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Windows Vista

Windows Update (part 2) - Automatic Updates

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3/13/2011 10:10:59 PM

Automatic Updates

Windows Update can also be configured for automatic updates, where the computer downloads the list of all available updates, from the Windows Update website, on a predefined schedule. From the main Windows Update window, select the Change Settings hyperlink, and you are presented with the dialog box shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. You can configure your computer for fully automatic updates, manual updates, and a few choices in between.

Alert

As you can see in Figure 3, you can configure four levels of automated updates:

  • Install Updates Automatically (recommended)Configures Windows Vista to automatically check for, download, and install only Important updates. When you select this option, you must configure the system to perform this task every day, or once a week, at a specified time. Important updates are also called Critical or High-priority updates.

  • Download Updates but Let Me Choose Whether to Install ThemChecks for updates (every 22 hours by default), downloads them to your computer, but then lets you know that there are updates available. You must manually select the updates to install.

  • Check for Updates but Let Me Choose Whether to Download and Install ThemChecks for updates (again, every 22 hours by default), but then lets you know that there are updates available for download and installation. You must manually select the updates to download and install.

  • Never Check for Updates (not recommended)This setting is for manually updating the system. Your computer does not automatically check for, download, or install any updates.

If you want or need to have the recommended updates included in the automated updates, you must check the Recommended Updates check box to include them.

The last option on this dialog box is the selection to use Microsoft Update instead of Windows Update. Microsoft Update includes updates for Microsoft applications, as well as updates for the operating system.

For scheduled updates to complete, the computer must be powered on at the scheduled time. If the computer is in Sleep or Hibernate mode (and plugged into AC power), the update process wakes the computer long enough to install the updates and then returns to the proper power-saving state.


Permissions Problems Resolved

In earlier versions of Windows, only local or domain administrators had the authority to install updates. This administrative overhead caused security problems for some companies. Either systems didn’t get updates because you typically don’t want to make all users administrators, or everyone was made a Local Administrator.

Windows Vista has solved this problem. A new feature of Windows Update in Vista is that a standard user, a nonadministrator, is now allowed to install Important updates. Vista still requires an administrator to install Recommended or Optional updates.

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