Is Automatic Updates Really Automatic

Discussion in 'Windows Update' started by Matthew W. I. Dunn, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. I have Automatic Updates set to AUTOMATIC (RECOMMENDED). It's set to scan
    for updates every day at 3 PM. According to the A-U box, Updates will
    automatically download and install updates if found.

    That hasn't been my experience, however. If updates are found, a large box
    opens saying that updates have been found and gives me the option to just
    download them or "custom" load them. This requires a choice by clicking on
    one of the buttons. Also, after downloading, Updates will ask if I want to
    restart the computer or wait until later. This also requires a choice. (I
    might also have to approve a EULA. Another choice.) If I just leave it,
    Updates doesn't seem to do anything: It just sits there waiting for me to
    make a decision. So, I'm wondering where the "automatic" comes in. (Maybe,
    there's a timer that starts the process by itself after a few

    I apologize if this is a basic question, but it hasn't come up for me
    before. I'm concerned about the Zune update that will be coming out soon.

    I've pasted below the Help section on A-U that's retrieved if one clicks on
    the "How Does Automatic Updates Work?"-link in the box. It didn't really
    clarify anything for me since the updating process doesn't seem to work that
    way IN PRACTICE. But, there it is, anyways.



    How does Automatic Updates work?

    "You do not have to be connected to the Internet for Windows to install new
    updates. But updates must be installed, not just downloaded, before they can
    help protect your computer. If you use the Automatic (recommended) setting,
    new updates are installed at 3 A.M. However, you can change the time or
    frequency of scheduled updates to best suit your needs.

    If your computer is turned off during a scheduled update, updates are
    installed the next time you start your computer. You can also choose to have
    Windows notify you when new updates are available, and then install them

    You might be asked to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA) before
    certain updates can be installed. Other updates might require you to restart
    your computer before the installation process can be completed. If you are an
    administrator for your computer, you can delay the restart. Otherwise,
    Windows notifies you and then restarts your computer for you so the updates
    can begin to help protect your computer. It is always a good idea to save
    your work frequently, and to remind other users of your computer to save
    their work, especially before scheduled installation."
    Matthew W. I. Dunn, Sep 15, 2008
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  2. Always state your full Windows version (e.g., WinXP SP3; Vista SP1) when
    posting to this newsgroup, please.
    Then AU must be configured to Notify Only, not Automatic; cf. (WinXP) or
    If AU is configured to Notify Only, you're also prompted to choose which of
    the downloaded updates you want to install.

    If you've installed an update that requires a reboot, AU will prompt you
    every 10 minutes (by default) to Reboot the computer.
    AFAIK, the only Zune-related updates offered by AU would be security-related
    updates, and then only if Microsoft Update (vs Windows Update) were your
    default update source (see the section "Windows Update and Microsoft Update:
    Features" here:
    ~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
    MS MVP-IE, Mail, Security, Windows Desktop Experience - since 2002
    AumHa VSOP & Admin

    PA Bear [MS MVP], Sep 15, 2008
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  3. Actually it scans for updates at regular intervals (approximately every 22
    hours) and (if an update has been found and downloaded) installs them at 3pm.
    That's normal. However, if you leave it alone until 3pm, the updates *should*
    install automatically.

    Harry Johnston [MVP], Sep 16, 2008
  4. Thanks for the response.

    Sorry, I forgot. I'm using XP SP3.

    It's not. AUTOMATIC (RECOMMENDED) is checked in the updates panel; "Notify
    Only" is not checked. Updates are set to download and install every day at 3
    Matthew W. I. Dunn, Sep 27, 2008
  5. If I understand you correctly, then AU searches for updates, like, whenever,
    and downloads them. Then, the download sits there until 3 PM (my automatic
    setting) when it will just install them and restart if necessary without me
    having to do anything.

    I guess what might be confusing me is the pop-up balloon that appears saying
    updates are ready for download and install. If I left it and didn't click on
    the balloon, then I'm presuming AU would wait to automatically download and
    install at my selected time.

    Is that correct?

    I'm using XP SP3
    Matthew W. I. Dunn, Sep 27, 2008
  6. Exactly.

    Harry Johnston [MVP], Sep 28, 2008
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