Updating in Windows 10 Version 1703? You Win Some, You Lose Some

Posted on March 18, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 79 Comments

Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 version 1703 with the Creators Update, you’ll notice some major changes to the ways you can configure software updates. Some of those changes are welcome and even necessary. Some, not so much.

As you may know, I’ve been critical of Microsoft’s Windows as a Service (WaaS) strategy: I believe Windows 10 to be too monolithic, too stuffed with legacy code, to ever reliably support such regular updating. And our collective experiences have thus far borne out my opinion on the matter.

But regardless of how you feel about Microsoft forcing users to keep Windows 10 up-to-date, things are indeed changing in the Creators Update. To understand the impact of these changes, we need to understand what updates are in Windows 10. And examine how updating works today, in Windows 10 version 1607. (To be clear, I am only focusing on how this works for individuals. Businesses are getting much better update install configuration capabilities in this new release.)

Microsoft provides two types of updates for Windows 10: Feature updates, which literally add new features, and “other” updates, which are quality improvements that can include security and bug fixes only.

Feature updates are delivered once or twice a year, and because they upgrade Windows 10 to a new version, I think of them as upgrades. For example, the Anniversary Update was a feature update, or upgrade, as it upgraded Windows 10 to version 1607 and added many new features.

Those “other” updates—what I just call updates—typically appear once a month on Patch Tuesday, bundled in groups called cumulative updates. But they can appear individually, and at any time.

All of these updates are delivered via Windows Update. Both upgrades and cumulative updates typically require the PC to reboot so that they can be installed offline—which means “while Windows 10 is not running” in this case—which is of course one of the many problems with WaaS: Many users have experienced this forced rebooting overnight, losing data in the process. But others have actually had Windows 10 just reboot on them while they were actually using the PC. Smaller updates often do not require a reboot.

Today, those on Windows 10 Pro can defer feature updates for up to four months by checking that option in Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > “Advanced options.” When configured this way, Windows 10 Pro will still download updates, which is to say “other” updates. But not feature updates.

Windows 10 Home users, however, do not have the ability to defer feature updates at all. So their only recourse is to configure their Wi-Fi adapter as a metered connection, as I described recently inWindows 10 Tip: Get the Creators Update on Your Own Schedule. Unfortunately, doing so will also prevent non-feature updates from installing too. So this isn’t ideal, except perhaps as a temporary workaround.

There are all kinds of issues with the situation I’ve outlined above, and a few I didn’t really mention, like the configurable active hours setting that Windows 10 sometimes doesn’t actually respect. Not to mention the fact that Windows 10 updates have been inexcusably buggy, undermining the very premise of WaaS. But the point to this post is that Microsoft is changing things with the Creators Update. For better and worse.

For starters, the ability to defer updates is going away. Instead, you will be able to pause updates, and only for up to 7 days. This may sound like semantics—aren’t defer and pause basically the same term?—and of course we’re losing that four-month window. But this new pause feature is arguably more useful in that it pauses all updates. So if you want to work uninterrupted for days at a time, you can actually schedule that and be sure you won’t be surprised one morning by a clean desktop and lost work.

Second, Microsoft has expanded the active hours window you can configure, to up to 18 hours each day. During this window, Windows 10 will not reboot to install updates. And during this window, Windows 10 will now check with you to see if you are in fact using the PC. And if so, you can “snooze” the pending update so you can keep working. So that’s a net win.

Finally, Windows 10 Home users will be treated even more poorly after installing the Creators Update. That metered connection workaround I mentioned earlier is being defanged in Windows 10 version 1703 so that such a network will still allow for the install of “updates required to keep Windows running smoothly,” by which I assume Microsoft means critical security fixes. What this means to you is that, yes, some of these updates may trigger a PC reboot. (Not to mention that those really paying for bandwidth—which is the point of a metered network—will have to pay to download these updates.)

Basically, what Microsoft is doing here is addressing the complaints while sticking very resolutely to its pledge to keep Windows 10 up-to-date by forcing users to accept its updates. We all have our opinions about this, of course. But that’s where we’re at.

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Comments (82)

82 responses to “Updating in Windows 10 Version 1703? You Win Some, You Lose Some”

  1. Tony Barrett

    Pausing for 7 days? Really? That's hardly worth it. Even MS don't release patches that often, so while you might get a week to hold off, you're still well locked into MS's forced update machine. If they'd have made it 30 days, that might help. At least that fits in more with the once a month patch Tuesday more. Win10 Home users (ie, the vast majority) are being royally shafted with this update, and taking away full control of the metered connection option is just MS forcing everyone to keep inline.

