My wife's computer (a Dell Latitude laptop) has been acting a little wonky and was overdue to be re-paved and re-configured. It was a hand-me-down from me to her over a year ago and it's been nearly three years since it was rebuilt. I usually like to pave once every 12-18 months.
Thankfully, I always divide a laptop drive into at least two partitions -- C: (for the OS and apps) and D: (for everything you might want to keep). Once you get some of the system folders like "My Documents" pointed to a location on D: (using the awesome TweakUI), it's very convenient. It also makes doing this re-pave pretty simple because I won't have to restore all the files she cares about later. I back that stuff up semi-regularly (probably not regularly enough), but the D: stuff doesn't get touched during this process. I'm just nuking the C: partition and doing a re-install.
So I'm installing XP (not enough horsepower for Vista) from a disc that has SP2 already applied... but even at that, the first Windows Update process has taken even longer than the actual install of the Operating System. There are 80 important/critical updates in this first pass (and more likely after the first 80 finish and it reboots).
It's good to be up to date and all, but man... that's a lot of updates.
One other thing that has the potential to really irritate people is that one of those 80 updates (number 65, to be exact) is the Windows Genuine Advantage update. This installs some utility on your machine that verifies that you're using a legit, licensed install of Windows. Fair enough... but this update opens a wizard that requires you to step through it.
That's right -- the 65th update in a list of 80 that need to be downloaded and installed stops the entire update so that you can click Next a few times. Worse, there's no need here for a Wizard as there are no options or configuration settings to be set!
Luckily, I've opted to let this run through the afternoon and I just go over and check it out every once in a while to move things along. So I saw it fairly quickly. But how many people doing this have seen those 80 updates in a list and decided to start the process and go to bed... only to find a wizard wants their attention in the morning?