Network Notices

"Unannounced Microsoft upgrades"

posted 5-30-07


Most of you have probably noticed the totally automated Microsoft upgrades that take place over the noon hour.  The upgrades are upgrades to the operating system.  They are very important upgrades as they often deal with PC system security and/or operational effectiveness.  And, true to Microsoft form, once we apply the upgrade and make it available we are required to select a time frame for the install to take place on the local PC.  In order for the install to happen the local PC must be on.  That poses a problem for us.  We do not want office computers on when an employee is not on campus.  Therefore we require that office computers be turned off after hours.  The problem for us is to try to find the best time to force the upgrades.  We have selected the noon hour as the time that creates the least difficulty for our users.  And, we are allowed a 30 minute grace period for forcing the upgrade install to take place.  We are utilizing the maximum amount of grace period time allowed by the system  And, almost all of these upgrades require that the system be rebooted after they are installed in order for them to be effective.  This creates yet another problem. 
The frequency of these upgrades vary and are unpredictable.  We have received as many as three or four in a given week.  So, there is really no way for us to plan for this or announce a local PC downtime.  We are also unable to allow each end user to select a time frame that suits there needs the best.  When you get the pop-up on your screen that this is going to happen you have approximately 30 minutes before your local PC will automatically reboot.  Please be aware that you should immediately start to save work you wish to keep.
We are sorry about this, but it is totally out of our control.
Dennis Linster
Chief Information Officer
Wayne State College


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