// Internet Duct Tape

Geek Sanity Tip: Make Everyone Run the Same Software

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on September 01, 2008

Working With Windows

Much like how doctor’s get bombarded with medical questions, being the alpha geek in any family or group of friends means you’ll get asked questions about computers. There’s only one way to stay sane: get everyone you know to run the same software.

Outlook vs Gmail

Case in point, I’ve had to support Microsoft Outlook for over a decade now even though the last time I used it was in 1997. Even though I switched from Outlook to Thunderbird, and then Gmail I’ve had this albatross of questions hanging around my neck. If I could convince everyone I know to switch to gmail I wouldn’t have to worry about problems like:

For me the main advantages to using gmail instead of a desktop based client are:

  • Access email from any computer
  • No “downloading email” wait time
  • NO VIRUSES! Everything is virus scanned any nothing is downloaded on to your computer without your express interaction
  • The best junk mail filtering available
  • Incredibly fast search that works so much better than manually organizing emails
  • You can keep your old email address and still use gmail as your mail program
  • Offline support with Google Gears
  • Automatically signs into other Google services like Blogger and Reader

There are many instructions on switching from Outlook to Gmail using special software like Gmail Loader (or gExodus), by temporarily setting up a mail server to importing into Gmail using IMAP, or using POP. With that last method, you can transparently use gmail while keeping your old email address.

Internet Explorer vs Mozilla Firefox

I love Firefox because of all the ways I can extend it with Greasemonkey and because of ad-block plus. Internet Explorer isn’t as bad as it used to be, but you’ll still run into strange headaches like how much more difficult it is to subscribe to an RSS feed using Google Reader in Internet Explorer than in Firefox.


I was a long time Azeurus bittorrent user, but I’ve found it hard to explaining to anyone else how to use the program, not to mention how poorly it performs. uTorrent is so much simplier to use, and it is so much easier to explain to other people how to use it. These are the uTorrent settings I use to work well with Rogers Canada.

uTorrent seems to work better than Azureus or the original Bit Torrent client, and I really like how it defaults to selecting individual files in a torrent to download. It also seems to have much less virii than the older quality P2P applications like Limewire and Soulseek.

There are quite a few legitimate uses of bittorrent. A lot of excellent free software is distributed using bittorrent, and as older movies, books and music comes into the public domain it is being hosted on bittorrent networks. People are sharing their public domain podcasts and video casts using bittorrent as well.

Norton Antivirus vs Anything Else

The other big problem I run into as the computer tech person is “my computer is slow”. The culprit is an easy find: Norton Antivirus. Norton Antivirus is a virus because it is more detrimental to your computer performance than actually having a virus. Nobody likes Norton Antivirus.

We’ve been trying out AVG Free as an alternative, but ran into issues with how user unfriendly it is (finding virii in the Recycling Bin, finding virii in the Outlook Deleted Trash and the difficulty in deleting the virii). Leave a comment if you have any suggestions of which antivirus to use for casual home users who aren’t tech saavy.

I keep hearing about NOD32, Kapersky, or Clamwin.

The World’s Stupidest Productivity Tip: Open All in Tabs

Lifehacks and Productivity

Here’s a stupidly easy tip for web browsing that can be a real time saver. It works in Firefox or Internet Explorer (and maybe even Safari). The trick is to bookmark all of the websites you commonly visit as one group so that you can open them all at once when it comes time for your daily maintenance.

For me, the list is:

Step 1: Open your favorite sites in tabs

Keep using Ctrl-T or middle-click to open sites in a new tab until you have a list of all the sites you normally visit at the start of a day.

Step 2: Bookmark the open tabs as a group.

This is where the magic happens. Instead of individually saving the bookmarks, you save them as a group/folder so that you can open them all at once.

In Firefox, use Bookmarks >> Bookmark All Tabs (Ctrl-Shift-D)

Hot Tip: Save to group under Bookmarks Toolbar so that they’ll be accessible from your Firefox toolbar.

In Internet Explorer, use Favorites >> Add Tab Group to Favorites

Step 3: Organize your bookmarks

If you want to remove a link from your group (because Facebook is a timesink) then you can use the organize feature of your web browser to add or delete bookmarks, or to reorder them.

