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26Aug/110

WIN2008 – Windows Updates

Windows Server 2008 - Windows Updates
To keep a pristine, up-to-date, bug free and secure server farm we'll need to update our systems. By default Windows Updates is disabled for every Server Operating System. There are four predefined modes:

2 - Notify before downloading any updates and notify again before installing them. When Windows finds updates that apply to this computer, an icon appears in the status area with a message that updates are ready to be downloaded. Clicking the icon or message provides the option to select the specific updates to download. Windows then downloads the selected updates in the background. When the download is complete, the icon appears in the status area again, with notification that the updates are ready to be installed. Clicking the icon or message provides the option to select which updates to install.

3 - (Default setting) Download the updates automatically and notify when they are ready to be installed. Windows finds updates that apply to your computer and downloads these updates in the background (the user is not notified or interrupted during this process). When the download is complete, the icon appears in the status area, with notification that the updates are ready to be installed. Clicking the icon or message provides the option to select which updates to install.

4 - Automatically download updates and install them on the schedule specified below. Specify the schedule using the options in the Group Policy Setting. If no schedule is specified, the default schedule for all installations will be everyday at 3:00 AM. If any of the updates require a restart to complete the installation, Windows will restart the computer automatically. (If a user is logged on to the computer when Windows is ready to restart, the user will be notified and given the option to delay the restart.)

5 - Allow local administrators to select the configuration mode that Automatic Updates should notify and install updates. With this option, the local administrators will be allowed to use the Automatic Updates control panel to select a configuration option of their choice. For example they can choose their own scheduled installation time. Local administrators will not be allowed to disable Automatic Updates' configuration.

Using the Graphical User Interface
Right click on Computer and select Properties.

In the overview select Windows Update.

As you can see Windows Update is disabled. Click View advanced options to get a detailed option overview.

Select the appropriate mode and confirm using OK.

Using the Command Line Interface (Windows Server Core ONLY)
Setting Windows Updates on Server Core is done with the scregedit.wsf script and specifying the correct mode. Because Windows Explorer isn't installed on a Server Core the notification balloons aren't shown. So there are two possible modes left namely 4 and 5. But because Server Core doesn't have a Control Panel option 5 isn't available as well.

When you want to enable Automatic Updates you may select scenario 4 and restart the Windows Updates Service by typing:

Select All Code:
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cscript scregedit.wsd /AU 4
net stop wuaeserv
net start wuaserv

SCregEdit.wsf doesn't offer you a method to specify a scheduled time to reboot the machine when updates require a reboot. By default a Windows Server 2008 Server Core installation with Automatic Updates enabled will automatically download updates and install updates at 3:00 AM and reboot if necessary. This might not be the desired behaviour.

Disabling Automatic Updates and the Windows Automatic Updates Service can be done by typing:

Select All Code:
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cscript scregedit /AU 1
net stop wuauserv

It is possible however to preform an on-demand check for updates.

Select All Code:
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wuauclt /detectnow

TIP: It is also possible to set the Automatic Updates by using Group Policies using WindowsUpdate.admx. Another way to customize the behaviour is using WSUS. Or editing the registry entries HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update.

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