Saturday, March 05, 2016

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.