Thursday, July 20th 2017

Microsoft Decreasing Windows 10 Updates Downtime in Fall Creators Update

If you're a standard Windows user, you probably find Windows updates something of a pain - especially when they force you to reboot your PC after they're installed. But imagine you own a business that constantly has its machines up and running, but also requires the latest security upgrades; each minute of downtime for installing such updates is lost revenue. Because of that issue, which companies brought to Microsoft's attention over the years, the company is streamlining its update process, decreasing the amount of update steps that need to be taken offline (which means less time waiting for the machines to become available to use following an update.)
Usually, in updating your Windows system, there are two phases: an "online" phase, in which your PC automatically checks for new updates and actively downloads required system files while allowing you to keep using the computer for various tasks. The second "offline" phase is where the bulk of the work occurs during the update process, and doesn't allow the user to make use of the machine while this process is taking place (read reboot update sequences, for instance.) With Microsoft's latest streamlining process, two steps that previously took place during the "offline" phase will migrate to the online phase. Namely, 1) user content (apps/settings/configurations) back-up and the laying down of new OS files (Windows Image [WIM] process.)

Microsoft's Jason Howard, in a blog post for the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, said that "By moving the old offline portions of the upgrade process to the online phase, upgrades will appear to take longer if you're watching or timing the progress. We didn't want to sacrifice usability for offline time so the upgrade processes are run at a lower priority to provide for best performance."Sources: Microsoft Feedback Hub, Via HotHardware
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33 Comments on Microsoft Decreasing Windows 10 Updates Downtime in Fall Creators Update

#1
Vayra86
An update to update the updates.

I'm quite curious to see how it affects the performance of the machine
Posted on Reply
#2
Ubersonic
Businesses should really be using Windows 10 Pro not Home, that way they can disable either the automatic downloading of updates or the automatic rebooting (or both).
Posted on Reply
#3
_JP_
Ubersonic said:
Businesses should really be using Windows 10 Pro not Home, that way they can disable either the automatic downloading of updates or the automatic rebooting (or both).
Businesses are using Enterprise. It allows for more than that. :)
Posted on Reply
#4
Xpect
but also requires the latest security upgrades
So what exactly would they gain by disabling Updates?
I wouldn't trust a company, that disables Windows Updates.
Posted on Reply
#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
I have honestly never understood the complaints. Is rebooting like once a month really such a hassle? The problem was that it sometimes rebooted automatically when you used it, but that is far less a problem now.
Posted on Reply
#6
Ubersonic
_JP_ said:
Businesses are using Enterprise.
Most use Pro as usual, it's only the larger ones that use enterprise.


Frick said:
I have honestly never understood the complaints.
Losing work because the machine decides it's going to reboot itself, machine decided to download/install updates when you're trying to use it, etc, etc.

OFC both of these can be fixed by disabling automatic updates and auto restarts, though the former is still useful for regular office computers (non workstations)
Posted on Reply
#7
nemesis.ie
Vayra86 said:
An update to update the updates.

I'm quite curious to see how it affects the performance of the machine
It seems to be in the latest insider's builds and I've not seen any slowdown of the machine. The download/install online phase is pretty slow, but as it happens while you are using the machine and causes no apparent issues it's all good.

The off-line phases are getting less and less which is great.
Posted on Reply
#8
silentbogo
Vayra86 said:
An update to update the updates.
It reminds me of Windows 7 with its:
To check for updates, you must first install an update for Windows Update.
:laugh::roll::laugh:

Frick said:
I have honestly never understood the complaints. Is rebooting like once a month really such a hassle? The problem was that it sometimes rebooted automatically when you used it, but that is far less a problem now.
+1
Ubersonic said:
Losing work because the machine decides it's going to reboot itself, machine decided to download/install updates when you're trying to use it, etc, etc.
Just a few days ago I did this at work. No hassle, no problems, no interference with work schedule. Those guys run a mix of Ubuntu, Win10 Home and Pro on consumer hardware (laptops and pre-built desktops), and with update sharing on the local network it took a lot less time and effort than you'd expect. And I had to do that only because their employees are too lazy to do it themselves. They are all IT specialists, for christs sake (except for a pretty HR girl).
It's kind of ridiculous complaining about "tedious" and "time consuming" update process on windows, when your Android and iOS devices nag about updates every day, sometimes several times a day.
My HTC One is fairly clean (less than 10 third-party apps) and runs an older Android 5.0.2, but I still do get updates almost every day, and for some reason (maybe common sense), I do not complain about it.
Posted on Reply
#9
yogurt_21
silentbogo said:


