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70-680 Study Guide - Configure Updates to Windows 7

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Windows Update:

Windows Update is a utility that connects to Microsoft's website and checks to ensure that you have the most up-to-date versions of Microsoft products. These updates include bug fixes, program enhancements, and service packs designed to improve the functionality of your system, and more often, keep it secure.

Service packs are a type of update to the Windows 7 operating system that includes cumulative bug fixes and product enhancements. Some of the options that are included in service packs are security fixes or updated versions of software, such as Internet Explorer. Before installing a service pack, you should perform the following steps:
  • Back up your computer.
  • Check your computer and ensure that it does not contains any malware or other unwanted software.
  • Check with your computer manufacturer to see whether there are any special instructions for your computer prior to installing a service pack.
You can download service packs from Microsoft's web site, and you also receive service packs by Windows Update. Before installing a service pack, you should read the release note that is provided for each service pack on Microsoftís website to understand the prerequisites and installation steps and requirements.

Windows Update is managed through the Windows Update control panel. With this control panel, a user with administrator privileges is able to check for updates, change update settings, review installed updates, and review hidden updates. A user without administrator privileges is able to check for and install updates. Windows Update relies upon the Windows Update service which is enabled by default.

For computers without internet access, you will need to use Windows Update Stand-alone Installer.

Configuring Windows Update:

Follow these steps to configure Windows Update:
  1. Click Start and then click Control Panel.
  2. Type Updates in the Control Panelís search box and then click Windows Updates from the search results.

  3. Configure the options you want to use for Windows Update from the left pane, and click OK.
Now let's take a look at the specific configuration options available in the left pane:
  • Check for Updates - This link retrieves a list of available updates from the Internet. You can click View Available Updates to see which updates are available. Updates are marked as Important, Recommended, or Optional which are explained below:
    • Important Updates: Typically correct critical security issues.
    • Recommended Updates: Typically address functionality issues.
    • Optional Updates: Optional updates provide items such as driver updates, language packs, and updates to help files.

    A user with administrative rights can right click on an update to hide it from other users if there is a reason it shouldn't be installed.
  • Change Settings - Change Settings allows you to customize how and when Windows should install updates. Most importantly is setting how Windows handles important updates. The following options are available:
    • Install updates automatically (recommended)
    • Download updates but let me choose whether to install them
    • Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
    • Never check for updates (not recommended)
    Another important setting on this screen is "Give Me Recommended Updates The Same Way I Receive Important Updates". Checking this box will force Windows to treat recommended updates the same way as important updates. Optional updates always have to be installed manually.

  • View Update History - View Update History, is used to view a list of all of the installations that have been performed on the computer. Following information is avialable for each installation:
    • Update Name
    • Status (Successful, Unsuccessful, or Canceled)
    • Importance (Important, Recommended, or Optional)
    • Date Installed

    You can view the details of an update on the list by right clicking on it and selecting View Details.
  • Restore Hidden Updates - With Restore Hidden Updates you can list the updates that you have hidden from available updates list. An administrator can hide updates that they do not want users to install. It gives the opportunity for an administrator to test and verify updates before the users can install them.
  • Installed Updates - Installed Updates allows you to see the updates that you have installed earlier and you can also uninstall or change them if necessary. The link in the lower left pane is actually a shortcut to the Programs And Features Control Panel applet. If you uninstall an update, it will become available for installation again unless you mark it as hidden.

Windows Update Policies:

Group policy provides additional configuration options to those already discussed in the control panel applet. To access these policies, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start and in the search box enter group policy.
  2. Click Edit group Policy.
  3. Browse the folders on the left to the following location: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update.

