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Warn before installing an upgrade that will require a reboot

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This came from a support ticket -- they recommended I submit it as a suggestion.

I opened the ticket all upset because I was prompted for an upgrade, I installed it with no clue that a reboot would be required.  It was, and I was very upset.  Here's the details:


I generally considered your application important enough that I accepted upgrades whenever they popped up.  I often have a lot of open windows and basically never reboot.  I will reboot if I have to, but only at a time of my choosing (barring crashes).  Since you cannot alert me that a reboot will be needed until it’s too late, it doesn’t matter that a reboot is rarely needed; I have to assume any upgrade might require that.  I was very annoyed when I got the reboot requirement that initiated this ticket, because it was a very unpleasant surprise.  I don’t even recall if I was given no choice, that it would reboot in 5 minutes if I didn’t choose it sooner.  I think I closed everything and allowed the reboot because I was afraid that it was already stopped so I would be running unprotected if I didn’t reboot.


Now if you had told me that a reboot would be required BEFORE I accepted the update, I would have scheduled that for a time that the reboot would be more convenient (well let’s say less inconvenient).  Would I have forgotten?  Good chance, so either a periodic reminder or a “don’t ask again for ___ hours” window would be a good idea.


Between open windows, and not wanting to basically lose my PC for 5 minutes, I do not appreciate surprise reboots.  You have just made me defer most upgrade alerts; thanks for nothing.

Until I find out that this is fixed, I will assume all upgrades may reboot, and will defer them and hopefully remember to manually initiate it.

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Thank you for the feedback, it is appreciated.  I will be sure to pass it on to the Product team for review.

In my experience, updating any security application (antivirus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, firewall etc.) will typically require a system restart, usually because such applications have services and drivers that they keep loaded in memory for the protection they provide and replacing these files without a system restart can often be impossible because they are locked in memory/in-use by the system while running, so I would definitely advise treating any application update/new release version as though a reboot will be a requirement just as you have suggested you will do going forward.  I know that the Developers have tried in the past to avoid requiring a system restart whenever possible, however just as I mentioned, it is often the case that such applications have components in memory that are not easy (or are even impossible) to replace without a system restart so treating them all as though they will require a restart is definitely the best course.

Hopefully they will be able to provide clearer messaging going forward, and that hopefully they will be able to eventually reduce or completely eliminate the need to reboot, but I don't know if that's actually possible.

Anyway, if you have any further feedback or suggestions please let us know.


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I believe I was told that it doesn't generally require a restart... and I don't recall it often requiring such.

While it is admirable that the developer attempts to avoid it, as long as it doesn't guarantee it, one must assume it might, which will lead to people doing like I do and putting the upgrade off even when most of the time this is not necessary.

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Yes, unfortunately all it would take is a single driver or EXE being locked in memory/unable to terminate to make a reboot a requirement during an installation.  That's usually the reason it ends up being required, and while I am certain they do try to avoid it, it's easy to see how those files could end up locked in memory like that.

Usually the new versions don't require a restart, however like you, I too treat each one as though it will require a restart just because it does happen sometimes.  I make installing such updates a part of my regular maintenance when I install Windows Updates and perform other maintenance activities which usually require system restarts to complete that way I get it all done and don't have to worry about it interrupting my work.

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Probably not, because there is no way to know if the system is going to keep a process, driver or file locked against being replaced.  Basically, if the system is still using one of the files, that file cannot be replaced until the system is restarted, but there is no way for the installer to know for certain whether or not that will occur (though they do try to make the application work so that it will be able to terminate from memory completely during upgrades; the OS just doesn't always cooperate unfortunately).

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Hi @BDSolomon,

Thank you for the feedback. This is an area we are actively working on to improve the overall user experience. At the very least, we would like to provide additional messaging earlier on that lets the user know a reboot may be required (before the upgrade process begins).

We appreciate you voicing your concerns with the current process.

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I don't believe there really is any way to 'check'.  Files are locked or they are not, and the only way to find out is to actually attempt to replace them by installing the new versions, and at the end of that process, if anything was not replaced then a reboot is required.  The best they can likely do is simply say that a reboot might be required, similar to how some Windows Updates say the same thing that a restart may be required preceding the updates.

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