Monthly Archives: October 2015

Windows Updates, a Change in Perspective

This article is aimed mainly at users with computers running on Windows 7 (still by far the most used Windows Operating System currently). Users with computers running on Windows 8 can also somewhat benefit, and for those who have computers running on Windows 10, well, sorry but not much hope as far as this subject is concerned – I’ll circle back to that last statement in a bit.

Windows updates, as most users know, have been generally aimed at improving Windows in one of three aspects: Security, stability, or performance. The subject of this article is the user’s control over what updates are installed and when, and what the best practice on this is at this point. I’m going to sort of start backwards by first stating the conclusion: Turn Windows updates off. Or at least, set them to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them”.


It seems Microsoft has recently engaged in a covert effort to gently coax Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10, whether the users desire it or not.  The way this has been done is by introducing certain Windows updates that will “prepare” your system for the upgrade, download the necessary files to execute such upgrade, whether you want to upgrade or not.

As covered in earlier articles,  upgrading to Windows 10 might not be the best idea right now, so this becomes a problem.

Circling back to what I said in the first paragraph of this article, Windows 10 users are, for the most part, unable to turn updates off. Not a choice anymore. This, along with privacy concerns, a more aggressive cloud based approach, and the normal bugs that accompany a newly released operating system, are factors that have turned off a good percentage of potential users about the idea to embrace the new operating system.

I’ve been an advocate of installing ALL operating system updates to keep your computer in top shape. However in my opinion Microsoft has abused this line by introducing covert elements in updates to migrate users to a newer operating system independent of the users wish, thus this change of perspective.

What to do

As stated above, I’d recommend on an immediate basis to turn Windows Updates off. If you are an intermediate user you can set Windows updates to “check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them” and then hand pick only the Security updates (those updates designed to patch security flaws in Windows), and pass for now on any others. But even that might not be enough since the updates that might have been already recently installed are already working in the background trying to make you upgrade to Windows 10.

If you need help reverting the effect of recent Windows updates in regards to upgrading to Windows 10, or have any questions on the subject, feel free to ask.

Why am I Sometimes Prompted to Restart my Computer?

Most users have experienced in one or more instances, that a computer announces it needs to restart in order to finish certain tasks. Maybe installing a new program. Maybe uninstalling an old program. Maybe installing new Windows updates, and so forth. If you’ve ever wondered why, keep reading.

Although this is not true in all cases, in general it could be said that the reason such restarts (or “reboots”) are needed, is because the computer is actively using certain files that need to be changed but cannot while the computer is fully running by using those very files. But when the computer is restarted, and for a brief moment, those files will not be in use ( right after the computer has shut down and before the computer comes back up in a restart) and those files in need of change will be able to be changed.

Incidentally, that also explains why sometimes those restarts take longer than usual. The computer is, so to speak, in a quick pit stop and furiously getting its tires changed to get back in the race. That takes some additional moments so it’s expected for those restarts to take additional time. By way of the same analogy, it also gives a relatable real world scenario of what would it be like to try and change those files while the computer is running: Try changing the tires of the race car WHILE it’s running the race and you’ll get the idea 🙂

Beware of Online Scams, Fall Edition

It is Fall, but, well, don’t fall for it. These scams are still very much active:

If somebody contacts you by phone and states that he/she works with Microsoft or (any similar variation of it) and it’s been detected your computer is infected, needs handling, its firewall has been breached, etc., etc., IT’S A SCAM. Hang up.

If you are using your computer and browsing through websites and a pop-up window or a full window or the page you were trying to access turns into a window that says your computer is infected, and a number to call for help is given, or a link to download the tool you need to handle the infection, or something of the sort, IT’S A SCAM. Close that window at the very least. You might need to get your computer checked for any actual infections that produced that fake window in the first place.

Do not allow strangers access to your computer,  to your credit card information, or anything like it. Scams like the above abound these days. Don’t become a statistic.

If you have any doubts, you can always ask me.