.htm . It has 6 animated Japanese characters!!!!!!!!!

  • Roefuz (2006-09-26 17:36:57 UTC)

    ..and thank you MrBlogg for showing us the way in w2k.
    Now none of them PC's will pull that one on me again!

  • Jonny (2006-10-18 23:44:06 UTC)

    Right click on my computer, click manage.

    Now go to Services & Applications, then Services, then find, Automatic Updates, then click disable. Sorted :)

  • Anonymous (2006-11-23 23:30:55 UTC)

    nothin... lolz

  • Anonymous (2007-01-10 06:57:23 UTC)

    Start -> Run -> type "net stop wuauserv" without quotes

  • Andy O (2007-02-14 10:52:13 UTC)

    My favourite is when the restart dialog pops up and the mouse jumps to the default button... just as I go to click on something else. Happened again this morning, only an hour's work wasted this time.

  • Anonymous (2007-02-20 19:09:02 UTC)

    This seems to work. I have gone you one better and put

    start /B net stop "Automatic Updates"

    in the autoexec batch file. Now, all I have to do is figure out how to get the updates manually.

    Anth (2006-01-08 01:15:44 UTC) wrote:
    I can go you one better. Open notepad. Paste the following in:
    start /B net stop "Automatic Updates"
    Then save the file to your desktop as "Stop annoying popup box.bat" (use the quotes, it overrides appending .txt on the end, just paste the whole thing in there quotes and all). Then, whenever you get that lovely popup box, click this little button on your desktop and popups are gone until YOU reboot. If you want to make it cooler, save that bat file somewhere else, like c:\windows, browse to the file, right click, hit send to, and choose desktop, then you can rename it as you like and if you right click and go to properties, you can change the icon to whatever you want. Enjoy. Questions, email tonyb452@hotmail.com. We must unite to destroy the red, err, microsoft menace!

  • Anth (2007-02-21 01:11:59 UTC)

    Anonymous....if you don't want the windows automatic update service to start, you just have to open the servies control panel item (hidden under the administrative tools item or you can just put services.msc in the run box) and set Automatic Updates to disabled. Or you can go to the System control panel item (right click My Computer and hit Properties) and go click the Automatic Updates tab and set it to Turn Off Automatic Updates. Then, if you want to get your updates manually, you use a toold that Microsoft has provided for our enterprise friends called Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA, current version 2.01). I don't think it'll give you any ot the Software or Hardware items from windows update (but how often are those really updated anyway? heh) and you have to remember to tick the Do Not Restart button on the last screen of your updates, but there are 0 nag screens and you get the exe file directly, so you could potentially also use it to store to an "Offline Updates" directory to either be slipstreamed into a custom cd, transferred to another computer, or just saved on CD for the day you have to reinstall windows and don't want to download updates larger than the entire operating system. Plus, MBSA will find updates for your other Microsoft products as well as show you any potential security flaws in your settings. Your computer the way you want it, anything else is money down the drain.

  • rocky (2007-04-23 01:58:02 UTC)

    hello - I feel sure you guys can help me - I've tried gpedit.msc but because I'm running XP Home (SP2) that didn't work. So I tried the reg fix you suggest but my computer won't let me save that text to the registry - it says it has to be in binary. So next I go to the registry editor (version 5.1) only to find that the WindowsUpdate\AU keys don't exist, so I create them. But this is as far as I've got so far as I'm not confident about what has to be created or re-named from this point on and I don't speak fluent binary. And of course while I was trying to do all this that annoying pop-up popped up to ask me if I wanted to reboot my computer.
    Grateful for any assistance you could offer.

  • Michael (2007-05-09 14:04:19 UTC)

    Kudos!!! I am not a swearing person but this box does make me a potty mouth. Being able to disable that stupid thing for the rest of the day until "I" am ready to reboot is a lifesaver.

    Thanks
    Michael

  • Gryzor (2007-05-17 07:52:01 UTC)

    I've read all sorts of solutions pertaining to a situation where you have some sorts of rights over your system's management. But when you're a wee user, you can't reged, you can't alter policies, nor stop services or anything. So the question is: which processes do you stop through Task Manager?

    Regards
    Themis

  • Sork (2007-05-23 21:48:02 UTC)

    Rocky: You need to include the line

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    in the .reg file to get it to work.

  • Anonymous (2007-06-22 17:38:24 UTC)

    You can't end the process through taskman because the service just restarts itself on unorderly exit.

  • plasma dragon007 (2007-07-13 16:07:54 UTC)

    well,... lets see if that .bat solution works i used it and it said "Stopping the windows update process" or something along those lines and the icon is gone in the system tray. I wish that the gpedit.msc did work in XP Home because thats what I have. If it does work, thank you so much because this does constantly minimize my favorite game to the desktop and it gets very annoying.

    ~plasma

  • Anonymous (2007-07-18 22:41:38 UTC)

    You're Amazing...i fucken hated that thing!

  • Bob (2007-08-12 17:57:50 UTC)

    my computer reboots every minute or so when i enable automatic updates. I have turned off automatic reboot using GPEDIT.MSC. I have reloaded Windows XP with a full reformat and I have changed out my memory and motherboard battery. If I disable the service of Automatice Update, it does not reboot, but then I cannot update XP because microsoft requires it be on to use the update tool. Anyone have any ideas.

  • chartman (2007-12-12 05:17:28 UTC)

    I had trouble changing the registry using the notepad method cited above until I made

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    the very first line in the file.

    Thanks for everyone's help.

    (I would like to kick Bill Gates right in the nads)

  • Steve (2008-02-14 20:20:01 UTC)

    Gryzor

    Send a message to your local CTO or IT manager expressing your refusal to work (since you'll just lose the work anyways when you accidentally hit 'restart now') until He or She implements this Registry Key. (Since the Group Policies don't exist on Windows 2000 Server and the like, I recommend telling them about the key instead) Then shut down your computer and wait for salvation. ;)

  • Anonymous (2008-04-17 22:10:20 UTC)

    Steve - As an IT manager, I would gladly accept that person's resignation.

  • Slappy (2008-05-12 18:43:20 UTC)

    Agree with anonymous. As another IT manager... I have too much work on my plate to play politics with what is probably upper management anyway. Resignation accepted.

  • Tom Oliver (2008-08-22 04:26:52 UTC)

    Hey Xiven. I think i've been more than patient. I've waited almost 3 years for this lawnmower you promised me. I'm planning a trip over there around Christmas, so would it be possible to visit you and take the mower off your hands? I'll give you $200 for it. :)

    You know how much this mower means to me. I can't just buy any mower, this one has sentimental value more than anyone could understand!

    Love Tommy!