Just a few days ago I did this at work. No hassle, no problems, no interference with work schedule. Those guys run a mix of Ubuntu, Win10 Home and Pro on consumer hardware (laptops and pre-built desktops), and with update sharing on the local network it took a lot less time and effort than you'd expect. And I had to do that only because their employees are too lazy to do it themselves. They are all IT specialists, for christs sake (except for a pretty HR girl).
It's kind of ridiculous complaining about "tedious" and "time consuming" update process on windows, when your Android and iOS devices nag about updates every day, sometimes several times a day.
My HTC One is fairly clean (less than 10 third-party apps) and runs an older Android 5.0.2, but I still do get updates almost every day, and for some reason (maybe common sense), I do not complain about it.
basic user machines are not the issue any IT worth their snuff can setup system center to manage the updates so they happen on weekends, etc.

Sales people who travel still might find it annoying.

but you have this middle ground of test machines, workstations, etc where you really need them always performing their duties. So for compression engineers/graphic designers tend to setup their machines to run all weekend so the job is done when they come back on monday.

windows updates destroy that possibility.

testing software is similarly run after hours or on weekends, then come windows updates fubaring that up. (we also have offshore testing engineers who work opposite hours on purpose)

Network analysts setup crawlers to check things on a weekend, oops windows updates.

It sounds like your business certainly maintains no applications because seriously this is an obvious production issue.

The problem is Microsoft still isn't listening. The updates need to work like linux in which no reboot is required. That way the only way the above scenarios run into an issue is when the service they are running at night/on the weekend is the thing getting updated. Even then you can set the job to restart after the service does.


*insert required "its 2017, you shouldn't have to reboot" here*
Posted on Reply
#10
silentbogo
@yogurt_21, here is the thing: these kind of updates don't happen every day, and normal companies, be it a small business of 2 people, or a large corporation of 1000 users, they should have provisions for this stuff.
Plus you do have an option to postpone the update to whatever time it is comfortable for you to update, and if my memory is not failing me completely - there is a textbox in an update window which clearly states that you can alt-tab and do your stuff while it's doing the update magic. So, I don't see any feasible scenario, in which the Creators Update may cause an unplanned disruption of work process.

yogurt_21 said:
*insert required "its 2017, you shouldn't have to reboot" here*
Any OS, be it OSX, iOS, Android, FreeBSD, Ubuntu or Windows, requires you to reboot after a major update. At this point of time a claim of "There can be no reboots in 2017" is a total fiction... overactive imagination... something desirable but definitely not real...
Posted on Reply
#11
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
Ubersonic said:
Losing work because the machine decides it's going to reboot itself, machine decided to download/install updates when you're trying to use it, etc, etc.
Then your admin needs to learn how to push GPOs configuring reboot windows. if its a 24/7 business then have him do it in flights and properly segregate groups of machines. Not doing updates is not an option and he is less an admin and more of an idiot if they/he/she believes otherwise.
Posted on Reply
#12
Shihabyooo
Is there anyway to reach that "blog post" for us lowly, non-10 Luddites?





Ubersonic said:
Businesses should really be using Windows 10 Pro not Home, that way they can disable either the automatic downloading of updates or the automatic rebooting (or both).
No, it doesn't. Microsoft admitted that they disregard the GP settings, so your only options for disabling updates are via disabling its services or blocking the connection externally (both are applicable to the home version). The above is true for Enterprise as well.
Posted on Reply
#13
9700 Pro
With this day's fast SSDs a reboot isn't that bad.
Posted on Reply
#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Solaris17 said:
Then your admin needs to learn how to push GPOs configuring reboot windows. if its a 24/7 business then have him do it in flights and properly segregate groups of machines. Not doing updates is not an option and he is less an admin and more of an idiot if they/he/she believes otherwise.
Plus they need to learn to set the Active Hours. Windows 10 gives you a 12 hour window that you can set where it will not install updates or force reboot the computer. Yeah, if you use the computer for more than 12 hours you still get stuck with a reboot in the middle of your work, but most business won't be affected by that since most computers are only in use for an 8 hour shift, maybe 10 hours.

