back to article How do you feel about single-use plastics? OK, interesting. Now tell us your views on surprise Windows updates

Everyone loves a big a screen, none more so than Microsoft's Windows, which finds the devices irresistible when it comes to splashing unfortunate messages all over them. Today's bork comes from a reader in New Zealand named Rob who spotted Windows in need of a jolly good updating as he strolled through the galleries of the …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Container of treasures

    Can't be a Windows box then, that'd be a container of something else.

  2. MJI Silver badge

    visit to outpatients was late

    Got in to room, IT problems, MS on blue message on screen.

    Just what you need.

  3. Warm Braw

    This update could take a while

    Having carelessly let my laptop battery go flat, on supplying it with power it rebooted into an elderly Windows 10 on a small chunk of eMMC before I could stop it (laziness on my part as I also need to move the boot partition) and it was desperate to update. I thought I'd just let it get on with it - how long could it possibly take? Seems like that's a question to which I'll never know the answer because after 10 minutes and a total progress of 0% I gave up and caught the boot menu in time to return to the relative sanity of Linux.

    However, I suppose it's finally the excuse I need to move that boot partition and wipe the eMMC so it can more usefully be employed.

    I'd hung onto Windows 10 "just in case", but the case seems to be diminishing - it gets considerably less use from me than Windows 7 - and casual daily IT is now all Linux and Android. Why anyone would use it for an information display is completely beyond me.

    1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: This update could take a while

      Well, my normal reason for things like this using Windows is that products like System Center make it relatively easy to manage a fleet of machines, whether that fleet is a few hundred or a few million.

      That's not to say that given a similar management system, that I don't think it would be more logical to stick a SBC (be it a PI, Jetson or whatever) in the back of a large screen and deploy that. In fact, I believe NEC do a nice looking range of screens that you can plug a PI Zero into.

      That said, the fact they clearly haven't attempted to control Windows Updates makes me wonder if they haven't just bunged a spare machjine in there that isn't being managed.

    2. Captain Scarlet

      Re: This update could take a while

      eMMC, yeah it'll take forever.

      Windows 10 is far to bloated for low end machines and eMMC just doesn't help

  4. jake Silver badge

    Out o' curiosity ...

    ... how much single-use plastic did it take to ask that question?

  5. Robert Grant

    The sight of borkage on display is reassuring evidence that, despite appearing to be able to manage the pandemic better than others, the Kiwis remain fallible.

    Sadly being a tiny distant island doesn't help with software updates. They don't arrive by boat!

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge


      New Zealand is two big islands and lots of little ones with a total area of 268,021 km². England+Scotland+Wales+Northern Ireland+nearby small islands is 242,495 km².

      (The UK and the US must be about the same size as they both cover a double page in my atlas :-)

      1. teknopaul

        Re: Tiny?

        Which system would that be, Mr Grey Beard sir?

        I tried Google earth, maps, apple maps, street view and I just couldn't reproduce your test incident.

        1. keith_w

          Re: Tiny?

          CIA World book of facts:

          New Zealand:

          total: 268,838 sq km

          land: 264,537 sq km

          water: 4,301 sq km

          note: includes Antipodes Islands, Auckland Islands, Bounty Islands, Campbell Island, Chatham Islands, and Kermadec Islands

          United Kingdom:

          total: 243,610 sq km

          land: 241,930 sq km

          water: 1,680 sq km

          note 1: the percentage area breakdown of the four UK countries is: England 53%, Scotland 32%, Wales 9%, and Northern Ireland 6%

          note 2: includes Rockall and the Shetland Islands, which are part of Scotland

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Tiny?

            That's what the CIA wants you to believe .

      2. EagleZ28

        Re: Tiny?

        Flock -


        Texas alone more than 676K km^2

        I guess "tiny" is relative.

  6. heyrick Silver badge

    Given the phrasing of the question, I wonder if it is a static display or something you're supposed to prod to register how you feel about the issue.

    If so, I'd wonder about having the options like "don't care" and "angry" stuck up in a corner where you'd need a ladder to reach them...


    Keep New Zealand on the map!

    Must agree that New Zealand is a wonderful place to visit. Incredible scenery, great people and lots to learn and do. Highly recommend Te Papa museum. Hope to be allowed to return before I die.

    1. USER100

      Re: Keep New Zealand on the map!

      > Highly recommend Te Papa museum. Hope to be allowed to return before I die.

      Same here. Mind you, it was my own fault - shouldn't have shat in one of the exhibition cases.

      1. EagleZ28

        Re: Keep New Zealand on the map!

        Remember... when you go to the Home Depot, the toilets on display are NOT connected to plumbing.

        Please don't poop in the dis-play toilets.

  8. Ilsa Loving


    The correct response to _any_ Windows update should be fear. Microsoft's monopoly of the computer desktop industry has never been more evident, because Microsoft's shockingly poor management of Windows should rightfully have bankrupted any other company.

    I've lost count of the number of catastrophic problems I've run into with Windows updates that cost me days of productivity. Even if the problem is readily fixable on a single machine, when you have to multiply that by dozens of or even hundreds of machines, that ends up being a whole lot of work.

    1. EagleZ28

      Re: Fear

      Reminds me of their old (?) marketing strategy... FUD... FEAR, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

      Still, it also sounds like job security for all those MSCE's etc...

    2. Zarno

      Re: Fear

      Even more fun when you have an update bork a critical software package, causing a 7 figure production line to nearly miss a shipping/commissioning window.

      This with updates turned off and deferred on Win 10 Pro too... They "flipped on" again.

      Sadly, nobody does a *nix version for most of the software I use daily, and WINE just shatters it's poor glass, usually because of drivers.

      1. diguz

        Re: Fear

        the solution is pretty simple: edit the hosts file so that the *critical* machines think that windows updates are downloaded from

        i was thinking about doing that to a print server a cuople years ago, before i got the greenlight to just use CUPS (we lost the scanner - i was too young and naive to know about SANE - but hey, at least it wasn't rebooting every couple hours).

        1. Zarno

          Re: Fear

          The machinery itself is all embedded/PLC, what went pear shaped was the software used to program it in the field/on the shop floor.

          Microsoft also set some domains to not resolve using the hosts file, including all the update/telemetry ones.

          Only real way would be a proxy or VPN provider that stripped/blocked, or stringent air-gap.

 is the relevant article on the hosts file situation.

  9. HKmk23

    It is so easy

    Go to my pc/manage/services

    disable windows updates.

    done no more microshite

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