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Can clients use the local server for updates rather than Windows Updates?

We have created a WAN with 38 remote sites. Each site has a W2K Server that is joined to the domain. Each site also has 5-15 client PCs running W2K Pro. Is there a way to push down Windows Updates to the local server and have the clients look at the local server for updates? I do not want to allow Internet access for the clients and also do not want the clients to join the domain. I thought SUS would work but am having no luck. Any thoughts?

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SUS would be a viable solution for you if each local server has Internet Access; it's not dependent on domain membership. Windows 2000 Professional supports SUS updates natively after SP3 (there's an easily-installed update if they're on SP2 or earlier.) However, if the clients aren't connected to a domain, you'll need to edit their local policy using 'gpedit.msc' to configure them to point to your local SUS server instead of the Windows Update server. (If they were domain members, you could do so one time via a Group Policy Object.)

If SUS simply doesn't meet your needs, you can look at a third-party patch management tool like HFNetCHKPro (, NetIQ, or many others.

This was first published in April 2004

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