Windows 10: Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?

Discus and support Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC? in Windows 10 Updates and Activation to solve the problem; I have a secondary computer running Windows 10 64 bit that I use only twice a week when I work with other people. It's often very slow, and I suspect... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Updates and Activation' started by jfniss, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. jfniss Win User

    Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?


    I have a secondary computer running Windows 10 64 bit that I use only twice a week when I work with other people. It's often very slow, and I suspect that's because every time I boot it up, it catches up on back updates. There's no notification of updates, so I can't be sure, but sometimes when I shut down after it's been slow, Windows goes into its post-shutdown update routine. How can I turn off update downloads and installs during my work sessions? Get a notification when Windows is downloading or installing an update? Keep my secondary PC updated when I use it only for a few hours twice a week?

    :)
     
    jfniss, Feb 19, 2018
    #1
  2. TBUser Win User

    Can I stop windows 10 from not updating the timestamp on updates/writes...

    Hello,

    I'm not sure if this started in Win8.x or unique to 10, I know it's not in Win7 (except specific things like personal sql database), but what someone decided to do is to set *every* timestamp field of a bunch of files Windows uses as to not be updated for
    any file IO (I have a feeling it's a common function because it is even doing it to read-only things like .dll's). Process monitor can be used to see it via the SetBasicInformationFile requests (can look at SetFileTime API docs as well, -1 in a timestamp
    field says to not update the timestamp for io). The normal process to do this is to CreateFile(), then SetFileTime() with the -1 values, this was more used in the past for the LastAccessTime value, but since disabled in Vista, it's not as much an issue.

    But there is a problem with not updating the update / last write timestamps because you have changed data without a way to detect it (USNJrnl is no help). This is of course for backup and/or syncing everything (including logs and caches). There is no
    way to do it for these files without looking at the contents (and there are no FRS flags or Attributes bits that could say "assume this file is always changed") . I would like to know if there is a registry setting that can stop Windows 10 from doing this?
    I don't think the overhead of tracking update/last write times and writing on "close" (most of these are kept open until reboot or mode switch) is much of anything, but the decision to not update those times are problematic.

    Thanks.
     
    TBUser, Feb 19, 2018
    #2
  3. John Sarc Win User
    Can I stop windows 10 from not updating the timestamp on updates/writes...

    Hi,

    To come up with an accurate troubleshooting steps on how to stop Windows 10 from not updating the timestamp on updates, we would like to have a screenshot of the timestamp you're referring to.

    Regards.
     
    John Sarc, Feb 19, 2018
    #3
  4. mrgeek Win User

    Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?

    This will kill the background process - Hit Win+X Menu, open Command Prompt/Windows Powershell (Admin). Type the following, hit Enter after each:
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop bits
    This will stop the Windows Update Service and the Background Intelligent Transfer Service.
     
    mrgeek, Feb 19, 2018
    #4
  5. jfniss Win User
    If I kill the background process before a work session, do I need to restart it before shutting down the PC, or will it reset the next time the PC is booted? Is there a way to see what Windows Update is doing in the background?
     
    jfniss, Feb 19, 2018
    #5
  6. mrgeek Win User
    mrgeek, Feb 19, 2018
    #6
  7. RickC Win User
    Note that BITS is now just a fall-back service for downloading Windows Updates (wuauserv). It's been superceded by WUDO, i.e. Windows Update's Delivery Optimisation service (dosvc) but remains useful if, for any reason, WUDO has an issue.

    If you have Windows 10 1709 (Fall Creators Update) then there's also another service involved... Update Orchestrator Service (UsoSvc).

    I have these 4 services permanently disabled* and only re-enable/start them when I want to carry out an update, i.e. when it's convenient for me, not Microsoft.

    When I want to carry out an update I run the following .BAT file (using 'Run as administrator'):
    Code: REM Start Windows Update (wuauserv) and REM Delivery Optimization (dosvc) and REM Update Orchestrator Service (UsoSvc) and REM Background Intelligent Transfer Service (bits) sc config wuauserv start= auto sc config UsoSvc start= auto sc config dosvc start= auto sc config bits start= auto net start wuauserv net start UsoSvc net start dosvc net start bits REM Now run Windows Update and wait control /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate pause REM When finished, stop the services and disable them net stop wuauserv net stop UsoSvc net stop dosvc net stop bits sc config wuauserv start= disabled sc config UsoSvc start= disabled sc config dosvc start= disabled sc config bits start= disabled[/quote] This re-enables the 4 services (note that UsoSvc was introduced with 1709 so not needed for 1703 and earlier), starts them then waits in the background whilst the 'Windows Update' page in 'Settings' is run automatically. When I finish updating I return to the commandline window (to make it active) then press a key for the services to be stopped and disabled again.

    *A few days ago (16th/17th) one of my Win 10 Pro PC's had my 'Services' preferences overwritten and was 'updated' from 1703 to 1709 Build 16299.125 without my consent. This also meant that the infamous telemetry service - Customer Experience and Diagnostic Telemetry (DiagTrack) - (which I also had permanently disabled in 1703) was re-enabled and running. I've now disabled and deleted this service.

    Edit: I've made a minor change to the script as it appears MS has made a change to what's allowed for the 'Startup Type' for the Update Orchestrator Service.
     