    Expect some major fallout over that one. This isn't a win/lose, it's more of a loss/lose.

    • Waethorn

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      Lock all machines. Test a few machines and pray to God nothing fails. If something does, pray to God Microsoft fixes it within a week.


      Computer science is hard. IT is stressful. Microsoft isn't helping either.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Tony Barrett:

      Current Branch for Business for Enterprise versions probably avoids all these problems. However, that's only available to enterprises, that it, MSFT customers who pay for Windows licenses which come with every new PC and pay again for annual subscriptions in the form of Software Assurance agreements.

      If home users would be willing to pay US$500 or more for a Windows license for the life of their PC, MSFT might be willing to be more accommodating.

  2. RobertJasiek

    navarac, maybe you do not imagine but there are applications and usage requiring weeks or even months of non-stop processing.
  3. adamcorbally

    I'm looking forward to the editorial where Paul recommends we all downgrade to windows seven, and only use chrome, web based apps and google services like its 2007.

  4. tony359

    I agree with everything. Microsoft doesn't seem to grasp the idea that we may need to USE our computers. It is completely unacceptable that a Windows PC could get stuck into an update routine without a warning. I can just imagine someone about to start a business presentation and Windows decides it's time to upgrade to a major new "feature" update - which will take 45 minutes if you are in luck.

    I appreciate there are users around who used to disable the updates under Windows 7 altogether, making it vulnerable to viruses and attacks. Microsoft wants to keep the software up to date and I am fine with that, but they MUST involve the user a little more. They could simply ASK the user before updating "I'm about to perform an update, is this a good time?". And I would be happy to force it after several time it's been delayed.

    But what I really find unacceptable - and it seems that nobody is mentioning it - is that Windows Update now uses 100% of my internet bandwidth to download updates!! I once tried to buy some train tickets, I could not navigate as the whole bandwidth was being used by Windows Update!! Totally unacceptable.

    I now have the Windows Update service disabled on all my PC's and I enable it again every now and then when my computers are not being used.

  5. ayebang

    If someone want to complain, they will find points to do.

    Main reason for update is to get better OS for buyers and Microsoft.

    This article seems to discuss how bad Microsoft is forcing the buyers to install update and largely ignore how important the update is.

    To be clear, latest update means better OS theoretically.

    IOS update was the same and some was really worse.

    No one talk on that.

    I think if Microsoft did not update anything, this guy will complain more really.

    So, Keep updating until you get the best one.

  6. skane2600

    “updates required to keep Windows running smoothly,”  means, of course, whatever MS wants to mean perhaps with a different meaning for different updates.

  7. Awhispersecho

    Look MS can keep screwing things up and trying to control what happens with everyone's PC. And people who can't stand MS being criticized for things they deserve to be criticized for can keep blindly defending them. And those who have not had an issue due to updates can act as if since they haven't had issues, the issues don't exist. But the market it speaking loud and clear. Windows 10 has stalled. The update situation is just one of many things consumers are not happy about with Windows 10 and they are making their voices be heard. MS, like the pompous asses they have become have continually decided to double down instead of listening to what consumers, and more importantly their fans, are saying.


    In the end, when it's too late because Windows 10 has failed, millions of people have jumped ship, and they have nothing left to fall back on because they've abandoned all the other platforms that are necessary to survive in this day and age, maybe then they will finally "get it".

  8. lordbaal1

    people complain about Windows updating. But yet those same people also wants the latest ios and android updates.

    if people learn how to use active, they wouldn't have a problem.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      I can think of tasks for PCs which could require running continuously for more than 24 hours. I can't think of tasks for phones or tablets NOT being used as PCs which would require running continuously for more than 12 hours. That could explain some difference in willingness to upgrade.

    • PeteB

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      As if MS's broken and buggy trail of updates for 10 have any parallel to Google and Apple updates that actually get tested before being pushed out.

      BTW, my PC is not a phone. So "what Google and Apple do" is utterly irrelevant and a pisspoor excuse for the way MS is (mis)delivering updates.

      • zybch

        In reply to PeteB:

        Clearly you've never been in the first wave of iOS users updating to the latest iOS version.

