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Automatically download only Exchange IMF updates from Microsoft Update

Want to automatically download only Exchange IMF updates from Microsoft Update -- without having to deselect every other available update? Find out how you can.

There's been a good deal of talk among Exchange Server administrators lately about wanting the ability to download just the Intelligent Message Filter (IMF) updates from Microsoft Update -- without having to go through the hassle of deselecting every other available update.

In a recent tip, How to enable automatic Exchange IMF updates via Microsoft Update, I wrote about how to set up Windows Server and Exchange Server to automatically obtain and install updates to the Intelligent Message Filter through Microsoft Update.

The process involves little more than a registry edit and a basic understanding of how the information is downloaded and deployed. Unfortunately, that method does not provide a way to get only IMF updates based on administrator-prescribed parameters.

Related Exchange IMF resources:

Crash Course: Exchange Intelligent Message Filter

Tip: Managing the Exchange IMF archive directory

Tip: Simplified Exchange IMF Spam Confidence Level ratings for Microsoft Outlook

Reference Center: Exchange antispam software and spam filtering resources

In a post at the Microsoft Exchange Team Blog, Demystifying Exchange Server 2003 SP2 IMF updates, Scott Roberts talks about this problem and offers a detailed solution.

It involves creating and running a VBScript that uses the Windows Update API to scan for Exchange IMF updates. It then downloads and installs only any newer versions that are available.

The script can be run at a scheduled time
-- once every two weeks, for instance -- and should be configured to do so directly on the Exchange server that needs updating.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • There is no support for this script; it's entirely as-is.

  • The script is posted in the blog in UTF-8 format and needs to be saved as such. There are a couple of routines in the script that perform detection for the updater, and use strings with double-byte characters as part of the detection routine (as a way to work around possible language issues). The version of Notepad that ships with Windows Server 2003 should support Unicode/UTF-8 natively, but make sure that the script renders in the browser correctly before copying it; the browser should be set to detect UTF-8 encoding and render it properly.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight, a newsletter devoted to hints, tips, tricks, news and goodies for all flavors of Windows users.

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