Thursday, July 26, 2007

Break Corporate Policy And (gasp!) Allow Windows Update

I have a very serious confession to make. Sometimes I break corporate security policies in order update my computer. You got to love those corporate security guys and I really think they mean well, but this is one of those things I just can't go along with. Basically, a windows server administrator has the ability to enforce a group policy that prevents users from updating their computers.

This is probably fine for Joe corporate user who may unwittingly download an update that ends up wreaking havoc on his computer. However, as a developer I often need to update my computer so that I can have access to various patches and hot fixes that allow me to (gulp) improve my productivity.

Anyhow, I'm not encouraging anyone to knowingly break their company's security policy. BUT, if you must, here are the steps.
  1. Open the registry by opening Start - Run, type regedit, and click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
  3. If it doesn't exist already, create a new registry DWORD value called NoWindowsUpdate.
  4. Double click on this value and make sure the value is 0.
  5. Now you can go to Windows Update!

For more information, see Microsoft Support article:

You receive one or more error messages when the system administrator disables Windows Update or Microsoft Update

I especially like this part of the article:

"For corporate users who are connected to a corporate network
To resolve this issue, contact the local system administrator to determine whether Windows Update access is disabled by Group Policy settings."

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