We need to reboot a win 2003 standard server with the least amount of down time possible. What steps do you take to ensure no windows updates will be applied durring the reboot?

4 Answers 4


Check the windows update settings and assure that the system is set to NOT download updates. If it has downloaded already, there will normally be an icon on the notification area indicating they are ready to install. However, you need to manually initiate the install. If someone has done this, the next reboot will complete the process. Again, the icon in the notification area will pop up a warning about the system needeing a restart to finish an update. If the system is set to install automatically, it would likley have rebooted.


You might wish to use PendMoves to list pending file operations. This will at least tell you if you have operations pending upon reboot.


shutdown -r 

will do the trick.

It doesn't guarantee, thought, that pending operations will not occur at startup. You can use PendFile to see that.


You can set it through the Group policy editor

Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Windows Update
-> Configure Windows Updates : Disable

If the status is set to Disabled, any updates that are available on Windows Update must be downloaded and installed manually. To do this, go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com or click Start, click Programs (or click All Programs), and then click Windows Update.

EDIT: On the same path Allow automatic updates immediate installation : Disable

  • Thanks. It is confusing that in the event log I see 'windows update' entries, but when you visit windows update it says the service pack is not up to date, so you cannot use windows update. It appears it was Microsoft update that was used instead. Jan 26, 2012 at 17:03

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