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Windows Forced Reboots for UBC Managed Devices

To assist the campus community in staying compliant with UBC’s information security standards, new mandatory forced restarts on UBC supported computers are being implemented as operating system security patches and updates are deployed. 

Security patches and updates are usually applied to Windows based computers monthly, but some might need to happen out-of-cycle to address a critical vulnerability or issue.  This follows Microsoft’s best practices and aligns with UBC’s information security standards: U7 - Securing Computing and Mobile Storage Devices / Media and M5 – Vulnerability Management. 

UBC Okanagan managed Windows laptop and desktop computers which use the Software Centre application for updates (see image below), will automatically reboot at least once a month moving forward. Users will have a 3 to 14 day window to delay the reboot depending on the criticality of the update, however we recommend restarting your computer as soon as possible to ensure your device is secure.  

Note: The forced reboots only apply to Windows devices with the Software Centre. To confirm if your device will be affected, type “Software Centre” into your main menu search bar (usually bottom left corner) to see if it will appear as a menu item.

If you have not updated or rebooted your device recently, you may need to reboot more than once depending on how many updates are outstanding. 

After a security update that requires a restart is installed, the following will happen:

  • A countdown timer will begin until the device is restarted.
  • Users will be reminded (see below) every 3 hours (usually twice during a regular business day) until the device is restarted.
  • If at the end of the 3-14 day reminder period the device is not rebooted manually, a final countdown notification, that cannot be closed, will appear 2 hours before the forced restart.
    • After 2 hours the device will automatically be rebooted.
  • The update time will vary from a few minutes to up to 45 minutes depending on the device and type of update. In most cases, the update will only take a few minutes. 

Notifications

The following are examples of some of the notification windows you may see to indicate that a reboot is required.

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