        Theres a reason that anyone with a little sense waits for the .1 release after anything major, apple updates screw up hardware just the same as google's and MS's.

    • skane2600

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      Perhaps the difference is that on Android and iOs people aren't doing anything important to be interrupted.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to lordbaal1:

      Getting the latest iOS update isn't a problem, nor is it hard to defer until you're ready. Android is just the mess that it is. Even Google has showed how hard it can be, since they can't update the Nexus 6 correctly.

  9. Delmont

    I'm sure this is a dumb question, but pertaining to this statement: "Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 version 1703 with the Creators Update" : We know 1703 will be the final version number for the CU?  Are people on the Insiders running this version now?  Also, I would bet Paul will make an entire category for just the Creators Update to publish all his article?  Thx.

  10. Delmont

    What am I missing that you just cannot schedule your updates to be downloaded and installed inbetween a set of defined hours? Like 2am-4am for example when people on Dish Network have another 5GB of Data to use that is free.

  11. Lopan

    Paul,

    I feel you are muddying the waters with your explanation.

    You accurately identify that there are two categories of updates, but introduce your concept of "Other updates"... which is misleading as they are not called "Other updates" by Microsoft.

    The two categories of updates are "Feature updates" and "Quality" updates.

    It's nice to know what you call them, but some of us don't feel it's helpful to introduce your own terms when we really want to have an accurate conversation on the subject with correct Microsoft terms.

    As often as you point out that's it's important to have a name for things, when Microsoft comes up with a name for things, I feel you should use those names for the things.

    Here's a video hosted by Michael Niehaus (Senior Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, responsible for helping enterprise IT pros with Windows deployment and manageability needs.) explaining the current Waas concept properly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLc4-Suv0LU

  12. Paolo Mussolini

    Would it make too much sense for MS to gauge how long an update will take somehow on a machine in their code then post next to the update about how long it will take prior (this update will take X minutes to install) then giving the user the option to install it or not or defer it until x days later? This would seem a no brainer. Saying that an update must be installed in a business setting and then having it take 45 mins plus with no prior warning is just not acceptable for any business. Upon further consideration as a director how can I sanction such a disrupt of business to users of 1607 to so many users in a day if I was to have rolled out an earlier version of Windows 10 v1607 already? How would I explain to their managers they cant close the deal for $1mil because Windows 10 is updating and we cant get to the documents or run the presentation if they arent on a share and being last minute updated for the client? Imagine an office full of 1607 users a dozen or more choosing to update to 1703 and finding themselves faced with 60 mins downtime first thing in the morning because of 1703 update? How would that effect the reputation of Windows 10 for those users? That office? That company? Business to business in chats between managers during meetings about Windows 10 Enterprise? This is the crux of Windows 10 implementation for enterprises issue. Management doesnt trust it. Its behavior is erratic and it has a reputation for snooping and being intrusive buggy and unresponsive. Cortana seems ignorant in responses compared to Google AI which works GREAT in Windows 7 or on a handheld even their cloud and search seems to work better more seamlessly. Thats why it remains on the bench in our office as a plaything/test object rather than a business machine. We dont trust it to do business with. The mobile friendly unification of devices side of it intrigues many managers but they fear the darker side of this operating system and in my opinion their fears are valid. I find it funny our organization has adopted Office365 but still uses Windows 7 for this reason. Microsoft needs to focus their next OS on business needs and SEAMLESS reliability/uptime not gimmicks and patches. That stuff truly should run in the background on a PC as much as possible with less lengthy updates that dont require reboots and take an hour.

  13. bollity

    I just registered to report a very annoying bug with windows 1703. You can't prevent office or Microsoft product updates. Even if I unchecked "give me updates for other Microsoft product when I update Windows", when I click "check for updates" that option is automatically checked again and the update is downloading updates for office which are very big and takes a lot of bandwidth.


  14. red.radar

    The only time I ever had an issue with not keeping my computer "up to date" was when the MS Blaster worm exploded onto the scene. Other than that. I have never needed to keep my computer up to date for "security" reasons. After watching embedded installs on test equipment function happily with updates disabled for years . I really am asking the question. Why do I care if my machine ever gets updated?


    So the computer gets "infected". I reload a snapshot and then patch. No biggie. The probability of that happening is a lot less then being disrupted and nagged about upgrades and security updates. I have already experienced data loss because the PC rebooted effectively halting a data collection operation.


