Software Updates (Windows)

What is Patch Tuesday?

"Patch Tuesday" is a term for the day Microsoft Releases their monthly security patches. This is typically the second Tuesday of every month. These patches include both minor, and major fixes for known security vulnerabilities, as well as other product updates, feature enhancements, and general updates.

Why do I need to update or patch my computer?

A computer without updates presents a significant security vulnerability, both to yourself, and to the entire campus. Infected computers can in turn infect, or attack other computers, send personal (and confidential) information to third parties, and cause many other potenially severe issues. Patching RIT computers helps protects you, and the Institute, from these known vulnerabilities. Additionally, RIT Standards mandate that all computers be compliant with the latest security patches and updates.

What action is required on my part?

The instructions below will familiarize you with the patching process.

When will my computer upgrade or patch?

Wednesday morning after a Patch Tuesday, your computer will begin to display radio dialog boxes periodically, informing you that updates are available.

You can click on these to self-schedule the patches to suit your schedule. ITS Recommends that you click on this prompt and "self-schedule" as described below. Alternatively, these messages can be ignored, and the updates will be deferred.

If you click on the dialog box:

You will be presented with a dialog box similar to the one below. You can install the updates immediately, or choose to install them at a time that suits your schedule, referred to "Outside my Configured Business Hours". Optionally, you can select to restart your computer immediately, or delay the restart for ~10 hours.

We recommend selecting the following options:

  • Apply all required changes outside my configured business hours
  • Restart my computer automatically if needed = Yes

This will install the updates for you during the window you specify. If you select the "Restart my computer automatically" checkbox, it allows the computer to reboot during this time as well. This is especially important/relevant for the patch cycles that require multiple reboots to complete, as the agent will keep applying updates and rebooting multiple times if needed. Using this method, you can schedule the updates to happen when you will not be here, so interference with your work day will be at a minimum.

If you do not wish to install the updates now, select "Remind me Later" which will close the dialog box. It will continue to appear in your notification area periodically, and can be selected again at any time.

If you use the above option(s) to manually schedule or apply the updates around your own schedule, per the above, and the whole process, including the required restart, completes prior to the following Thursday (9 days after patches are released) at 12pm, then your monthly patching is complete, and the rest of this document should not apply!

  NOTE: In certain cases, there may be multiple restart(s) required for a specific months patches. This is because occasionally, one patch will depend on another being installed first, which means you may be prompted to restart multiple times before all patches are successfully installed. For this reason, we recommend using the "Outside my Business Hours", and "Restart my computer automatically if needed" as described above. You may need to do this multiple times in a single patch cycle, but generally, never more than 2-3 times per patch cycle.

If you do not click on the dialog box:

The dialog box will continue to pop-up periodically you can continue to defer these updates by ignoring these messages.

Mandatory Patches

9 days after patches are released, on the following Thursday at 12pm, if you have not yet installed the required patches, they will install automatically. This installation will happen in the background, and will not interfere with your work. Upon completion, you will receive a radio dialog box and icon in your system tray informing you that updates have been installed, and that a restart is required.

The icon in your system tray will look like this:

In addition to "balloon prompts" informing you about a restart, you will also see the below message pop up from time to time.

It is necessary to restart your computer to finalize these updates. You can continue to work until the timeout expires, at which point the machine will restart to complete the update process. This restart box can be hidden (and will reappear occasionally) until approximately 9pm. The final 59 minute countdown box displayed will not disappear, and is not able to be hidden. The countdown timer is designed to ensure your machine will restart sometime after 10pm on Thursday, so that the restart doesn't interfere with your normal workday, or classes.

Once your machine is restarted, updating is complete!

Potential Issues

Machine restarting daily to apply updates

Occasionally, a patch may fail to install. This will result in it retrying weekly until it completes successfully. If you notice your machine prompting to restart, or failing updates often, please contact us and let us know. We will work with you to ensure that the update gets installed properly, which will fix the issue you are having.