Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science

Microsoft Updates

As a result of Microsoft's new servicing model, there are now two types of updates: monthly "quality updates" and annual "feature updates". Both are equally important, but each one delivers different sets of improvements at different times. SCS Computing Facilities runs a managed Windows environment where we receive and subsequently distribute these updates internally. 

"Quality updates" are distributed to computers in both our SCS and Andrew domains. You can follow the instructions below for monthly "quality updates." "Feature updates" are distributed to our Windows computers on the Andrew domain only. For more information on "feature update" distribution, see our Annual Windows 10 Feature Updates page.

Andrew Domain (Windows 10) - Updating via Settings

Below is the manual method to check for updates.  Updates install automatically.

  1. Open Settings.
    1. Click on the Windows Menu, also known as the Start Menu.
    2. Search for “Settings”.
    3. Click on Update & Security.
  2. Click Check for updates. 
  3. Once completed, please restart your computer.

Please Note: In June of 2021 SCS Computing Facilities migrated Windows 10 Andrew domain workstations to Intune co-management with Windows Update for Business.  This new update method does not require VPN for Microsoft updates.  You can determine the method your Andrew Windows computer updates below.  SCS domain machines use a legacy method found below.

Legacy Update Methods

Working Remotely - VPN Required

Connect via VPN at least 4 hours every week

Off-campus Andrew domain Windows computers not using Windows Update for Business will need to connect to the VPN to install updates. Please visit the Andrew Computing Services website for more information on VPN.

If you do not already have Cisco AnyConnect, install instructions are below.

Download & Install Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client

  1. Download the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file to run the installer.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to install.
  4. Uncheck all the boxes except VPN for Installation Type.

Connecting to the CMU network via VPN

  1. Connect to the Internet.
  2. Open the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client.
  3. Type and click Connect.
  4. Select the General Use Campus VPN from the Group drop-down menu.
  5. Enter your Andrew userID and password.
  6. Click OK

Legacy - Andrew Domain (Windows 10 and Windows Server) - Updating via Software Center

  1. Open Software Center.
    1. Click on the Windows Menu, also known as the Start Menu.
    2. Search for “Software Center”.
    3. Click on the Software Center desktop app.
  2. Click Updates in the upper-left sidebar.
  3. Click Install All in the upper right-hand corner of the window. 

Off-campus Andrew Windows computers will need to connect to the VPN to install updates. Please visit the Andrew Computing Services website for more information on VPN.

Please Note: Not all updates will require a reboot. The system will prompt for reboot should the installation require it. 

Legacy SCS Domain - Updating via Windows Update (Windows 10, 8.1)

If you log on to your computer using your SCS Windows user account and password, your computer is still joined to the SCS domain (which we are moving away from). Updates for these computers are managed via WSUS. You can follow the steps below for manually updating Windows. 

Updates may notify automatically via the Windows system tray, but you will find the manual update instructions below.

Please remember to restart your computer after installing update packages as they will not take effect until the computer is restarted.

Windows 10

Click Start.

  1. Open the Windows Menu, also known as the Start Menu.
  2. Type Windows Update, this will search for that term.
  3. Click on Check for updates under Best match.
  4. In the Update & Security window, click Check for updates.
    • Any available updates should be listed.
  5. Click Install now.
  6. Once completed, please restart your computer. 

Windows 8.1

  1. Go to the Start Screen screen and type windows update.
  2. Select Settings on the right.
  3. Select Windows Update on the left.
  4. Select "Check for updates now" to check for new updates.
    • If your updates are not set to automatically install, click on the purple text that lists the number of updates and you will be able to manually install them.

Updates During an SCS Domain Transition

The SCS Computing Facilities group is currently transitioning all SCS Windows computers to the Andrew domain. Because this is a multi-year process, there is currently a mix of both SCS and Andrew-bound Windows computers.

What is my computer's domain?

  1. If you wish to confirm your computer's domain, you can do the following:
  2. Click Start, and type "System" in search.
    • Click on System (result for Control Panel, under Best match in Windows 10)
  3. In the System window, look in the Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings section.
  4. This section should provide your Computer name, as well as Domain.
  5. Domain will be displayed as:
    • for the Andrew domain
    • for the SCS domain

Please Note: Restart your computer after installing update packages, as they will not take effect until the computer is restarted. 


Determine if Your Computer is Using Windows Update for Business

You can read about the SCS Computing Facilities migration to Windows Update for Business here.  Please determine your domain first.  

Please note: If you are using the SCS domain then you cannot use Windows Update for Business.  Only Andrew domain users can take advantage of this new update method.

What is my Andrew domain computer's update method?

If you wish to confirm your computer's update method, you can do the following:

  1. Click Start, and type "Access work or school" in search.
    • Click on Access work or school (under Best match in Windows 10)
  2. In the Access work or school window, click on Connected to ANDREW AD domain section.
  3. If the Info button appears you are using Windows Update for Business.  Otherwise, you are using the legacy Software Center method.