Blogging to keep Windows updating

No, I’m not getting paid for this.

Currently I have a fresh installation of Windows (7) in a virtual machine on this PC. As anyone who has just installed Windows, or any operating system, knows, the first thing to do is install the 10 000 updates that have been published by Microsoft (or Apple, or whoever) for the OS.

This ofcourse takes plenty of time, given that the updates have to be downloaded by Windows Update, checked, and then installed in the VM before restarting, and then applying more updates, etc.

For Windows 7 I have noticed the following pattern:

  1. Update Windows Update.
  2. Install updates presented, including the one named “Windows 7 Service Pack 1”.
  3. Restart.
  4. Install the only update presented, .NET Framework 4 Client Profile.
  5. Do not restart.
  6. Check for updates.
  7. Install updates presented, including, again, “Windows 7 Service Pack 1”.
  8. Restart.

This excludes the installation of an antivirus of your choice, such as Microsoft Security Essentials. This will require another independent restart. Similarly, you should install the guest OS software for your virtual machine software, which will require another restart.

Anyway, all this is going on inside the VM, which does not have any way of signaling to the host OS that it is working. The copy of Windows running on the actual PC thinks that it is just a program idling. Consequently, it goes to sleep to save power. This is a good thing in general, but slows down the updating process.

Rather than just tell Windows to not go to sleep, I instead am blogging about this to take up time, much like I did before. In fact, I was doing the same thing for the same reason before, I have had to repeat it before I forgot to take a snapshot of the VM immediately after updating it. Oops.

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