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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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113 comments

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  • Nectarios Gritzalis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We definitely need improved visibility for the reboot notification, especially on Win10.
    On Win 7 the notification balloon appears and stay on screen until the user performs any action and often is visible upon unlocking of the desktop. But on Windows 10 this is all broken and users simply never see the short notification(s), until the final un-closable dialog box.

    But I think it is imperative that any improvement to the reboot notification should focus on visibility only and not on anything that might disrupt the users from their work (except the final notification).
    A notification that absolutely requires user action to close it, or a box in the middle of the screen as has been suggested, would be way too disruptive to the user and create new issues.

    User experience should remain paramount.

  • Bryce Steel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    After installation(s) complete that require a restart, we would like to see the "Your computer is about to restart" notification window open and remain visible until a user clicks the "Hide" button (with perhaps similar increasing frequency-triggers leading up to the non-hideable portion of the countdown even).

    The toast notifications from the SCCM client / Software Center have proven ineffective at capturing our user's attention. While we currently use a default 24 hour restart countdown with 4 hours non-hideable, many users simply do not notice the toast notifications during the first 20 hours. Having a toggle in Client Settings to "Show restart countdown window until user clicks 'Hide' button" would save us many user complaints / help desk tickets!

  • Mitch S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    These are great suggestions. The original post does a great job in highlighting the issue that is causing my company the most pain. It is the lack of notification around the actual reboot. When it comes to a feature update, the notifiications before the update deployment are less useful because you can warn the user and when they are finally ready to run it, the online portion kicks off and runs for over an hour. The user was expecting something to run reasonably quickly and then reboot right there when they are ready for the reboot. Sometimes they kick it off shortly before leaving for the day (with a laptop that they take with them). So they likely walk away or do something else and minimize or close software center, or close the lid and head home. So at a minimum need much more noticeable,reliable, and configurable restart notifications. Woud be cool if there were separate deadline dates for the deployment and the actual restart. And instead of a date, maybe an incremental time period after the deployment runs. So regardless of when the deployment runs, even if past the deadline, the restart deadline can be configured to run x days later. So if the deadline is OCT 30 and the user runs it on of after OCT 30 (maybe they were out of the office) whenever it finally runs, the restart deadline is say 3 days from when the deployment completed, with reminder notices before then to allow the user to restart now or postpone for a few hours. Another note, there is currently a restart reminder that runs when a user has run the deployment before the deadline where a user can restart now or postpone a few hours. The problem with that particular notication is that if the user hits cancel or just closes the window without selecting restart now or picking a time in the future, that notification window never returns. So if I deploy and make available on Sep 30 with a deadline Oct 30, the user runs it immediately on Sep 30, gets the message which states a reboot is required by Oct 30, dismisses the window by closing or cancelling, now there are no more reminders until Oct 30 deadline, which is worse than all other options because the user has no connection between that reboot request and actually running the deployment 30 days earlier, so we have an even angrier user.

  • Daniel Hecht commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would be great to see that the configmgr reboothandler trigger the OS api to deactivate fast startup temporary so that software updates are applied if the user shutdown the pc (instead of restart..)

    For sure there are workarounds to setup such a behavior. But this should be a behavior "out of the box"

  • Steven commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would LOVE a way to set a group of users through User Client Settings that can cancel/defer mandatory reboot at least 1 one time these are people in my org that are IT OPS itself and they're stuck in internal CritSits themselves; they've asked me to give them ways to shut off SCCM; i'd rather not do this since i don't' know if they'll turn it back on. Reasoning is so their PCs don't' restart in the middle of a major incident If I identify them are CRITIAL/VIP users they should be able to have a chance to defer for their system in an emergency situation.

  • Steven commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We just want a deferral system for required things before and after the deadline, first and then second one that will work into a and clear and persistent modal dialog locks on the windows shell for upcoming installation, installation occurring and restart. Include the application being installed; the time the restart is going to happen and the expected duration of the installation No more flyouts or balloon tips that are missed. Also notify the user when the next upcoming action will happen for anything that has previously failed, rather than it just saying "Past Due"

  • Dustin Hedges commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would love to have the reboot notifications stay there until the user acknowledges them (if a user is logged in of course) until the final countdown hits. Then it just stays up.

  • Eric commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This would be a great approach:
    1) Set a deadline for the patch to be installed.
    2) begin prompting the user daily to install/reboot up until the deadline.
    3) on the final day prompt the user hourly until the deadline timer has expired.

    4) Allow for a small deferral window past the deadline time. maybe 3-4 hours.

    The big complaints from our user now are they do not see the toast notifications showing the update is available. They only see the final countdown timer that can't be moved off the screen before the computer reboots. We had to set this to 4 hours because users were constantly getting that prompt while presenting in a meeting or while running a big workload and it will kill their work. The biggest improvement would just be multiple prompts to the user that they have to acknowledge before any forced reboot happens of any kind. Let the user control more of their own destiny instead of IT having to decide on the exact time their computer will reboot.

  • Varandas commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Would appreciate if SCCM could support central screen pop-ups with custom text.
    Notifications are great as they are.
    Allowing them to be "permanently displayed" until the user closes the pop-up is fantastic.

    In my mind, the only remaining gap would be customization of such pop-ups. Specific messages would be of great assistance in specific cases.

    e.g.: A lot of helpdesk calls could have been avoided if we were able to quickly let users know about this known kb issue https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3177467/servicing-stack-update-for-windows-7-sp1-and-windows-server-2008-r2-sp

  • Glen Blake commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    While you're looking at this, could you consider adding some notification to user if they haven't rebooted in X days? We suppress reboots for some computers, but I would like to nag them.

  • Peter Miklian commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What about adding SC notification to Windows 10 Action Center (notification area)? User could find them there until he clears them manually.

  • bdam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Part of the problem for us is that a lot of people have multiple screens these days. Power users will have their laptop as their 'main' monitor for email/IM and then two for actually getting work done. The various notifications appear only for a few seconds and in their periphery vision. To be perfectly honest, not sure what the best solution is, we just need the option to make it more intrusive.

    While this UV focuses on the reboot experience I'd like to suggest this applies equally, or even more importantly, to the 'you have updates available' notification. We want to be WAY more in your face with those to encourage the user to trigger the updates when it's convenient for them ... which eliminates the whole reboot problem all together.

  • Corey Richardson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I echo other comments where a customizable reboot notification is needed between the Online and Offline phases of a Task Sequence.

  • Corey Richardson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd really like the notification to appear as a standard Windows 10 message allowing to snooze reboots a couple of times for 4 hours. I wish this behaviour could be changed depending if the deployment is an Application or a Software Update.

    The current method is very subtle at first, almost non-existent on Windows 10. And then it becomes very intrusive at the with the Always On Top window.

  • Siobhan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Oh yes, and could you build a corresponding report that lists the devices still pending restart and the deployment/s they are pending restarts for please.

  • Murray Webber commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is super-important. The toasts are fine, but if you're not at your device at the time, or are looking elsewhere, the result is a hidden-by-default system tray icon. This isn't ideal, and has led to a few complaints about forced reboots at inappropriate times even though we gave users a week to reboot. Furthermore, despite our best efforts to date, it's also exceedingly rare that the defined "temporary notifications" are displaying with the reboot warnings - i.e. 48 hours, 24 hours, 12 hours, 4 hours, etc. - causing users to go from nothing to forced reboot.

    I'm not sure if it's necessarily related to the same thing, but I'd also suggest a reboot notification is required between the online phase and the offline phase of an In-Place Upgrade Task Sequence. Right now, the online phase can take so long, that user's are opening up applications and starting to do more work, then BAM! Sudden reboot for the offline phase, and they complain of losing work, or the reboot happening at an inappropriate time. Having some type of reboot notification in there would be perfect. But failing that, enhanced reboot notifications for Software Updates would be nice.

  • Robert Stein commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Any time there is a pending reboot for any reason (required for update to complete, required before next install can continue, etc). there needs to be a more prominent notification to the user. The green systray icon is not enough.

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