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  • Question

  • Windows Live OneCare is having a snit because I don't want to have Windows Update on Automatic.  Is there some way I can make it stop telling me to turn it on and to cancel the secrity alerts I keep receiving.

    Ed
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:40 PM

Answers

  • I've moved your post to the Tune-up topic as this is the part of OneCare that monitors the status of AU and Windows Updates.

    No, you cannot configure the alert level and must have AU set to download and install immediately or at a scheduled time. I personally, don't agree with this simplistic approach, which I've mentioned many times in reply to other posts on this topic.

    Here's a copy of a response I've made in the past on this:

     

    I agree with your assessment that forcing the setting to automatically install is bad for me (and you). However, I can tell you from personal experience that there are many, many people who happily ignore Windows Updates - even when they are set to notify - and end up with severely compromised systems. I have personally repaired dozens of systems where the AU icon was alerting the user about updates to be applied and based on the number of updates available, that icon was alerting them for months and sometimes years!

     

    What I would prefer is that OneCare required that Automatic Updates was *on* for any settings desired in order to be green. Since OneCare already does a check of Windows Update for updates not yet offered and installed by Automatic Updates when a Tune-up is performed, I think OneCare should perform that check daily and/or check for the state of AU in that when an update is offered as available, OneCare should change to yellow alert status. If the user then ignores the warning yellow status for 24 hours, OneCare should turn red. If another 24 hours elapses without action by the user, OneCare should switch on AU to automatically install the updates and provide a dialog to the customer that this action was taken and why.

     

    Since that functionality does not currently exist in OneCare, we need to live with the simplistic setting requirement that AU must be set to automatic download and install at a specified time of our choosing. Pick a time that is least likely to impact you. You cannot change the way OneCare warns you if you do not have AU configured this way.

     

    -steve

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:48 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I've moved your post to the Tune-up topic as this is the part of OneCare that monitors the status of AU and Windows Updates.

    No, you cannot configure the alert level and must have AU set to download and install immediately or at a scheduled time. I personally, don't agree with this simplistic approach, which I've mentioned many times in reply to other posts on this topic.

    Here's a copy of a response I've made in the past on this:

     

    I agree with your assessment that forcing the setting to automatically install is bad for me (and you). However, I can tell you from personal experience that there are many, many people who happily ignore Windows Updates - even when they are set to notify - and end up with severely compromised systems. I have personally repaired dozens of systems where the AU icon was alerting the user about updates to be applied and based on the number of updates available, that icon was alerting them for months and sometimes years!

     

    What I would prefer is that OneCare required that Automatic Updates was *on* for any settings desired in order to be green. Since OneCare already does a check of Windows Update for updates not yet offered and installed by Automatic Updates when a Tune-up is performed, I think OneCare should perform that check daily and/or check for the state of AU in that when an update is offered as available, OneCare should change to yellow alert status. If the user then ignores the warning yellow status for 24 hours, OneCare should turn red. If another 24 hours elapses without action by the user, OneCare should switch on AU to automatically install the updates and provide a dialog to the customer that this action was taken and why.

     

    Since that functionality does not currently exist in OneCare, we need to live with the simplistic setting requirement that AU must be set to automatic download and install at a specified time of our choosing. Pick a time that is least likely to impact you. You cannot change the way OneCare warns you if you do not have AU configured this way.

     

    -steve

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 7:48 PM
    Moderator
  • Someone at Microsoft has to realize the falicy of saying, "we know what our customers want, but we're going to ignore it because we know better than they do".

    I'm not a Microsoft hater, quite the opposite actually, but I really dislike the fact the OneCare flags red when I disable auto-installs of updates. I should always be the one to decide when my computer gets rebooted. Clearly by the number of posts here and elsewhere this is something that a lot of people dislike too. So I live with always having a red flag... If another OneCare problem comes up, I won't know, since the flag is rendered useless by always being red. It would make much more sense if OneCare would go red if critical updates are available but have not been installed, rather than just being red all of the time.

    Because of this one issue, I won't be renewing OneCare if it is not corrected when my current subscription expires. Again, I'm sure I'm not alone on this either...
    Saturday, November 15, 2008 11:39 PM
  • fishpop,

     

    You're not alone, but the number of people fighting this is miniscule. Since the original beta three years ago there've been maybe 200-300 posts on this subject. In contrast, there were over 2,000 posts in a single thread about a different subject, all before OneCare 1.0 even released.

     

    Unfortunately, this situation isn't likey to change, because as Steve and I both know many users simply ignore warnings to complete an update. So for this reason Microsoft has had to be very aggressive in getting users to install them in OneCare. Based on what I've seen in the last few years here, the Spybot Search & Destroy and other forums, they are completely correct in doing so.

     

    Basically, at this point the speed with which new exploits are created and deployed is often creating 'zero-day' situations, which requires that the updates be installed as quickly as possible. Since the risk of an update issue is generally much less than that if malware successfully attacks a PC, the only reasonable approach is to push out the updates as quickly as possible. This is especially important for a product designed and marketed for the less computer savvy among us.

     

    For these reasons, I applaud Microsoft for sticking to its guns and doing their best to protect those without the ability to understand this for themselves. Especially since they fully understand that they may loose sales by alienating the much smaller group of technical users like yourself who weren't the products target market in the first place.

     

    OneCareBear

     

    < EDIT > I always forget to note that you DO have the ability to control what time and day the Automatic Updates will occur. Simply go into Control Panel, Automatic Updates icon, then next to Automatic Updates specify what day of week (or every day) and what time of day to perform them.

     

    The following sections also discuss setting the NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers flag in various versions of Windows. This will avoid the reboot that occurs after Automatic updates if the PC is logged on, which is usually the real complaint.

     

    For Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate

    Windows Update and Automatic Reboots

     

    For Windows XP Home or Vista Home/Premium

    There are also registry entries that can be changed to avoid a reboot, though this is primarily for advanced users.

    Disabling Windows Update Auto Reboot

    Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:57 AM
    Moderator