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I had an interesting question asked for which I didn’t have any clue. I have Googled around this about haven’t found any result of which help me answer this question. So here are the questions:

  1. The OS Upgrades during installation puts a message “Do not shut down your machine”. If I shut it down the machine become unusable and I have to reinstall the OS?

  2. If the warning is just a caution with no harm done if I power down the machine, how does the update process do this?

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marked as duplicate by Tog, Mokubai, Dave M, Michael Kjörling, Carl B Sep 26 '13 at 2:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
good question, but i doubt you'll get a 100% answer. –  Sickest Sep 23 '13 at 6:47

3 Answers 3

It all depends on what the update is doing, and at what particular time you shut it down during that process... Possible outcomes include:

  • Nothing at all happening, and Windows resuming the installation process next time you shutdown.
  • A non-vital program file becomes corrupted and causes some feature of the OS to become unusable and crash.
    • Which could possibly be fixed by using Windows Restore to "restore Windows to an earlier state."
  • A non-bootable system that has to fixed using one of two methods:
    • Using a Windows Recovery CD to check and repair errors.
    • A complete re-install of Windows.

It's like throwing darts blind-folded after you've been spun around, you might hit somewhere on the dart board, you might hit the wall, or your might hit your friend in the face (the dart board being the safe zone in this analogy).

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Another one is the update half finishes and that update will neither remove easily nor can you re-install it. They have a tool that tries to fix that. Windows update readyness. Lots of the most critical updates changing important system files is done at shutdown (log-off) and/or startup. –  Psycogeek Sep 23 '13 at 6:54

It's the same type of thing when you're saving data to a game, if you turn off the console while the data is updating the file, it could cause the bits of the data to become incomplete rendering your data unusable or corrupt.

Now the question is, what is the likelihood of that happening? 5%? 10%? 50%? at what percent do you warn your client that shutting down your computer while this update could corrupt windows or any file being saved for that matter? what about .01% chance of file corruption, I would still warn my clients.

I think it's more of a if there's any possible chance this could happen, warn the client regardless. But to answer your question, i think the likelihood is very slim with newer operation systems, and more likely with older operating systems like XP.

my 2 cents. but no facts.

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This Might Serve as an answer :

The OS Upgrades during installation puts a message “Do not shut down your machine”. If I shut it down the machine become unusable and I have to reinstall the OS?

First thing The Update Might fail if you shutdown the machine, You can read this section for updating os ,If your update is optional update the system wont crash.

If the warning is just a caution with no harm done if I power down the machine, how does the update process do this?

It's Not Just a Warning, Read this question For Reasons ,Apart From it if you wish to see which service is initializing the update

From William hillson's answer :

Worst-case usual scenario - It is in the middle of updating a system file / half way through the process and a restart means it is missing as it is does not exist at the moment. However, Windows Vista is quite good at repairing itself and may boot into the recovery mode and roll back the update for you, so you will be out of action for a short while (probably under 30 minutes)

Utter worst case unusual scenario, it is updating a boot file (but not sure how many updates do this) and restarting will give the message "Operating System Not Found" or similar. In which case you will need to put in the original disk and do a startup repair or at very worst case, a reinstall of Windows.

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