New 2012 Server Suddenly Reboots

With Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 after an update is ran you have three days to reboot the system or it will automatically reboot itself. While this is OK for desktop operating systems and end users to have to reboot their computers(because lets face it I don’t know anybody who works 72 hours straight), this can be really frustrating when it happens right in the middle of the day as everybody is working.
server 2012 restarting
Luckily you can schedule Windows Update to run at a predefined time and reboot automatically so you don’t have to worry about either rebooting your servers manually or manually installing the updates and rebooting the servers in the middle of the night.
These update rules can be set in group policy. To do this you need to create a policy that applies to the servers that you want to schedule updates and reboots for then edit the policy and navigate to:
Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update
  • Edit the Configure Automatic Updates Policy
  • Set the Policy to “4” Auto download and schedule the install
  • Deselect Install during automatic maintenance
  • Set 6 – Every Friday for the scheduled install day
  • Set 22:00 for the scheduled install time (or whichever time you choose appropriate)
You will also need to edit the policy that controls update reboots which is:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Update\Always automatically restart at the scheduled time
Set this one to “Enabled”
Something to be aware of is that if you are running Hyper-V from a domain joined computer you should have different update cycles setup so that your physical servers are not rebooting while your VMs are updating.
You can also make staggered updates across different servers by making multiple policies and associating them with different server groups.
Posted in: