Hack 88 Automatic Updates FAQ

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Rod Trent of myITforum.com shares his answers to some frequently asked questions about the Automatic Updates feature of Windows 2000/XP/2003.

As CEO of myITforum.com (http://www.myitforum.com), I often get technical questions about Automatic Updates and other Microsoft patch-management tools. Here are a few of the more common questions and my answers. You can find additional tips about using Automatic Updates at myITforum.com.

Service Still Running After Disabling AutoUpdate

Q: I've disabled Automatic Updates by going to AutoUpdate properties in the Control Panel, double-clicking System Properties, and then clicking the Automatic Updates tab. But the AutoUpdate service still runs. Can this be turned off?

A: AutoUpdate is an always-on service. Disabling this service by accessing the properties disables only the client behavior.

Disabling Critical Update Notification

Q: How do I disable the Critical Update Notification feature of Automatic Updates?

A: The Critical Update Notification is controlled through the Task Scheduler. If you want to disable the Critical Update notification but keep it installed on the computer, open the Task Scheduler and delete any tasks for Critical Update Notification.

For Windows XP and Windows 2003, scheduled tasks are accessed under Program FilesAccessoriesSystem ToolsScheduled Tasks. In Windows 2000, however, Task Scheduler is available under SettingsControl PanelScheduled Tasks.

AU Overrides WU

Q: If you use the Windows Update web site on a machine that has Automatic Updates enabled, what is the result?

A: Automatic Updates might try to install updates, even though the Windows Update web site was used. Unfortunately, Automatic Updates is not smart enough to understand when you've decided to use Windows Update instead. When updates are downloaded via Automatic Updates, the download information is stored on the local computer, and this information doesn't change if an update is installed afterward.

Note that Automatic Updates will still display a message that updates are available. This will be fixed in a future version of Automatic Updates, but for now, install the Automatic Updates version of the update, so its installation records are updated correctly. The "you have updates" message will go away once the updates are installed using the Automatic Updates client.

?Rod Trent