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  1. #1
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    Why 'Shut down' to install updates?

    I'm just curious about this aspect of Windows behavior. When my machine has downloaded updates, and then when I press the Windows key, the little button always reads "Shut down." Windows installs the updates and then shuts down the computer. Why does it have to shut down? Why can't it simply install the updates and restart? What happens if I change the button to "Restart"? Does something different go on behind the scene re: installing the updates?

    I normally leave my machine on 'round the clock. I do restart from time to time, if only to clear the machine's memory, but I don't often shut it down.

  2. #2
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    I've never heard of a Windows machine that wants to "shut down", as opposed to restart, which is the norm for many critical updates.
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  3. #3
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    Windows will ask you to restart if it needs to restart, after applying updates. Reply to that, or look for the notification from Windows update, once it finishes, in the notification area, and you can restart from there.
    Rui
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  4. #4
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    Clint and Rui, I understand what you're saying, but I'm still curious. This is not the only Win7 machine that I've seen behave like this. My Windows Update settings are the "recommended" ones, that is, "Install Updates automatically." Right now, just after I've logged on, I note the button again reads "Shut Down." In Windows Update, I see "3 important updates are available." I don't know whether one or more of these three important updates are behind the "Shut Down" prompt, but when I hover the mouse pointer over the button, the pop-up box says, "Installs updates and then shuts down your computer." That's what piques my curiosity. Why does Windows want to shut down after installing the updates? Won't simply restarting accomplish the same end?

    One more point: I'd earlier reset the properties for the shut down button to display "Restart." However, when updates are waiting to be installed, the button displays "Shut Down." So somebody in Redmond cast this behavior in Windows. What I'd like to know is why.
    Last edited by Caesar3; 2014-01-01 at 11:56.

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    I don't know if anyone can be insightful enough to know what Redmond thinks. I find this shutdown behavior pretty intrusive, they have no business deciding what shutdown options should be offered to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar3 View Post
    "Installs updates and then shuts down your computer." That's what piques my curiosity. Why does Windows want to shut down after installing the updates? Won't simply restarting accomplish the same end?

    One more point: I'd earlier reset the properties for the shut down button to display "Restart." However, when updates are waiting to be installed, the button displays "Shut Down." So somebody in Redmond cast this behavior in Windows. What I'd like to know is why.
    Steven Sinofsky thought it was more convenient for you:

    Automatic updating and restarts on Windows 7

    Install-at-shutdown – The majority of automatic update users (39%) are updating when they shut down their systems. For these users, there is no automatic restart because the system can complete all steps of the installation during shutdown. This is the least disruptive experience for users, and so we do want to “hitch a ride” whenever we can on user-initiated shutdowns instead of inconveniencing users with a separate restart.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2...ws-update.aspx

    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caesar3 View Post
    ...when I hover the mouse pointer over the button, the pop-up box says, "Installs updates and then shuts down your computer." That's what piques my curiosity. Why does Windows want to shut down after installing the updates? Won't simply restarting accomplish the same end?
    Yes, simply restarting will do exactly the same for the updates as would shutting down completely and then doing a cold start. You can ignore the button in the Windows Update window. Instead, go to the Start menu, click the arrow next to the Shut Down button, and click Restart.

    As for "Why?", the blog post quoted by BruceR sort of explains it. What isn't said explicitly is that Microsoft often runs into a situation where there are two choices, one that will please some users and inconvenience others, and another that will switch those roles. They try to pick the choice that will please more people than it will inconvenience. But if you happen to be on the "wrong" side, and if MS hasn't provided a customization path, then you'll be unhappy. That's the way the cookie crumbles...

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  10. #8
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    Well, that pretty much explains it. It's clear now that I can simply restart and achieve the same end regarding installing updates. Thank you!

  11. #9
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    You may also change the default action of the button. See Change the Windows 7 or Vista Power Buttons to Shut Down/Sleep/Hibernate for details.

    Joe

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    You may also change the default action of the button. See Change the Windows 7 or Vista Power Buttons to Shut Down/Sleep/Hibernate for details.
    I don't understand how that's relevant to this thread.

    No one was talking about the physical power button.

    How does sleep or hibernate help to install updates?

    Bruce

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    I don't understand how that's relevant to this thread.

    No one was talking about the physical power button.

    How does sleep or hibernate help to install updates?

    Bruce
    In the Windows 7 the Task Bar & Start Menu Properties the Power "button" is not the hardware button on the machine but the "button" on the menu. "Restart" is one of the options available.

    Joe

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    In the Windows 7 the Task Bar & Start Menu Properties the Power "button" is not the hardware button on the machine but the "button" on the menu. "Restart" is one of the options available.
    OK, thanks. The link didn't mention restart.

    Bruce

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