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SCCM updates: User Experience - Reboot notifications

Here is the User experience for the update process as I understand it:

1. System tray balloon appears saying 'software changes are required'

2. System tray balloon appears saying 'downloading and installing software'

3. System tray balloon appears saying 'Restart required: Recently installed updates require your machine to be restarted'

4. *It is here I would like the larger temporary notification reboot window to appear but it doesn't.

5. Permanent notification reboot window appears and stays on the screen

I would like option 4 to be possible. Without this it seems quite easy for users to miss seeing the balloon notification and therefore not know that a restart is coming.

It would be good if there was an option in Client Settings > Computer Restart to automatically show the temporary restart notification window. It would also be good if there was an option here to permanently set the 'SCNotification.exe' in Notification Area Icons to 'show icon and notification' to further improve the visibility to users of pending restarts so they know to save their work before they leave their computer for lunch or when they go home.

I've attached an image of the temporary notification window I am talking about

Thanks,

Andrew

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116 comments

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  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would agree that the little notification that pops indicating a reboot is needed doesn’t stay up long enough most users miss it. If when the initial reboot notification opened the reboot countdown window above the clock and stay there until the user clicks hide and then stays for the specified time like it currently has the option would be better.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please increase the maximum reboot countdown. We requrire a countdown in the order of two weeks to allow academics running long simulations time to complete them.

  • Jeff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    If possible, just though.. also roll in option to do full scan on reboot prior to doing a full evaluation cycle on restart / prior to initiating any further installs.

  • Tim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Displaying all notifications each time the screen is unlocked or the users log in might help here also.
    Bright, obnoxious high contrast colors too.

  • Tim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A fully customizable notification process would be great.
    Up to 6 different notifications
    1. Available
    2. Downloading
    3. Installing
    4. Reboot pending
    5. Scanning Post reboot status, more updates waiting or no updates pending.
    If more updates waiting, repeat the notification until none are pending.

    Ideally each notification step would have customizable text and a pop up timer (how long to keep the pop up alive) as well as a options to allow user interaction (close or not close pop up), how many times and how often to repeat.

    A transparent notification across the desktop with a timer until reboot or deadline would be amazing too!!

  • L U commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Anonymous (2019-01-11), wouldn't you want the updates 'availability' to be notified clearly well before the deadline when they install; that is, make a long 'available' window before the deadline? Get them installed before your researchers commit to a long simulation. You really don't want the updates to be applied during the simulation but pending restart for such a long time while the system is doing production work where you have so much invested. Updates pending-restart can cause crashes.
    If you use a special collection for those machines with the long simulation workloads (deploy to them with long 'available' window with a later 'deadline') and use the main collection for the rest (with a shorter 'available' window to get the updates in sooner), then I think you'll get a better result.
    To achieve that, we need noisy 'available' notifications.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please increase the Maximum reboot countdown to be more like two weeks rather than 24 hours.
    We have researchers that run long simulations, and a 24hr countdown risks them losing long simulations.

  • Tstolswo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    A method to identify the specific cause of a reboot notification would also be quite handy.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This should be a priority honestly. The balloon notifications have been an issue for years, and we really need the ability to have more persistent notifications. We've resorted to making updates required in our environment, and we hide all notifications to users because the balloon notifications just don't cut it. Ideally I would want to be able to launch the "View Required Software" window in place of the Toast notification. Currently the user needs to click the balloon for that window to pop up, but by default that balloon only shows up for 5 seconds, and the users never click it.

  • Ben Walter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with this. My users don't notice the initial system tray notification, and then complain that they have not been given enough time when the main restart window appears. If I was to set the main notification to appear immediately, they would complain that the message gets in the way and they can't hide it.

    Ideally we would like the restart window to appear immediately, but with the option for the user to click postpone for a configurable number of minutes. Then the window would keep reappearing until the user either clicks reboot, or they are forced to reboot by the final permanent notification.

  • Kelly Walsingham commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Allow more options like defferal for up to 2 hours and even have the number of hours allowed to be managed at the client settings level. And option to add customizable text so you can warn users that once they click restart it could take up to 20 minutes to apply all patches as it restarts etc.

  • L U commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    PowerShell AppDeploy Toolkit has interesting smarts regarding notifications, not just for potential restarts, but managing user expectations around applications that must be closed during product installs. A truly integrated solution would look at the technical/user interaction of product install from end-to-end, not just at restart.

  • L U commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have Available period before Deadline. Would like clearer messages at time of Available, cusomizable to repeatedly and persistently inform users of our schedule and what to expect, to encourage co-operation for earlier, less painful compliance.

  • Bob Clements commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Specific to the Windows 10 IPU: I would like to see an option for users to 'Schedule my upgrade (or maintenance)'. When selected, users get a date/time picker (similar to Outlook appointment scheduling). From there they can choose a time that does not surpass the scheduled deadline. The default required time is 90 minutes, but admins can configure the value in the properties of the TS.

