You might have been advised to install Windows operating systems with specific service packs versions such as, Windows XP SP3 or Windows 7 SP1 and you might wonder what’s so important with all these service packs! A brief explanation of service packs will help you understand their specific purpose and what are the best practices when deploying service packs.
The Windows Update tool will allow you to configure how Windows 7 deals with important updates, such as allowing standard users to install updates, frequency at which updates are checked, etc. To be able to configure Windows Update you need administrative privileges and to load the tool click on the Change Settings item from control panel. The available settings are explained below:
Windows Update allows software updates related to the operating system, default and other Microsoft applications such as WordPad and Office, to be downloaded automatically to clients running Windows 7. To configure Windows Update to automatically download and install these updates follow the steps below:
Windows 7 users need to ensure that software updates and service packs are applied in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to understand the different options available to manage Windows Updates, know how to verify your current configuration and take the necessary measures to ensure that your system is up-to-date with the latest updates. The most basic way to manage Windows Update is through the control panel, however there are other tools, such as Local Group Policies and the command line. For instance, to perform a manual check for updates from the command line issue the command Wuauclt.exe /detectnow.
Although most Windows 7 users go to Control Panel to configure basic Windows Updates settings, it is worth noting that from the Local Group Policy Editor you can further fine tune Windows Updates with additional settings that are not found in the Control Panel.
Some critical security updates in Windows 7 (and Windows Vista) will force you to install them by removing the Shutdown button and adding Install Updates and then Shut Down computer. With this registry tweak you can make sure that the Shutdown button will always appear:
At the end of September ’10 Microsoft released two recommended and one important Windows 7 updates that may fail to install automatically on Windows 7 Enterprise editions.
The most important update – Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2158563) resolves issues caused by revised daylight saving time and time zone laws in several countries. This update enables your computer to automatically adjust the computer clock on the correct date in 2010. Microsoft recommends to deploy the most current Windows cumulative time zone update to guarantee the consistency of the time zone database on all systems.
Another failing update refers to the Compatibility View functionality of Windows Internet Explorer 8 – Update for Internet Explorer 8 Compatibility View List for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB2362765)
This Compatibility View List update helps make Web sites that are designed for older browsers look better in Internet Explorer 8. When users install Internet Explorer 8, they will be given a choice about opting-in to a list of sites that should be displayed in Compatibility View. After you install this item, you may have to restart Internet Explorer.
While the third failing update refers to the prevention of unexpected shutdowns or blue screens when you are using a USB video device. After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer. – Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems (KB979538)