In Firefox, use Bookmarks >> Organize Boomarks (Ctrl-Shift-B)

In Internet Explorer, use Favorites >> Organize Favorites

Step 4: Opening the group all at once

In Firefox, you can navigate to your bookmarks using the toolbar or the Bookmarks drop-down menu (depending on where you saved them in step 2) and choose Open All in Tabs.

In Internet Explorer, it’s a bit more complicated.

  • Click on the Star (for favorites)
  • Click on the arrow beside the tab group you just created

After that’s all done, you’ve probably saved yourself a few minutes a day of having to switch between sites you check out very often. Because they all start loading at the same time, it’s pretty quick to jump between them and grab the information you need.

Speed Up Outlook Express

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on April 09, 2008

Working With Windows

I was investigation my dad’s computer trying to find out why it was so slow. There was the usual culprit of Norton Antivirus and Outlook Express. There’s nothing I can do about Norton, but he’s been using Outlook Express since 1998 and his mail folder is a whopping 5.8 GB. It’s time to perform my sonly duty and try to fix his slow computer, even though I haven’t used Outlook Express in the past ten years.

I’ll walk you through how I do it…


How to Get an RSS Feed for your XBOX 360 Gamertag

Hacking RSS with Yahoo Pipes

My geek want of the day is getting an RSS feed of my Xbox 360 game activity so that I can use it with lifestreaming services. For once I’m not the only person who feels this need. There’s at least two of us! :)


I’m not sure why Microsoft doesn’t make an RSS feed of your Xbox Live activity available. The information is all there, they publish it as a gamercard. But they don’t give you access to the raw data to do with as you please unless you’re a member of the Xbox Community Developers Program. Here are the various ways you can access your Xbox 360 Gamercard to use with other websites.


How to Generate 100s of Backlinks in Minutes

Posted in Marketing and Promotion, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on March 25, 2008

Bloggin Tips and Tricks

In 25 ways to get an insanely popular blog Skellie describes 25 models for blogging that leads to an ever increasing audience. There’s one she missed out on: the abrasive model.

  1. Say something bone-headed so people clamour to their keyboards in order to prove you wrong.
  2. Make commenting on your post as hard as possible so that people will respond with blog posts of their own instead of a comment.


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Free Idea: Outlook Calendar Screensaver

Posted in Free Ideas, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on January 23, 2008

Free Ideas

People often guard their ideas thinking that if they let the word get out people will steal their golden shot at success. What they don’t realize is that idea are worth nothing. Implementation is the only thing that matters. Here’s an idea I had for something I’m not planning on building. Like it? Take it. Does it already exist? Let me know.

Microsoft Outlook is still the de facto email and scheduling application in most businesses. Smart managers know to make their calender public so that people can see when they are available at a glance — unfortunately its only the die-hard meeting goers who use that feature. Your average Joe Engineer still would rather drop buy every thirty minutes to try and catch him. One of my co-workers has a bad case of meetingitis and I see an average of 5 to 8 people drop buy his desk in the vain hope of finding him every day. One poor fool even tries to camp out at his desk like it’s a Star Wars movie.

The solution is simple enough: he needs a screensaver that displays his Outlook calendar for today so all the poor sods walking by can realize that he won’t be around for hours.

I haven’t found a full solution to this, but I know I’m not the first person to think how great of a screensaver your Outlook calendar would make.

  1. Almost but not quite: old screensaver that shows your Outlook tasks
  2. Hackers do it better: A trick to run DeskTask free software as an Outlook screensaver
  3. Great minds think alike: source code to a C# .NET version of the screensaver for Outlook 2000 and a how-to tutorial of how he did it.
Microsoft Outlook Screensaver

Internet Duct Tape is up for an award as best sci/tech blog, so please vote!

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7 Tips to Optimize Windows XP for Gaming — Playing The Witcher on Minimum System Requirements

Posted in Games, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on December 28, 2007

Working With Windows

One of the lures of the holiday season is to be able to hopefully squeeze in some time between eggnog, family and friends to exercise your vices. No, not heroin, but that other life consuming addiction: gaming. PC gaming is quickly going the way of the dodo, with console gaming taking over because it is so much easier to prevent piracy and ensure that the games will “just work” with the minimum of effort. But PC games are still my drug of choice, the combination of mouse and keyboard can’t be beat, especially for real time strategy or roleplaying games.

