WSUS and Wake-on LAN, is it possible ?

Discussion in 'Update Services' started by jonte, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. jonte

    jonte Guest

    We have wsus installed and working well in our environment but the
    "green-people" will not allow us to have our pc's turned on. So now we are
    looking for a Wake-on LAN solution. Do we have to change patch-software to
    make this work ?


    \\Jonas B
    jonte, Apr 16, 2008
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  2. <sigh>... so sad... when operational =requirements= are impacting "green"

    Even more insulting that the "green" people don't bother to research the
    =facts= about their recommendations before making them.

    A Wake-on LAN solution won't be fully successful. One of the dependencies of
    WSUS is that the download of the content has been successfully completed
    before the scheduled installation time. If a system is powered off before
    this download completes, triggering a Wake-On-LAN won't help with the
    installation. In addition, since everything is driven by the agent on the
    client system, that agent can't initiate anything if the machine is powered

    Finally, I'm not aware that Wake-On-LAN will solve a POWER_ON requirement;
    it only provides for bringing a machine out of SLEEP state)

    Here's a workable solution:

    By default, when a client has downloaded and update and /scheduled/ the
    update for installation (say at the default installation time of 3am), if
    that installation time is missed (because, for example, the machine is
    powered off during the scheduled installation time), the update will be
    installed starting at 1 minute after the next POWER-ON.

    So, my suggestion is this:
    Use the default configuration for WSUS.
    1. Set the scheduled installation time at 3am (which will never happen).
    2. Leave the option to install at power-on enabled.

    Updates will install at POWER_ON, and either everybody will be happy, or
    they won't. For those that complain about the inconvenience waiting for the
    machine at POWER_ON, send 'em over to your "green-people" for a lively chat
    about the pros and cons of such practices. ;-)

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCBMSP, MCTS, MCP
    Senior Data Architect, APQC, Houston, Texas
    Microsoft MVP - Software Distribution (2005-2008)

    MS WSUS Website:
    My Websites:;
    My MVP Profile:
    Lawrence Garvin [MVP], Apr 17, 2008
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  3. jonte

    DaveMills Guest

    What do you mean by Sleep Mode. I would think that is Standby mode.
    Wake on lan will start the computer provided the mains plug is not removed,
    switched off etc. The PC is not just in sleep mode it is shutdown.
    DaveMills, Apr 17, 2008
  4. jonte

    Peter D Guest

    Here's another workable solution that is not inconvenient to the users and
    allows you to turn the machines off at night.

    Schedule the updates for the end of the day, about 1 hour before people
    start leaving. Set the reminder time to 30 minutes. Then what happens is
    the updates are pushed out and installed, the user typically receives one
    reboot request letting them know the updates occured, and when they power the
    machine off when they leave they just select the option to install the
    updates and shut down.

    Simple solution, users disruption is minimal and there is no need to leave
    machines on all night.

    Finding a workable solution AND saving energy are NOT mutually exclusive.

    Peter D, Apr 17, 2008
  5. jonte

    jonte Guest

    Ok, that idé we have discussed but it builds on manually trusting the
    ordinary users to make that selection "install and shut down" but if they
    don't, what happen then ? Is it possible to force the "install and shut
    down" when it become available or after a couple of days ?

    \\Jonas B
    jonte, Apr 18, 2008
  6. jonte

    Peter D Guest

    When you approve the updates you can select a date that they must be
    installed by.

    But I doubt that will be necessary because if the user does not choose to
    install the updates when they shut down that night, they will be interupted
    with the reboot popup window throughout the entire next day (and every day
    until they do it). So most users will choose to install the updates when
    they shut down to avoid the annoyance of the reboot window.

    You can also force a reboot after a set period of time if the user doesn't
    delay it, but that will annoy people more because it might reboot when they
    are at lunch or otherwise away from their desk and they will lose work.

    The method I described is the way I do it, and after most users realized it
    is the least invasive option, they are fine with it. It's more work for them
    to NOT install the updates at shutdown than to just do it and go home.
    Peter D, Apr 18, 2008
  7. in message
    The download is normally initiated immediately after the WUAgent detects
    that an update is approved on the WSUS Server. Functionally, this can occur
    at any time of day, since the default detection interval is 17-22 hours,
    meaning each detection is significantly less than 24 hours since the last
    one, resulting in, ultimately, clients synchronizing throughout the day, and
    each client at a different time each day.
    The issue here being the assumption that you have control over the time of
    the download. You don't. The download is triggered by the existence of an
    update approval discovered during a detection,which occurs around the clock.
    The bottom line here is that the download is failing. The question is
    whether the download was attempting to resume after having been 'put to
    sleep' by the OS, or whether this was an original download initiation caused
    by a detection which occurred in response to the Wake-On-Lan.
    Except you cannot do this in any scenario.
    It's not documented, per se. In fact, one of the great deficiencies in the
    entire WSUS infrastructure scenario is the severe dearth of documentation on
    the Windows Update Agent. However, a quick inspection of any
    WindowsUpdate.log will reveal the truth of the matter. Downloads are
    initiated immediately after the initial detection of an approved update.

    At best you can use Wake-On-Lan to wake up systems for the scheduled
    *installation* time, when the machines have updates to install, provided
    that the download of the update(s) has successfully concluded before the
    machine is put to sleep. Downloads, however, need to occur during normal
    powered-up times.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    Principal/CTO, Onsite Technology Solutions, Houston, Texas
    Microsoft MVP - Software Distribution (2005-2009)

    My Blog:
    Microsoft WSUS Website:
    My MVP Profile:
    Lawrence Garvin [MVP], Sep 22, 2009
  8. jonte

    doug Guest

    There's a free tool to remotely reboot, shutdown, and wake on LAN unlimitedcomputers, simultaneously. It's called RemoteRebootX (

    There's another tool which is not free but has a free evaluation. It's called BatchPatch (, and it will allow you to remotely install windows updates or third party updates/software in addition to remotely reboot, shutdown, wake on LAN and a lot more.
    doug, Jul 16, 2012
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