From the KnowledgeBase

Title:
Windows: How to change your Windows Auto Update server location
Synopsis:
Windows: How to change your Windows Auto Update server location to add or remove Princeton


Solution:

Microsoft Windows computers have a built in service called "Automatic Updates" which automatically downloads and installs updates that are critical to the health and well-being of your computer.

Faculty, Staff, and Students who have left Princeton
Once you have graduated or left the University, your Windows computer should no longer look to the Princeton server for automatic updates to your system, but instead look back to Microsoft's server (basically returning your computer settings back to factory default). Click on the following script to restore Automatic Update settings that look to the Microsoft site for updates.

http://helpdesk.princeton.edu/files/delSUSkey.vbs

After applying any of this update, you will need to reboot your computer.

Technical Details
A companion technology called Windows Software Update Services (WSUS) allows Windows computers on campus to get automatic updates from a local Princeton server, instead of from Microsoft. This makes the updating process faster for campus residents, and also ensures that Princeton computers get the updates which are appropriate for them.

If a Windows computer is a member of the Princeton Domain, it is configured to get updates from the Princeton WSUS server. If you leave campus, you should make sure that your computer's settings are changed back to receive updates from Microsoft. If you are on campus, but your computer is not a member of the Princeton Windows Domain, it is still possible to configure it to receive updates from Princeton's WSUS server.

The script removes the following keys, which contain the address of Princeton's WSUS server http://winupdate.princeton.edu along with other settings related to Automatic Updates.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU

On Campus but not Joining the Princeton Domain?
OIT recommends that your Windows computer be configured to join the Princeton domain for access to campus printers, files on central servers, and also to get system updates through a special Princeton-specific service called Windows Software Update Services, or WSUS. Instructions can be found at www.princeton.edu/domain for joining the domain, which is highly recommended.

If your computer does not join the Princeton domain, or joins another domain, you can still take advantage of Princeton's SUS by using registry files found at:

\\files\SOFTWARE\Security\SUS

These files will activate Windows Automatic Updates and change the settings to look to Princeton's WSUS server for all Windows hotfixes and service packs. After applying any of these files to your machine you will need to either reboot your machine or stop/start the "Automatic Updates" service. These files are to be used on machines that are not part of the Princeton domain, computers no longer meant to be in the domain, or computers that exist in Organizational Units (OUs) that do not have WSUS policies applied to them. They can be used on any computer running Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.

Available Reg Files and Their Definitions:

  • WSUSForce.reg
    all approved hotfixes will download and then install every day at 4:00 AM. Machine will reboot if no user is logged on. If a user is logged on they will get a 5 minute countdown to save work and then the machine will reboot.
  • WSUSForcePrompt.reg
    all approved hotfixes will download and then install every day at 4:00 AM. Machine will reboot if no user is logged on. If a user is logged on they will get a prompt to reboot the machine.** The prompt cannot be canceled.
  • WSUSPrompt.reg
    all approved hotfixes will download and then prompt any user that logs in with administrator privileges to install them. These hotfixes will not install automatically.
  • delSUSkey.vbs
    Removes all registry changes made by the above reg files and restores the previous Automatic Updates settings.

Detailed information for a technical audience regarding these policies and their ramifications can be found at kb.princeton.edu/9491

Related Links:

Last Updated:
December 14, 2015

Solution ID:
9769