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  • In praise of Windows Update Minitool

    Posted on January 1st, 2017 at 08:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    When the Lounge “appendage” finally comes onstream (in a week or two), we’ll have a forum devoted to Windows utilities. I’ve been watching for comments about various utilities, and this just dropped into my inbox, from dwh:

    Hi Woody,

    Just want to say that Windows Update MiniTool is working well to give me control of Windows Update on Windows 10.  It got mention on AskWoody in the comments for:

    Still no answer to the source of Win7 slow scanning

    mostly by ch100.  I had my Windows 10 Pro system set up to get control of Automatic Updates per your venerable:

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3053701/microsoft-windows/block-windows-10-forced-updates-without-breaking-your-machine-part-2.html

    and using WUShowHide to manually query about once a day, mostly just hiding new updates, to be later unhidden on your MS-DEFCON indication, then using the standard “Check for updates” button to download and install. (BTW, my Ethernet connection is not an issue in all this.)

    I’ve mostly just shifted to manually launching WUMT in that same context which is a much less arcane way than the former.

    My preference is to be notified that new updates are available, and act on them when I think it’s a good time.  See what’s there and likely hide them, but for some, I may want to go ahead.  Then or later, when I think it’s a good time (I’m using the computer but not intensely, there’s plenty of time
    time for downloading, and I’m in the mood), unhide what I have, and download.

    Potentially later, usually when getting closer to shutting down, install the downloaded updates.  If a restart is needed, my normal shutdown will do the prep and when I subsequently bring the system up (the next day), things will finish on the way up.

    Windows Update has never in my experience allowed download and update to be done separately, but it looks like WUMT should be able to even do that.

    When I tried “Download Only, no install,” followed by “Install Updates,” that seemed to redownload, and I’m not clear in my understanding it seems.

    I haven’t tried “Notification mode” yet, but I intend to get around to it.

    The only quirk so far was using it to install the Anniversary Update.  WUMT applied the update then offered a pop-up that restart was needed to which I said to go ahead with restart.  It just restarted back to 1511, but using Windows’ normal power controls at that point went forward fine.

    I don’t have Windows 10 Home with this, but it looks like WUMT should allow all the same controls, despite the lack of the Local Group Policy Editor.

    Anyway, if you haven’t played around with this, I think it’s worth looking at

    CAUTION: I looked at WUMT several month ago, and decided not to recommend it. The problem isn’t with the tool itself, which appears to work well, and has garnered praise from many corners. The problem is with its pedigree. The developer(s) isn’t/aren’t identified, except by their My Digital Life forum handles @stupid_user and @shewolf. There’s no web site for the product, and no way to contact the developer(s) directly. As best I can tell, apparently, the developers are in Russia, and their primary support contact, Mr. X, is in Mexico.

    As I mentioned back in August, I got in touch with @shewolf who was pleasant and knowledgeable, but I didn’t get any details about WUMT’s source – who built it, who maintains it, how to get in touch should things go wrong, other than posting to Mr. X on MDL.

    All of those were – and are – big red flags for me. I have no evidence of aberrant behavior, but I just don’t trust the product well enough to recommend, or use, it.