On August 23 we published an article in Intercom, ITS Remote Updates for Windows Computers. Since then we have been using an automatic process to "push out" critical updates for the Windows XP operating system.
Users should periodically be seeing pop-up messages indicating that new updates are ready to be installed. Users have the option to install the updates and/or reboot as necessary at a later time.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in important Windows updates not being installed in a timely manner on faculty and staff computers. This has recently had a direct impact on the IC community with last week's outbreak of the Nachi virus on academic and administrative machines.
To ensure that College-owned computers are kept as up-to-date as possible, it is imperative that updates be installed as soon as they are made available. We have made an important change to the way the automatic update process works.
New Update Process
When updates are required users will be notified shortly after logging in that the updates are about to be installed. Users will have the option of installing or deferring (deferment is strongly discouraged) the updates within a five-minute time frame. If the update prompt is not responded to within five minutes, the updates will be installed automatically.
Some updates will prompt the user to reboot and the same five-minute rule will apply. Rebooting can be deferred if that option is selected within five minutes; otherwise the computer will reboot automatically. Again, we highly recommend that everyone reboot as soon as possible.
We would also like to urge users to make it a habit to shut down their computers at the end of every work day. This has several benefits: It allows any Windows updates to take effect at next boot up; it ensures that new virus updates are automatically installed at next login; it gives computers a "fresh start" from day to day; and it conserves electricity.
Also, if you have been deferring the updates until now, it could take your machine approximately a half hour to catch up with all the updates that are currently available for installation. It is important that you take the time to allow the updates to be installed. From now on, new updates will generally only need to be installed about once a month and should install quite quickly.
If you have any questions please contact the ITS Helpdesk, 4-3282.
Contributed by Wendy Pearle