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Microsoft says Automatic Update not misbehaving

Despite blog reports that Windows Update appeared to be changing automatic update settings, Microsoft says it knows of no changes made to the patching system.

Blogs were buzzing this week with reports that Windows users who thought they had automatic updates set to either not install or get permission before installing nonetheless had their machines patched and rebooted.

Friday afternoon, the company posted a response to its Web site saying no changes were made to the automatic update mechanism nor did any recent updates change AU settings. The company is looking into whether customers might have actually had their settings changed by Microsoft Office or Windows OneCare, two programs that do have mechanisms that will change a computer's automatic update preference settings.

"We have received some logs from customers, and have so far been able to determine that their AU settings were not changed by any changes to the AU client itself and also not changed by any updates installed by AU," program manager Nate Clinton said on Microsoft's Web site. "We are still looking into this to see if another application is making this change during setup with user consent, or if this issue is related to something else. We are continuing the investigation, and as I have more information I will update this post."

The company is asking anyone experiencing an issue to contact its customer support so that it can get more information.

Meanwhile, in a separate posting, Clinton acknowledged that some people are having trouble manually installing updates after moving to the latest version of Windows Update.

The issues Friday follow an earlier outcry over the discovery that the Windows Update utility updates itself regardless of whether automatic updates are turned on.