    RickC, Feb 19, 2018
    #7
  8. jfniss Win User

    Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?

    When you run updates manually, how do you know when they are completed? Why do you need the SC config lines in addition to stop?

    [Q UOTE=;1301450]I have a secondary computer running Windows 10 64 bit that I use only twice a week when I work with other people. It's often very slow, and I suspect that's because every time I boot it up, it catches up on back updates. There's no notification of updates, so I can't be sure, but sometimes when I shut down after it's been slow, Windows goes into its post-shutdown update routine. How can I turn off update downloads and installs during my work sessions? Get a notification when Windows is downloading or installing an update? Keep my secondary PC updated when I use it only for a few hours twice a week?[/QUOTE]
     
    jfniss, Feb 19, 2018
    #8
  9. RickC Win User
    The Windows Update page in Settings will tell you (as will Notifications, if enabled) if a restart is required for further installation/configuration. If so, allow the restart then run the .BAT file again (using 'Run as administrator') to see whether you see more updates available or just 'Last checked... blah blah'.).

    If you just stop the services then a scheduled task, another service or a script can just restart them without you being aware of it. I was caught out by this 3-4 days ago and now have to revert one of my PC's back to 1703. (Thank you Microsoft. *Mad )

    Hope this helps...
     
    RickC, Feb 19, 2018
    #9
  10. jfniss Win User
    It does help, thanks. But I still have more questions. How do I run a saved batch file as administrator? How do I get to see notifications of updates? I just looked at my notification settings, and I didn't see any on off switch for Windows updates. Thanks again.

     
    jfniss, Feb 19, 2018
    #10
  11. RickC Win User
    There's several ways.
    1. Right-click on the .BAT file and choose 'Run as administrator' from the context menu.

    or (the method I use)

    2. Create a shortcut to the BAT file then amend the Advanced properties (shown as 1) of the shortcut so it's 'Run as administrator' (2).

    Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC? [​IMG]


    or

    3. Use a 'BAT2EXE' converter to create your own executable file which can run with elevated privileges.
    (Not recommended any more because ALL of them that I've used recently are now flagged as creating malware-infected files. They're false positives but who needs the hassle of contacting multiple anti-malware vendors to report them as false positives and provide evidence.)

    Perhaps 'notifications' was the wrong terminology to use. I meant the Action Center, i.e. the right-most icon in the Taskbar. You can disable the Action Center but I don't recommend it.

    Hope this helps...
     
    RickC, Feb 19, 2018
    #11
  12. Clive K Win User
    Thanks RickC. Used this helpful bat file already. Was forced to do a long update today, although I had disabled wuauserv, which seemed to work until now. Can you tell me why you have set UsoSvc to manual? It works fine but throws an error msg.
     
    Clive K, Feb 20, 2018
    #12
  13. RickC Win User

    Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?

    1709's UsoSvc is still too new (and undocumented) for me to work out what's happening behind the scenes. I want Windows Update to be stopped yet still allow Windows Defender updates. As a result, I'm currently setting UsoSvc to manual to see if it triggers/re-enables BITS as a fall-back service, even though I currently have BITS disabled.

    (Unfortunately my notes are stored on another forum which is currently unavailable so I can't tell you more... but it's re-emphasised to me the importance of storing information in multiple locations.)

    I know from recent bitter experience that Microsoft can and does change the settings of various services so I'm trying to work out how, when and why UsoSvc works.

    PS - Where are you getting the error message and what exactly is the error? This seems to be a shifting playground with MS trying to work around restrictions that we, its customers, try to place upon the operation of its OS when it doesn't work in our favour.

    Hope this helps...
     
    RickC, Feb 20, 2018
    #13
  14. Clive K Win User
    Sorry for the delay. The command did set the service to manual, with the following error msg:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>sc config UsoSvc start= manual

    ERROR: Invalid start= field

    DESCRIPTION:
    Modifies a service entry in the registry and Service Database.
    USAGE:
    sc <server> config [service name] <option1> <option2>...

    OPTIONS:
    NOTE: The option name includes the equal sign.
    A space is required between the equal sign and the value.
    To remove the dependency, use a single / as dependency value.
    type= <own|share|interact|kernel|filesys|rec|adapt|userown|usershare>
    start= <boot|system|auto|demand|disabled|delayed-auto>
    error= <normal|severe|critical|ignore>
    binPath= <BinaryPathName to the .exe file>
    group= <LoadOrderGroup>
    tag= <yes|no>
    depend= <Dependencies(separated by / (forward slash))>
    obj= <AccountName|ObjectName>
    DisplayName= <display name>
    password= <password>
     
    Clive K, Feb 21, 2018
    #14
  15. RickC Win User
    Clive, Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I've just double-checked and see what you mean.

    I can only assume that MS has changed what's allowed for the 'Startup Type' for the Update Orchestrator Service during an update. (My two 1709 devices are now both on build 16299.103 and now show the same error when I use the script.)

    Change the line from sc config UsoSvc start= manual to sc config UsoSvc start= disabled and you won't get the error.

    I've amended the script in post #6 as well.
     
    RickC, Feb 21, 2018
    #15
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Can I stop Windows from updating when I need to work on the PC?

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