Tuesday, 16 July 2013

ConfigMgr 2012 / SCCM 2012 SP1 Step by Step Guide Part 15a: Software Updates Notification behaviour

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Part 15a of my ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Step by Step Guide describes the notification behaviour and user experience of software update deployments. Please read in conjunction with Part 15 of this guide - Software Updates (Microsoft).

The following screenshots show the behaviour using ConfigMgr 2012 default settings.


Client Settings
Open Client Settings > Computer Agent



See options

Deployment deadline greater than 24 hours – remind user every 48 hours
Deployment deadline less than 24 hours – remind user every 4 hours

Deployment deadline less than 1 hour – remind user every 15 minutes


See restart options


Display temporary notification to the user that indicates the interval before the user is logged off or before the computer restarts – 90 mins

Display a dialog box that the user cannot close which displays the countdown interval before the user is logged off or before the computer restarts – 15 mins

Deployment


I like to choose the option above when deploying the updates - show all notifications to the user and show in software center.

I also like to configure update deployments with a deadline of 1 week away (this is the default setting).

Updates available

When the device retrieves policy the user is notified that updates are available. 




User receives notification. The user is invited to "Click here for options".


If the user "clicks for options" they are informed that updates are available with a deadline of 1 week. They are invited to "Apply all required changes now" or can click to "Remind me later". Most users will choose "Remind me later".



The software update information is available in the Software Center. 


Deadline

When the deadline arrives the updates are downloaded to the computer cache. Note that this does not happen exactly at the deadline time.


It is not a great idea to deploy updates to thousands of machines at exactly the same time. Therefore each client adds a random time of up to two hours to the installation specific deadline time. This random additional time isn't configurable. (Note that Deadline Randomization is now disabled by default in SP1).




Restart

Now the restart countdown commences (90 minutes by default). 


The user is notified.




The required restart can be seen in the Software Center


Click the balloon notification to see the dialog box. The user can Hide the notification at this time. Note that even when the balloon notification disappears the restart timer remains in the system tray. The user can click on the restart timer icon in the system tray at any time to open the dialog box (assuming of course you haven't hidden notifications in the system tray).


User receives additional notification of pending restart, which can be hidden.



Countdown has entered last 15 minutes. The user is notified by a dialog box and the notification cannot be hidden or minimised. It will remain in the foreground until the computer restarts. All other applications remain in the background - no excuses for the user.

45 comments:

  1. Hi,

    The temporary notification for me is a Balloon notification only and not dialog box notification. Whereas I am getting the dialog box at deadline. How to get dialogbox for temp notification also?

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  2. The balloon notification is the standard reminder behaviour and I'm quite sure that it can't be changed. The computer restart notification will always be a dialog box.

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  3. But in the screenshots mentioned above has the hide option enabled for the Dialog box... but in my case it is greyed out when the dialog box opens up at the deadline

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  4. The "Hide" button becomes greyed out 15 minutes before the computer restarts.

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  5. That's because you had setup the deadline for 15 minutes. But I am asking about how you are getting a dialogbox pop up before the deadline?
    For us, the Initial popup is only a balloon notification and we are getting dialog box only after the deadline for which the hide option is greyed out.

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  6. No Mahesh. I set my deadlines for 1 week into the future. When the deadline is reached (+ a period of randomisation up to 2 hours) the software updates are downloaded and installed. At that point the 90 minute restart countdown commences. The user receives a balloon notification to tell them. You have to click the notification to see the dialog box. You will see that the "Hide" button is available. When the restart is 15 minutes away the users actually get prompted by a dialog box this time which they cannot hide.
    Perhaps my blog wasn't clear enough but I have edited that now

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  7. Also Mahesh don't confuse deadline with restart timer.

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  8. Hi Gerry,

    Do you know if there is an easy way to add a "Snooze" or postpone option within this box isntead of forcing the users to restart? Thanks!

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  9. Hi Jake,

    The default settings already allow users to postpone for 75 mins (they cannot postpone for the last 15). You can increase this value of you wish. You can also implement maintenance windows to control when updates can be applied.

    ConfigMgr 2012 R2 has introduced Software Updates Maintenance Windows (previously a Maintenance Windows would apply to all deployments - updates, applications and OSD.

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  10. By default 90 mins so max is 24 hrs but i need it for 80 hrs how to do ?

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  11. 1440 mins is the maximum allowed time to display a temporary notification to the user. There is nothing that can be done about that. What are you trying to achieve with the 80 hours?

