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Software Updates

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HSU has adopted Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager to automate the process of deploying Windows software updates to HSU-owned machines across campus. SCCM gives you the option to install required updates immediately or defer the update to a time that's more convenient to you - this can be helpful as most updates require that you restart your machine to complete the update process. However, you must install the updates by the deadline specified in SCCM, or the update service will take place automatically, including any necessary system reboot.

In certain circumstances, you may need to take some action to enable an update to proceed; check the Alert Notification notes at the food of this page for what to expect in those situations.

Windows updates will normally be deployed monthly, starting on the second Tuesday of the month, but there may be occasions when an emergency update needs to be deployed to secure the networks. 

Windows users will find instructions below on how to use this service; Mac users should refer to Software Update Services for Mac for more information on keeping their systems updated.

How to use SCCM

Whenever mandatory software updates become available, you will see a pop-up message in the bottom right of your screen:

System Tray screenshot  Pop-up message

Click on the pop-up to go to the SCCM Management Screen.

Now you can decide whether to install the updates now or wait until a more convenient time. Click OK to begin the installation immediately or REMIND ME LATER to defer the update installation. Note that you must install the updates by the date specified at the top of the screen or they will be installed automatically.

Software center window


Most monthly updates require a reboot to complete the process; if this is the case, a pop-up will notify you:

Restart Required screenshot

You can control the timing of the reboot by clicking on the pop-up. This action will display the screen below, which offers you three options: Restart now, Remind me in X hours (a delay of up to 10 hours can be set), or CANCEL out of the process.

Restart Your Computer screen shot

Note that, if you click CANCEL, you will receive periodic reminders to restart your system. When you reach the last 15 minutes of the 10-hour restart grace period, a final notification window will appear:


Once the timer on this window has started to count down to automatic restart, you have 15 minutes to save any active tasks and close the application(s) you have been using.

View Update Status

Follow these steps to track the status of your updates:

  1. Click the SCCM system tray icon.


  2. When the SCCM management window appears, click the Installation Status tab.

    Installation status screen shot

The status field for each scheduled update appears as Waiting to install, InstallingInstalled, Pending restart, or Failed

Note: If an update has failed, you may need to restart your computer and run the installation process again. If the problem continues, please submit a ticket to the Technology Help Desk at

A Note on Alert Notifications

Most software updates are applied quietly in the background, and you don't even know they're happening. Occasionally, however, updates require a specific set of circumstances, which means that you may need to close a particular application to allow the update to proceed. In these instances, you'll see a series of pop-up windows explaining what you need to do. The example below shows what is required for a Java update to be applied if you happen to be running Internet Explorer; other circumstances may present different messages, but the sequence will remain the same.

The messages are pretty self-explanatory but if you need any assistance, please call the Technology Help Desk at x4357.