Windows Updates Overview

After installing Windows, check whether Microsoft has any Windows updates including fixes, patches, service packs, and device drivers, and apply them to the Windows system. By adding fixes and patches, you will keep Windows stable and secure. If there are many fixes or patches, Microsoft releases them together as a service pack or a cumulative package.

To update Windows Server 2008 R2, Internet Explorer, and other programs that ship with Windows, go to Windows Update in the Control Panel or click the Start button and select All Programs, and then select Windows Update. Then in the left pane, click Check for updates.
See Figure below. Windows will scan your system to determine what updates and fixes your system still needs. You then have the opportunity to select, download, and install each update.

Windows Updates 1

Figure: Running Windows update

Microsoft routinely releases security updates on the second Tuesday of each month on what is known as “Patch Tuesday.” Most other updates are released as needed, which are known as “out of band” updates. Since servers are often used as production systems, you should updates to make sure they do not cause problems for you. While Microsoft does intensive testing, occasionally problems do occur either as a bug or a compatibility issue with a thirdparty software.

For small environments, you can configure your system to perform Auto Updates to ensure that critical, security and compatibility updates are made available for installation  automatically without significantly affecting your regular use of the Internet. Auto Update works in the background when you are connected to the Internet to identify when new updates are available and to download them to your computer. When download is completed, you will be notified and prompted to install the update. You can install it then, get more details about what is included in the update, or let Windows remind you about it later. Some installations may require you to reboot, but some do not.

To change the Windows Update settings, click the Change settings option in the left pane of the Windows Update window. See Figure below. The options allow you to specify whether to download and let you specify which ones to install, specify which updates to install and then download, or just disable Windows Updates all together. You can also specify whether Windows Update will check for Microsoft products other than the operating system and also install software that Microsoft recommends. If Windows update fails to get updates, you should check your proxy settings in Internet Explorer to determine whether it can get through your proxy server (if any) or firewall. You should also check whether you can access the Internet by attempting to access http://www.microsoft.com.

Windows Updates 2

Figure: Choose how Windows installs updates

To see all updates that have been installed, click the View Update History link on the left pane. If you suspect a problem with a specific update, you can then click Installed Updates at the top of the screen to open the Control Panel’s Programs. From there, you can view all installed programs and updates. If the option is available, you can then remove the update.

Larger organizations don’t typically expect each user to download updates for his or her computer.Instead, a Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) is used to automatically install Windows updates. Different from getting updates from the Windows Update Web site, WSUS and SCCM allow the administrators to test the updates and approve which updates will get installed on the client computers.

Articles in this Course

  1. Selecting Server Hardware
  2. Selecting the Software
  3. Performing Clean Installation of Windows Server 2008 R2
  4. Performing an Upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2
  5. Disk Cloning and System Preparation Tool
  6. Performing an Unattended Installation
  7. Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 Using Windows Deployment Services
  8. Understanding Windows Licensing
  9. Understanding Windows Activation
  10. Understanding Windows Updates
  11. Understanding User Account Control
  12. Introducing System Settings
  13. Changing Computer Name and Domain Settings
  14. Configuring Remote Settings
  15. Changing Date and Time
  16. Understanding Plug and Play Devices
  17. Understanding Signed Drivers
  18. Using Devices and Printers
  19. Using Device Manager
  20. Using Computer Management Console and Server Management Console
  21. Managing Programs
  22. Managing Roles and Features
  23. Comparing IDE and SCSI Drives
  24. Introducing Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks
  25. Introducing Hot Spares
  26. Using Storage Explorer and Storage Manager
  27. Introducing Disk Partitioning Styles
  28. Comparing Types of Disks
  29. Introducing File Systems
  30. System Information
  31. Using the Event Viewer
  32. Understanding Boot.ini
  33. Understanding BCDEdit
  34. Understanding Advanced Boot Menu
  35. Using the System Configuration Tool
  36. Understanding Virtual Memory and Paging File
  37. Using Task Manager
  38. Using Performance Monitor
  39. Using Resource Monitor
  40. Introducing Fault-Tolerant Components
  41. Understanding Clustering
  42. Understanding Power
  43. Introducing Backup Media
  44. Introducing Backup Items
  45. Introducing Microsoft Windows Backup
  46. Understanding Shadow Copies of Shared Folders
  47. Understanding HOSTS and LMHOSTS Files
  48. Exploring DNS
  49. WINS
  50. Introducing Domains and Trees and Forests
  51. Introducing Sites and Domain Controllers
  52. Introducing Organizational Units
  53. Looking at Objects
  54. Introducing Groups
  55. Introducing Group Policy
  56. Setting NTFS Permissions
  57. Looking at Effective NTFS Permissions
  58. Copying and Moving Files
  59. Looking at Folder and File Owners
  60. Encrypting Files with NTFS
  61. Network Discovery and Browsing
  62. Looking at Special and Administrative Shares
  63. Installing Printers
  64. Looking at Printer Properties
  65. Setting Printer Permissions
  66. Managing Print Jobs
  67. Configuring Internet Printing
  68. Managing Web Sites with IIS
  69. Managing FTP with IIS
  70. Creating Virtual Machines
  71. Managing Virtual Machines