Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Using Maintenance Windows in ConfigMgr 2012

In ConfigMgr 2007 it was already possible to configure Maintenance Windows on collections. With Maintenance Windows a Service Window can be set, for installation and/or rebooting functionality. In ConfigMgr 2012 this functionality is still available, which is very handy for Patch Management on production systems. That way you are sure about installation and/or rebooting times, which are usually not during working hours.

Maintenance Windows can be set at the following ways:
  • In ConfigMgr 2007: Rightclick on the collection, and choose: "Modify Collection Settings" > Maintenance Windows tab
  • In ConfigMgr 2012: Rightclick on the collection, and choose: "Properties" > Maintenance Windows tab

Choose to create a new schedule here, and set properties for the right Service Window. I my case this will be every saturday between 13:00 and 17:00

When configuring Patch Management jobs in ConfigMgr 2012, properties can be set for Maintenance Windows. In the "Automatic Deployment Rule", used for Patch Management, there can be options set to "perform activities outside any defined maintenance windows". Normally this will not be the case.
There can also be options set to suppress reboots on servers and workstations. That way Software Updates will be installed within the Maintenance Window, while rebooting the system will not be done. Then this will be an manually action.

Now have a look at the server where Software Updates are advertised. When Scan Cycle has been run, and updates are needed for the system, an icon will be available in the System tray.
When rightclick on the icon, two options will be available. "Open Software Center" and "View Required Software". Both will have different functionality. When starting "Open Software Center" the following is possible:
There are Software Updates available, but not installed yet. This because of the Maintenance Window! Status here says: "Past due - will be installed". You can also have a look at Options here. There will be settings available for Remote Control and Power Management also.

When choose Schedule here, it is still possible to overrule the Maintenance Window, and install software directly. This is a manually action which can be done per system, which is most of times not recommended. Just leave it.

When starting "View Required Software" it is possible to change software installation settings also. They will be also available in Software Center > Options screen. Again there is a possibility here to install them directly, or "outside the configured business hours".

Best thing is leave these settings alone, and trust on the already configured Maintenance Window. That way you can make sure that installation and/or rebooting is only done within the Service Window!


  1. Would we still be able to reinstall and patch a server if it crashes, or would the maintenance window delay this task?

    1. Deployments and reboots are allowed only within a maintenance window. So when a server crashes it will wait till the next window. You can create an exception however for that single server.

  2. Hi,

    How can we deploy software distribution packages through priority wise.

    Like I have 2 iexplorer updates as ms180 and ms 182. How can we make ms180 should be installed first and then ms182 installed priority type in single pakage

    My mail id

    1. Hi, this can be done in SCCM 2012 using an application. Then you can define dependencies as well. When you're using SCCM 2007, I should prefer using a task sequence for that. Otherwise it's hard to define which update is installed first..

  3. How does it handle if you have 50 servers in a collection all with the same maintenance window? Do they all install at once or does it randomize them starting so not everything installs and reboots at the same time? I would hope I could set some sort of random time delay or that there was one built in but I can't find any information about it.

    1. My guess is it will install at once, and reboots are done when updates are installed on randomize base. Cannot believe they will be rebooted at once, but must check that.

    2. I know it's an old thread, but you most make sure the randomization is not deactivated from client settings (Computer Agent). It seem disabled by default

  4. is there a way to set separate windows for specific software installs? I have scripted a way to bypass PGP for a client and I want to have the "enable" script to run between 7:00 pm and 5:30 am, while the "disable" script to run between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm.