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Automatically deploy critical updates for Windows machines.

What is it?

Windows updates is a service offered by Microsoft to patch and secure your Windows workstation automatically and with little hassle. Realizing that updates take time, and that not everyone knows exactly which one they should download and which one they should avoid, we have implemented a centrally managed service based on SUS (Software Update Services) that will allow us to download, approve and force-install the updates during off peak hours (typically between 5am and 6am every day).

What is the approval process?

We download and install the critical updates from Microsoft, to test whether they are successfully applied without any problems. Once we verify (with other testers on and off campus) that there are no unpredictable results, we approve the critical updates on our SUS server, and your workstation will download them, install them and automatically schedule a restart time (if necessary).

What platforms support Software updates?

Automatic Updates are supported by Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 or better and Windows XP Service Pack 1 or better. Windows NT 4.0 and Macintosh (all versions) are not supported.

To find out what version of Windows you have, right-click on "My Computer" and select "Properties". Under the "General" tab you will see the version and service pack level of your windows installation.

How do I configure my machine to use SUS?

On your desktop, there is an icon called "Application Explorer". The icon looks like the icon on the left.

Double click on it, and then double click on All.

There is an icon called "windows forced updates" The icon looks like the icon on the left.

After a short while (and possibly a black window that will flash while the Automatic Updates client is being configured) your computer will be configured to automatically download and schedule installation of Windows Critical Updates.

Have you done any testing for its effectiveness?

The Library public machines have been utilizing this technology since July of 2003 with 100% success. Within a few minutes after the approval of the update(s) on our SUS server, all of the public PCs will automatically download the update and schedule a reboot (if necessary) while the libraries are closed.


If you have any questions, please call us or email us.