Instead of logging into each computer, I would like to find a way to disable Windows Update on each computer in the domain from a single location (e.g., the domain controller). The domain controller runs Windows Server Standard 2008. Computers in the domain run anything from Windows 7, to Vista, to XP. How can this be done?
You can use Group Policy settings to disable both Windows Update and Automatic Updates.
To disable Windows Update and Automatic Updates on a per-computer basis, configure Turn off access to all Windows Update features in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management\Internet Communication settings
To disable access to Windows Update and Automatic Updates on a per-user basis, configure Remove links and access to Windows Update in User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar. Enabling this policy setting removes access to Windows Update features for the specified user, but Automatic Updates still checks for updates for the computer and does not notify users with this policy set.