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  12. Hello sir,

    Thanks for nice article that you placed,

    I was especially looking how to deploy software to the client. without affecting the client something of mark. then does not need to press. Install Client
    sorry for bad english.

    I hear from you

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    Replies
    1. I'm sorry. I don't understand the question.

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    2. i need to know how i can deploy a software whithout the user mark somethink.

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    3. Are you asking how to deploy updates without the user being notified? I'm not sure why you want to do that. However, when you are deploying you can choose to "Hide all notifications" (User Experience dialog box).

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  13. Hi Gerry........thanks for the great blog.....not sure why microsoft is not providing the functionality to let users postpone reboot after getting the dialog box notification as its possible with WSUS using GPO. Users dont really bother in case of baloon notifications. Any idea how can we achieve that in SCCM 2012 using GOP ?

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    Replies
    1. Are you talking about the last 15 minute countdown dialog box? This is by design. The idea is to enforce compliance if the users keeps ignoring and postponing the notifications.

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  14. Gerry, does this sound right? After the patch/update is applied and ConfigMgr restarts the system when I log on after the restart I am prompted again for a restart??? Might be only one patch/update with this behavior, still checking on that.

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    Replies
    1. This sounds normal. Sometimes one update could depend on another update being installed first. This can happen if you haven't patched in a while.

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  15. Hi Gerry. Great post. If a user is on vacation and gets back after the deadline. he then logs on. what happends next then?

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    Replies
    1. If the computer was turned on all the updates will already have been installed. If not they will install (if the deadline has been reached) and the 90 minute restart counter will commence.

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  16. Is there a way to make temporary notification higher than 1440 minutes ? thanks.

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  17. I'm having problem with the last 15 minute window. I have the deployment set to show all notifications but I can't seem to get the window to pop up. I am only able to produce balloon windows. Would this be due to it running within a maintenance window?

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    Replies
    1. It's possible John. You only see the 15 minute countdown when you are forcing the installation by using a deadline.

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    2. Gerry, thanks for the response. I'll try a second test group with just the deadline and no maintenance window and see how that goes with the user side restart notification.

      The whole maintenance window methodology MS introduced seems largely pointless in operation from my testing so far. With my initial tests I thought putting a deadline past 3 maintenance windows would have the patches install during those windows, but nope, it didn't use the window till after the deadline. Add in the not displaying restart notifications I'm experiencing I fail to see what MS was attempting to do with them if everything is dependent on the deadline date anyway.

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    3. I disagree John. I think it works well. I typically only use MWs for servers. Deadlines are exactly what they say - they will install updates and reboot if users have not done it first. In a nutshell you find that updates will install during the first MW after the deadline.

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    4. I can see your point regarding using them for servers. For my testing for workstations however I doubt I will use them as it's much simpler to set the deadline. With the notifications users can always use the install outside my business hours options prior to the deadline to minimize inconvenience.

      But aside from that it seems I've discovered my culprit for the non-notification. The SCnotification.exe only seems to start when the user is defined in a local security group.So far administrators is the only group I've tested and it works perfectly when the user is in there. I'm proceeding to test others to find the lowest needed.

      It's not throwing any errors that I can find in any of the logs. Just doesn't start. Very odd. Repeatable on different machines as well.

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    5. Hi, Is it possible to increase the temporary notification higher than 1440 minutes ??

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    6. No, 1440 mins is the maximum.

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  18. What if a new machine was added to network and there software updates deployment that are active and have deadlines that are past the current date? what is the behavior for this?

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    1. The behaviour would be exactly as you'd expect. After a period of randomisation (up to 2 hrs) the updates would download and install. Then the restart countdown would commence.

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    2. Ah this is the behavior that I'm testing. I see a restart time and no notification as of about 90 minutes.

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  19. Hey Gerry
    We are on a SCCM2012 R2 CU2 system and we exhibit strange behaviors when we deploy updates as far as the restart notifications go.

    We roll our updates our to a test group with no deadlines, just a mandatory time and they all seem to happen just fine. We then roll the same updates out to our fleet of 3500 PCs with a 7 day deadline starting on a Thursday night at 10pm.

    Users seem to be a slack bunch and usually let the deadline come around and what happens then is a mystery.

    If the PC is powered off when the deadline evening comes around and then powered on any time after the deadline hass expired, the updates seem to install automatically but the operator is not notified of a restart prompt until the final 60secs of the 60min countdown.