    I paid for windows 10 pro and used group policy to disable all windows updates. I doubt I will regret it.


    • chudzoskruo

      In reply to red.radar:

      I have quite same experience and even I do not use antivirus nor speaking about resident protection. But it is right maybe now there are some not ruining your pc.


      In general I had some good experience with minor program (like was old spyware doctor) but anyway windows restore can fix the problems.


      From that time I did find good to make disk partition and use one windows for general work and one for visit www pages that would be considered somehow not to be safe; installing new programs/updates when my one is really not the new one and rather not install newest updates which could be buggy. Rather 5.0 version than 5.0.1.35.


      I know that for somebody this could be seen as amaterism but in fact for general common user it works very well.


      But to be honest I have had not yet so much experience with payments on the internet.

      I had only issue before one/two week starting with paying money regularly and also selling some items before ~4month ago continuing to this day. Somebody takes ~80$ and I did send reclamation of that payment to bank blocking card at the same time for safety. I think somebody get my bank card number or maybe use some part of communication to get payment from some portal without having number manipulating with text. But I have to admit that I somehow start underestimate situation somebody have my bank card number (question is then why it is directly visible on card itself).


      But I did install antivirus and no virus was found.


      Now I will start to use third partition everytime I will need to fill bank card number to any online internet shop; leting that away also from email communication.


      I am just saying this also to anyone can make his own opinion. Problem is that many people just listen ok updates and antiviruses are the musts. But then where is the statistic how better pc running have person with that and without?


      And I can assure you that what I did describe above am practicing for really not few time and I can say I am fully satisfied with. But as I did say I have no so much experiences with paying money regularly on the internet. But what is then only my opinion without many experiences I mean I can safe time and also be more secure restarting pc using other operation system in case of payment rather than spent a time waiting for windows updates (I am also planning to have on such antivirus).


      Also as is my opinion not few people seems to start to be bored from for example programs if there is nothing new and this would be probably also the cause why companies are making updates - no necessarily they want "upgrade" your computer to you can think again you are growing and growing to the infinity.


      Lets take a hand on the heart the almost everyone admit that windows xp was the best so when windows are still growing how is this possible?


    • Delmont

      That's the stupidest post I've read in a long time. I sure as hell hope you are not in any I.T. Support position.

      In reply to red.radar:


  15. INOV8TN

    MS tricked me into W10. Lost all favorites until I found IE. Put Up with Edge until 1st update. Had to reinstall W10. Next update reinstalled wireless. LINUX Mint is new best friend.

  16. Delmont

    What am I missing that you just cannot schedule your updates to be downloaded and installed in-between a set of defined hours? Like 2am-4am for example when people on Dish Network have another 5GB of Data to use that is free.

  17. brettscoast

    It seems WaaS needs a lot more work before it can be considered as a positive thing more like a diservice. I do believe users whether or not they are using windows 10 pro or home should at the very least be offered a couple of choices as to when they have to download and install windows updates. Have no problem with the mantra of keeping windows 10 up-to-date but extending the middle finger to windows 10 home users which would most likely be a higher percentage user base than those with pro is a bit ordinary.

  18. Peter Vassiliou

    Why just not use the local policy editor to disable rebooting when a user is logged on?

  19. Rug

    Paul, I would love to see an article (maybe on the Petri site) on the topic specifically for the enterprise. While Microsoft does have articles on this topic, they are not as explained as well. For example they will say configure this, but rarely explain why or what the experience of the end user will be.


    If you do, please consider doing one for 1607 and 1703.

  20. Rug

    Did Microsoft add the simple requirement to be plugged in? We've had several instances of updates in the bag (so to speak).

  21. prettyconfusd

    I just don't get the amount of throwback Windows 10 gets for updating. First up, outside of the big once (maybe twice) annual upgrades, they are security and bug fixes- which I want on my OS, who wouldn't? - and it's rare they actually need to restart my PC (or it feels like a rare occasion at least - last weeks firmware for my SP4 felt like the first time in ages I had to reboot to update). Yet my iPod Touch get's a new iOS bug fix every other week and that requires me to stop everything while it reboots and installs and I have no choices whatsoever when it does that - it pesters me every time I use it until I relent and is far more obtrusive than Windows 10 is about updates.


    And I've never had my desktop wiped by a Windows update in two decades of using Windows so I'm a little unsure why that got name dropped - Is that more common than I've experienced?


