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Preventing Windows Update from Rebooting your computer Part 1

February 9th, 2010 · 1 Comment

In my previous post about 64 bit computers I mentioned a time when Microsoft Automatic Updates ran and rebooted a computer of mine while compiling a video. Since then another person I know told me of the same issue and I have received many calls over the last year about “lost” data that occurred when office computers were left on and files such as Excel and Word were left open and unsaved and the system rebooted.

Fortunately most people were using Office 2003 or 2007 so a saved copy was there, however a couple of clients still use Office 2000 and that was a little more difficult.

Today let’s go over how to prevent Windows XP Home, Vista Home and Window 7 Home versions from rebooting automatically after a Windows Automatic Update.

We will need to make the necessary changes to the Windows Registry, as described below. However, before we continue I need to remind you about the dangers ahead.

Dangerous path ahead! Even though the Caretaker brought Voyager into the Delta quadrant unharmed, if you go there without a proper registry backup and without following this star chart exactly you will end up too close to the black hole in galaxy RXJ1242-11, and trust me that wouldn’t be a pretty sight!

Please read my very short article on how to backup the registry if you don’t know how to. On with the show, or article in this case.

Use Task Manager to stop all instances of Windows Update Auto Update Client (wuauclt.exe) by selecting the <Ctrl> <Alt> and <Delete> keys on your keyboard at the same time, and then choose “Start Task Manager” or the equivalent.

When the “Task Manager” window appears select the “Processes” tab across the top.

I would suggest you select the words “Image Name” for the column; this will put the list alphabetically. By clicking on it a 2nd time, it will be reverse order and thus putting wuault.exe towards the top of the list. Do not be surprised if you have two listings for wuault.exe.

Click on wuault.exe thus highlighting it and then click on the “End Process” button in the lower right of the window.

A warning will appear, don’t fret, select the “Yes” button to terminate the process.

Repeat if necessary.

Close the Windows Task Manager window.

Open the Registry Editor by going to the “Start” button and then clicking on the “Run” button in XP and typing “regedit” in the text box.
If you have Vista or Window 7 just skip the “Run” button part and type in “regedit” in the text box and select “OK” to open the registry.

You will need to Navigate to the following registry key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft\ Windows \ CurrentVersion \  WindowsUpdate \ Auto Update” by clicking on the plus keys along the left side of the window.

In the right hand window, right-click on a blank area and select “New” and then “DWORD” or “DWORD (32-bit) value” depending on what is available.

A new entry appears, change the name to “NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers” sans quotes and then click on a blank spot.

Double-click on the name NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers and in the new window, set the value data to “1”.

Click on “OK” to finish and then exit the Registry.

Now, you should not receive any of those annoying reminders to reboot your machine nor will Windows Update automatically reboot your machine.

Until we meet again, have a virus free week!

Tags: Optimizing · Soap Box · Uncategorized

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