Patches hose PC
3 Times now I have had to rescue my machine from updates that caused hard drive issues and slowed down 8.1 in a big way. I think some of these updates that they put out corrupt files. With so much geared toward tablets etc. I notice many updates are for tablets but are destined for a PC. MSFT is probably more concerned with getting the update to work on tablets that they do not test hard enough for the PC. In addition the Windows Update program fails to load an update and crashes the app and sometimes the PC. Then you have to research and find out which update needs to go and which needs installed before the other.
Bottom Line: Do not set Update to auto install updates of any kind. Especially Drivers. If we follow this guidance then we do not need to know in advance about updates on the home front. No Auto-Installs.