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Do not switch off!

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Do not switch off!

This is I know a general Windows comment, but I think It'll be all right here in chit chat.
Just had the latest round of automatic Windows updates, no problem there, but they always come with the dire warning "not to switch off your computer" What would happen if the processes were affected by a sudden power-cut? Not too much of an issue with a laptop if the battery is sufficiently charged but the router would go off as well presumably, and I've noticed activity on the router while installation is in progress.
Would the process just stop and take up where it left off when power is restored?
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9 REPLIES
GrahamC
Grafter
Posts: 257
Registered: 19-07-2009

Re: Do not switch off!

I beleive it depends on a number of factors.
Normally, a critical update, one that updates system or program files, requires a system restore point to be set and a re-boot.
During the reboot, there are three steps, pre-boot, the re-boot itself and post-boot before going back to the Welcome screen.
I presume, that during the pre-boot, files are removed/archived, then post-boot the new files are installed.
If thats, the case, then a power loss could leave the system or program in an unstable/undefined state, depending on the progress made. The first step to recovery would be reverting to the restore point if possible. If the system is unstable, then Safe Mode may help, but a System Repair may be the last resort.
I have not experienced a power loss myself, but I have shutdown the PC when updates are pending. When I've done this, the restore point is set and the pre-boot sequence runs as normal before the PC shuts down. At next switch on, the PC performs the post-boot and dumps me back at the Welcome screen.
This is using Windows 7, YMMV on other OS's.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Do not switch off!

I had to reinstall windows when my machine got turned off (ok, so that was me) when going through Windows Update on XP.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Do not switch off!

If it switches off and you're unable to boot into windows the boot menu offers to revert your computer to the last known working configuration (the one before the windows corruption) so it's just a matter of selecting that and you're all set to go.  Personally I'd be a bit set back by that, I've turned system restore off so there is no last known working configuration for me though hopefully for system updates Windows ignores that setting.
GrahamC
Grafter
Posts: 257
Registered: 19-07-2009

Re: Do not switch off!

Hi David,
Apparently, the "Last Known Good Configuration" is stored in the registry, so turning off System Restore shouldn't impede it's use. However, if it doesn't work, your options of recovery are reduced. But I expect you know that  Wink
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Using-Last-Known-Good-Configuration
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Do not switch off!

Quote from: Petlew
What would happen if the processes were affected by a sudden power-cut?

Thats one reason I don't tend to bother with updates. The most I'll do is a service pack. I remember years ago I spent a few hours installing updates and the next week the machine crashed and needed the whole lot doing again after a windows reinstall. Needless to say I couldn't be bothered with it.
I'll do service packs but I won't spend hours with individual updates automatic or not.  I've had enough of doing it and loosing little windows tweaks that are either reset or removed completely.
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David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
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Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Do not switch off!

I turned off system restore because my primary drive is an SSD so I really want to keep drive space to a minimum (already using 1/2 the drives space!), got to admit, having Windows boot up in seconds is well worth it (and would be even faster if I upgraded to SATA III.... too tempting).  Of course, in the event of a major disaster where I really need the system restore point I have to go through a lot of trouble setting the system up after reinstall to accommodate my SSD set up.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Do not switch off!

I was told that if you interrupt the updating by switching off the PC it simply tries again when you do it the next time Undecided
zedingrove
Grafter
Posts: 293
Registered: 18-06-2012

Re: Do not switch off!

When I used xp had updated with a ton of critical updates, and when installing after 2 hours thought switch it off, so I did. Next time I switched on it just resumed with the updates.
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Re: Do not switch off!

I think if you go through the normal Shutdown procedure Windows takes care of where it's at in relation to updating.
But cutting the power (power cut or turning off at the PSU or wall outlet) is a different matter and I think that's when files can get corrupted.

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