I have what may seem like a strange question, however I believe I have identified a real need for something like this and would like to know A. If anyone else has suggestions, or B. if anyone has crossed this bridge and has pointers to products that may already provide function like this.

I work with a company that employs and assists a large number of visually impaired people. There are a multitude of choices for assisting software inside the OS that does everything from read your email to navigate windows....

The issue is that when a computer is shutting down and it is at that screen installing updates X of X, please do not power down or turn off your computer...

Someone who cannot see, will eventually declare that their computer is hung and take the normal remediation steps which is shut it off or power it down!

When I took this position I thought this may have been a bad image from the last admin that kept leading to computers in boot repair, and with random error associated with failing updates. It appears the cause is that end users are doing just this.

So would I would like to do is perhaps detect this condition and make it do a periodic system beep or something to indicate it is in this state, and that they should not consider it hung / in need of power down until the beeping has ceased for x seconds or something like that.

Any one have any suggestions on where to start? (Or where this question would be better asked?)

  • 1
    This is a really excellent question. I don't have enough familiarity with screen reader software (or windows in general) to answer, but I'll be very curious to see what creative solutions people might offer. If you don't get any good answers in a day or two, I'll gladly add a bounty to this question.
    – EEAA
    Oct 16, 2015 at 14:14
  • We have one user with such a problem and the informal solution is that he never does anything beyond pressing the "Shut down" button in Windows at the end of the day. If the machine acts up the next morning, he needs to ask for help. Not optimal and doesn't scale very much beyond n=1. If it turns out the accessibility tools in Windows can't help you, I would investigate if you can use WSUS to help you with this, maybe you can send a mail to affected users informing them of the upcoming update or something along this way (Disclaimer: I don't really know WSUS features, it's just an idea).
    – Sven
    Oct 16, 2015 at 14:27
  • Schedule updates during off-hours. Oct 16, 2015 at 15:28
  • We provide assistive and educational services for end users that are not employees. Hence the original employs and assists. I can control that in the scope of my network to a good degree, however I cannot always control how end users are set up. I could however instruct them (provided there is a way, or one can be developed) how to configure their computers to behave this way in the process of educating them how to use it. "Off Hours" means different things to different people, especially those who are blind or visually impaired, most of them are no stranger to 3AM because of things like Non24
    – Sabre
    Oct 16, 2015 at 17:25
  • My current thought process is getting a handle to the fact updates are pending when shutdown, and maybe a driver that is kicked off before the process begins triggered by shutdown that produces a periodic system beep.... Will do research this weekend on what is actually happening when the computer is in that state and let you all know if I find anything useful.
    – Sabre
    Oct 16, 2015 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


You could modify the PSWindowsUpdate scripts to use the Windows Speech feature before updates are installed, raising the volume to the desired level and informing the user update installation is about to occur, and that they should not shut down their computer. You would then create a group policy scheduled task to run the installation script as often as desired.

  • That looks very promising! I will check it out this weekend, and report back...
    – Sabre
    Oct 23, 2015 at 14:04
  • Please let me know how it goes! Oct 26, 2015 at 13:31
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    You are soooooooooooo thanked! The scripts produce an accurate measure of how many are available and if a reboot is required to complete, exactly what I was looking for and much cleaner than I would have thought to have tested for that condition. The rest I can manage from here, thank you again!
    – Sabre
    Oct 28, 2015 at 19:24

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