Getting Windows Ready Don’t turn off your computer


Mammoth updates are go, of course. I installed to my desktop last night. After restarting, I saw the above message and the spinning circle of dots for fully 15 minutes before finally a percentage indicator kicked in. On my work desktop it was slightly faster (I presume because of the quicker SSD), and my Surface Book is currently sitting displaying the same message, and has been for the last few minutes.

I know it’s perhaps a little ridiculous to complain about how long this takes, but Microsoft really needs to give some indicator that things haven’t just hung, as they sometimes do. I work helpdesk, and after 5 minutes, I know users start calling. To have a static message, even with a spinning ring, for such a long period is unacceptable because people will understandably freak out. Hell, last night I almost hard booted my desktop myself, it seemed so improbable that something hadn’t gone wrong. Is this just a symptom of the growing size of cumulative updates? Are Microsoft going to get a handle on this? Do they even realize it’s a problem?

Comments (8)

8 responses to “Getting Windows Ready Don’t turn off your computer”

  1. jimchamplin

    I've come to the conclusion that Microsoft thinks that the overly-complex nature of Windows is both normal and acceptable.

    • PanamaVet

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      Well, they could severely limit the hardware it runs on to simplify the updates and become the sole purveyor of that hardware at luxury pricing levels to Windows customers who would no longer have the freedom to customize their computers.

      Personally, I like things the way they are.  I waited and the updates completed successfully on the custom hardware I love.  A small price to pay.

      That progress indicator runs in a separate process.  Tracking progress DURING UPDATES may break an update making it a bad idea.  Hence the static message.

      • Polycrastinator

        In reply to PanamaVet:

        It's possible that the progress indicator is a separate process, what I'm saying is this: the user experience, if Windows gives no indicator of progress for 15 minutes, is bad. Bad enough that many users will pull the plug on their systems before that time completes. And that's something Microsoft needs to look at. The "why" doesn't really matter. What matters is how it's perceived, and the likely reaction of a typical (or even minority, if that minority is enough) user.

        My normal assumption is, if I see that message and it doesn't change for 10 minutes something has crashed in the background and it's time for a hard restart. MS needs to throw you a bean in terms of progress indicators to prevent that.

        • jimchamplin

          In reply to Polycrastinator:

          You said something that's so true about Windows. Why doesn't matter. What I said regarding the complexity relates directly to the UX. Things can be complicated but the user shouldn't have to deal with the overly-trussed up guts failing. It should be reliable and communicate clearly to the user.

          one of my least favorite things is when Windows lets itself get into a state where I can't open the security menu with Ctrl Alt Del. That's not something that should be allowed to happen!

          Again the reasons why it occurr are meaningless when the damn thing doesn't work right. All that matters is that it isn't working right.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to PanamaVet:

        Yeah, that isn't something I want, but the underlying system doesn't need to be complicated just for hardware support.

  2. evox81

    Just to make sure I understand... you're seeing 15+ minute install times for cumulative updates?!? I've never had one take more than a couple minutes on everything from old laptops with spinning drives to my desktop with an SSD. This is in contrast to feature updates (November/Anniversary/Creators) which regularly take much longer.

  3. MattHewitt

    My boss had the same thing happen this morning. His CU from 3/14 took nearly a half hour to install. I thought for sure it was hung and was actually pretty surprised when it finished and bounced back to life. I know that March's patch Tuesday was two months worth, but I do miss the old days with a percent display instead of a spinning circle.

  4. rameshthanikodi

    The way windows does updates is a huge problem right now and i'm a little sad that they've not been able to change it ever since they added the "install and restart" method in Windows XP SP2.