9700 Pro said:
With this day's fast SSDs a reboot isn't that bad.
It isn't really the reboot, but the 30+ minutes of waiting for the updates to install during the reboot. And even with SSDs, that time can be that long.
Posted on Reply
#15
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
newtekie1 said:
Plus they need to learn to set the Active Hours. Windows 10 gives you a 12 hour window that you can set where it will not install updates or force reboot the computer. Yeah, if you use the computer for more than 12 hours you still get stuck with a reboot in the middle of your work, but most business won't be affected by that since most computers are only in use for an 8 hour shift, maybe 10 hours.
less we forget that windows will "toast" you to let you know a reboot is impending in which the user can delay it upto 30min upto 3 times. Nor should we forget that as admins we can invoke a message to be displayed if needed to inform them the unit will be rebooting at X:XX. but thats none of my business
Posted on Reply
#16
Cybrnook2002
At my company, we are starting to move towards "live" kernel patching and OS security patching. As well as a "ZDT" (Zero Down Time) model for our Financial applications.

:) I would like to see the day where we can call windows a "non-disruptive" industry OS. As of today, we only ever use Windows for end user PC's , or for app's that are a joke.
Posted on Reply
#17
trparky
I don't think Windows will ever be able to do live/hot patching due to the limitations in the file systems of Windows. On Windows you can't change a file that's currently in use be it an EXE or DLL file. This limitation of course has caused application developers to have to create special routines to replace their binaries as part of application update procedures. I myself have done this for my own programs which usually includes downloading a new binary file to a new file like "application.exe.new.exe" and executing it with a "-update" switch. This isn't a problem on Linux due to its use of iNodes at the file system level. The file system on Linux is fundamentally different than NTFS which allows Linux to patch in-use binaries.
Posted on Reply
#18
yogurt_21
silentbogo said:
@yogurt_21, here is the thing: these kind of updates don't happen every day, and normal companies, be it a small business of 2 people, or a large corporation of 1000 users, they should have provisions for this stuff.
Plus you do have an option to postpone the update to whatever time it is comfortable for you to update, and if my memory is not failing me completely - there is a textbox in an update window which clearly states that you can alt-tab and do your stuff while it's doing the update magic. So, I don't see any feasible scenario, in which the Creators Update may cause an unplanned disruption of work process.


Any OS, be it OSX, iOS, Android, FreeBSD, Ubuntu or Windows, requires you to reboot after a major update. At this point of time a claim of "There can be no reboots in 2017" is a total fiction... overactive imagination... something desirable but definitely not real...
You either didn't read it or failed literature and reading comprehension in school. We are talking about set it and forget it compression, QA testing, file transfers, network crawlers, etc. You run your day, set your machine up for an uninterrupted long job and go home expecting it to have worked all night. There is no user present to stop the update.

These are required for any production focused company. All of you sound like you work in offices in the 80's where computers are used but not the main focus.

"So sure bob had to wait on his email while the machine rebooted, big deal." wherefore do any of you work that this is your current reality?

Certainly not software companies, media companies, online application companies, gaming industry, filming industry, streaming, security companies, etc.

your use case is limited to retail and legal offices. Great. What about the rest?

also what linux are you running that REQUIRES as reboot? Ubuntu/Redhat = all package updates happen in place and service restarted, if you're talking major kernel jumps the update happens but the old kernel is still running in memory until YOU initial a reboot, not the update service. Mobile devices do reboot after major changes, but not after app updates and it doesn't reboot on its own. OSX the same. Sure SOME things in this realm need a reboot, its not often though.

Not sure how new you are to all of this but seriously that's not how microsoft does it. Nearly every update big or small requires a reboot and does so without user initiation.
Posted on Reply
#19
ppn
What downtime. I never want to upgrade the existing win or whatever and that is what it does...
Every big update so far has been a reinstall by renaming of the old windows folder,
Every time a mess, it looses fonts, programs stop working. I can't imagine who came up with this idea.
Posted on Reply
#20
Mescalamba
Kinda prefer my deffered updates and reboot only when I want so. Not hard to set up and works.
Posted on Reply
#21
silentbogo
yogurt_21 said:
You either didn't read it or failed literature and reading comprehension in school. We are talking about set it and forget it compression, QA testing, file transfers, network crawlers, etc. You run your day, set your machine up for an uninterrupted long job and go home expecting it to have worked all night. There is no user present to stop the update.

