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Applying Windows Patches Manually

Rackspace manages the patching cycle for many of our Windows Server customers, including urgent patches for security vulnerabilities. Those urgent patches are applied during the regular patching cycle. For those customers for whom we do not manage patching cycles, or for those who wish to apply security urgent patches out-of-cycle, we have provided the following instructions.

Step 1: Before starting the patching process, ensure that (1) you have a recent backup, and (2) your services are configured to restart on reboot.
To utilize Cloud Backup for Cloud Servers, the following article may prove useful: https://support.rackspace.com/how-to/cloud-backup/
The following article describes how to ensure your servers have a successful reboot: https://community.rackspace.com/products/f/25/t/4319

Step 2: Determine if the patch has already been installed:

For Windows Server 2003, 2003 R2, 2008 and 2008 R2
Click on the Start Menu, in the search field, type “cmd.exe”. Once the command prompt window opens, run the command to list all installed patches: wmic qfe | find "XXXXXXX" If the patch KBXXXXXXX is returned, then the patch is already installed on the server and you must ensure that the server is rebooted as described in Step 4. (Be sure to replace "XXXXXXX" with the actual KB number for the patch you’re applying, and to wrap the KB Number in quotes.)

C:\Users\myuser>wmic qfe | find "XXXXXXX"
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=XXXXXXX     hostname  Security Update
       KBXXXXXXX               NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM   10/15/2014

*Windows Server 2003 is currently only being updated through direct support agreements with Microsoft. Please work with your Microsoft representative for support agreements on Server 2003.

For Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
For mouse users, move the cursor of the mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen and activate the Charms bar, click on the search icon, type “powershell” in the search field and press enter on your keyboard. Once the powershell window opens, type the command Get-Hotfix -id KBXXXXXXX to list if the patch is installed. If the patch KBXXXXXXX is listed, then the patch is already installed on the server and you must ensure that the server is rebooted as described in Step 4.

PS C:\Users\myuser> Get-HotFix -id KBXXXXXXX

Source        Description      HotFixID      InstalledBy          InstalledOn
------        -----------      --------      -----------          -----------
hostname      Security Update  KBXXXXXXX     NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM  10/15/2014...

Step 3: If the patch has not been installed,
Download it.
- If the patch is urgent, Rackspace will notify you separately, and provide direct download links for the patch. Alternatively Microsoft’s latest Security Bulletins are available at Technet.
- Double click the downloaded patch to start the installation.
- When prompted to install the Security Update (KBXXXXXXX), click on “Yes”

Step 4: Once the patch has been applied, you should perform a reboot of your server.
For Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
Click on the Start Menu, in the search field, insert “cmd”. Once the command prompt window opens, type the following command shutdown /r /now to restart the server immediately.
For Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
For mouse users, move the cursor of the mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen and activate the Charms bar, click on the search icon, and type “powershell” in the search field. Once the powershell window opens, type the command Restart-Server to restart the server immediately.

Customers Subscribed to Windows Server Update Services

If you are not sure whether your system is configured to pull the updates and patches from Rackspace Windows Server Update Services, you can use the following call at the command prompt:
reg query HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

For devices configured to pull from Rackspace Windows Server Update Services servers, you will see the results include:
http://microsoftupdate.ord1.rackspace.com, where “ord1” may vary based on the data center you are pulling from.

Any results set up to pull from Microsoft should show a URL ending with microsoft.com.

  • All Intensive service level devices should be pulling from the Rackspace Windows Server Update Services servers.
  • All Managed service level devices should be pulling from Microsoft.com update servers.

Note: If you are an Intensive, Managed, or Managed Operations customer, then you can also schedule this update as a maintenance through your support team.