Over the past week, numerous rumours have been circling as to whether or not Windows users were having their machines patched and rebooted without their consent. According to reports, some people intentionally left the Windows update feature off so no patches would be installed without their knowledge, only to discover the patches installed and their computers being rebooted.

Responding to the criticism, Microsoft spoke out on Friday afternoon in a statement posted on its website. According to the company, no changes were made to the Automatic Update mechanism and none of the recent updates have changed Automatic Update settings - a common claim made by those affected.

Office or OneCare to blame?

Microsoft also explained that the updating feature may be the result of a changed setting in Microsoft Office or Windows OneCare, which represent two programs that have the ability to change a machine's Automatic Update preference settings.

"We have received some logs from customers, and have so far been able to determine that their Automatic Update settings were not changed by any changes to the Automatic Update client itself and also not changed by any updates installed by Automatic Update," program manager Nate Clinton said on Microsoft's website.

"We are still looking into this to see if another application is making this change during setup with user consent, or if this issue is related to something else. We are continuing the investigation, and as I have more information I will update this post."

To fasten the pace of finding a resolution to the issue, Microsoft is asking anyone experiencing an issue to contact its customer support so that it can gather more information.

Unfortunately, the trouble with Windows Update does not end there. In a separate post, Clinton reported that some people are experiencing issues while attempting to manually install updates after moving to the latest version of Windows Update.

So far, the company has yet to find a solution to this issue either. It hopes to find the problem area and find a fix for all of those involved as soon as possible.