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Windows Update Options

Posted on 2011-09-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
In windows 7 the windows update options are

Install Updates Automatically, Download but let me chose to install them, Check for update but let me choose to download and install them,Never check for Updates.

When using download but let me choose to install them if I opt not to install a update it has downloaded is it deleted or removed in the back ground or does it stay on the machine?

Where are these stored until installed?
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Question by:ATL74
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Sikhumbuzo Ntsada earned 50 total points
ID: 36573475
In this folder C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download and no it does not delete them.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 36573485
It stays on the machine. The downloaded updates are stored under C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads, and there is also a Datastore folder under the Software distribution Folder where the system stores what has been downloaded etc. The contents of either Folder can be deleted to free up space, but you have to stop the Windows Updates service before that (once deleted, you can start the service again).
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by:OctInv
OctInv earned 100 total points
ID: 36573491
Updates get stored in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.
If you choose not to install an update, it will remain in the list of updates available and remain in that directory.
You have an option of 'hiding' updates at which point they will not be deleted, but also not appear in the list, but can be restored by using the 'restore hidden updates' option.
As far as I know, updates remain in that directory until they are either installed or superseded by other updates.

Hope this helps you
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by:Jim-R
Jim-R earned 100 total points
ID: 36574665
OK guys ALL TOGETHER NOW...Updates are stored in.... LOL  Three identical answers within minutes of each other.
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Author Comment

by:ATL74
ID: 36576590
When I install a update is it removed from the above mentioned location or do I have to delete it myself?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 36578713
It stays there. The problem is that from the files and names in that folder it is hard to know what update is represented (possibly the date and time may give an idea). So it's probably better and easier to delete the complete contents of the folder (after all you can easily run the update again to download it).
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by:Jim-R
Jim-R earned 100 total points
ID: 36580542
It stays there. The problem is that from the files and names in that folder it is hard to know what update is represented (possibly the date and time may give an idea). So it's probably better and easier to delete the complete contents of the folder (after all you can easily run the update again to download it).

@rindi:

If the files / folders are deleted, you won't be able to uninstall any of the updates they represent, so this could cause an update uninstall issue.  So you'd want to be sure the update represented is either already uninstalled or that you never want to uninstall it.  Correct?  
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by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 36580749
As far as I know that should be the issue. Those folders only contain the newly downloaded files, and no the backups of files that have been replaced by the updates. I'm not sure where in Windows 7 the old files are saved (on XP they were inside \Windows\$NTUn.....). But most updates you can uninstall via Programs and Features of the control panel. Those that aren't uninstallable should be removable by using an earlier system restore point.

Apart from that when there are windowsupdate errors, one of the solutions often provided by m$ is to stop the windows update service, then delete the contents of the download and datastore folders in SoftwareDistribution.

So it shouldn't cause any issues.
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Author Comment

by:ATL74
ID: 36581051
Wen using WSUS are the updates downloaded from the wsus server and Installed in the earlier mentioned directory on the PC?

o r are they stored on the WSUS server only and install to the machine from the WSUS server?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 36581148
I don't use WSUS so don't know. But I'd expect them to be stored both on the server and the PC. But you should be able to check that if you are using a WSUS server. Just look at those directories on the local PC. If they are already empty after an update you'll know.
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by:OctInv
OctInv earned 100 total points
ID: 36581201
Updates still need to be downloaded from the source to the PC before they are installed.
It doesn't matter whether you get updates from the internet or from a local WSUS - the update will be stored in the software distribution directory before being installed.
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by:ChiefIT
ChiefIT earned 50 total points
ID: 36715659
Windows updates is a pull technology. Your WSUS server pulls updates from an internet hosted Microsoft server. Then, clients will pull these updates that you authorize (called download) and save them locally. Then, clients will (install) the files... How you configure the policies of your client will depend on how the client acts.

Install automatically- This means the client will download and install the files without user interaction. The pitfall of this method is the client will reboot in the middle of working on files. You see, some updates require a reboot and you are giving permissions of the client to reboot automatically.

Download and let me choose when to install- This means the updates are downloaded and then you choose to install them. The pitfall is, most users will not choose to install them. So, in WIN7, that policy changes to if you shutdown the computer, install the updates anyway.

Warn when updates are available to install- This is when the client will not download and then install. Instead, the client will send a yellow flag in the system tray to notify you of updates.

never notify- Means updates are all up to you. You will have to manually logon and see if updates are available.

My favorite practice is to download and let me install. This prevents computers from rebooting during business hours.

The settings for WSUS and WSUS clients are explained on this tech net article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc720539%28WS.10%29.aspx
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