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Windows Update just cost me $10 over coffee

2009 April 28
by stefann

So I’m having a great and productive time working on my laptop from a coffee shop and enjoying the beautiful Spring weather when I notice and Windows Update icon in my system tray telling me it’s downloading updates.  Crap!

Why?  Because I’m on a modest broadband connection over GSM (or CDMA doesn’t really matter) and I don’t have an unlimited plan.  Do you know there’s no way to stop WU from downloading updates once it starts?  Crap!  I have no idea how big these updates are so I wonder how much is this “initiative” to keep me secure is going to cost me. 

In an attempt to keep (l)users secure the WU service starts itself if you kill the process from Task Manager.  So really the only way to do something about this is to stop (actually disable) the service from the MMC Computer Management snap-in.  I didn’t know that at the moment plus I was in the middle of writing some beautiful code and haven’t really noticed until a significant chunk of the updates (about 20 MB in total) had already downloaded.

Lesson to be learned: WU team, please detect the connection speed and DON’T download updates over a limited/paid-per-KB broadband connection.  You cost me real money!

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