Manage laptop computers

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Because laptop computers are frequently used outside of the office, maintaining updates requires some special considerations.


If you are administering a Windows SBS 2008 network that has laptop computers that are joined to the domain and you are using Update Services to manage updates for the laptop computers, you should consider the following:

  • While it is physically connected to the Windows SBS 2008 network, the laptop computer is managed in the same way as a desktop computer that is connected to the network.

  • While it is connected to the Windows SBS 2008 network over a virtual private network (VPN) connection, the laptop computer receives updates from Update Services. However, depending on the connection speed, updating can be considerably slower than when the computer is physically connected to the network.

  • If the laptop computer is not connected to the Windows SBS 2008 network, either physically or through a VPN, the laptop computer does not receive updates from Update Services. Additionally, if the laptop computer is disconnected from the domain for 7 days or more, a red X is displayed in the Update Status column for the laptop computer on the Computers tab of the Networking page.

  • Users can keep their laptop computers up-to-date when they are directly connected to the Internet by using Microsoft Update. To do so, on the laptop computer, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click Windows Update.


If you instruct users of laptop computers to use Windows Update to keep their computers up-to-date, consider that the user might inadvertently download and install updates that you do not want to have installed on computers in your network.

  • Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 has a configuration option that client computers (including laptops) can use to continue to run compliance assessment against the WSUS server, but they must get any missing updates directly from Microsoft Update. You can use this configuration to manage update approval policy and also permit client computers to receive the update files directly from Microsoft Update. Client computer connectivity to Microsoft Update, in some cases, might be better than connectivity to the server that is running Windows SBS 2008.


If you configure client computers to use Microsoft Update, in all domain-joined client computers receive update files directly from Microsoft Update.


You must be a network administrator to complete this procedure.

To configure client computers to receive updates directly from Microsoft Update

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP1.

  2. On the User Account Control page, click Continue.

  3. In the navigation pane, click Options. In the details pane, click Update Files and Languages.

  4. Select Do not store update files locally; computers install from Microsoft Update, and then click OK.