    And, really, if you're on a modern machine, Windows 10 doesn't take that long to reboot. Taking a couple minutes out of your day isn't the end of the world - especially on a home machine, go put the kettle on and it'll be done before your coffee is ready. If it's a work machine then it should be managed properly so it reboots outside of work hours anyway.

  22. navarac

    I have to ask the question - who leaves open data files on the computer when you quit for the night? Have you a death wish?

  23. PlistConverter

    There will be no updates downloaded over metered connections according to an article on MSPoweruser: https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-promise-not-to-abuse-metered-download-capability/

    • F4IL

      In reply to PlistConverter:

      Unfortunately no longer the case.

      Microsoft can’t stop making controversial changes to Windows 10

    • Luka Pribanić

      In reply to PlistConverter:

      Thanks for the link. While I have all Pro's, this made no sense. Ok, for very small ultra-critical patch, but not for much more.


      Also, I dislike how MS manages downloading updates. There's no option to tell WinUpdate to check with user if the PC is currently on metered net. IMHO, each time WU runs, and it sees a new (yet unused) network, it should ask if it may use it to download patches, maybe even with a choice of size like large/small, or a MB/GB size limit. And after user responds, should remember it. This is only way people won't get upset when they get huge bills. Even me, an IT pro, can't always think about stuff like "uf, this is my new connection, got to change the option in Settings so W10 won't abuse my limit". Now, if W10 would ask me - that would be a different game. I mean, just think how smartphones ma age uodates, either apps or OS. You ALWAYS have an option to disable it on 3G/4G. W10 shouldn't be worse, it should actually be even more advanced and mature. We're not using it just on our desktops anymore...

  24. Waethorn

    I don't get why they don't offer an option to businesses to just update on weekends, or at least to be able to specify a certain day of the week.


    Speaking of updates, I had a system in the other day - brand new HP ProBook - that got a video driver update from Windows Update only about a week after releasing the system, "fully" updated at the time. The system didn't prompt for a reboot, but after it went to sleep, the screen wouldn't turn back on after wake. So, I had to forcefully power down the system. Except that Windows decided that the forced power down was a system crash and rolled back a bunch of other updates that it had installed and Windows just broke itself and wouldn't boot. I had to forcefully reboot the machine one more time, and then it took nearly 15 minutes to get past the spinning circle - and then it rebooted itself and did that another *3 times*. And then it finally booted back in and installed all of the updates again correctly.


    Pardon me, but THAT'S CRAP!!

  25. RobertJasiek

    With Windows 10 Home, can the registry by set to deactivate the Windows Update service? With Windows 10 Pro, can one deactivate the Windows Update service?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to RobertJasiek:

      OK as long as one toggles between disabled and enabled, usually disabled, but enabled every other week or so in order to update. Better to include periodic repeating calendar reminders to enable and update.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Paul Thurrott:

        Not if one toggles it from time to time, enabling Windows Update when one wants to update their PC on their own schedule. In a sense, no worse than how it works in Windows 7. Add calendar reminders to update every other week or so, and no worse than how it works in Windows 8.x.

      • RobertJasiek

        In reply to Paul Thurrott:

        Yes, from the POV of solving and having to solve an issue that should not exist with proper OS design.

        No from a POV of deactivating for the sake of manual activation whenever needed together with checksumming the system files for even better security. It's what I do with Windows 7. When working, I need no disturbance and risk by Windows updates so I start them when they cannot do harm because everything is backed up externally. Windows itself could never know that. I know when there is no risk and I can start the updates manually.

  26. Darmok N Jalad

    I guess all that's left to do is to set your connection to metered and then see what it downloads. You don't have to actually use a metered connection for this. I guess it will be a while before we actually see another feature update though.

  27. MikeCerm

    If the problem is "I was supposed to give a presentation and my computer randomly started installing updates" then this won't solve the problem. Nothing can. People who have that problem are non-techies who do not and will not avail themselves of the tools that Microsoft gives users to manage when updates are installed. The only thing that will help those people is if Microsoft reversed course completely on updates and made them optional, which I don't think is a good idea.

  28. madthinus

    None of these updates help people on slow networks. The biggest issue for us is that all the controls relate to installing and rebooting, and not to downloading. I cannot tell you the amount of times my internet was not usable due to the fact that Windows was downloading a freaking update. This whole issue is just annoying, irritating and tone deaf.

