Windows

Video: Stop Windows XP from nagging you about updates you've already completed or don't want

Windows XP sometimes gets stuck in Update mode, even after you've applied your patches. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler shows you how to get rid of those annoying yellow shields that Windows sticks in your system tray after an update gets stuck.

Microsoft's Patch Tuesdays (the second Tuesday of every month) are an important part of every Windows user's and system administrator's regular system maintenance. In fact, regularly applying fixes, patches, and updates should be part of your routine, no matter which operating system you use.

Unfortunately, Windows XP sometimes gets stuck in update mode and will continuously show a flashing yellow shield in the System Tray--suggesting that you need to download and install important security patches.

In this IT Dojo video, I'll show you how to get rid of those annoying yellow shields that Windows sticks in your system tray after an update gets stuck.

After watching the video, you can read Mark Kaelin's article, "How do I... stop Windows XP from nagging me about updates?"--the basis for this video.

You can receive our Windows Patch Tuesday roundups, which I mention in the video, through several channels:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

37 comments
blotto5
blotto5

I must thank you for this video I've used it at least ten times over the past couple months these are some great tips!

pjthomas
pjthomas

Well that's great Dojo but why have MS not put out some sort of batch file that an administrator can run to remove this problem rather than having to do it by hand (so to speak). It is most annoying to have Belarc Advisor tell me that SP3 is installed only to find that when I do a winodws update there it is again rady to download and install. Regards .................Peter Thomas

harry
harry

Great Fix unfortunately I will never remember.. where is the hard copy of the steps in this video.

cisauditor
cisauditor

Download the MS Malicious Software Removal Tool which is available before the Update each month and run it (preferably Full scan) before going to the upload site. You will reduce the Update quantity by one and also have run the Tool at full scan rather than the cursory scan as part of the Update.

will4215
will4215

Cant save to my computer

AnswerMan
AnswerMan

Why doesn't Windows know which patches are installed? TechRepublic had to create this video, after one of our ninja's contacted Microbloat and got this giant list of steps, to "fool" Windows into thinking that you've already got them. Why doesn't Windows ITSELF have a checkbox that says, "I choose NOT to download this update" and Windows could set all those service boxes to the appropriate setting? They NEVER make anything easy.

scottneale1
scottneale1

Possible to do all this (i think) from within command prompt inc net stop, ren and reg commands and save as batch

juaniotoo
juaniotoo

I'm trying to watch the video but unfortunately the sound gets getting cut off and it's been happening time and time again. I'm so exasperated and frustrated...anyone got any fix-it tips out there? Thanks.

graham
graham

No vidio here!!!

medbiller
medbiller

"Security Update for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 (KB954606)" is always trying to get installed before and after I executed the procedure outlined in your video. Windows update notifies that it was succesfully installed, but later it reappears as a critical update. Any suggestion?

The DOBC
The DOBC

Can't anybody read anymore? Why do these annoying video links always come up, and I have to open them to find the link to the print article?

fswiatek
fswiatek

Nice! Clear, Concise, Lucid....the only question I ask is whether the ".old" files can be deleted afterward.....

girishamehta
girishamehta

Apparently there is an error, "software distribution" folder was named "software distribution.old" and then at the end I belive it needed to be renamed back to "software distribution", however the action suggested in video was misleading. Please clarify. thanks

john
john

You want to know the simplest, most straight-forward method for not having the update nag icon while you're logged in? It's very easy, and I learned it from Unix, Linux, and even Mac OS X. Run as a regular user. It really is that simple! Not only that, but it's smarter security-wise as well! No more nag windows about downloading Windows Updates! Problem solved.

nsmith
nsmith

Excellent. Solves a current problem for me.

agilebrainz
agilebrainz

Just want to be clear- read the article but no time for video- Does this merely stop the nag, or does it also stop the updates? Optimally what I want is to download but not install the updates without the user's knowledge, so that I can manage when to install updates during off hours. I just don't want to be sitting around for hours waiting for downloads. I want them ready to go, but not asking end users to do it. Will this procedure give me what I want? Thanks,

netlingo4u
netlingo4u

what is this i havnt faced this problem upto now.. but good attempt by IT-dojo. Keep it Up.

april-rose
april-rose

Thanks for ths tip but every time I try to stop cryptographic services it takes so long it times out, so I can never complete the process. What Now? Thanks Rosie

Popsprice
Popsprice

My close window on XP always has the "install updates before closing?" I'm going to try this as soon as I have seen the instructions 2 or 3 times.

shakeeiil
shakeeiil

There is no video, please have a look at the URL and rectify the problem.

