Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have WSUS configured using group policy to deploy windows updates every Tuesday. I also have batch files that run at 11PM every night (except Tuesday) that shutdown the workstations in the company.

Often after updates are downloaded and installed, the option is shown to 'install updates and shut down'. I do not depend on users to restart the computers so they can finish installing updates.

My shutdown command is as follows:

shutdown /s /c "message incase someone is on the machine" /m \\hostname

This shutdown quits all open applications (/c) and shuts down in 60 seconds. The problem is that it does not finish the update installations... Does anyone know if I remove the /c if the system will finish installing updates before shutting down? Or do I need to look at a different method (script or policy where users must manually shut down on Wensday mornings) ?

All of the machines are windows 7 with a windows 2008 server (dc)


Addition from comment:

The 'no auto-restart with logged on users for schedule automatic updates' is not configured. But I still find systems waiting with 'install updates and shutdown' option. Should I set this option to disabled?

share|improve this question
Do you have the computer set to automatically install updates and automatically reboot if necessary set in GPO? Why not use power settings to have the machines automatically enter standby or hibernate when left unattended for prolonged periods? – Chris S Dec 21 '11 at 14:12
The 'no auto-restart with logged on users for schedule automatic updates' is not configured. But I still find systems waiting with 'install updates and shutdown' option. Should I set this option to disabled? – Jeff Dec 21 '11 at 14:17
up vote 2 down vote accepted

A windows machine will automatically install updates and restart (if necessary) in the installation schedule configured at the GPO.

Defaults are: Install updates 03AM every day, prompt user to restart or postpone.

You can define weekly installations, automatic restart and no postpone.

GPO Settings involved [Computer\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update]:

  • Configure automatic updates
    • Auto download and schedule the install.
      • Choose install day and time.
  • Allow Automatic Update immediate installation
  • Delay Restart for Scheduled Installations
    • Define the amount of time you want to give users before restart.

With that configuration, machines shall restart automatically without waiting for users.

share|improve this answer
IMO, workstations should automatically install daily; application servers should only download and wait for manual install; fileservers should automatically install and reboot in idle hours. – motobói Jan 21 '12 at 15:08
Your last bit of advice is questionable. I don't want any of my servers rebooting when they're not supervised. Especially if it's at 1am and OpenNMS or Nagios starts spamming my inbox on my Blackberry next to my bed. – MDMarra Jan 21 '12 at 15:16
Well, automatic install and reboot of file servers has worked for me for some time. Maybe, as this is a policy and not a failure, you could configure monitoring software to ignore unavailability of those server on the scheduled reinstall window time? – motobói Jan 21 '12 at 15:46
@motobói I actually have different GPO's to control different types of systems. All users machine are updated Tuesday night when everyone leaves and automatically restart. Servers are on Wednesday with manual restart (this happens in the morning). And the IT users machines are done automatically on Mondays (so if a failure occurs it is in our room and we can figure it out before regular users updates go out on Tuesday.) Thanks for answering. – Jeff Jan 23 '12 at 13:39

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.