    • rameshthanikodi

      In reply to madthinus:

      The Creators Update has some kind of new downloading mechanism that is less of a network hog and supposedly also downloads smaller files. We'll see if it improves. I used to be on a connection with limited bandwidth and Windows Update eating up all my bandwidth was a major problem.

  29. arknu

    The problem of reboots not preserving data sits squarely on the shoulders of programmers. Windows has since Vista had an API called Restart Manager (which, granted, should be a bit easier to use). This API allows programs to save state before a restart and then restore it afterwards. This is how Microsoft Word will restore all documents you had open, including unsaved ones, and put your cursor right back where you were before the restart. All UWP apps also do this (although you may have to start them manually). I don't see how Microsoft can be blamed for lazy programmers not caring about user data.

    As for the forced restarts - only techies care about that. We like control. But for ordinary users, if you give them control, they'll just delay the restart indefinitely. My father once complained about the forced restarts. I disabled automatic restart and told him to restart manually at his convenience. After a week he still hadn't installed the updates. I then told him that he had just proved why automatic restarts were enabled and turned them straight back on. If given the choice, most ordinary users will always choose to delay the restart for as long as they possibly can. With Windows being so reliable these days, it can be weeks before a natural restart occurs, which is far too much for a security update.

    In general, Windows 10 updating has been very reliable for me, although I do know that there have been issues that shouldn't have been allowed through. The webcam issue, in particular, was bad. My impression, though, is that most of these issues are related to third-party software or drivers doing things they shouldn't be doing.

    • skane2600

      In reply to arknu:

      So developers are supposed to review all Windows APIs to see if they can find some defense to a wacky decision MS might make some day in the future? PC's aren't supposed to reboot willy-nilly without user permission.


      Talk about techie perspective - only they will understand the idea that developers didn't implement an API call to handle reboots asynchronously. Ordinary users will blame MS because Windows is obviously causing a reboot that loses data.

  30. Roncerr

    Why aren't comments visible on IE?

  31. Oasis

    Stuff like this is why I don't Have W10. I have enough issues with W8.1.....

  32. hrlngrv

    Chrome OS approach may make more sense. Updates download in the background. No way to stop them, but they're never large (over 1GB). Besides, who'd use a Chromebook/box on a metered connection. However, updates are only applied as part of the shutdown/reboot process, and that requires user initiate that process.

    Windows 10 automatic reboot effectively ignores running foreground processes. That's wrong on many levels. Yeah, some users could leave Calculator, say, open all the time to defeat automatic reboot. Are they a bigger problem than people leaving programs running with open documents when they go to bed/fall asleep?

    • F4IL

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      It's easier said than done. ChromeOS is Gentoo Linux. Compared to Windows, Linux is a fully componetized system that allows for complete or partial system updates running in the background without a reboot. It's designed to be this way for reasons of portability, reliability and safety. It also allows for software rollbacks (again no reboot required) in case a newly updated program misbehaves. That's why ChromeOS can update consistently and reliably without much fuss, user intervention / frustration. Finally, ChromeOS being Linux is a much smaller system compared to Windows and supports delta updates by default.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to F4IL:

        Picky: kernels can be installed but not used without reboots.

        OTOH, old kernel modules can be unloaded and new ones loaded in their place without rebooting.

        OTOH again, Chrome OS mounts / read-only while in multiple user mode, so nothing in /boot, /bin, /etc, /lib, /sbin, /usr (other than /usr/local) could be changed while users are logged-in (unless in developer mode and by those who knew what they're doing).

        Chrome OS might not NEED to reboot to update, but that's how Chrome OS DOES update.

  33. rameshthanikodi

    Man, the updating situation on Windows 10 is really quite bad. I think Windows 8 was the best, it would nag you to restart but not force you to restart until after you've installed the updates, and even then, it'll wait for a day or so before throwing up the countdown clock to the forced restart. If I recall correctly, Windows 7 did the same thing. I think that was the right approach.

    Of course, the best solution would be for updates and the following restarts to install faster. Or better yet, not require a restart at all.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to rameshthanikodi:

      . . . not require a restart at all. . .

      Problem is that some parts of Windows can't be upgraded while the GUI is running. Those parts require rebooting to upgrade. The only way to upgrade critical system components without a restart would be to allow Windows to load a new copy of Windows, run it as a quasi-VM, shift user programs and data memory to the new Windows, make the new Windows instance the main one, stop the old Windows instance and flush it from memory. Perhaps theoretically possible, but unlikely to be robust.

