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Should I let Windows Server 2003 do automatic updates or should I review them first?

Posted on 2006-06-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I am setting up several new servers and would like to get the experts opinions on whether I should let Windows Server 2003 automatically install updates or should I review them first?  I beleive that the automatic option only installs critical updates right?

If I setup the servers to download the updates but let me choose if I want to intall them it doesn't let me pick the schedule.  Is there a way to tell it when to download the upadtes in this configuration?

What about rebooting?  If the updates require rebooting does it reboot the machine automatically or does it leave a message telling you that your servers need to be rebooted for the updates to take affect?  Do updates to Windows Server 2003 ever even require rebooting?

Thanks for you help,

Todd
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Question by:Todd_Anderson
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Expert Comment

by:Jandakel2
ID: 16953898
The way I do it, is I choose to download the updates automatically but let me choose when to install them.  This gives me time to introduce the updates as I see fit.  For my servers, I will always wait at least 2 or 3 days before I install the updates.  I've had too many problems to just trust Microsoft that everything will be OK.  I keep a pretty good pulse on issues with Server products, and I try to learn from others mistakes.   The best possible scenario would be to deploy WSUS, that would allow you to specify everything you need, and if you build a domain with clients, push out your specifications via Group Policy.  The updates do not reboot automatically, but there are some updates that require a reboot.  Let me know if you have any other questions.

JK
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Author Comment

by:Todd_Anderson
ID: 16954379
That makes sense to me.  How can I find out if people are having problems with updates?

Have you ever had bandwidth problems?  Since Microsoft's servers are fast and you can't set a schedule for downloading the updates I wouldn't want some of my customers to experience slow responses from my server just because Microsoft updates are downloading.

Todd
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Jandakel2 earned 1000 total points
ID: 16954468
I will usually do a couple posts in the forums, or I'll do a google for " New update released by Microsoft causes issues" or something to that effect.  I don't get toooo crazy about it, for the most part, the security vulnerablitiies that are addressed are able to be installed readily, but when there are updates that may effect other software that is non Microsoft you have to be careful, such as the recent update that screwed up PC's w/ certain HP Drivers.  Microsoft's servers are very fast, so you will never have any bandwidth problems in that respect.  You will see your utilization go up during the install, so that should be planned for accordingly.  The downloads aren't the bog down, it's the install.

JK
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Author Comment

by:Todd_Anderson
ID: 16955075
Ok.  Sounds pretty straight forward then.  Thanks for the help.

Todd
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