Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to keep Windows Update from rebooting your computer (Vista)

Have you ever gotten up in the morning and sat down at your computer, only to discover that it had rebooted itself during the night because of Windows Update - and all those documents and web sites you had spread across the desktop and were working on are now gone? Grrr. Well, there is a way to prevent this from happening, at least with some versions of Vista (we've heard that it doesn't work with Home, but haven't had a chance to test that). It does work with Ultimate and Business editions. The fix involves editing the registry, so be careful and back it up first. Here are the steps:

  1. In your registry editor, navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Windows \ WindowsUpdate \ AU
  2. Right click an empty space in the right pane and click New, then select DWORD value.
    Name the new value NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers
  3. Set the value data field to 1.
  4. Close the registry editor.

Now you don't have to worry about the OS shutting down when you least expect (and least want) it to.