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Server 2012 Core.

I can manually check for Windows Updates with sconfig option 6. I can set Windows Updates to automatic with sconfig option 5. Great.

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What if I want to change that to 4 AM? What if I want to change it to only check once a week?

I sniffed around in HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\ but didn't see anything that looked like it let me fine tune the schedule like I want.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Assuming this isn't a domain machine you can configure through domain Group Policy, you should be able to connect a local Group Policy Editor mmc to the core machine from a full client and set the local policy that way (assuming 2012 still works as 2008 did):

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/neilhut/archive/2007/11/06/managing-local-policy-on-a-windows-server-core-installation-set-to-workgroup-config.aspx

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You could also install the minimal GUI on the machine, make the config changes, and then uninstall it, reverting it to Server Core. This only became possible with Server 2012. –  Michael Hampton May 28 '13 at 23:26
    
Perfect. They are in a domain, but I didn't want to use domain GPOs because I didn't want to configure a separate GPO for each machine that I want to have different schedules. But they're lab machines so I don't mind automatic updates and reboots. Basically I just didn't want my domain controllers rebooting at the same time. I was able to remote manage the local policy from another machine with a GUI however, and I found the settings for configuring both day and hour. –  Ryan Ries May 28 '13 at 23:44
    
Glad that did the trick. I agree that staggering reboots is a good idea. For this I've just turned off automatic restart by Windows Update and scripted a scheduled restart with appropriate delays between servers. Many ways to skin the cat. –  Noah Stahl May 29 '13 at 1:48
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