OverviewThe purpose of this article is to hopefully explain how Microsoft Windows updates are pushed out to USM staff and faculty computers.
Why are you pushing updates to my computer?
There are a few reasons that IT pushes out security updates to your computer. The most important is that we want to make sure your computers and more importantly your files and documents are as safe and secure as we can make them. One of the best ways to ensure this is to keep all the computers on campus up date with the latest updates. The University of Maine System also has security policies which we are all required to follow. More information can be found at http://www.maine.edu/about-the-system/system-office/information-security/.
How will I know when I have updates to apply?
When there are security updates that the IT department thinks need to be applied to your computer to keep it safe and secure, you will get a notification pop up at the bottom your screen which should look similar to this.
Clicking on the notification will bring up more information about what updates are being installed.
What should I do when I have updates?
This is probably the big question! You'll notice in the figure above that the updates must be applied by 9/20/2013. If you aren't in the middle of anything to intensive you can choose "Apply all required changes now (recommended)". You can still work on your computer as you normally would. It might be a bit slower than normal but everything should still work. More importantly the computer won't restart automatically when it is done unless you tell it to! Let's say it's around lunch time and you want to have it install all the updates and then restart then just go ahead and say "Apply all required changes now" and check the "Restart my computer automatically if needed". Then go off and have lunch and your computer will be back at the login prompt when you get back. Just make sure you save all your files before you leave!
If you don't want to restart automatically, don't check that box and then you will be prompted to restart within the next four hours.
I'm too busy! I can't install these right now.
You have a couple options available.
Remind Me Later
You can just click the "REMIND ME LATER" button. This will make the screen go away for awhile, but it will keep coming back up in the system tray to let you know you still have updates. Also be aware that if you don't install the updates by 10:01pm on 9/20/2013 the updates will install at that time or the next time your machine starts back up after that time. This could be when you are doing something important.
If you would like to have your computer install the updates after you are done working for the day, you can choose "Apply all required changes outside my business hours". This will cause the updates to install after hours and as long as you check the "Restart my computer automatically if needed" your computer will be all patched and ready to go in the morning. This will require you to leave your computer on over night. If you choose "Apply all required changes outside my business hours" and then shut down your computer, when you start your computer in the morning it will start the install of the updates.
What happens once the updates start installing?
Once the updates start installing you will see a notification in the task tray.
Once it is done installing and if you chose "Restart my computer automatically if needed" your computer will restart. If you did not choose to restart automatically you will be notified that your computer will need to be restarted to complete the update process.
In the Restart Window you will presented with some options for how to handle the required restart.
You can restart now or your can snooze the restart for a few hours. Whichever works for you is fine.
What are these Business Hours you mentioned?
When installing updates to your computer, you now have the flexibility to define when the update process should consider you to be working and when you aren't. If you click the "View my configured business hours" it will bring up a program called "Software Center" where you can change your business hours and set other options.
By default your business hours are 5 am to 10 pm Monday thru Friday. Feel free to change these to fit your schedule.
Please be aware that if you share your computer with other people this changes for the whole computer and might cause updates to happen when it is inconvenient for them.
This is all too complicated I just want you to update my computer for me when I'm not using it!
If you don't want to be bothered when updates need to happen, you can control that as well! If the Software Center Option where you selected your business hours, there is an option under "Computer Maintenance" to automatically install all updates outside your business hours. Checking this box will cause the updates to install at the end of your next business day as defined by your business hours. An automatic restart will happen when the updates are done installing.
Please remember if your computer is shut off before your business hours end, the updates will happen the next day when your computer starts up.
If you have any questions about how the windows update process works or why we are even doing it, please don't hesitate to call the USM Helpdesk at x4029.