I can't think of a single client that has not called me with a support issue following the infamous Windows Update.
Accordingly, my recommendation is to turn off "Automatic" Windows Update and perform them manually once a month, or on a reasonable schedule. Updates do have their place since they do patch operating system vulnerabilities, but as with any software product they themselves have bugs at times.
How to disabled them varies by Operating Systems, and there are various ways to get to the settings, so this is just one way in Windows 7.
- Go To Control Panel
- Select System and Security
- Select Turn automatic Updating on or off
- Select Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
- Check off, Given me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates. This is Microsoft's tricky way to get you to install the latest Internet Explorer, Bing, and other Microsoft products.
- Hit OK and you are good to go.