Zee29
Zee29

Great info! I enjoy and use the tips and suggestions that are offered. Please don't ever stop with your "Tips". Thank you, W.J.Zavada The Mega Write Software Company

Wally Bahny
Wally Bahny

Is anyone else having trouble watching these new videos past about 30%? I can see mine loading the video up to about that point then the load bar shoots across. Once the play position indicator hits that point, the video ends.

Popsprice
Popsprice

It was simple to do and unfortunately it did not fix my constant update problems.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I'm not sure why this specific update wouldn't respond to the procedure. I'll dig a little deeper and try to find an answer.

Coss71
Coss71

I agree with the beginning statement, "Updates should be part of your regular routine". And it appears that doing the process mentioned in the video will clear the stuck / looping updates, but does force you into doing the updates manually from that point on. Wish I could do this. I have 23 locations I have to take care of, 500+ workstations, 82 servers, and oh yeah, I am the IT department. An army of one. These locations are a mixture of Workgroups and Domains, so doing updates through AD does not apply. And these end users would never remember to update manually, even if reminded. So update had to be set as auto install, otherwise, it would never get done. I've been using a different work around. First I make sure the patch has been installed, and the core components are correct. Click the update, choose Custom, take the check off the update, click Next, in the next box, put a check in "don't remind me about this again" and click closed. Is it the best way? No. But it works the best for the situation these machines operate in.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

....or just hides it so you don't see it. The danger in this video is when there is a real problem with the update not being installed. Take for example the dreaded MSXML4.0 SP2 updates that seem to get caught in this loop everyonce in a while. It appears that installing other software can "break" these updates. When this happens Windows Update detects that they need to be reinstalled. When you reinstall them using Windows Update they get detected as needing installation again. According to the MS KB Article you have to completely uninstall everything related to MSXML4.0 and reinstall using downloaded files not Windows Update. If you try to use the steps in this video to stop the "nagging" then you haven't solved the real problem, therefore you are running a machine that is not as secure as it should be....ie, holes in the MSXML4.0 code. I strongly suggest that you get to the root of the problem before just turning the nagging off. Maybe I should have tried this with the ex.

val.baranov
val.baranov

Are you really as stupid as you seem?

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

WSUS is a great tool. It runs on top of Windows Server 2003/2008. It allows you to centrally manage all critical updates and security patches for a variety of Windows programs. Once configured you tell all the clients to point to it when looking of updates instead of the Windows Update website. You do this through Active Directory or a Local Group Policy if your computers aren't in an AD domain. It will allow you to research each update and decide whether or not to approve them for installation. Hope this helps.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I'm sorry you're having trouble watching the video. The video should automatically start playing when you load the blog page--it does for me. If you've tried refreshing the page and the video still doesn't play, there are several possible problems. 1. You'll need Adobe Flash to watch the videos. 2. Firefox add-ons like NoScript and Adblock can prevent the player from loading. Adblock seems to have a particular problem with out player. 3. If you're behind a company firewall, some organizations block video files. 4. You'll also need sufficient bandwidth for the videos to play smoothly.

ghosko7772
ghosko7772

Video stops in 57 seconds! Doesn't anyone check this stuff before you hurry up and post it! Maybe your IT Dojo's and IT Ninja's have been smoking too much Maui Mojo!

shawn.anderson
shawn.anderson

Looking good on my end, Wally. Hopefully the process of elimination will help weed out the problem. Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.5; en-US; rv:1.9.0.3) Gecko/2008092414 Firefox/3.0.3 Cheers, Shawn Anderson www.AdminArsenal.com

dfuller14
dfuller14

That is exactly what happens with mine. I get about 30% and then the video ends as if it had run 5.28 minutes.

Popsprice
Popsprice

Mine ran with no problems. If anything it was too fast I needed screen shots captured for notes.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

What specific "update problems" are you experiencing? Does Windows continue to nag you about updates you've already installed or chosen to ignore? Are you not able to install updates at all?

medbiller
medbiller

SELECT @@VERSION returns: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - 9.00.3042.00 (Intel X86) Feb 9 2007 22:47:07 Copyright (c) 1988-2005 Microsoft Corporation Standard Edition on Windows NT 5.1 (Build 2600: Service Pack 3) I'm running XP Pro SP3 with no other known issues.

shadows14
shadows14

I see no need to change the registry when the custom installation makes it a no problem. Why download unnecessary updates anywho.

tom.brown
tom.brown

you wont be able to perform the last step as Group Policy will "grey out" the options to change the Automatic Updates download/auto install behaviour. To get around this: Start -> Run -> wuauclt /detectnow (Windows Update Auto Update CLienT) this does the rebuilding of the renamed folders for you. I had a security update stuck on one of my user's laptops, this process with my addition at the end cleared it up nicely... thanks :)

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