No-Reboot Patches for Windows 2000

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As part of our ongoing efforts to simplify the deployment of security patches, Microsoft has been discussing with customers the improvements they'd like to see in the way we deliver patches. One of the most frequent requests is to eliminate the need to reboot the system after installing an operating system security patch. We're pleased to announce the first steps toward making this a reality.

Microsoft has recently developed new technologies that will allow us to package some Windows 2000 security patches in a way that will not require a system reboot. Effective immediately, we will begin analyzing all new security patches to determine whether they are candidates for no-reboot installation, and packaging them this way whenever possible. We also have reviewed all previously released Windows 2000 security patches, and repackaged the ones that could be made no-reboot at this time.

Initially, the percentage of patches that are candidates for no-reboot installation is fairly small. Two previously released patches (discussed in Microsoft Security Bulletins MS00-067 and MS00-099) have been repackaged, but we estimate that roughly one-quarter of current patches are candidates for no-reboot installation. In addition, we are developing additional technologies that will let us significantly increase this percentage.

In parallel with these changes, we have a number of other initiatives underway to streamline the delivery of security patches and make them easier to manage. For example, we've recently moved to a new bulletin format that provides more complete information in an easier-to-use format. We've also significantly shortened the delivery time for localized versions of patches. In the upcoming weeks, we'll be announcing several other improvements via the Microsoft Security web site.