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Windows 7: Amazing! Windows Update re-boot saved my open windows!


31 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 
Amazing! Windows Update re-boot saved my open windows!

Wow... was this remarkable!

I was working for about 40 minutes writing an email, and hadn't done a "save draft" along the way which I probably should have done.

Unbeknownst to me (well, actually I did see the Windows Update icon appear in the System Tray, so I really did have a clue that the process was proceeding while I was working on that email) when Windows Update decided to just go ahead and re-boot to complete the installation of the updates it had applied it was just going to go ahead and re-boot!!! No matter that I was busy working in my email program... it's time to re-boot!!!

Well I'm surprised you didn't hear the screams coming from out here in LA when I realized the system was shutting down (i.e. restarting). And I got hysterical, trying to figure out how I was ever going to be able to re-think and re-type what now was about 45 minutes of email composition that I'd been foolish enough not to pre-save for self-protection.

Unbelievable. I was paralyzed with annoyance.

Anyway, after the re-boot the desktop appeared and all was normal.

Unbelievably depressed, I launched my email program (Forte's AGENT v6.0). What to my wondering eyes should appear... but all of the very same previously open tabs and in particular the composition window exactly as it was under construction, which had been open a few minutes earlier when Windows Update initiated the forced re-boot!

Apparently, the open data in the composition window was auto-saved by Windows 7 when the program was shut down by the operating system forced re-boot, and then was reinserted automatically when the program was next opened. In fact, the state of the program (i.e. open tabs) was also saved... because all of those open tabs were also restored when the program was next opened. Either that or the auto-save by Windows 7 was going on continuously, having nothing to do with either Agent or the forced re-boot from Windows Update.

Now, on a related note, I have seen the very same much-appreciated auto-save when an unexpected power outage in my building suddenly occurred as I was composing a very long post in a composition window of Firefox (just like now) for another web forum. You can imagine my horror when the power outage occurred and the machine shut down, and I expected to lose the whole composition which I'd been working on for so long.

Well, when the power came back and I booted the computer, and then re-opened Firefox... lo and behold all of the previously open tabs at the instant of the power failure magically reappeared, including that open composition window WITH ALL OF MY TEXT STILL IN IT!

So, am I over-reacting? Or is this something really brand new (and MUCH-APPRECIATED) in Windows 7, or is there some other explanation? I cannot remember having this kind of experience in WinXP.

Also, whereas the graceful shutdown/re-boot caused by Windows Update is one thing... and I can understand how certain reasonable steps could be implemented to deal with currently open windows and data. But to have similar fail-safe frequent auto-save handling of all in-progress windows (Firefox, Agent, etc.) to deal with unexpected power outages... now that is really a thoughtful innovation.

Am I imagining things? Has this actually been around for a while, or is it just new in Windows 7? Regardless... IT'S A LIFE SAVER!!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7 Profesional x86, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 
 

Happened to me yesterday too, except it was more of a hinderance for me (when you've got about 15 windows trying to open at the same time during boot your PC does slow down quite a lot).

Oli
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Fire does attempt to recover open windows and tabs from an unexpected or forced shutdown. Most times it successfully does so. Sometimes for some reason, it does not successfully restore all open windows and tabs.

A while back, I updated Windows 7 (I do not have my system on automatic update) and when prompted to restart, I clicked on restart. I had Outlook open, one widow of Firefox with four tabs open and two other apps open. I did not bother to close anything because nothing was critical to me. When Windows rebooted, it reopened everything as I had it. Firefox likewise reopened all four tabs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by osholt View Post
Happened to me yesterday too, except it was more of a hinderance for me (when you've got about 15 windows trying to open at the same time during boot your PC does slow down quite a lot).
No, my forced re-boot simply restarted the system and put me back to a normal desktop. The several windows and programs which were open and running at shutdown did not get automatically re-started at the re-boot.

It was only when I then re-opened my email program that I was presented with the state of that window exactly as it last was. In other words, it was like a normal shutdown had occurred (in that all open windows and running programs were closed as part of the shutdown)... except that in this case the exact state of all tabs/windows and data that was being entered in "composition" windows had also been saved, and was used to restart those programs/window, instead of the normal "cold" opening.


Now... new fact. I decided to see what would happen if I simply closed my email program (Agent) while in the middle of composing an email with a second tab also open. I simply clicked on the "X" to close the window, and there was no prompt from Agent about "do you want to save...". But, amazingly, when I then re-opened the program sure enough the two tabs were there and my in-progress text was also in the composition window.

I can't believe this is a new "auto-save constantly" Agent feature (though it may be), so I'm giving credit to Windows 7. Same with Firefox, since literally that power outage was right in the middle of my typing and keystrokes. Somehow, it was all there 20 minutes later when the power came back and I re-booted and re-launched Firefox and was placed right back where I was... with all previously open tabs and my in-progress text seemingly preserved. Again... this may be a Firefox auto-save feature and I'm falsely giving credit to Windows 7.

