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I've been searching for awhile and have yet to find the answer to my question on exactly how windows update works with Server Core 2012. I have a couple of domain controllers i just brought online and decided to change them to server core. The two things i've found is to use sconfig but get the following error message when it

♀Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.8
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Inspecting system...


===============================================================================
                         Server Configuration
===============================================================================

1) Domain/Workgroup:                    Domain:  mydomain
2) Computer Name:                       mydc
3) Add Local Administrator
4) Configure Remote Management          Enabled

5) Windows Update Settings:             Automatic
6) Download and Install Updates
7) Remote Desktop:                      Disabled

8) Network Settings
9) Date and Time
10) Help improve the product with CEIP  Not participating
11) Windows Activation

12) Log Off User
13) Restart Server
C:\Windows\System32\en-US\sconfig.vbs(326, 1) Microsoft VBScript runtime error: Input past end of file
14) Shut Down Server
15) Exit to Command Line

Enter number to select an option:

I also found some links that say to use Cscript but i also get an error when i run that. For example:

[mydc]: PS C:\Users\JohnDoe\Documents> Cscript scregedit.wsf /AU /v
Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.8
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Input Error: Can not find script file "C:\Users\JohnDoe\Documents\scregedit.wsf".

So how do i make sure automatic updates are working? Any way to update manually?

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3 Answers 3

I don't know why sconfig does have this error on your server.

scregedit.wsf is located in system32:

cd c:\windows\system32
Cscript scregedit.wsf /AU /v 4

would turn on automated updates.

You can also change the registry directly, the key is at: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update

There is a DWORD value named 'AUOptions'

A value of 1 turns updates off, a value of 4 downloads and installs them automatically. Values 2 and 3 notify the user via the Taskbar notification area which does not exist in Core, so don't use these.

I install updates manually because I need to be able to decide when reboots happen.

There are various third party tools such as 'Core Configurator' that allow you to manually perform updates.

I am currently using: 'WUA_SearchDownloadInstall.vbs', a small script from Microsoft

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Thanks for posting this. I've been trying to find the new Server 2012 registry keys for hours. –  Arnold Zokas Oct 19 '13 at 20:44

There is now a nice PowerShell module that gives you more control over the updates to install:

Windows Update PowerShell Module

After you copied the files into a folder under any path specified in %PSModulePath%, you can use:

Get-WUlist

You can do the usual PowerShell piping:

Get-WUList | format-list -property Title, Description

To get a list of all available updates. You can then install single updates:

Get-WUInstall -KBArticleID KB2868623

or without any prompts:

Get-WUInstall -KBArticleID KB2849470 -AcceptAll -IgnoreReboot

You can only install certain updates for Windows:

Get-WUInstall -Category "Security Updates" -ListOnly

Show the history of updates:

Get-WUHistory | fl

Check whether you need a reboot:

Get-WURebootStatus

It seems this also works on remote machines, but I haven't tested that yet.

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You didn't state under what context you're running sconfig.cmd but this happens when you run that tool from a remote PowerShell session. I've only had success running it when connected over RDP.

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