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Configuring Windows Update

Windows Update is a feature that keeps Windows Home Server up-to-date by offering power packs, operating system fixes, security patches, enhancements, and new features for download. You can check for new updates at any time by selecting Start, All Programs, Windows Update to load the Microsoft Windows Update website into the browser.

Rather than you remembering to check for updates and then trying to figure out which ones to download and install, Windows Home Server offers the Automatic Updates feature. This takes the guesswork out of updating the server by automatically checking to see whether updates are available, downloading those that are, and then installing them, all without intervention on your part. The next few sections show you how to configure Windows Update and Automatic Updates and how to check for updates from within Windows Home Server.

Configuring Windows Update via the Windows Home Server Console

When you first started Windows Home Server, the OOBE program asked you to choose a Windows Update setting. If you want to change that setting, you can do it using the Windows Home Server Console, as described in the following steps:

  1. Launch the Windows Home Server Console.
  2. Click Settings to open the Windows Home Server Settings dialog box.
  3. In the General tab, click one of the following options:
    • On—Click this option to enable the Automatic Updates feature.
    • Off—Click this option to prevent Windows Home Server from checking for new updates.
  4. Click OK to put the new setting into effect.

Configuring Windows Update via the Automatic Updates Control Panel

The Windows Home Server Console only gives you two choices for the Automatic Updates feature: on or off. If this all-or-nothing choice seems too restrictive, you can give yourself more choices by accessing the server and using the Control Panel's Automatic Updates icon. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Log in to the server and select Start, Control Panel, Automatic Updates. Windows Home Server displays the Automatic Updates dialog box, shown in Figure 4.7.
    Figure 4.7

    Figure 4.7 Use the Automatic Updates dialog box to configure Windows Home Server's automatic updating.

  2. Activate one of the following options to determine how Windows Home Server performs the updating:
    • Automatic—This option tells Windows Home Server to download and install updates automatically. Windows Home Server checks for new updates on the date (such as Every Day or Every Sunday) and time you specify. For example, you might prefer to choose a time when you won't be using your computer.
    • Download Updates for Me, but Let Me Choose When to Install Them—If you activate this option, Windows Home Server checks for new updates and then automatically downloads any updates that are available. Windows Home Server then displays an icon in the notification area to let you know that the updates are ready to install. Click the icon to see the list of updates. If you see an update that you don't want to install, deactivate its check box. Click Install to install the selected updates.
    • Notify Me but Don't Automatically Download or Install Them—If you activate this option, Windows Home Server checks for new updates and then, if any are available, displays an icon in the notification area to let you know that the updates are ready to download. Click the icon to see the list of updates. If you see an update that you don't want to download, deactivate its check box. Click Start Download to initiate the download. When the download is complete, Windows Home Server displays an icon in the notification area to let you know that the updates are ready to install. Click the icon and then click Install to install the updates.
    • Turn Off Automatic Updates—Activate this option to prevent Windows Home Server from checking for new updates.
  3. Click OK to put the new setting into effect.

Updating Windows Home Server

If you elected not to use automatic updating, you need to watch out for available updates and install the ones you want by hand. How do you watch for updates? The easiest method is to watch the Network status icon in the Windows Home Server Console. When updates are ready for download, that icon reads Critical. On a client machine, you can also monitor the Windows Home Server Tray icon in the notification area, which turns red when the network status is critical.

You then have two choices in Windows Home Server Console, as follows:

  • Click the Network status icon to open the Home Network Health dialog box, shown in Figure 4.8. If you see an item that says Windows Home Server Updates Are Ready, click Install Updates.
    Figure 4.8

    Figure 4.8 If updates are available, you can install them via the Home Network Health dialog box.

  • Click Settings to open the Windows Home Server Settings dialog box, and then, in the General tab, click Update Now.

Windows Home Server then downloads and installs the updates.

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