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Automatic Updates Windows 2000 / XP

Protecting and securing a computer is more than just performing data backups and virus scans it is also ensuring that the latest patches and security fixes are applied to the operating system. There are several methods for downloading and applying the new operating system patches. One method is to manually download and install the patches when released the other method is to use automatic updates to automate the process.

The following instructions explain how to implement automatic updates in Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Windows 2000

In order to use automatic updates in Windows 2000 the system needs to have service pack 3 (SP3) or higher installed.

Steps to Check Service Pack Level:

  1. Start | Settings | Control Panel
  2. Double-click System
  3. The service pack information is listed under the General Tab

If the system is not patched with at least SP3 then the system needs to be upgraded before implementing automatic updates. To obtain the most recent service pack, which is currently SP4, use the link at the bottom of the article to obtain the service pack.

If the system has SP3 or greater installed then the automatic update option is available.

Steps to Configure System with Automatic Updates:

  1. Start | Settings | Control Panel
  2. Double-click Automatic Updates
  3. Select the option (listed below) for Automatic Updates

Automatic Update Options:

There are three options available for downloading and installing automatic updates. The first option notifies before downloading and installing any new updates. The second option automatically downloads the updates and sends a notification before installation. The third option automatically downloads the updates and installs based on a schedule.

The first option requires full user interaction to for downloading and installing the updates. The second option requires partial user interaction for installing the update. The third option allows the entire process to be automated with no user interaction necessary this is the recommended option.

Windows XP

Windows XP is configured with the automatic update feature already installed. To ensure that the most recent automatic update software is installed it is recommended that the system is patched with at least SP2. To obtain SP2 use the link at the bottom of the page.

Steps to Check Service Pack Level:

  1. Start | Right-click My Computer | Click Properties
  2. The service pack information is listed on the General Tab

Steps to Configure System with Automatic Updates:

  1. Start | Control Panel - depending on the view:
    • System | Automatic Updates Tab
    • Performance and Maintenance | System | Automatic Updates Tab
  2. Select the option (listed above) for Automatic Updates

Windows 2000 SP4

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/sp4/default.mspx

Windows XP SP2

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/

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