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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Restart after Windows Update in Technical; I currently have our servers set to automatically install updates at 2am every day. This seemed like a good idea, ...
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    enjay's Avatar
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    Restart after Windows Update

    I currently have our servers set to automatically install updates at 2am every day. This seemed like a good idea, but today both servers are nagging me to restart them, and I can only postpone this by 4 hours. Is there a way I can stop it from doing this automatic restart?

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    on XP you can enable a "no auto restart with users logged in" in GPedit.
    you can set the reprompt option from here as well but under xp at least you cant do this from GPedit (using standard templates anyway)

  3. Thanks to SHimmer45 from:

    mitchell1981 (14th October 2011)

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHimmer45 View Post
    on XP you can enable a "no auto restart with users logged in" in GPedit.
    you can set the reprompt option from here as well but under xp at least you cant do this from GPedit (using standard templates anyway)
    BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS SETTING.

    If you enable it, it has the largely undocumented side-effect that it will reboot the machine immediately once all users have logged out. This means that if you RDP into a server that has a pending restart with this option set, the moment you log out, your server reboots.

    I personally do not recommend this setting at all on servers.

    To answer the original question, I tend not to have automatic updates scheduled on servers. I keep an eye on new updates synced to WSUS via email alerts, and install the updates manually and schedule an overnight reboot using Task Scheduler if needed.

    The ones I do have updates scheduled for do it once a week in the small hours of Sunday morning, and are set to reboot immediately if required. Staff are warned that this is an at-risk period, so anyone stupid enough to be working at 2am on a Sunday deserves what's coming to them if the servers restart.
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 14th October 2011 at 10:09 AM.

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    enjay's Avatar
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    That's what I thought (although I rarely log out of RDP sessions!).

    I could just disable the automatic installs, but I quite like the security of having that in place, especially since a lot of updates don't require a restart anyway.

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    A compromise would be to enable the separate setting "Allow Automatic Updates immediate installation". This (in theory) only applies to "certain updates that neither interrupt Windows services nor restart Windows."

    That way, the ones that don't need a restart will go on right away.

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    indeed although some updates can impact on running services in unexpected ways, auto updates on a server as AngryTech suggested arent ideal

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    enjay's Avatar
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    So would you guys suggest I disable automatic installation, and run the updates myself then?

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    yes i would

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    On servers I use notify before install so I can do it manually. I then use a scheduled task to reboot overnight using:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\shutdown.exe -r -t 00

    Any problems and I know it was one of those updates so I can just uninstall them until I find the culprit.

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