Force Windows Server 2012 to reboot after Windows Update has installed

One of the most annyoing «feature» of Windows Server 2012 is that after windows update has run and installed new updates it will delay reboot up to 3 days. After that it will start to give a warning that the server will be rebooted in 15 min. with a counter on the screen. There are many suggestions to stop this temporary such as a disable the Windows Update service but I don’t find this to work in my cases. The only thing that help is to log off (or lock the screen), then the counter will temporary be disabled.. Until the next time you login…

But there is a solution, or a new «feature» as Microsoft likes to call it (Yippee, a new feature which has been on all Microsoer Server OS the last 15 years..). To use the new «feature» you must install the followin windows update:

BTW: in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 the update is already included so you just need to change the GPO like I suggest in this article. which, of course, you already have since it’s 6 monthsd by now (march 2014) and you are a good systemadministrator, right…? 🙂

Then you will have some new settings in the GPO (Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update). Create a new gpo and link it to the OU where you have your server you want this to apply. In SMB that usually means the only server, which could be find under the Domain Controller OU.. The reason for not link it to the root of the domain is that many actually finds the new updates to be good for workstation etc. By linking it to the OU it gives us more control.

Scenario Recommended configuration
Force updates and restarts at a specific time. For example:

  • Install updates on Friday nights at 11PM
  • Force a restart soon after installation
Use the Configure Automatic Updates policy:

  • Enable the policy
  • Use option #4 – Auto download and schedule the install
  • Deselect “Install during automatic maintenance”
  • Set “6 – Every Friday” for the scheduled install day
  • Set “23:00” for the scheduled install time

Use the Always automatically restart at the scheduled time policy:

  • Enable the policy
  • Configure the timer to the desired value (default is 15 minutes)

Here is the configuration with some screenshots

For more information, take a look at this blog where I have got all this information to this blogpost:

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