Mea culpa, kinda…

Windows Server 2003, it turns out, has the ever-popular Automatic UpdatesRestart your computer now” focus-stealing dialog that seems to grind my gears. And, say you happen to be remotely logged into the box, Windows Server 2003 will reboot if you happen to click where the as-yet-unrendered button is going to be once the application starts asking the system to draw the dialog box. Your experience will be a brief flash of gray and then a few moments later Remote Desktop Connection will tell you that you have been disconnected.

ARGH.

Vista, otoh, has a nice little “task-tray” notification that your updates won’t take effect until you reboot, which doesn’t steal focus. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess there is not a chance in hell Microsoft will ever fix that dialog in XP or 2003 ;)

5 Comments

Oliver, I’m building a new box..will take about 6 months for me to piece it together with my meager savings…but…I’m thinking of using this older one as a server using windows server ‘o3 and taking my Vista Business copy and putting it on the new one. My question is this, and realize that I’m a total newb to servers, what could I actually use the server for? My other option is give the old comp to my mom and forget about it…

Well, a good server will let you reduce the “occupancy” footprint on your workstation. Once you have the server up and running try and leave it alone, just let it run in the background there. Give the server an ass load of disk, perhaps even a raid array – you can pick up 500Gb HDs these days for cheap. Maybe put an IMAP mail server on it.

The aim is to make it so that if your workstation crashes, the box you regularly reboot/install/play with/upgrade, you’re not going to lose important data or serious configuration stuff. Heck, you can even make it so that important profile stuff is stored on the box (thunderbird settings, for instance) so that some apps just need reinstalling after a rebuild and they pick up where they left off.

If you give it enough space, you can have your PC back itself up to the server periodically too. Buy yourself a USB floppy drive and a few disks, make sure one of them is a bootdisk for your OS, and you’re good to go.

Of course, it’s a whole extra box … You either need to make sure it can’t access the internet (manual updates) or you need to keep a security eye on it…

Hmm…..I do have a big ass 1TB external drive backing my stuff up every night. What to do..

That dialog box can be redirected to the system tray with group policy.

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Looser Interfaces « kfsone’s pittanceDecember 12, 2008 at 5:56 pm

[…] It seems this is Microsoft’s latest improvement of the old chestnut. […]

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