Computer Newbies forum

General discussion


by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 7, 2005 9:46 AM PST

Here's a little "heads up" for most users:

After visiting the Windows Update site recently for our Windows XP SP2 computers, both PRO and HOME versions, I've noticed some unsettling "Critical/High Priority" updates listed. Drivers for audio and video cards are starting to show up in the 'High Priority" area instead of the "Optional Software Updates" or the "Optional Hardware Updates" areas. The most common are for "Realtek" and "Intel" devices. There may be others. This occurs when using either the "Express Install" or the "Custom Install" selections. I haven't noticed the same thing with other operating systems, but I haven't been looking either, so it may occur there as well. Other operating systems use a different version of the Windows Update page and it may not report the same. XP SP2 uses the link below which is slightly different than the other web link.:

As a general rule, audio and video drivers ARE NOT something to be handled lightly and installation of the wrong one can cause definite operational problems on your machine. In my opinion, the usual adage goes: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

As an example on my home computer, I have audio and video drivers which were updated recently and have driver dates for July of 2004. The Windows Update site is calling one driver from December of 2004 and another from August of 2004 as "High Priority" updates. Installation of these updates is certainly not "High Priority" and installing them is not necessary. Installing them is optional and a certain amount of testing would be a good approach to follow. IF I had a problem with my current drivers, then the best approach would be to visit the manufacturer's website and download THEIR drivers.

In my opinion, driver installations belong in the "Hardware Updates" section and should only be installed IF necessary.

Hope this helps.


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I entirely agree Grif
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / January 7, 2005 8:19 PM PST

and will watch out for signs of these.



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by Vesta / January 8, 2005 2:08 AM PST

I downloaded an "updated driver" for my modem from that site, then my modem wouldn't work. I finally had to roll back the driver, but since I wasn't familiar with the process (I'm a newbie), it took me half a day to figure it out.

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by androlze / January 8, 2005 2:28 AM PST
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(NT) (NT) Thanks Grif, you the Man!!!
by trytohelp / January 8, 2005 10:22 AM PST
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Update Warning.
by SumerBrez / January 9, 2005 9:02 AM PST

Hi Grif..I noticed that also back before i Installed SP2..had those updates drivers/etc listed back then in "High Priority" and (still do)..but I came here and asked about installing them first,and was told:
Only if,, "MS built your PC"
; )

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Just did an update
by Tom Aikman / January 9, 2005 10:41 AM PST

It listed them as optional update. I did not see "High Priority" anywhere.


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Tom, Thanks, Which Operating System...???
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 10, 2005 3:38 AM PST
In reply to: Just did an update

The "High Priority" listing (Express Install vs Custom Install) will only be displayed on Windows XP SP2 version which use the URL ". On any Windows version earlier than that, (the URL should be they are displayed as "Critical Updates and Service Packs", then "Recommended Updates", then "Driver Updates".

The problem appears to be that only "some" computers are showing driver updates in the "High Priority" section. At first glance, it appears to be those that are running XP SP2 and have integrated audio and video.

Hope this helps.


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Just a FYI Grif...
by Tom Aikman / January 10, 2005 6:17 AM PST

I always choose custom installs, SP2 XPpro. It shows my Ge2(not onboard) as an optional update. I have onboard sound but it is not listed. Nothing in "High Priority" except security updates.


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(NT) (NT) Thanks Tom !
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 10, 2005 1:35 PM PST
In reply to: Just a FYI Grif...
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Rather strange?
by phattdaddy / January 10, 2005 7:21 AM PST

Running WinXPSP2Home with all critical updates on Auto Download. Tried the Windows URL you displayed the day after your posting and dialled up Critical Updates both Express and Custom install modes and each posted a nil result, even the optional updates (5) did not include any update for drivers?
Tried again today out of curiosity same result, MS obviously read your mail and corrected the problem or MS were just having another BG whoopsie.

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Thanks Phattdaddy, It's Still The Same On This Machine...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 10, 2005 1:34 PM PST
In reply to: Rather strange?