  • Sven Mattheus commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Believe there are 2 things which could be improved:

    1. SCNotification (especially / at least when indicating a pending reboot) should go not only to Win10's Action Center, but more important: should remain a "visible" icon on the Taskbar (in the foreground by default / not hidden away!) - so that a user is better aware of the pending reboot.

    2. Leverage Win10 user configurable settings like "Active Hours and Restart Options " into the SCCM agent ( e.g. "Business Hours" ) for a more seamless experience. Users do not understand why they should configure these settings in 2 different locations...

  • Jason Darst commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I concur with this. Our users are extremely unhappy with the update process, to the point that we may have to look at deploying defined maintenance windows for the entire population so they know exactly when updates will occur. No one notices the toast notifications. Unless it is extremely obvious, and almost impossible to ignore, they have other things they are worried about and then when updates close things or reboots happen, they are surprised and upset. I also would like to see a lot more possible customizations on notifications.

    An option to set nag reminder periods
    An option to have a notification window that was top of screen and obvious
    An option to specify a must acknowledge as the deadline approaches for the install
    An effective way to defer the installation once the deadline is reached that works (we've had a bug in with the current implementation)
    Options to allow the user to specify a time for the installation to happen would be great. With an option to have the reboot happen immediately if they want.
    These options should apply to any type of push be it software update, application object, or package
    It would be nice if these options had a default for the client but also allowed configuration per deployment in case we need to do something different with an urgent deployment

  • Glenn Turner commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Something to consider... 100% of our end-user fleet is Surface Pro and with everyone working different hours and having different requirements, we effectively never have a maintenance window that these devices are on in. We set updates to install outside the maintenance window, but suppress reboots. It's up to the user to restart, and because the current notification functionality is sub-optimal, they never see the one prompt that disappears within a few seconds. We end up emailing people asking them to restart. We don't force OS upgrade task sequences for the same reason - these are just available not required, because we can't control the prompts and reboot process enough.

  • GT commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Perhaps also don't ever force a restart or a prompt while PowerPoint is running.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    +1 for more granular control of the frequency of reboot messages

    +1 for custom messages. It would be great to be able to send (deploy) custom messages to users similar to a package. Also being able to right-click a collection and send message to user would cool too.

    +1 for messages the user MUST acknowledge.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I would like to see the ability to customize timeframes with snooze/remind time options based on when an update becomes available based on offsets from available and required times. Additionally, the ability to allow a user to postpone a restart indefinitely by snoozing repeatedly (ie: not actually allow them to select to postpone a restart, but to cause a nag that will eventually get them to restart, but more at their convenience) with a specified timeframe that can align with these intervals.

    For instance, handling various scenarios (and more complex), such as this:
    Day 1: Update 1 Available
    Day 7: Update 1 Required - Automatically install outside maintenance window, but do not restart
    ---

    Would like to be able to do things like:

    -Display a notification at availability time.
    -Two days after it is available, the user can get notified of its availability every day if it has not yet shown for each user.
    -Twelve hours after that (2.5 days after available time), this notification could start showing if they haven't seen it in the past 6 hours.
    -Two days before its required, change it over to prompt the user to snooze the available reminder up to 4 hours. When the update becomes required and / or is installed, have a custom notification to prompt the user of a pending reboot, allowing them to snooze it up to two hours at a time for the next 72 hours.
    -Should detect and prevent overlapping schedules, and force you to fill entire remaining schedule, or specify a default for areas where there is no schedule (preferably also configured)
    -Some sort of settings priority for this similar to client settings... but, preferably in a way that the priorities can be changed a little more quickly, or at least sitting there waiting for a refresh to keep clicking increase priority. Something like a "move to priority # and shift any existing up/down".
    -Would also be nice to be able to set all of this through ADR and deployments on the SUG and have creation template. Ability to load template independently for this section would also be cool. For instance, if setting up a complex schedule to be used across multiple ADRs/deployments, this notification schedule could be reused. Would be nice to be able to associate a set of schedule rules with an ADR/deployment (ie: just an object reference so it stays up to date rather than a template persay, but would be nice to have both options)

    Would also like to see the ability to display a prompt to the user prior to initiating or forcing a restart to help instances where someone opens a device on a Monday and has no choice but to restart sometime shortly thereafter. For instance, require at least one user to have seen the notification for the reboot to even be able occur. Something along similar lines of giving them some form of a custom snooze time that can be postponed indefinitely or per some schedule (ie: change it to three days after required date to be more rigid or something). Might not handle all situations as-is (ie: a lab environment) if its a multi-user scenario, but would help with things like devices assigned to or primary device of certain a single user.

    Multiple notification options would be nice. Taskbar, toast, balloons, etc. Would like to see those customizable, at least, something like an IT department icon and logo and customizable sizes. Something like a "click to confirm restart" checkbox before allowing the user to click restart as a basic functionality. It would be nice to have full control of the UI, and have some variables available for display (ie: name of update currently installing if one is installing, progress %). Some ability to mod the XML directly to overcome any limitations here would work, too, but just thinking there should be something in SCCM that will pop it up automatically on a schedule made in rather than having to roll your own via task scheduler and CIM calls or something.

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