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Patch Management FAQ


Patch Management FAQ

Does VSU have a time that updates can be installed?

Yes, the list is provided below:

  • Tuesday and Wednesday8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Thursday and Friday6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Saturday and SundayAll Day

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How does VSU update my computer?

VSU uses an application named Altiris. There is an Altiris agent installed on all computers that are on the VSU domain. This agent cannot see your files, but simply reports what type of computer you are using and what software is installed on the computer.

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How does Altiris know which updates to install on my computer?

The Altiris agent sends a daily report to the Altiris server of what software is installed on your computer. The Altiris server will then identify which updates are applicable to your computer and send those updates out.

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Is there a list of vendors that provide Altiris with updates?

Yes, the vendor list is provided below;

  • 7-Zip
  • Adobe
  • Microsoft
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Mozilla
  • Skype

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What if I have an application by a vendor that is not on the list above?

For all new software you will need to open a request by calling the Servicedesk at 804-524-5210 Monday – Friday from 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM. This will start the request process. They will not be able to install any new software or a new version without it being approved.

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How often is my computer patched/updated?

It will depend on what updates are made available by Altiris and which updates apply to your computer. Your computer will only receive the updates that are applicable to it. If there are no applicable updates available during the patch window described above then your system will simply report back that it is in compliance.

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What if I am not in the office or my computer is off when updates need to be installed?

When you return to the office or your computer it turned on it will check into Altiris and update the software and hardware inventory. Altiris will then deploy all the applicable updates to your computer when the next patch window opens. Depending on how long the computer has been off or not connected to the network the computer may require several restarts to be brought into compliance.

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Why does my computer need to be restarted, but my co-worker’s machine isn’t getting the message to restart their computer?

Not all updates require your machine to restart, some updates simply install in the background with no further action required for them to install successfully.

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Why do I keep getting the prompt to defer up to 4 hours after I have made my selection?

Each update that requires a restart to complete the installation will prompt you with the window below. Therefore you may see this prompt multiple times if applicable to your system.

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What happens after 4 hours?

Your system will start a countdown to reboot your computer. This countdown is to allow you time to save any unsaved work and close out your applications. Once the time expires your system will automatically restart.  A system restart is required for the software update installation to complete.  Because multiple updates may require a restart you may see this message again within the 4 hour window although you have already elected to defer the restart.  After 4 hours the system may automatically restart as a final step in updating your system.  If you have any questions please contact the Virginia State University Technology Servicedesk at 524-5210 Monday - Friday 7:00AM to 7:00PM.

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Why can’t VSU install updates after business hours or on the weekend?

There are a number of factors Technology Services took into account when scheduling daytime updates. The biggest challenge was we had to ensure that computers would be on in order for Altiris to receive the assessment of what patches are needed as well as to install them. Another factor was that with Faculty and Staff members having mobile devices these objects tend to be off campus after hours and on weekends which means unless they are on and connected via VPN they would not be patched/updated.

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Can I be excluded from the update process?

No. Although we will stop daytime updates during certain events such as Registration outside of this window updates must be managed and applied to all VSU managed computers.

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