One important and easy way to keep your Windows machine protected is to enable automatic updates.
More often than not, you don't even realize it's happening, but every now and then, Windows needs to reboot following an update and then you hear about it endlessly! Fortunately, there are ways to disable the reboot reminders in Vista and Windows 7 so you can go about your business until you're ready to shut down.
The first trick is quick and dirty, and only works for your current session, but you don't have to mess around with your registry:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Del.
- Select Start Task Manager.
- From the Task Manager, select the Services tab.
- Click the Services... button at the bottom right.
- In the Services window that opens, scroll down to Windows Update and select "Stop the service." This should keep the reminders from plaguing you until you reboot.
This technique is a bit more advanced, but should keep reboot reminders from ever popping up again:
- First, back up your registry. While it's unlikely that you will cause any problems, it's a very good idea to do this before you make any manual changes. This blog post covers backing up system info.
- Next, hit the Windows key and type "regedit" into the search box.
- You should see one program with that name; click the name and then click OK to open it up.
- Navigate to the key labeled HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update, and look for a key labeled ForcedReboot.
- If it's present, just right-click it, select Modify, and set Value data to 0. You're done!
- If it's not present, you need to create it. Click Edit, then New, then DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Enter the name "ForcedReboot" in the new key.
- Now go back to step 5.
If you use either of these techniques, it's vitally important to reboot frequently, or your computer could be left vulnerable to attack.
Thanks to Ghacks for the tip!