This SP SP2 HOME machine shows two driver updates, (Intel and Realtek AC'97) in the "High Priority" section. I also found one SP SP2 PRO machine at the office which also did had a similar outcome..All others did not...

Like you said,,,,,, rather strange !


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Reminder for tomorrow's updates from
by roddy32 / January 10, 2005 8:09 AM PST


Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification

On January 11, 2005, the Microsoft Security Response Center is planning to release:

? 3 Microsoft Security Bulletins affecting Microsoft Windows. The greatest maximum severity rating for these security updates is Critical. These security updates may require a restart.

more here

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(NT) (NT) Roddy, Thanks For The 'Heads Up'
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / January 10, 2005 1:35 PM PST
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Today's update
by Carol~ Forum moderator / January 11, 2005 7:43 AM PST


I having been looking all over to see if anyone had addressed today's update KB890830. If I hadn't seen anything, I was prepared to post the following:

Is anyone able to explain this update to me in plain and simple English? I am having some difficulty understanding it and whether or not this is something that is necessary. I have virus protection... which this addresses. I guess there is no such thing as too much protection, but I am not looking for, yet another thing, that may muck up the works. I have no strong feelings about this update, either way. Just asking for some knowledgeable input.

Roddy.. is this what you were referring to.. or is it something completely different. Although I have Automatic Updates, I went to Express install to see what came up. Ordinarily, I would immediately install anything critical. Since I started asking questions, I find myself... how should I put it?... asking alot of questions!!!

Any answers??

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Hi Curcat
by roddy32 / January 11, 2005 8:10 AM PST
In reply to: Today's update

This link tells you what was released today. Scroll down to where it says "summary" and expand each one starting where is says "critical". Not all of them affect everybody.

This second link is about the virus tool you are refering to. This page doesn't tell you that much but there are other links inside this one

This last link tells you more about modes, etc. which you will never even see if you download it from Windows Update because it runs silently. You'll have to do some serious reading though to see what I'm talking about though. LOL

The bottom line, is it absolutely necessary for the kb890830? No BUT I would run it anyway. it's a small download and only takes a couple of minutes, it does NOT scan the entire computer.There will be a new tool put out each month with more viruses added to it.

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Thanks Roddy.. and..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / January 11, 2005 8:49 AM PST
In reply to: Hi Curcat

I read the last link. That's what precipitated my query in the first place. I see where you said, I'd have to do some 'serious reading' to see what you are talking about. I am here laughing, since it's all serious reading from where I sit! I wanted to avoid anything that really didn't pertain to me or might potentially create a problem. When I read that it was a post infection removal tool, that it was something that was not actually installed...I began to question. Too many questions on my part.

After reading your post.. and links.. I'm finished asking anymore questions about it. I will thankfully follow your advice and download.

And yet again, I thank you!

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(NT) (NT) You're welcome Curcat :D
by roddy32 / January 11, 2005 8:54 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks Roddy.. and..
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Driver updates should be installed from MS Update
by jv / January 13, 2005 6:18 PM PST

Contrary to you opinion installing "high priority" updates to drivers from the Microsoft site is better and safer than using the manufacturer site. As your column nots, you are a "Newbie". Windows update is for "Newbies" as the manufacturer site can be difficult for the novice. Drivers built and certified by Microsoft can be updated via Windows Update and is the preferred method.

I have more than 25 years doing this so don't quickly discount what I am saying.

Thanks for the bad advice.

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Re: Driver updates should be installed from MS Update
by Timothy D Lynch / January 14, 2005 1:13 AM PST

Don't agree. The hardware vendors know their hardware and Microsoft only thinks they do. This goes back to Win95 days when Microsoft made the erogant comment that they wanted to get the hardware companies out of the driver business.

First Microsoft Update doesn't even see the correct hardware. Second they don't really care if they get it right or even support past hardware. They will just declare it obsolete.

