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Trevor Mifsud

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How to change the windows update download location ...

Hi Experts,

Im trying to get a backup of my server over the internet to a server / storage device at my home.

Im taking a snapshot and a continous increment to keep the backup up to date.

Im having an issue, when there is a windows update, depending on its size, some increments take forever to transfer over to my storage device.

Example, if windows update downloads 100mb of updates/installs. it is then changing the system state by 200 - 300mb and because its it removing the updates after then are installed ... my system is changing around 500mb every couple of weeks.

What i would like to know is how to:

      1. change the windows download location to a drive that isnt being backed up or part of the backup,
      2. Only notify me when updates need to be downloaded and installed.

Thanks in advance.

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Configure Automatic Updates

Specifies whether this computer will receive security updates and other important downloads through the Windows automatic updating service.

This setting lets you specify if automatic updates are enabled on this computer. If the service is enabled, you must select one of the four options in the Group Policy Setting:

2 = Notify before downloading any updates and notify again before installing them.

When Windows finds updates that apply to this computer, an icon appears in the status area with a message that updates are ready to be downloaded. Clicking the icon or message provides the option to select the specific updates to download. Windows then downloads the selected updates in the background. When the download is complete, the icon appears in the status area again, with notification that the updates are ready to be installed. Clicking the icon or message provides the option to select which updates to install.
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Trevor Mifsud


Thanks guys,

So your telling me, Microsoft Windows has no provision to change the windows update download location?

Nope, sorry
What if i create a folder on another drive then create a shortcut to it, like trick it ...

It is actually hardcoded into the windows update agent(WUA)<<<not even in the registry
Do you have updates scheduled?
Yeah im setting them to install..

The only issue i have, when a big update comes through, like a service pack or IE. Im going to have to set them not to download but to notify me and i will manage the what gets downlaoded.

Like that i can control the service packs and IE updates manually.

Do you have any different idea's?

Trev is this an SBS box?

Do you run WSUS?
Hi naughtynat,

No its not its just a windows server 2003 standard.

Without WSUS management is a bit more limited but not sure if there is other options. Always an issue with full offsite replication.
Hi NaughtyNut,

Your saying with WSUS on the server i can manage how updates are being downloaded, where they are being downloaded and what actually get installed on the server?

Yes with wsus you can control all of those things for both server and all connected workstations.
Check for more info
Pretty sure the issue is getting confused here, even with WSUS the clients and server will still *always* place its downloads in the %SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution folder. Sure, with WSUS you can move the content folder which is entirely different than the distribution folder.
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.