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SCCM Software Updates - User Experience

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM or ConfigMgr): is the system SLCC uses to deploy Windows updates to SLCC Staff, Faculty and Lab Computers (both on and off campus).  Microsoft releases patches on the second Tuesday of each month and the Office of Information Technology (OIT) makes these updates available the following Sunday.  The updates become mandatory at midnight on that Sunday each month. These updates can approximately 15 minutes to install and require one or two automatic reboots of the computer.

There are two possible ways to install these updates (please note that off-site computers need to be both powered on and connected to the internet to receive the updated):

  1. You have the choice to initiate these updates at your convenience prior to the patch deadline on Sunday night. You can find the reminder to install the updates in your lower right task tray,
  2. Or you can simply leave your computer turned on over the weekend and it will update itself on Sunday night with no user intervention required. The computer has to be on for this to occur.

If you can't install your updates prior to the Sunday the patch becomes mandatory, your computer will install the updates the next time it is turned on and attached to the network. A warning message that your computer is installing updates and it will subsequently reboot will appear.

The below information helps describe what updates should look like and how to manually run updates.

This alert pops-up in the corner of the screen:

Software change required image

Clicking on this alert brings up a Software Center (SC) update window.  If the alert goes away before you have a chance to click on it, you can fo to the Software Center system tray icon.

 

 

This alert pops-up in the upper right corner of the screen on Windows 8 family systems:

Windows 7-style alert above the system tray in the lower-right corner:

SCCM Update Notification

 

Clicking on this alert brings up a Software Center (SC) update windows. If the alert goes away before you have a chance to click on it, you can go to the Software Center system tray icon.

SCCM Update Icon in Taskbar

Tool tip for the Software Center tray icon shows that software changes are required.

Click the tray icon to get a menu:

SCCM Software Center Menu

Click the Software Center tray icon to get a menu.

Selecting the View Required Software menu item will bring up the Software Center update window below. This shows the date and time at which the updates become mandatory, the number of updates required, and provides an opportunity to install now or delay.

Software Center Updates Dialog

The Software Center updates window.

Updates can be installed from this dialog, which is probably the easiest method. If we want to see a list of the pending software changes, click the View details link to open the Software Center.

Software Center List of Updates Example

Software center showing required software changes.

To install the needed updates from the previous dialog, we select the Apply all required changes now option and click OK. From the window above, we would check all the updates we want to install and then click Install.

As an alternate workflow, we could avoid the system tray icon altogether. We can simply start the Software Center application using Start/Search, look at the Installation Status tab, and proceed as described above.

Software Center list of available updates example

Pending updates in the Software Center's Installation Status tab.

Another alert will indicate that updates are being downloaded and the process is underway.

SCCM Update Status Indicator

Software Center alert - the update process has started.

Once the updates have finished the initial installation, if any of them require a reboot (for example, to update core OS components), an additional alert will appear to let us know.

SCCM Update Restart Required Notice

This alert lets us know that a reboot is required.

Clicking this alert brings up the Software Center computer restart window. Alternatively, we can use the Software Center tray icon again, although the icon has now changed.

SCCM Restart Required Icon in Taskbar

Software Center tray icon has changed, and the tool tip tells us a reboot is needed.

SCCM Restart Menu in System Tray

Software Center tray icon restart menu

The Software Center restart window is reasonable self-explanatory, showing the restart deadline, which is the same as the time the updates become mandatory.

SCCM Restart Options Dialog

The Software Center restart window spells out the options.

If we have waited until after the deadline to install the updates - perhaps we were out of the office for a couple days - or have delayed restarting our computer until that time, a count-down timer will appear as a ninety-minute grace period elapses.

SCCM Restart Notification

Software Center restart alerts and counts-down.

The computer will restart at the end of that grace period.

 

 

 





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