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January 11, 2006

Updating your computer is almost complete - Restart Now?

I got so sick of this Windows XP SP2 message that I wanted to start killing strangers. Microsoft has hijacked my computer and now nags me like an idle housewife.

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?

I want to toss the freaking computer in a bucket of water. How about, "Go Fark yourself computer, I'll restart you when I get damned good and ready." If you're looking for that option, I've finally found it, thanks to Stuff That's In My Head and Daniel Turini of CodeProject:

I found this after a lot of Googling, so I'd like to share the solution. Yep, this may not be new or even advanced but it surely helped me...

Anyone who is running Windows XP SP2 know what I'm talking about. That stupid, annoying, most ill-designed dialog box ever invented in the history of the computer science that asks "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?"

And there are only two options: Restart Now/Restart Later. "Restart Later" means that this stupid thing will ask you again in 10 minutes. Yes, if you're willing to work for the next 4 hours until lunch before rebooting, this means you'll need to answer this question 24 times. Did I mention that the dialog steals the focus?

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.

Oh, I almost forgot: this setting is only loaded when Windows starts, so a reboot is needed. If that stupid dialog is on your screen now, just stop the "Automatic Updates" service (but keep it as Automatic, so it gets reloaded on the next start) and you won't see it again.

Note: Disabling it is not the way to go, as it indicates that it will nag you ever 10 minutes if it is "disabled" or "not configured". So, I set it to "enabled" and hammered in a bunch of 9's for the number of minutes to wait before nagging me again. Turns out that the maximum value is 1,440 (every 24 hours) which is what mine is now set to.

If you don't want to reboot, you can enable the setting right away by restarting the automatic updates service, or you can just go to Start - Run - Cmd, type in "gpupdate.exe /force" and hit ENTER. You should see the following if it is successful:

User Policy Refresh has completed.
Computer Policy Refresh has completed.

Note: On my new Vaio running XP Pro SP2, this didn't stop the nagging. So, I read the explanation for the "Re-prompt for restart with scheduled installations" and found the following:

Note: This policy applies only when Automatic Updates is configured to perform scheduled installations of updates. If the "Configure Automatic Updates" policy is disabled, this policy has no effect.

So, I enabled the Configure Automatic Updates group policy and re-ran the "gpupdate.exe /force". Not sure if this will help or not. I hate Windows XP for nagging me to death.

It kept nagging me, so I stopped the "Automatic Updates" service, but kept it as Automatic, so it gets reloaded on the next start. Hopefully, this will stop the nagging.

Finally, if you have Windows XP Home instead of Windows XP Pro, you will probably get the following message:

Windows cannot find 'gpedit.msc'. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.

GPEDIT doesn't exist on Windows XP Home edition, since it's for Group Policy, a Windows XP Pro feature. However, you can set the key in the group policy area of your registry. Google for the links, or just download and double-click on the .reg file mentioned in this post: http://computer-vet.com/weblog/2005/05/20/windows_automatic_reboots.html

Congratulations! You have successfully removed your computer from the hands of Bill Gate and his evil prefects.

Posted by Peenie Wallie on January 11, 2006 at 10:26 AM


Thank you!!!

Posted by: Shaul on February 19, 2006 at 12:54 AM

Reboot nagging has to be the dumbest feature in Windows Server 2003. It doesn't care whether it's on the main desktop or a remote terminal. It'll nag any priveledged users to reboot the server. Microsoft still doesn't get it. Rebooting production servers is bad.

Posted by: David on March 8, 2006 at 8:32 AM

Better yet, go to http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000294.html
and do what it says there.

Posted by: jw on June 18, 2006 at 5:23 AM

Thanks a lot! I was fed up already!

Posted by: kemal on June 16, 2007 at 12:44 AM

You incorrectly said "GPEDIT doesn't exist on Windows XP Home edition".

You can access it as follows:
1. Click START, RUN, type CMD and click OK. In the black command prompt window, type (exactly as shown here):

mmc.exe gpedit.msc

and press Enter to execute.

Better yet, all one needs to do is change ONE setting here. Set "No auto-restart for scheduled automatic updates installations" to ENABLED. Reading the description, you will see that it tells your computer NOT to force a restart while someone is logged in. Instead, it will wait until they manually reboot OR log off.

Posted by: Paulie D on July 9, 2008 at 6:23 PM

thanks man

Posted by: Keith on September 10, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Actually, you are incorrect, Paulie. No GPEdit on my copy of XP Home.

Posted by: Cori on October 19, 2009 at 3:07 AM

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