I decided to give the Witcher a try. It’s based on Bioware’s Aurora engine that powered my all-time favourite game Neverwinter Nights. The story is based on a long running Polish fantasy series, that has already had a movie and tv series based off of it. You can find a fan-subbed English copy of the tv show on popular bittorrent sites like the Pirate’s Bay. It is surprisingly better than I expected, about on par with the Highlander tv show.

Unfortunately the Witcher’s biggest flaw is that it’s using the Aurora engine. Game areas are split into several different area files that means changing areas becomes a complete pain in the ass. This was a huge problem when I used to do Neverwinter Nights game modding under the alias OldManWhistler, and I’m very surprised that four years later it STILL hasn’t been fixed. Playing the game will drive you running back to Bethesda’s Oblivion and their excellent background loading technology.

Load times are bad. The 1.2 “Christmas patch” of the game has improved it, but it still sucks all the joy out of the game to have the simplest of quests require up to 10 minutes of load screen staring to complete. Of course, the real culprit is that I’m trying to play the game with minimum system requirements. Let’s face it, no game plays well in the worst case scenario.

Special Witcher Tip: If your character became “locked-up” after moving to a new area it’s because you have autosave turned off. The game often moves into a cut-scene immediately after doing an autosave, and the cut-scene never starts if autosave is turned off.

In Program Files/The Witcher/System Folder/player.ini, set disable autosave to 0 instead of 1.

Getting Started: FreeRam XP Pro

Before you start optimizing your system, you should download and install Free Ram XP Pro. I don’t recommend using it all of the time, it’s pretty brutal when it decides to kick in and free up ram from running applications (it usually crashes Firefox). But it will display the amount of free RAM available in the system tray which will give you a warm fuzzy of progress as you go about optimizing your PC.

Performance Tip #1: Turn Off Your Antivirus

Antivirus software is a tax on the computer illiterate that wastes up to 50% of your computer resources. You should *NEVER* leave your antivirus software turned on while running PC games that are performance intensive (assuming they’re games you legitimately purchased)

Futher reading:

Performance Tip #2: Buy More RAM

RAM is cheap these days. There is no reason why anyone shouldn’t be running their system with the maximum amount of RAM they can get their hands on. Crucial makes a scanning tool that will automatically tell you what kind of RAM your computer needs. It’s one of the easiest ways to make everything on your computer run faster.

If you don’t have enough RAM then your computer will have to use part of your hard drive as RAM, which is so much slower. Buying more RAM is the most time effective way to get more juice out of an old PC.

Performance Tip #3: Free Up Hard Drive Space

Most computers have a ridiculous amount of free space on them unless you download music, movies or tv shows. There are lots of free programs out there that will help you find out where your hard drive space is going. I was losing 12 GB to a log file that was automatically created by a program called PeerGuardian 2!

Performance Tip #4: Defrag Before and After Install

Fragmentation happens when you store things on your hard drive after time. The computer will write information to the hard drive where ever it fits, which means parts of the same file can be all over the place. Ideally you want to install programs so that the entire program is “contiguous” — all the bits of the file are as close to each other as possible so that they can be read all at once with the minimum amount of time. You should always defrag after freeing up your hard drive so that you can make the most out of that new free space.

Performance Tip #5: Using msconfig

The stupidest invention ever was the “helper application” that sits in your system tray, doing nothing but consuming memory and making whatever program it is supposed to “help” run faster. My worst offender is Apple’s quicktime task that NO ONE uses, but reinstalls itself every time you upgrade iTunes. There are a couple of startup applications that might be necessary because of external devices (IE: cellphone, digital camera, keyboard, scanner) but for the most part these can all be removed.

Performance Tip #6: Removing Services

The only thing left to improve how fast your computer is running is to turn off parts of the operating system that you don’t use. There’s a lot of them, and its hard to know what really does what. This is one area where you can screw up your computer if you do it wrong. GameXP provides a nice simple interface that will disable most things for you automatically (as well backup the changes). But you can do it yourself by following guides.