The table below explains what each of these group policy settings does:

Policy Description
Do Not Display "Install Updates And Shut Down" Option In Shut Down Windows Dialog Box This policy allows you to configure whether the Shut Down menu displays the Install Updates And Shut Down option. The default setting has this option available.
Do Not Adjust Default Option To "Install Updates And Shut Down" in Shut Down Windows Dialog Box When this policy setting is enabled, the user's last shutdown choice is the default shutdown option. When this policy setting is disabled or is not configured, Install Updates and Shut Down is the default option if updates are available for installation. This policy is deprecated when the Do Not Display "Install Updates And Shut Down" Option In Shut Down Windows Dialog Box policy is enabled.
Enabling Windows Update Power Management To Automatically Wake The System To Install Scheduled Updates This policy allows Windows Update to wake a hibernating computer to install updates. Updates does not install if the computer is hibernating on battery power.
Configure Automatic Updates This policy, allows you to configure update detection, download, and installation settings. Several of these settings are similar to the ones that you can configure through the Windows Update control panel.
Specify Intranet Microsoft Update Service Location This policy allows you to specify the location of an internal update server, such as one running WSUS. This policy is the only way that you can configure Windows Update to use an alternate update server. Using this policy, you can specify the update server and the statistics server. In most cases, these are the same servers. The updates server is where the updates are downloaded from, and the statistics server is the server where clients report update installation information.
Automatic Updates Detection Frequency Configure this policy to specify how often Windows Update checks the local intranet update server for updates. This policy does not work if you configure a client to retrieve updates from the Windows Update servers.
Allow Non-Administrators To Receive Update Notifications This policy specifies whether users who are not members of the local Administrators group are able to install updates.
Turn On Software Notification When you enable this policy, Windows Update presents users with information about optional updates.
Allow Automatic Updates Immediate Installation When you enable this policy, updates that do not require a restart install automatically. Updates that do require a restart are not installed until the conditions set in the Configure Automatic Updates policy are met.
Turn On Recommended Updates Via Automatic Updates Use this policy to configure Windows Update to install recommended updates as well as important updates.
No Auto-Restart With Logged On Users For Scheduled Automatic Updates Installation When you enable this policy, Windows Update waits until the currently logged on user logs off if Windows Update installs updates that requiring a restart. If you disable or do not configure this policy and the Configure Automatic Updates policy is set to install updates at a specific time, Windows Update gives the logged-on user a 5-minute warning prior to restarting to complete the installation.
Re-prompt For Restart With Scheduled Installations Use this policy to set the amount of time that a user can postpone a scheduled restart when the Configure Automatic Updates policy is set to install updates at a specific time.
Delay Restart For Scheduled Installations Through this policy, you can specify the amount of time that Windows waits before automatically restarting after a scheduled installation. This policy applies only if the Configure Automatic Updates policy is set to install updates at a specific time.
Reschedule Automatic Updates Scheduled Installations You can use this policy to configure a computer that has missed a scheduled update to perform the update a specific number of minutes after startup. For example, use this policy to ensure that a computer that was switched off at the scheduled update time installs updates 1 minute after starting up. Disabling this policy means that updates install at the next scheduled time.
Enable Client-Side Targeting This policy allows you to place computers into different software update groups. Different software update groups allow the software update administrator to target the deployment of updates, allowing updates to be deployed to specific groups of computers in the organization rather than all computers in the organization.
Allow Signed Updates From An intranet Microsoft Update Service Location This policy allows updates from third-party vendors to be distributed from the Automatic Updates location so long as those updates are digitally signed by a trusted publisher.

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS):

Using Windows Update to update client computers works well for smaller networks, but for an enterprise network, this can cause management and bandwidth issues. Products such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), System Center Essentials, and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) can alleviate issues. These products download updates from Microsoft and then make them available to clients over the local network. Furthermore, these products give administrators a chance to test updates before releasing them to the clients on their network which can help avoid wide-spread problems. If problems do occur after a rollout, WSUS provides the ability to rollback the update across the enterprise.

To connect a client to a WSUS server, follow the instructions above to view Windows Update policies. Open the Specify intranet Microsoft update service location. Once opened, you must set two servername values: the server from which the Automatic Updates client detects and downloads updates, and the server to which updated workstations upload statistics. You can set both values to be the same server.