    If they instigate the install of the updates manually themselves, all seems to work as you have described above.

    Sorry this is a bit long but we are so confused with this issue.

    Richard

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    Replies
    1. That is certainly unexpected behaviour and I've not seen it before. Be careful though. Users don't read every notification they get and don't always tell you the full story.

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  20. Great post! I have two questions:

    1) The "Software changes are required" bubble notification. Before any deadline, does that stay noticeable until the user clicks it? Or does it disappear, only to be come an icon? If it disappears, is there an interval that is will re-notify you? My fear is that end users will miss it if they are away for a long period of time.

    2) If you choose to "Apply all required changes now" AND click "Restart my computer automatically", it shows the restart bubble notification and when clicked on, it asked if you want to "Restart now" or "Snooze and remind again in 1,2 or 4 hours. It also states you can "click Cancel to restart your computer later without receiving reminders. If "Cancel" is click, when is "later"? The deadline???

    Some of the wording on these notifications are very misleading.

    Any insight would be appreciated!

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    Replies
    1. 1. The notification will disappear. Notification intervals are configured in Client Settings > Computer Agent. I've shown the default settings above.

      2. Later is whenever the user wants to install the updates. It could be the deadline if they don't do it before.

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    2. Thank you!

      So, I deployed some updates to a test user. She does not get the "Software required" notification bubble. Updates are in Software Center. If I login to her PC, I see the bubble.

      Any ideas as to why she cant get the notification and I can. The only difference is I am a domain admin and she is a local admin on her PC.

      This is deiving me nuts!

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    3. Being domain administator doesn't make any difference here. All users should see the notification. It's set in the Client Settings for the device.

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    4. Then I am stumped. No regular domain user is getting the "software changes are required" notification. If I log into their PC, it pops up within 2 minutes of me logging in.

      I did enable a GPO setting to "Allow non-administrators to receive update notifications". That seemed to work, but only after the first login after a reboot. It did not work when I deployed more updates, with the user still logged in. They show in SC but no notifications. If I reboot and login again, the notification pops up.

      Wierd, huh?

      I have notifications set to "Yes" in client settings. Else, I wouldnt see them when I log in either. Also, the deployment is set to show all notifications.

      Delete
  21. On the note above Gerry, should the type of deployment be set to "available" after the adr has created the software update groyup and also the deployment . If you go into the deployment the deployment is set to required. I have also seen this situation where the user is not notified of software updates available despite being set in the adr to notify in software center and client settings . Any thoughts of why the users would not get the notifications ?

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  22. Hi Gerry, great post thank you for writing it. I have a situation that I was hoping you could shed some light on.

    In our domain we have recently received complaints that users are seeing a 60 minute timer that their computer will be restarted. This is the dialog box that the user can not close. IT staff has told the users that this is normal behavior for updates that have reached their deadline and that they should have also received a 4 hour notification. This being the dialog box that the users can close. All users claim to have never seen the 4 hour notification. I've set up a test environment and deployed updates to 2 computers. On both computers when the deadline was reach the software updates were installed and the restart bubble appeared. When should the first and second notification windows appear with the restart timer? I believe this issue may be similar to what Richard posted on July 31, 2015. I'm currently watching the test computer and hope to see a time pop up at some point. I'll update later what I see.

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  23. Hi Gerry,

    Thanks for the post.
    We have choose "display in software center and only show notifications for computer restarts" in a software update deployment and computer restart behavior has been set in client setting as well. Still we are not receiving any restart pop-up. When we check quick launch it is showing Notification icon with restart pending status there but no notification pop-up.
    Please assist.

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  24. Hi Gerry,

    Is there anywhere we can see where the user kept snoozing the restart option before sccm force them to reboot? Is there any log that will tell us that?

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    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure that you won't find this in a log file.

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  25. Hi,

    I've configured ADR for some updates with *immediate* deployment deadline.
    The deployment is allowed to install updates outside maintenance window (past the deadline), but not reboot.
    It works fine - once updates are available, PCs install them at the earliest chance.
    However, when the maintenance window is approaching, there is no 'pop up window that cannot be closed' informing users of an upcoming automated/force reboot. (the pop up window is supposed to appear 6 hours before reboot)

    Is this expected behavior?

    Seems like users are not prompted of reboots if it occurs within a maintenance window? (or if the updates were installed past the deadline)

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