Skip to main content

Windows Laptop Frustration

It takes so long to boot my Windows laptop that it just isn't worth it any more. I am not talking about the minute or two delay caused by booting from a normal HDD. I am talking about the 10 to 15 minute delay due to Windows updates that seems to be required every time I want to use the laptop.

I guess this wouldn't be as much of an issue if used the laptop every day but I don't. I use it perhaps one every two to three weeks in order to give a talk or presentation when I am out of the office. I can assure you from first hand experience that three works worth of accumulated updates makes booting into Windows a slow nightmare. I do have a nice Samsung tablet that I use for normal mobile computing (meetings / email / web browsing) and I even have a HDMI adapter for that tablet but if I am going to an unfamiliar location with untested facilities it is still far safer to bring a windows laptop with old fashioned VGA connector to ensure everything works out.

1. Buy a Mac. Sorry but that is way outside the budget and remember I only need to use this machine occasionally.
2. Install updates in advance. I try to  to do this but it doesn't always work out. Last week for example I did exactly this and the laptop did indeed download a bunch of updates. Unfortunately when I next booted up the machine to give a presentation I got the "!Windows is installing updates screen" for 10 minutes before I could use the machine.
3.Install Linux. A stable version of Linux that doesn't need constant updates might solve my problem. I have Linux  few times over the years and on each occasion I start out excited but end up frustrated due to compatibility issues.
4. Disable all windows updates: Tempting to try this but surely a major security risk. Is it even possible to do this on modern Windows? Internet connectivity is not optional unfortunately so an un updated machine will be at risk.


Stropp said…
Linux is a good option but you will still be presented with updates. I installed Ubuntu 14 on a HP envy for development purposes and it works nicely. (Can't seem to do much with games on it though. No sound for one thing.) However, the updates operate in the background and you can defer the restart until you want to.

Another option for windows though, you could set it to download the updates as they become available but to install when you decide. That way you can wait until it's convenient to spend that time and it won't hold you up every time you boot.

There's also the option to sleep rather than shutdown. This will also hold the update until you do a restart.

mbp said…
Thanks for the suggestions Stropp. I don't think the sleep option is a runner because it still drains some battery and will discahrge the battery during the long downtime. Your other suggestions look good though. I am going to experiment.

Popular posts from this blog

My First Gaming Mouse: Logitech G300

I bought a gaming mouse yesterday a Logitech G300, here my initial thoughts. What is a gaming mouse?  There are a wide variety of devices available classified as gaming mice but a few features  seem common: 1. Wired rather than wireless: Although some high end models are wireless wired connections are just better and faster than wireless so most gaming mice stick with wired. As a bonus wired mice don't need batteries so the mouse is lighter.  2. High response rate: 1 to 2ms response rate so the mouse immediately responds to input.  2. High DPI. Gaming mice invariable boast high DPI numbers from 2,000 DPI upwards. This makes the device very responsive to the smallest movements.   3. Adjustable DPI . High DPI improves responsiveness but reduces precision so gaming mice generally allow you to adjust the DPI down for precise work such as pulling off headshots in sniper mode. Generally the mouse allows dpi to be changed on the fly by pressing a button.  4. Extr

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p