has an interesting 2-part article about tweaking Windows Update using Registry Keys. The first part covers "Elevation of Privileges", "Target Groups" and "Assigning a WSUS Server". The topics of Part 2 are about "Disabling Windows Update", "Reboot Reminders", "Applying Missed Updates", and "Scheduling Installations". I like the part about the reboot reminders most.

Did it ever happen to you that your computer rebooted during lunch break and you still had some unsaved files open? Windows Update usually asks for permission to reboot after installing updates. If you don't respond within a certain time, it will make this decision for you.

I think, Microsoft chose this as the default setting because many don't shut down their computers at all. In my view enforcing reboots in such a rude way is not a good idea, though. The question is if your users will loose data more often because of malware using unfixed security holes or because of the enforced reboots of Windows Update.

To this dilemma, I recommend advising users to turn off their computers over night. This not only saves energy, it also improves security since the computers in your network are not always online. You can then set the reboot relaunch timeout to 24 hours. This way, nobody will loose data because of enforced reboots, assuming of course that they're following the company's guidelines.

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As you probably are a system administrator, you know already that messing with the Registry can cause serious damage to a Windows system if you don't know what you are doing.


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