Windows Automatic Updates Not Working

Posted on 2009-04-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I manage a small windows network (25) and recently I've noticed that our XP Pro machines no longer receive any Windows Updates notices, even though they are all set up to notify the user when updates are available.  When I go to the Windows update website either through the My Computer/Updates link or though a browser I see new critical updates and have NO problem downloading them.  I've done a lot of research on this problem and tried a lot of things including removing SP3, editing group policy to make sure CONFIGURE AUTO UPDATES is not configured, editing the Registry to remove *AUOPTIONS and NOAUTOUPDATE and *Disable WIndows Update Access*.  Also found several scripts to stop and start the Update services, Reinstall it as well as the BITS. NOTHING WORKING AT this point.  At one point last summer I attempted to implement WSUS but aborted the project.  Initially this changed some of the registry keys referenced above which prevented any UPDATES from occurring, but editing the registry key took care of the problem, with this exception.  Any insight you could give would be greatly appreciated. THANKS.
Question by:edniezgoda
    LVL 29

    Expert Comment

    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    WSUS is directly connected with AD. When you initially installed WSUS an AD option is set to point all computers to a Windows Update Server sitting internally. Normally if you set it up correctly it works great. It downloads all the updates from the Microsoft site, and becomes your internal UPDATE SERVER spreading all the updates internally to all the machines.

    I'm thinking, since you didn't fully install it, or abandoned this project, it is not downloading Windows Updates from the Microsoft Site. All your computers are pointing to that server for updates, but since the server is not downloading any new updates, there is nothing for the PCs to download either. Does this make sense?

    Check this in AD:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Template > Windows Update:
    "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location"

    If the status is set to Enabled, the Automatic Updates client connects to the specified intranet Microsoft update service, instead of Windows Update, to search for and download updates. Enabling this setting means that end users in your organization don't have to go through a firewall to get updates, and it gives you the opportunity to test updates before deploying them.

    If the status is set to Disabled or Not Configured, and if Automatic Updates is not disabled by policy or user preference, the Automatic Updates client connects directly to the Windows Update site on the Internet.

    Note: If the "Configure Automatic Updates" policy is disabled, then this policy has no effect.

    Author Comment

    checked the Windows Update in Group Policy and sure enough the SPECIFY INTRANET UPDATE SERVICE LOCATION was enabled.  Disabled it about one hour ago and rebooted client but so far NO UPDATES ICON appearing....
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Check the entire tree in AD under Updates. Make sure to bring them all back to their natural state of Not Configured or Disabled, whichever suits your needs most. This can take some time to propagate down to the lower levels of PCs.

    Perform GPUPDATE /FORCE /BOOT in START > RUN on workstation.

    Author Closing Comment

    THANKS...clients displaying Update Shields now.

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