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Does automatic updates reboots Windows Server 2008 ?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

By default, yes! It depends on the specific updates though. Some don't require a reboot, but many do.

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This behavior is entirely configurable. You can change the Windows Updates settings through the control panel. If you're working with a Server Core installation, you'll have to do it from the command line. Server 2008 R2 Core has a sconfig utility that provides a series of menus to make this (and other basic configuration tasks) very easy, but Server 2008 RTM Core has a script that accepts parameters to make it...um...possible.

In NT 6.0, there are five possible values for the registry key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update\AUOptions: 1 = disabled; 2 = notify before download, notify before install; 3 = download updates automatically, notify when they're ready to install (default on a full install of Windows Server 2008); 4 = automatic download, automatic install at 3 AM; 5 = allow local admin to select configuration mode

To use the scregedit script for this or other configuration tasks, you must CD to the directory where it is located:

cd c:\windows\system32

To view the currently configured option:

cscript scregedit.wsf /au /v

To set an option:

cscript scregedit.wsf /au 4

...where "4" could be whichever option-value you choose to set.

Stop and restart the Windows Update service to put this change in effect:

net stop wuauserv
net start wuauserv

At this point, you can just leave the machine to update itself on schedule, or you can force update detection like so:

wuauclt /detectnow

I hope this helps!

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...and I'd hasten to add than in an environment of any real size or complexity, you'd want to configure separate update behaviors for clients and servers using different Group Policies for each, and set up a WSUS server to manage and approve updates before they get to your machines. –  Kevin Baker Nov 7 '10 at 19:44

Yes, unless you choose an option other than automatic.

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