Track Hotfix/Patch Installation

by Bharat Suneja

What’s the best way to track when and which hotfixes/patches were applied? It’s an endless debate amongst IT pros. Some would like to do it through dedicated patch management software. Some store this info in databases, even spreadsheets.

Here are a few handy ways to track this info – I’ve used a combination of these to track stuff.

i) On Dell servers installed using Dell’s Server Assistant CD, there’s a installsummary.htm file in the root (C:\). Every time I apply a bunch of hotfixes/patches, I simply open this html file and add the info at the very bottom of the list. If you do this from Windows Update, all you need to do is copy the list of hotfixes from the Windows Update web page (AFTER it finishes installing, but before you hit OK to reboot if a reboot’s required). Just add a line break tag at the end of each line.

Additionaly, I also copy this html file to a web server every time I do this, adding the server name to the end of the filename.

ii) For all recent hotfix installations, just filter the System event log for Event ID: 4377, source: NtServicePack. This event lists the hotfix applied, date, time and the username.

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