Turn off Windows automatic updates
Windows automatic updates are a good thing. They keep your system patched, so you should probably leave the updater on. However, they can be annoying. The updater is always prompting you, or even automatically rebooting your system when you walk away for a moment. I'll show you how to turn off the automatic updates, only if you promise to manually keep up with the patches! We don't need another zombie-Windows-machine botnet out there.
Go to Windows Update by clicking the start button, choosing all programs, and then clicking Windows Update.
On the left side of the panel, click change settings.
In Windows XP, right-click on My Computer and choose the Automatic Updates tab.
You have four levels.
"Automatic" is the one that may reboot your computer when you're not looking. Although if you leave your PC on, you can set the time to download and reboot in the middle of the night.
"Download updates for me" will automatically download the updates, but it won't install them until you say so. No surprise reboots, but annoying little pop-up balloons and sudden bandwidth hogging.
"Notify me but don't do anything automatic" just gives you the pop-up balloons. You decide when to allocate the bandwidth to download the patches.
And "turn off Automatic updates" will end all the hassle, but it will also leave you vulnerable. You have to remember to go install the updates at least once a month at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/
Once you've made your choice, Click OK and then it's up to you to stick to your word.