  34. WaltC

    I don't know what the problem is, but as I've been using Win10 Insider updates since 10/2014, and using them at home exclusively since 3/2015 (after a brief period of dual-booting with Win8/.1), I have *never* experienced Win10 involuntarily rebooting my machine to install an update. Having said that, I do turn my machine off late at night and boot up each morning, and I'm using the full 18-hour "hands-off" timer Microsoft has supplied. I cannot even remember the last time Win10 auto-installed the wrong driver--or any driver, actually. Not even once in many, many months. Now, I use the desktop, on a desktop computer, as God intended, and not a single tile mars my GUI, but it's difficult to see what difference that might make (except that tablets and laptops often feature inferior and non-standardized "custom" hardware.) I think that rather than simply complaining about things, Paul, you might like to inform your readers how to avoid the very situations that you complain about. For instance, people bitch about notifications but rarely are they told they can simply turn all of them off--or keep the ones they want, etc. Alas, I fear that Win10 is oft used as merely clickbait to further frustrate (as opposed to educate) a certain class of tech n00b (which all of us were at some point)--which I see as taking advantage of tech ignorance in the same way that Apple does it. How about less complaining and more in the way of solutions for your readers, Paul? Am I going to buy your premium service simply to hear you rant more prolifically? No...;) Most of the problems people have with computers is that they don't operate the way those people think they are "supposed to" operate. But generally, there is is usually a way to do what those people want, it's just that their approach is all wrong and they simply don't know how. That's why educating your readers is more valuable then simply joining them in worthless bitch sessions that accomplish nothing.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to WaltC: "I do turn my machine off late at night and boot up each morning," How do you expect it to do updates if it is off? It will still download updates in the background, but if you have it off during the time you told it is OK to install updates, how in the world do you expect it to do that? Can't imagine how you are not seeing, "Hey, I need to install some updates" when you boot up periodically. My simple approach at work is to save my work and log out at the end of the day. At home, I don't leave important things unsaved and open overnight, or when I'll be away from it for any significant amount of time, though I don't log out. Anyone who thinks computers don't crash on their own, and power never fails, hasn't been around computers for the last 30 years. Save early, save often. It's way better than it used to be, but if you lose more than 15 min of work, it's your own fault.


    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to WaltC:


      Good Lord.


      First, congratulations on your error-free experience.


      But surely you understand that your PC is one of over a million-whatever possible configurations and that your one set of experiences couldn't possibly be considered the norm. And that I hear from a lot of different people, every day, about their experiences too.


      But to address your shittiest issue, this article is not a complaint. It's an explanation of how updates are changing in the Creators Update. In fact, I go out of my way to explain that everyone has opinions about this stuff, but that that's not the point here.


      Maybe these recent articles meet your need for solutions. Thanks for remembering that they exist.


      https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/106922/windows-10-tip-get-creators-update-schedule


      https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/106643/windows-10-tip-turn-off-lock-screen-start-action-center-advertising


      https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/106424/windows-10-tip-turn-off-file-explorer-advertising


      This comment is nothing more than what you are bitching about: Just a complaint, with no merit. And it is not appreciated.

  35. Patrick Wingert

    I tried to install the 1703 fall creators update. It installed nice and smoothly but took four hours to complete with three re-boots. I was expecting that. I allocate 6 to72 hours(Yeah acer net book too three days for the 1607 update! but it completed) for my machines to update N. When I logged back in I discovered no access to my network. No hardwire, no wireless access, no access through external USB network device. No indication that there is any problems diagnostics report a network being present and correctly configures but there are no packets sent or receved.Call MS Two hours later the tech concluded that the TCP/IP protocol stack is not binding to the realtec or artec hardware network device interfaces. Call the manufacturer for support. Contacted Toshiba. Response that three year old device is not support any longer and I am not able to reeve support because I am not a business with a support account. Contact MS recommendation is to rollback to 1607 and disable the 1703 update using proscribed procedure. Oh and by the way you will no longer get any non security updates after 1607. It seems that microsoft had virtualized its network components in preparation for virtualizing windows in the future and have made major changes under the hood to the network code that prevents certain networking chips from being able to recognise that there is a issue with connecting to a network stack.. So now I have a machine that is locked into 1607.

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