WINDOWS UPDATES: (Related Questions)

What are Microsoft Windows updates?

Per Microsoft's website: "Updates are additions to software that can prevent or fix problems, enhance the security of the computer, or improve the computer's performance. We strongly recommend that you [install these updates, also known as patches,] as soon as they become available."

When / how often are updates installed on RHS computers. 

Microsoft releases updates whenever a critical patch is required or once a month on the second Tuesday of each month (whichever comes first). RHS Information Services reviews these updates and makes sure that they will not cause problems with RHS computer configurations or disrupt business in any way and approves them for release to RHS computers on the third Wednesday and Thursday of every month. RHS computers will notice that updates are available and start to process them around 4:30 p.m. on the day they are approved, or the following day (provided the computer is powered on and connected to the RHS network). 

Why did my computer reboot with no warning at 4:30 p.m.?

This time of day was chosen because updates must be processed at a time when most computers in the division are powered on and connected to the RHS network. Originally, the lunch hour was the appointed time for updates, but the timeframe was shifted to the end of day by popular request. Normally, Windows will alert you that an update is about to begin and give you the option to postpone updates if it is not a convenient time. However, in some instances, the pop-up alert does not surface to the top / active window and users can be caught unaware as the computer begins to update and reboot. (A reboot is required to complete processing of some updates.) When updates happen like this, unexpectedly, it is unfortunate and RHS Information Services has spent a lot of time researching ways to avoid this issue. However, the problem with alerts not being seen by users resides within Microsoft Windows and is not something that can be changed or configured by RHS IS.  This is why care is taken to send email notifications to all RHS team members any time Windows updates will occur, in hopes of given folks a heads-up so they can plan / be aware that an update may disrupt computer function around the end of day on the dates specified. The end-of-day timeframe was also chosen to avoid long delays and reboots at the beginning of the workday.