These are required for any production focused company. All of you sound like you work in offices in the 80's where computers are used but not the main focus.

"So sure bob had to wait on his email while the machine rebooted, big deal." wherefore do any of you work that this is your current reality?

Certainly not software companies, media companies, online application companies, gaming industry, filming industry, streaming, security companies, etc.

your use case is limited to retail and legal offices. Great. What about the rest?

also what linux are you running that REQUIRES as reboot? Ubuntu/Redhat = all package updates happen in place and service restarted, if you're talking major kernel jumps the update happens but the old kernel is still running in memory until YOU initial a reboot, not the update service. Mobile devices do reboot after major changes, but not after app updates and it doesn't reboot on its own. OSX the same. Sure SOME things in this realm need a reboot, its not often though.

Not sure how new you are to all of this but seriously that's not how microsoft does it. Nearly every update big or small requires a reboot and does so without user initiation.
Seems like you've totally missed the point again. Creators Update is not a Gremlin, which you can't feed after midnight or let near the water: it won't install on its own, it won't forcibly reboot your PC when you least expect it, it won't mess up your environment, and it won't destroy your data. If you ignore the "privacy settings" popup bubble, the update process won't even start. Even my tech-uneducated uncle was able to figure it out, so he can call me a week later and confirm that it's safe to install.
And if you are an admin in a large organization, you should already have WSUS up and running, and have group policies for WU in place.

You can postpone the update for as long as you need, even if you have a render farm or big data cruncher with 24/7 uptime, which for some reason is running a Windows 10 Home/Pro.
As I understand it, you can ignore that stupid privacy settings bubble 'till the next full moon, or christmas, or next easter, if you absolutely need to.

Either way - your complaints still don't apply to the real world, unless you are running a disorganized mess-of-a-company with very lazy admin and no provisions or contingency plans for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance.

Regarding Linux: Live kernel patching was only introduced in 4.0, so all of those organizations still running 3.xx are out of luck on this one (which is still a lot). Also, even though it was introduced back in 2015, it was not until mid-2016 when all the quirks of live patching were almost ironed out. I think so far the only distros that fully support it are Ubuntu 16.04+ and RedHat 7.2+. Few others have some progress, but nothing 100% working. FreeBSD 11.0/10.0 definitely does not support live patching (and no plans, I guess), otherwise I wouldn't have to deal with occasional pornhub outages at 2AM, every time my neighbor's network admin is high on coffee somewhere 500km away.
Posted on Reply
#22
SkullFox
silentbogo said:

Either way - your complaints still don't apply to the real world, unless you are running a disorganized mess-of-a-company with very lazy admin and no provisions or contingency plans for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance.
This kinda destroyed all your arguments...

You need provisions and contingency plans for this. This means resources and time lost. For a huge company it means a big amount of time and work hours.

If the Linux OS can do it, why is it M$ still lagging behind?? ITs the biggest OS Software company!
Posted on Reply
#23
silentbogo
SkullFox said:
This kinda destroyed all your arguments...

You need provisions and contingency plans for this. This means resources and time lost. For a huge company it means a big amount of time and work hours.

If the Linux OS can do it, why is it M$ still lagging behind?? ITs the biggest OS Software company!
In which universe does this make sense? What were you smoking last night?
Contingency for non-existent Windows Live Patching service? Provisions for lazy users and admins?
You, kids, made me very confused, and it's already 9:30AM here and I had 3 big cups of coffee...

I feel like my head is gonna turn into a pumpkin by noon....

Posted on Reply
#24
_JP_
*Sigh*
Windows 10 1607/1703, Office 2016, browser of choice with "remember tabs" feature.
If rebooted due to updates, Windows WILL "try" to bring it all back up just like you left it. Yes, it's a feature that exists.
Posted on Reply
#25
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
newtekie1 said:
Plus they need to learn to set the Active Hours. Windows 10 gives you a 12 hour window that you can set where it will not install updates or force reboot the computer. Yeah, if you use the computer for more than 12 hours you still get stuck with a reboot in the middle of your work, but most business won't be affected by that since most computers are only in use for an 8 hour shift, maybe 10 hours.
It's 18 hours now.
Posted on Reply
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