What can I do to prevent updates from preventing me from using my computer?

David Lloyd810

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Sep 24, 2015
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What can I do to prevent updates from preventing me from using my computer?

Apparently whoever designed Windows update never considered the possibility of people using small SSD drives that only have a fraction of the space required to run applications. Everything worked under Windows 7, although I did have to do some tweaking to get it to install apps directly to drive E: (my multi-terabyte hard drive). After installing Windows Update, I had to do the same registry tweak to make it install programs on drive E:, and it worked fine the first six weeks or so, but then it started routinely breaking one or two of my applications with each update. The problem was initially tedious to fix, but I eventually got everything working. However, I was not successful at getting Windows to comply with running my Chrome browser from E: I finally relented, and moved as many of the commonly used apps to drive C: (the SSD) and consequently had to set the cache size smaller. Everything was fine for another month or so.

However, beginning sometime in November, Windows updates started failing. It schedules an update, runs the update, reboots my computer, says the update failed, and reboots the computer again, uninstalled the update, and then it works. This was an annoyance, but since it only happened once a month, I put up with it.

Recently however, Windows has started retrying updates every few days, and doesn't bother warning me in advance or asking my permission. It just unceremoniously shuts off my computer in the middle of whatever I'm working on to go through its 15-minute routing of failing to update and then backing out changes. I lost five hours' work two days ago. I never know when my computer will just shut down mid-project. I save often, but that's not often enough to cover for having the power shut off.

I have reinstalled Windows many times. I have then had to go through the pain of locating disks, reinstalling apps, and having them update themselves, all of which would not be necessary if Windows would just do updates when I authorize them, when I have had a chance to clear space in advance to make the update possible.

Windows update will NEVER work on my machine while the SSD is full, yet it won't let me keep space clear, either. It's a no-win situation. If Microsoft had kept their promise to support program files on a different physical drive than the OS, I doubt any of the other problems would have ever happened. As it is, Windows works great except when I shuts off unexpectedly. It installs programs on Drive E: by default, but I know that if I ever get it to do an update again, it will break every application on drive E: until I manually fix them.

My most recent problem is that Windows, while it did not successfully update, it replaced the driver for my scanner with a driver it likes better, except that my scanner no longer works. I tried updating the driver, but even though I can select the correct driver from the appropriate folder, Windows just says the current driver is better, and refuses to replace it.

What can I do to prevent updates from preventing me from using my computer?

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