Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Dec 2005 11:29 UTC
Windows Microsoft is working on a significant new feature for Windows Vista, known as Restart Manager, which is designed to update parts of the operating system or applications without having to reboot the entire machine. "If a part of an application, or the operating system itself, needs to updated, the Installer will call the Restart Manager, which looks to see if it can clear that part of the system so that it can be updated. If it can do that, it does, and that happens without a reboot." And here & here are some more shots of Vista build 5259.
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Windows Device Drivers
by akro on Fri 2nd Dec 2005 12:46 UTC
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Windows does load drivers dynamically. I'm a storage guy and we always see Server 2003 boxes not ask for reboots when adding and removing software devices dynamically. Actually if you use HP hardware and install the Proliant Support Pack it will upgrade almost all hardware drivers without a reboot, HBA's NIC's RAID and Video drivers. Most of the time when you need to to reboot Windows Server it is because you loaded an app with a File System filter driver like a Virus Scanner software package. To get many of theese drivers to work properly you have have the driver loaded before mounting the volume the problem is nine times out of ten you can't unmount and remount a volume on an active box so most manufactures just say reboot to ensure you remove and exclusive locks on the box and the file system driver then loads before the volume mounts on the reboot.

And yes most applications are cross windows version so the installer just assumes it needs to reboot the box because Windows 98 may have needed but XP doesn't.

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