How to Programmatically Install AU When It’s Part of a Service Pack

To use Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS), you need to have Automatic Update (AU) installed on the client machines. One way to install AU is to upgrade your Windows XP computers to Service Pack 1 (SP1) and your Windows 2000 computers to SP3. During this upgrade, AU installs automatically. Here’s an example of how you can programmatically install AU as part of Win2K SP3:

  1. Create a shared folder on your network called w2ksp3. Download w2ksp3.exe from and save it to the folder you just created.
  2. Open a command shell window, and change the directory to the w2ksp3folder. Run the command
  3. w2ksp3.exe –x

    and confirm the folder in which you want to unpack the files.

  4. Open the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. If you want to deploy SP3 to every computer in your domain, select the root of your domain. If you want to limit SP3 to a group of computers, select the appropriate organizational unit (OU). Right-click the selected domain or OU and select Properties. In the Properties dialog box, select the Group Policy tab. Create a Group Policy Object (GPO) or edit an existing one.
  5. In Group Policy Editor (GPE), maneuver to Computer Configuration, Software Settings, Software installation. Right-click Software installation and select New\Package. In the Open dialog box, enter the Universal Naming Convention (UNC) name of the w2ksp3 folder and click Open to display the subfolders that w2ksp3.exe created in your w2ksp3 folder.
  6. Double-click the i386 folder, then double-click the Update folder, where you’ll find the update.msi file. Update.msi contains all the information Win2K needs to install SP3 automatically. Select update.msi and click Open. When Win2K asks whether you want to Assign or use Advanced options, select Assign and click OK. Win2K then configures the GPO to automatically deploy SP3 to every computer to which that group policy applies.

To see the deployment in action, reboot one of your Win2K computers. After the OS software loads but before you can log on, Win2K installs SP3. After the installation is complete, Win2K reboots again. Before long, all your computers will have AU installed.

TAGS: Security
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