Performance Tip #7: Advanced Guides

The previous six tips are the easiest ways to get games running on your computer with the least chance of screwing things up. But that’s just the start and there are many other ways you can tweak Windows XP to get your system running faster. These methods are time consuming to implement, and may be too technical for the average person, and you can screw up your computer if you do things wrong.


You can get a lot done with an older computer if you’re willing to get your hands dirty and remove all the stuff you don’t need. Your operating system includes much cruft, and there’s always ways to extend your PC life beyond the normal limits.

Windows XP – Disable dumpprep when programs crash

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on December 26, 2007

Working With Windows

I might seem like a slick, saavy geek who knows his was around an operating system but the sad truth is that I’m a complete Luddite when it comes to computer OSes. I don’t have anything against Windows Vista, but I’m not going to upgrade until its been out for one or two years, and all the tips and tricks for tweaking it are freely available.

One tip for improve Windows XP that I absolutely love is turning off that annoying “do you want to send an error report” message when programs crash. The sad truth is that those error reports rarely reach anyone who could fix the problem, so it’s a colossal waste of time — especially if the error is as innocuous as “the program ran out of memory”. Which is usually the case for me.

There’s a whole slew of steps for how to find the hidden setting to tweak to turn it off, but instead I prefer to use XP-AntiSpy or Safe XP. Both programs provide an easy interface to one-click “disable error reporting”.

Now when Firefox crashes because of memory problems I don’t have to wait five minutes for the error reporting dialog to pop-up.

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Windows XP Logon Screen with No User Accounts?

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on March 20, 2007

The worst purchase I ever made was my Compaq Presario laptop. It has been a near endless cause of headaches. I was playing around with some settings and when I rebooted my computer I noticed that it prompted me with the Windows login screen… except there were no user accounts?!

windows xp no login account can't login in administrator


CES – Microsoft Home Server

Posted in Gadgets, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on January 09, 2007

The news du jour is Microsoft Home Server (blog of developer here, product page here, TechMeme coverage).

This is a great product idea, if properly executed. I consider myself a “tech power user” and I already have a home server setup where I mirror backups across multiple computers and stream media to my Xbox 360. This Christmas I wanted to add 500 GB to my home network and the deciding feature on my list was the ability to stream to the Xbox 360. I couldn’t find something to do it that was easily available at the local electronics store — next year my story might be different.

Removable media (CD-R / DVD-R) is more hassle than it’s worth for backups. It takes approximately 10 minutes a disc to restore from a backup. I deal with a lot of digital media (music, movie/tv, photography, comic scans) and if I have a system wipe out I’m looking at DAYS (if not WEEKS) to restore everything from disc. I’m not going to. I had a 60 GB drive with music fail in 2000 and I still haven’t restored from backup. Hard drives are cheap and it is far more time effective to mirror to another drive over a network. It’s logical to think we’ll eventually be doing it over the internet.

With the Microsoft Home Server adoption it’s going to be all about the price point and Xbox 360 integration. If it’s comparable to what it would cost me to buy a PC of my own then I would buy it for the form-factor alone. If it can handle things like printer sharing, running an FTP/Web site, and Xbox 360 connectivity then it is going to be an easy sell. Like anyone who has seen Microsoft’s track record I have security concerns, but they’ve done a good job with the 360 — as long as they limit what can be done with the Home Server they’ll be fine.

Microsoft has a huge opportunity with the sales of the 360 over the past year. The 360 has already become a strong competitor for video-on-demand (with television and movies on demand available), giving Microsoft a channel into home entertainment. If they have seamless integration between the Home Server and the Xbox 360, then they are a shoe-in to convert the existing Xbox 360 user base into Home Server sales.

Free Windows Vista to US Residents

Posted in Links, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on November 30, 2006

free windows vistaI’m as surprised as anyone that this is legitimate. You can get a free copy of Windows Vista Business or Microsoft Office Professional 2007 by viewing some web seminars. Unfortunately, this is only open to US residents or I would be all over this like a fat kid on Kate (Winslet) [1].

Despite my usual anti-Microsoft bend, I know I’m going to be running Windows on at least one machine in my house (if only because of limited Xbox 360 support). Having another copy around to deal with the inevitable Windows Genuine Advantage problems is a good idea.

This could be a cheap Christmas gift for the geek in your life.

