10 ways in which Windows thinks it’s being helpful but isn’t


10 ways in which Windows thinks it’s being helpful but isn’t

man-in-screen-300x261Like a well-meaning Aunty who buys you a pair of slippers two sizes too small for Christmas, Windows has a number of ways in which it thinks it’s being helpful, but actually just makes things worse.

With the help of the PC Pro team, I’ve collated a top ten “thanks, but no thanks” Windows features:

1.  How many times have you come back from a tea break, to find that Automatic Update has downloaded the latest Windows Patch and helpfully restarted your PC – taking any unsaved work with it – just because you weren’t in front of the screen when the five-minute warning started? Thanks Windows.

2. Plug in any new piece of hardware, and Windows will kindly volunteer to scour the web for the relevant drivers… and come up with precisely sod all 99% of the time. On the rare occasion it does find a driver, it’s normally generic software that cripples whatever peripheral you’ve plugged in.

3. Your firewall is turned off…. I know, I just turned it off. Do you want me to switch it back on? No I just turned it off. Okay, well here’s a little balloon just so you know it’s switched off. Grrr…

4. Install a new piece of software, and the Windows Start bar will turn an irritating shade of puce until you actually launch the program from the Start bar – even if you’ve ticked the option to install a shortcut on your desktop that renders the Start menu entry redundant!

5. You’ve inserted a disk, do you want Windows to: (a) copy the pictures to a folder on my computer; (b) print the photos (c) bugger off and leave you alone? Auto Play, please go away.

6. Windows Genuine Disadvantage. “Windows Vista has built in anti-piracy technology that enables Microsoft to combat piracy more effectively… This helps to make piracy harder and provides a better experience for customers running genuine Windows.” Erm… how exactly?

7.  When you connect to a wireless network in XP you have to type the key in twice! Obviously someone thought “ooh, password, let’s make sure they enter it correctly, or, erm…” Fixed in Vista, thankfully.

8. Oooh you’ve inserted a USB stick into your computer. Do you want to check it for errors, do you, do you, pleeeease?  

9. Install a new piece of software in Vista, and not only do you have to click through a box warning box asking you if you want to install the software, but another box asking if you want to install the software, thanks to the wonder that is UAC. In fact anything that faintly threatens to breathe on your Windows settings will provoke a UAC prompt. Thank heavens they’ve silenced it in Windows 7.

10. The Safely Remove Hardware prompt that doesn’t allow to you safely remove hardware if, something, somewhere on your PC is still mysteriously accessing the USB drive or you’ve left an Explorer window open – leading you to simply yank the damned thing out anyway.


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