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Home > Success Center > Patch Manager > How to Test Software Packages Before Fully Deploying Them with Patch Manager

How to Test Software Packages Before Fully Deploying Them with Patch Manager

Updated May 26th, 2016


When you publish third party software packages to deploy with Patch Manager, you may want to test them to figure out what computers will report as needing them before you approve them. There are two primary ways to do this:

  • Use the Detect Now and Report Now tasks, respectively, within 3-5 minutes of one another to force specific clients to sync with WSUS.
  • Use the Windows Update Scan view in Computer Explorer to see a list of applicable updates along with their installation status and approval state on a single system.


Patch Manager


Detect Now and Report Now

The Detect Now and Report Now tasks in Patch Manager allow you to run their command line equivalents on a specified group of computers. Detect Now initiates a scan for updates on the specified computer(s), and the computer(s) reports the results to WSUS within 30 minutes. Report Now forces the specified computer(s) to report new results to WSUS immediately. The latter command only works if:

  • The Windows Update Agent is not busy on the client.
  • The client has events to upload to WSUS.


For this reason, we recommend you schedule the Report Now task to run approximately 3-5 minutes after the Detect Now task.


To schedule the Detect Now and Report Now tasks:

  1. In the left pane of the Patch Manager console, select any computer container.
  2. If applicable, select one or more computers in the center pane.
  3. In the Actions pane (right), click Detect Now.
  4. Specify the computer(s) to which you want to direct the task in the computer selection dialog in the Task Options Wizard. 
  5. Click Next.
  6. Specify the scheduling, export, and email options for the task on the Scheduling and Notification Options dialog in the Task Options Wizard.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Review the information on the Summary dialog, and then click Finish.


The system schedules the Detect Now task for the computer(s) you specified. Repeat these steps to scheduled the Report Now task for 3-5 minutes later.

Computer Explorer > Windows Update Scan

If you want to test your packages against a single computer, the Windows Update Scan view provides a more simplified procedure. This view provides real-time update information on a selected computer without the need to schedule or wait for individual tasks.


To view real-time update information for a specific computer:

  1. In the left pane of the Patch Manager console, select a computer container.
  2. Select a computer in the center pane.
  3. In the Actions pane (right), click Computer Explorer.
  4. On the Computer Explorer window, click the Windows Update Scan tab. The system displays the computer's update information in the data grid.


  • This view only lists applicable updates.
  • For a new update, the value in the Status column should be Not Installed.
  • Scroll to the right side of the data grid to view the approval state for each update in the Approved column.


Last modified
15:09, 24 Jan 2017