>> The Power of Together (via Rob and Engadget)

[1] Scientific studies show that fat kids aren’t as in to cake as popular colloquialism might otherwise suggest.

Windows Genuine (Dis) Advantage — Why buy when a crack works better? (WGA sucks)

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on September 26, 2006

In Bill and Steve’s Bogus Advantage I talked about how to disable the annoying pop-ups that appear if you are running a Windows XP machine that doesn’t pass their cryptic tests.

I’ve been playing with connecting my X-box 360 to my Windows machine for media sharing, and everything that I need requires WGA validation before downloading. Very annoying.

Download Squad has a great post where they wanted to see how effective WGA is. An astounding 42% of “Windows Genuine Advantage” failures were actually genuine. Now I don’t feel so bad that it doesn’t work for me either.

This is an unacceptable “false-negative” rate, and this highlights the problem with Digital Rights Management (DRM — copyright protection schemes to control how people use software and media). People want to use their computer to do things hassle free. By hassling them you create more “pirates” than you stop.

Why use a valid copy of Windows that doesn’t pass WGA checks when you could instead get a cracked version that *DOES* work?

>> Windows Genuine Advantage worse than we all feared

>> What to do if you see “This copy of windows is not genuine you may be a victim of software counterfeiting”

>> Microsoft admits WGA failures “coming up more commonly now”

More Stupid Windows Features

Reasons why Steve Jobs isn’t the next Bill Gates – a photo essay

Posted in Geeking Out, Humor, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on September 13, 2006

GigaOM has some hype about how Mr. Jobs looks like a contender for the role of Evil Overload formerly played by Mr. Gates. I’d like to present a photo essay of why that is not the case.

Are you prepared for the machismo that is BillG?

WARNING: This post is sexier than usual.

Please keep this away from the eyes of women and young children, they may find it stimulating and confusing. Keep your eyes directly ahead, turn the volume off on your speakers, and move any coffee mugs or glasses of water away from the keyboard.


Using Perl on Windows Part 1: Installing ActiveState Perl

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Perl, Technology by engtech on September 08, 2006

When I want to get something done with Windows XP, I have a habit of using Perl because I’m very familiar with it (I’m a Unix geek).

Luckily, Perl is available as a Windows executable thanks to the people at ActiveState. This guide will show you how to install ActiveState Perl on Windows.

Installing Perl isn’t hard, but I plan to make some scripts available for people unfamiliar with Perl. This guide is intended for them.


Stupid Windows Features: Disable FilterKeys Permanently

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on August 30, 2006

It constantly amazes me the crap that gets turned on by default in Windows XP. Have you ever held down the Right Shift key for more than 8 seconds while thinking about something? That’s the default keyboard shortcut for FilterKeys. FilterKeys is an accessibility option that ignores keyboard input unless it the key is held down for a long time.


The Holy Grail of Synchronization: combining Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Gmail, iPod, and mobile phone

The Holy Grail of Synchronization

2008/03/06: Google now official supports synching between Google Calendar and Outlook

Last updated: 2006/09/19

This is a guide for synchronizing Contacts (address book) and Calendars (schedule) across multiple computers and gadgets.

Common terms:

  • synchronization – making the information the same on two different applications
  • WAP/GPRS – wireless Internet access for mobile phones
  • SyncML – a synchronization protocol

This is the setup I am trying to sync:

  • Calendars
  • Contacts
    • Gmail for email addresses
    • Microsoft Outlook at home for contacts
  • Gadgets
    • Nokia 6682 for access to contacts/calendar on the go (or any mobile phone that has software to synchronize with Microsoft Outlook, ie: all of them)
    • iPod for access to contacts/calendar on the go

ScheduleWorld wasn’t something I used before I tried to do this, but it is the glue that holds it all together.

Here is a beautiful drawing of The Plan. It was made with Gliffy, a web-based Visio clone.

The Holy Grail of Synchronization

Read the rest of this article

Windows Vista Speech Recognition Demo Blows Up

Posted in Links, Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on August 01, 2006

Larry Osterman owns up on his blog that the speech recognition demo that’s been getting so much bad press (Slashdot, Digg, Reuters) was his bug.

