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Every hour Windows appears to check for updates

Posted on 2015-02-19
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Last Modified: 2015-03-03
We have a strange one here.

A bunch of servers across a domain appear to be checking for Windows updates every hour. I believe this is causing the systems to spike a little in CPU as it's the only event I can see happening on the hour. (we experience an hourly spike in CPU activity).

The weird thing is, windows update service and windows module installer service have both been disabled, yet this still happens. We've removed all group policies that specify windows update settings and set the servers manually to never check for updates.

Yet, within the Event Viewer, under the WindowsUpdateClient logs, we see events generated every hour that say

Log Name:      Microsoft-Windows-WindowsUpdateClient/Operational
Source:        Microsoft-Windows-WindowsUpdateClient
Date:          19/02/2015 15:01:04
Event ID:      40
Task Category: Windows Update Agent
Level:         Information
Keywords:      Check for Updates
User:          SYSTEM
Computer:     server.domain.local
Description:
An update was detected.
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
  <System>
    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-WindowsUpdateClient" Guid="{945A8954-C147-4ACD-923F-40C45405A658}" />
    <EventID>40</EventID>
    <Version>0</Version>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>1</Task>
    <Opcode>17</Opcode>
    <Keywords>0x4000000000000002</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2015-02-17T15:21:15.175040700Z" />
    <EventRecordID>61197</EventRecordID>
    <Correlation />
    <Execution ProcessID="476" ThreadID="16704" />
    <Channel>Microsoft-Windows-WindowsUpdateClient/Operational</Channel>
    <Computer>SBS.mdcl.local</Computer>
    <Security UserID="S-1-5-18" />
  </System>
  <EventData>
    <Data Name="updateGuid">{0E32A997-25B7-46B6-9AB8-BF93CD0436B7}</Data>
    <Data Name="updateRevisionNumber">200</Data>
  </EventData>
</Event>
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Question by:utilize
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Expert Comment

by:Merete
ID: 40620453
I believe when there is critical updates windows update runs in the background using as little as possible the resources on the system/s. Everytime the computer is used windows updates pauses till there is no activity then continues until it is fully downloaded then you should see a message update waiting to be installed.
Just my thoughts as I see this occasionally and since I have auto download turned off it only happens with critical updates.
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Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 40620482
what about the actual local settings for Windows Updates under Control Panel? is the option greyed or set to a particular choice?
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Accepted Solution

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utilize earned 0 total points
ID: 40620963
This turned out to be a third party monitoring application (N-ABLE) that was causing this. Disabling the services sorted it out.
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Author Closing Comment

by:utilize
ID: 40641414
Self resolved
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:bbao
ID: 40641633
good to know the problem has been solved.

it was a pity that the 3rd-party application N-ABLE was not mentioned in the question.
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