Last night I was working ofn a few things on my wifes laptop while we were watching a TV show, and like always, I didn’t “put everything away” and I left a Notepad document open with a few notes, and a few browser windows.
This morning when I got up, I went to the laptop to “get my stuff” and found that Microsoft had seized control overnight and rebooted my computer.
This is because, like most people, I leave my computers set to update automatically. Most of my hard core tech friends scoff at automatic updates, but for me, I know they’ll just never get done otherwise.
I REALLY wanted to recover my work, so I had to sort through the browser history and try to remember and recreate what I was working on. What a pain in the neck.
Doesn’t it make you wonder why some updates are SO important that they have to shut down my computer without saving my documents? If I try to manually reboot while accidentally leaving a Notepad document open, Windows won’t even let me, but when THEY want to reboot me, too bad, goodbye document.
A different option could be chosen for auto-updates, but none of them give me what I need, which is, “download and install Windows updates, but don’t force a reboot of my computer”.
Long ago I ran across the somution to this problem, but had never implemented it on my wifes laptop. So, thanks to this article, here are the steps to performing the deed.
**WARNING*** – I take no responsibility for you hacking away incorrectly in your registry, but I can verify that it worked on my desktop.
Running any version of XP prior to Service Pack 2? Back up your registry, then add or change this key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\ Policies\ Microsoft\ Windows\ WindowsUpdate\AU
If it doesn’t already exist, create the DWord value “NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers”. Set it to 0 if you want Windows to automatically restart, or 1 to prevent automatic restart. Then exit and reboot your computer. The result: As long as users are logged on the system, it won’t take matters into its own hands.
Post-XP SP2, one user reports success at disabling automatic restarting after updates on XP Home by:
1. Disabling Windows Automatic Updates;
2. Opening Task Manager (by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del);
3. Ending all instances of wuauclt.exe, then;
4. Making the registry changes noted above.
Once Service Pack 2 is installed, XP Pro, 2000 and 2003 users can stop automatic reboots by editing Group Policy. Start the Group Policy editor, select Windows Update in the Windows Components portion of the Administrative Template, and choose No auto-restart for scheduled Automatic Updates installations.
* update 7/2008 - If you’re not sure how use Group Policy editor, I wrote another post on Stopping Windows Automatic reboots for users of XP Service Pack 2