Stupid Windows Features – Monitor Display Turns Sideways or Upside Down

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Popular Posts, Technology by engtech on August 01, 2006

Windows XP weird screen orientationThe Ctrl-Alt-Direction key sequence is supposed to be used for changing your workspace. On my computer at work it changes the screen orientation.

Ctrl-Alt-Up – right side up

Ctrl-Alt-Right – 90 degrees

Ctrl-Alt-Down – 180 degrees

Ctrl-Alt-Left – 270 degrees
(If that doesn’t work, try Ctrl-Shift-R)

This is a feature in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. Which makes sense. But it looks like ATI Intel copied the keystroke for the same “feature” in their video card drivers. I can’t think of a good reason why I would need an always-on keystroke for this on a desktop PC.

When creating a keystroke-mapped feature that only 1% of your customers will want to use and the other 99%[1] are going to be confused by, put in a menu option to disable it and have it disabled by default.

To fix the issue press Ctrl-Alt-Up. To permanently fix the problem go to:

Start >> Control Panel >> Display >> Settings >> Advanced

Where it is after that it dependent upon your video card.

Intel Xtreme Graphics monitor displayed on side

[1] Fictitious numbers to illustrate the point.

More Stupid Windows Features

Bill and Steve’s Bogus Advantage – Removing Windows Genuine Advantage

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on July 29, 2006

One of my boxes managed to get hit by the Windows Genuine Advantage “upgrade” even though it is a Windows Genuine Advantage -- Windows Bogus Advantagelegitimate copy. Apparently, this is happening more times than Microsoft would like to admit.

The “Genuine Advantage” is supposed to be an incentive for the following reasons:

  • Avoiding the “this copy is not genuine” constant nagging that is supposed to embarrass you in front of friends, families, and co-workers. Like booting Windows when you are a ‘nix geek wasn’t bad enough.
  • Avoiding the fear, uncertainty and doubt from pop-ups that “Your computer is at risk!”.
  • Software features that are available to Genuine Advantage users only (this will be more prevalent in Windows Vista).
  • Installing “optional” upgrades like the .NET Framework that are a requirement for any modern Windows “freeware”.

Thankfully, through the wonders of poorly designed technology, it is simple to disable this nagware. AI’s lounge offers five techniques for disabling the “Genuine Advantage”, I chose #3 and it worked like a charm for getting rid of the nagware (but I’m still locked out from the “Genuine Advantage” featured upgrades).

Is posting such information breaking the ridiculous U.S. DMCA? I’d say no considering that Microsoft provides some of the methods of disabling it on their website. There are also allegations that it is spyware since it “phones home” to Microsoft every time you boot your computer, even if you have a legitimate copy.

>> A.i.’s Lounge » This copy of Windows is not genuine

>> Lauren Weinstein’s Blog: Windows XP Update May Be Classified As “Spyware”

>> Lauren Weinstein’s Blog: Microsoft Responds Regarding Windows XP Update vs. Spyware

>> Linux Genuine Advantage

More Stupid Windows Features

Configuring Windows Automatic Update to use manual installations

Posted in Microsoft Windows XP and Vista, Technology by engtech on July 12, 2006

Is it Monday again already? I don’t recommend starting the work day with finding out the stupid Windows machine on your desktop has rebooted itself because of automatic updates.

It wouldn’t be as bad if my VM Ware Linux installation automatically saved my session on a reboot. But instead it requires upwards of 30 minutes wasted re-tweaking the programs I use day-to-day.

The solution is simple, turn off the auto-install option for Windows Automatic Updates. But who thinks of reconfiguring that option until experiencing data loss? I’m not unreasonable in my expectation that my computer should never reboot itself without my permission.

I understand the reason why it’s configured like that by default. If Windows Automatic Updates didn’t automatically install and reboot by default then 80% of the Windows machines out there would never have updates installed. It doesn’t mean I have to like it.

If you leave your computer on all the time with open applications in a custom setting, then you should change the default setting.


Here are the steps for configuring Windows Automatic Update to use manual installations.


  • Find Control Panel in the Start Menu
  • Start Menu - Control Panel
  • Find Windows Automatic Updates in the Control Panel
  • Automatic Updates
  • Choose the manual install option from the Windows Automatic Updates control
  • Turn off automatic installation

Related Links (Outgoing)

More Stupid Windows Features