I work in an environment with a variety of hardware, so we usually use automated installs and group policy instead of drive imaging for deployment of Windows 7. One step we always have to do manually is to open Windows Update and tell it to upgrade to Microsoft Update. How can I deploy Microsoft Update automatically?

  • Ever wondered why Microsoft considers it an add-on and it always needs to be installed manually, even on recent Windows systems. Great question. – Massimo May 20 '11 at 18:14

WSUS can automatically install updates, including the Microsoft Update stuff.

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  • We use WSUS in our environment also and it works quite well. – Chadddada May 20 '11 at 20:44
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    I already use WSUS. But doesn't WSUS require Microsoft Update on the client computer in order to update Office and other non-windows components? – Josh May 26 '11 at 15:42
  • I've never had that problem. – Hyppy May 26 '11 at 15:46

WSUS does not really solve the question. It only is the location the computer will download the Windows Update patches from. Normal Windows Update takes it from the Internet, versus WSUS with is a local server with a cached copy of Window Update patches. That said, if you have a moderate to large environment, a WSUS server can really reduce Internet traffic.

Some general info about GP and WU: Group policy can tell client computers to download and install patches, when to do it, and to use that WSUS server instead of going to the Internet.

Open the Group Policy Management console and click on "Default Domain Policy". Under Computer Configuration, right click Windows Settings and click edit. If it tells you that it can't find gpedit.msc, copy c:\windows\system32\gpedit.msc to c:\windows\SysWOW64.

From there you go to Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Windows Update and make any changes you want. Do a gpupdate /force on any computer you want. To change the location to a WSUS server, configure the "Specify intranet Microsoft update service location" option.

As far as your specific question, there does not seem to be a GP option to force the use of Microsoft Update (all products) rather than just updating Windows. This is certainly because it is not configuring something already installed, but rather, you have to go install it. Whatever the solution, it would involve scripting involving running the download package if you can find it. I looked high and low with no luck. I will keep looking and update if I find it.

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  • WSUS would ultimately solve the problem though, because you can deploy stuff that would otherwise only be available when you install Microsoft Update. – Ben Pilbrow May 21 '11 at 22:34
  • True, I was so focused on the specific question. – KCotreau May 21 '11 at 22:54

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