Restarting Windows 7

In a previous column, I wrote that I was having a fine time using Microsoft’s recently-released Windows7 operating system.

My very favourable first impression has not changed after much intensive use, and I figure that the company really hit the jackpot with this version of Windows. It does everything in such a capable and fuss-free manner that I barely notice it’s there.


I did have one ongoing niggle and that was its insistence on restarting my computer whenever it had downloaded and installed an update from the Microsoft website. I found that this happened most often in the middle of the night and irritated me because scheduled tasks, such as virus scans and backups, didn’t happen because of the restart.

I remember having the same experience with previous versions of Windows but it evidently didn’t bother me all that much because it wasn’t until the other day, that I set out to find a solution. Typing the words ‘prevent, automatic restart, and Windows 7 into Google brought up pages of results which showed that I wasn’t the only one bothered by automatic restarts.

I found instructions for two different ways of stopping it among the first few websites listed. One solution involves editing the Windows registry, which would be a pretty scary experience for most users, and another gives an easier way of going about it.

The instructions are in an article by computer guru Nirmal on the Life Rocks 2.0 website ( In the article, he gives step-by-step instructions for accessing Windows’ Group Policy Editor and finding the setting to prevent Windows restarting itself while there is a user logged-on to the computer.

Windows will nag you until you manually restart your computer but, at least, you get to decide when it will be most convenient for you. The solution apparently works with all versions of Windows going back to XP.

The big news on the local telecommunications scene, as I was writing the column, was that Telkom had officially announced the imminent arrival of its new fast Internet service, that provides speeds of up to 10 Mbps. It seems that current 4 Mbps customers will be upgraded for free to the new service as and when their local exchanges support the higher speed.

I see from the Telkom website that the monthly cost of a 4 Mbps ADSL line is R413 which doesn’t include any Internet access at all. So, you pay for the line, and then you have to pay an ISP for data transfer on top of that.

The thought of such barefaced robbery sickened me but that was nothing to my feelings when I discovered just how far behind this country is in Internet access. I have the excellent ZATech podcast to thank for the truly shocking information that Kenyan computer users are enjoying Internet access prices that put our supposedly first world country to shame.

It seems that the Kenyan service provider Zuku is offering their customers an uncapped 1 Mbps Internet service for a mere R497 per month and, get this, it includes 100 cable television channels as well. As a South African consumer, I am quite used to being exploited but even so, I am still shocked whenever I am reminded just how much.


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