Regardless... again, for me this has now been a life saver on two separate unexpected situations that I would otherwise have predicted total loss of what I was doing at that instant.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2010   #5

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I never permit Windows Update to automatically install anything. I only have it set to automatically notify me when an update is available, so I can decide when and whether to install it. I really don't like surpises.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2010   #6

W8 Pro, W7 Ultimate, XP Pro x64, Vista x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Same thing for me a few days ago where the open windows returned after restart. Just like you, Carl, I didn't bother closing the noncritical windows that were open. I don't recall this happening since XP days when restore folders could be implemented. Maybe Windows 7 has always done it after updates and I'm just noticing it because 99% of the time I have all windows closed before restarting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by zrtom View Post
Same thing for me a few days ago where the open windows returned after restart. Just like you, Carl, I didn't bother closing the noncritical windows that were open. I don't recall this happening since XP days when restore folders could be implemented. Maybe Windows 7 has always done it after updates and I'm just noticing it because 99% of the time I have all windows closed before restarting.
That's what I am thinking as I usually close out everything before updating.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
I never permit Windows Update to automatically install anything. I only have it set to automatically notify me when an update is available, so I can decide when and whether to install it. I really don't like surpises.
Same here only it is off completely. Not hard to remember the second Tuesday of the month to check for updates. And for out of band updates like this one, it is posted about here and most other sites I visit (and if I do miss it it gets installed on the next patch Tuesday anyway).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2010   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Just one more note on this topic to provide a bit more insight.

Today, on my second Windows 7 machine, I saw the same "Windows Update" icon in the system tray. I expanded it and saw that it had notified me of two available updates (one important and one optional) and I then gave it the OK to download/install both. Then I closed the window and let it proceed while I worked on other things in other windows.

At the completion of the download/install I was presented with a "finished" dialog, asking me if I wanted to let it restart the system. I was in the middle of something and said NO. This scheduled a reminder popup for 10 minutes later, that a restart of the system was still needed to complete the Windows Update, and did I now want to do it. The default response button is "NO" which again causes another reminder for 10 minutes later.

Eventually, I was finished with what I was working on, closed all of my open windows, and did the restart. Everything normal.

But this process today reminded me of what actually must have happened the other night when my other machine just auto-rebooted out from under me. While I was typing into my email composition window, every so often I would press the "ENTER" key which really serves as a new-line in text composition mode. I kept noticing that occasionally there was a brief flash of some popup message down in the System Tray area which would then immediately disappear as I typed into the email under construction.

What must have been happening there is that as that window suddenly popped up and got focus, my keyboard actions were actually re-directed into that window... where the effect must have been to push NO (to decline the re-boot and postpone the reminder for another 10 minutes). Obviously during one such event whatever I was typing managed to cause the YES reply, and that finally let the auto-reboot take place.

So I never really saw that popup question for a "controlled user-initiated re-boot", because it flashed and went away almost immediately as my fingers typed wildly (thinking it was going into my email, whereas it had really been redirected to the popup message which got focus).

Anyway, the bottom line here is that there definitely is some kind of wonderful auto-save now happening that I've not noticed until Windows 7. It's either something new in Firefox, or something new in Agent v6.0, or something new from Windows 7.

Whatever is the responsible provider it does now appear that in-progress composition data (like I'm typing now) is magically preserved across expected/unexpected power outages or window closures or forced re-boots, through some obvious auto-save (at apparently a pretty high frequency) that's now going on.

Any more insights from others?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Anyway, the bottom line here is that there definitely is some kind of wonderful auto-save now happening that I've not noticed until Windows 7. It's either something new in Firefox, or something new in Agent v6.0, or something new from Windows 7.
Well... just post-script here, for closure.

I now believe it actually is a feature in Agent v6.0 (my email client) which is responsible for what I originally saw at the "forced" Windows Update re-boot, which I had unwittingly authorized "YES" with a random flying keystroke/ENTER during a brief flash of the Windows popup dialog asking me if I would like to re-start now or postpone 10 minutes.

Looking at the release notes for v5.0 and v6.0, it appears that there was a progression of evolution on this feature, with the latest version doing an auto-save AT CLOSE OF THE PROGRAM of any open composition window to DRAFTS, as well as memorizing of all currently open tabs and navigation positions within folders. At next open of the program, the under-construction emails from all in-progress composition windows appear in DRAFTS and each of those previously-open windows are restarted automatically to once again contain those in-progress compositions. All previously open tabs are also re-opened, and navigation restores things to exactly where everything was.

So it's Agent which is doing the save/restore across program close.

And this apparently is what got kicked off when Windows closed all applications during that authorized re-boot. Since Agent got closed (by Windows shutdown here, not really by me) with open objects, all of the tabs and in-progress composition work was automatically saved... BY AGENT.

Bottom line: Agent, not Windows 7, gets the credit for this particular "saved me from disaster" stemming from a graceful and complete close of the program while work is still in-progress.

I'm quite sure Firefox has some auto-save (every so often) feature that works even across sudden power-outages even if the program is not closed while a composition is in progress, but I don't know if Agent has this feature as well.

And that means I really don't know if there's anything at all new in Windows 7 dealing with this subject. Forced close of all open programs at shutdown/restart is something which has been around for a long time, and it is simply Agent which has been improved to auto-save with this particular situation with work still in-progress.

Ergo this whole thread may have been a FALSE ALARM, at least w.r.t. Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Amazing! Windows Update re-boot saved my open windows!




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