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I am in the administrators group for my local Windows XP machine and I would like to get updates via http://update.microsoft.com/[1]. However, this is prevented via the group policy:

Network policy settings prevent you from using this website to get updates for your computer.

Is there anyway to override this specific policy for my machine or my user?

[1] Several installed applications are Microsoft based, but are not part of the machine standard (eg Visual studio). As such, I am not getting the updates for these applications. I could periodically go to the various application sites and look for hotfixes, but that is beyond tedious.

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Have you spoken to the admin who created the Group Policy? If you have vulnerable apps, the admin should be able to accomodate in some way. –  Dave M Feb 10 '10 at 17:02
    
I am a consultant, so my access within the organization (who I can talk to) is limited as is the scope of my influence. But thank you for the idea. –  zmee Feb 10 '10 at 17:18
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If updated software is key to you being able to do your job, then the IT department should accommodate you. Try to get your supervisor/manager to request the IT department to either open up the update site for you, or to include this application in the update process. Many updates are in relation to security vulnerabilities that could put the whole network at risk if left unpatched. Try to find a way to convince the company that it is their best interest to keep this software up to date. Though if they don't want to help, there is not much you can do. –  Doltknuckle Feb 10 '10 at 20:05

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can temporary overwrite registry key to allow connect windows to update.microsoft.com directly:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate

Then all updates completed successfully

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Speak the the IT dept of the organisation. That policy setting is typically enabled when updates are managed centrally using WSUS, Altiris, etc.

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Use the program KillPol (standalone .exe) to remove Group Policy and then you can visit Windows Update. You need to be only a local administrator and can also use the same program to re-apply GP. I'm offering the download from my Dropbox account because I have no idea where on the net to find this program. It was given to me by a coworker.

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If you are a consultant using company provided software doing the above could get you in trouble. I would make sure you check the security policy before you mess around with anything. I've seen people fired for trying to get around the security policy. Find out if you can bring in a personal laptop with this app on it and transfer files via thumb drive (most IT groups don't allow foreign computers on the network). You could then update the system off site. Though this is a poor solution since many companies don't even allow outside computers to physically come on site. –  Doltknuckle Feb 10 '10 at 19:59
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It looks like petri.co.il/tools.htm is the home for GanoTools - the collection of tools which includes KillPol. Unfortunately, it appears that there is a broken link to get the most recent version, or this tool is no longer supported. I will give it a try when I get back home tonight... –  zmee Feb 10 '10 at 20:01

There are a few alternatives to using the Windows Update site. One I would recommend is WindizUpdate. It's designed for Firefox/Opera users so they can get Windows updates without using Internet Explorer, but perhaps it will let you update your machine while side stepping the group policy issue.

Windiz Updates provides an experience that's as similar to the original as its name. The twist is that this service won't work in Internet Explorer - you'll need Firefox and the Windiz addon. It doesn't collect any personal information, and IE doesn't even need to be installed on your system to use it.

It's an intelligent system and won't download old updates that have been superceded by newer ones. Windiz also won't install updates that have potential security issues. New updates with It can even provide updates for Microsoft's golden oldies like 95 and NT.

You could also try Windows Updates Downloader which is a slightly more manual process but should do the job if Windiz isn't suitable

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Per windizupdate.com/forum, WindizUpdate is no longer in support. For Windows Updates Downloader, that is just for Windows Updates; I am looking to cover Microsoft apps beyond Windows (eg Visual Studio). –  zmee Feb 10 '10 at 19:40

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