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
This is now complete and available in the 1906 release, the full documentation for feature can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/clients/deploy/device-restart-notifications
Thanks for all the feedback on this one!
Marcus Urban commented
Hi, because Microsoft is not willing to implement such a small Feature in a adequate time, i managed to solve the problem on my own. I wrote a powershell script which checks for pending reboots. This will be triggered every hour via Compliance Baseline in SCCM. Currently we have implemented 6 steps of warning levels for users. The User get Toast notifications more often, based on the time which is already gone since the first information, which is calculating the "nagging Level". At the end, the Toast notification appears on the screen and will only disappear if the user click on it. If the User not rebooting his System in the configured time, which is in our case separated to real personal accounts and functional accounts (10 Days and 21 Days), the script will enforce a reboot of the System. This is how i solved the problem regarding inform the user and reboot systems.
If you need more info on this, let me know
Toast notifications were so bad that I was tasked to creates a windows XP style popup for when passwords were about to expire. NOBODY noticed the 5-second toast long enough to read them or care about reading them. Users thought "It went away so it fixed itself".
David Grand - Systems Engineer at NWEA commented
Why is this still an issue. This is a very simple request. Allows SCCM Admins to send Dismissable messages about Restarts. The "toaster" notifications are really no notification in our environment.
Three years old and not progress made on this yet. Great work by the team elsewhere with SCCM though. i wonder why with and the other update suggestion aren't quick wins?
I'm not sure how 'disruptive' Software Updates is, unless an enterprise has very picky users. In that case, it might be time for some tough love. We all make sacrifices in the interest of the enterprise. We deploy updates once am month over the weekend and give users with mobile devices an extended two-week deadline to install that month's updates...after which they are forcefully installed and the systems forcefully rebooted....with full user notifications. I agree that in Windows 10 the notifications are entirely inadequate, and we should be given more flexibility in how they appear. Using group policy registry change, you can extend the visibilty of toast notifications, but this change will affect ALL toast notifications. Default is 5 seconds, but you can extend up to 5 minutes. Users have the option to close them, of course. What also helps is that we send an email to users, telling them and showing them what to expect with screenshots. Users are much more tolerate with proactive communication. But Microsoft, you're not off the hook. Give us more notification control please.
Our company recently went to the MTC in Dallas and discussed this issue with them. The MS recommendation to us was to stop using ConfigMan for patching and switch to a different solution. I am not making that up. There was no other solution that MS could come up with to solve all the user complaints about how disruptive Software Updates are. Its crazy because this could be easily solved. I guess MS shows no love to SCCM anymore and wants all their customers to stop using it in favor of 3rd party tools.
How is it we have a simple user enhancement with almost 900 votes that is still being ignored by the product team even after several years of complaints? I have even personally given this feedback to the PMs at multiple conferences. Our users have been furious with how Windows Updates work for years. The only option we have is to just tell them its Microsoft's fault and there is nothing we can do about it. Huge black eye for MS on this one. If I could give this 10 votes I would. There isn't a single enhancement for ConfigMan that is more important than this one.
Paul Faulkner commented
This absolutely must be done, I am amazed this behaviour hasn't been changed yet. It has to be the main area of user complaints about SCCM anywhere I've worked, especially for mobile users.
Anyone have an idea on if MS even saw this or if anything related to this is in the works?
Grant Morgan commented
Maybe a second enhancement - but would also be nice if the [Restart] button honored the "Always suspend BitLocker" option so when a user clicks Restart in the notification BL was suspended... right now it's just happening when the permanent window comes up
I think something like the Shutdown Tool created by Coretech would be perfect to handle reboots after installing Software Updates.
We should at least be able to set the maximum notification time to longer than 1440 minutes on "display a dialog box that the user cannot close." Giving the user a few days to gracefully restart is the desired feature, and the simplest way to implement that is to let the restart notification last for a few days. I don't want it to be nice and easy for them to ignore, so the permanent popup would be fine. The options need a lot of improvements overall.
Absolutely need improvements here. Notifications must be more conspicuous, and we need the ability to enforce visibility of the system center icon when software/updates are available, required, installing, or require a restart.
Hopefully this will be improved soon. The guys are doing good work elsewhere.
Maybe this can be merged with this one:
This is an important enhancement and in-place upgrade Task Sequences are failing if there is a pending system reboot.
Glenn Turner commented
Yes, this needs to be way more visible than the balloon hidden in the tray. How about a reminder that pops up every x hours until they have done a reboot (configurable by admin).
The root cause of this in our environment is that the users just shut down their surface pro and start it again and think that's a reboot... The Surface fast startup feature means hat this isn't a reboot as far as update installation is concerned. Perhaps that can be fixed and then the other problem won't be so severe.
It will also be great to have an "SCCM banner" displaying on the client machine, big enough to notifying them about the Software Update
I am looking for an easy customization of the popups coming from SCCM...
There are multiple user voices regarding restart notifications being inadequate going back years. When will we see such a simple improvement to core functionality? Customers are losing faith in IT due to lack of control. Making a restart timer that requires input would be a start.