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(NT) (NT) I agree.
by hardst0ne / January 14, 2005 1:38 AM PST
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Thank you
by heepman / January 14, 2005 3:33 AM PST

I remember pre windows days when there were thousands of companies making pc and systems talk about driver nightmare and memory configuration nightmares. Wonder how many people out there remember the blessing of himen.sys and emm386. The vendors always know what they make. If they don't well they will be out of pc manufacturing. But like the statement non-techs should use caution when upgrading their drivers replacing a floppy drive does not make you a computer tech. If it works don't fix it.

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Driver updates should be installed from MS Update "NOT"
by lynx1021 / January 14, 2005 1:32 AM PST

I don't agree also , the updates site shows a onboard sound driver for my Soyo and it killed my onboard sound.Had to go to the Soyo site to get my sound working again.

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GEEZ.... That hurt! Lighten up a bit...
by unclerob / January 14, 2005 1:38 AM PST

Your post sounded a little bitter ".... thanks for the bad advice". What is it that you've been doing for the past 25 years that's making you so angry. Windows update service hasn't been around that long, I don't even think windows itself has been around that long so you haven't been downloading driver updates off the net for that long. The original poster was just trying to tell everyone who was reading just to be cautious before attempting any new driver downloads and he does have a valid point in that hardware drivers shouldn't be listed under high priority updates which should be meant only for security & critical updates. It's always a good idea to stop & think instead of blindly downloading everything off of the net, most users contrary to Microsoft are just average home pc users without a technical background and some of those users read these posts looking for advice from others. We run an SUS Server at work (soon to be WUS soon to be replaced by SMS) and we push out security & critical updates via a group policy we set up and even we don't approve every update that Microsoft pushes out, the least of which would be driver updates. We test updates first before approving & allowing the installs to be pushed out and installed on our clients pc's. You can't blindly follow M$ in every direction it travels, sometimes you have to question things, test them out and then decide if it's the right course of action. M$ ain't perfect so I wouldn't trust every download they offer to be as well and if a pc's existing hardware is working properly without problems I agree that you shouldn't download a driver update "just because" it's there. The reason for updating hardware drivers would be to fix a problem or make use of new functionality, if you don't need to do either why download & install the driver.

If anyone's offering bad advice, I think it might be you. Sorry, someone (who has a few years of experience as well) had to say it. Lighten up a bit, life's too short. Maybe switch to Linux Happy

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Thank you wise one
by heepman / January 14, 2005 3:57 AM PST

Now you sound like you have 25 plus years in the business.
With years come knowledge and with knowledge comes
what we do not know. Wisdom is earned though years
of trials and failure and knowledge is to learn from our failures and failures of others. Being bitter only shows failure and the lack of wisdom. We must help those who lack the skills to fix their Problems but are willing to gain the knowledge from us who have the years of training under fire to attempt and achieve
their gold and repair their computer. I admire these people for they are leaders self-motivated and self-achievers. We must use care in not giving bad advice. These days of the Internet is a great improvement from the old BBS days.
Food for thought

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Microsoft "Updates"
by Acaykath / January 14, 2005 5:49 AM PST

I have tried letting windows update decide what I need and it has caused several problems for me. The worst of which was when it replaces my video driver with one that was six years old resulting in me having to navigate through the manufacturer's site with a 17" screen with maximum settings of 320X480 and 16 colors. This happens to be extremely difficult because pages are made usually for 1024X768 which results in all the ads and pictures taking up several screens. The next time I auto updated it did the same thing with a driver dated 2 months later than the first one. I no longer let windows automatically decide for me even for critical updates which I pick and choose by hand.

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Driver updates should be installed from MS Update WRONG
by cobraii1976 / January 14, 2005 7:18 AM PST

I have had many problems with drivers in the windows update section more than from manufacturer sites. Grif Thomas is correct about beware of driver updates at MS.

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CMI Soundcards
by kevinthefixer / January 13, 2005 7:20 PM PST

Just an added note: Windows Update always wants to "update" my CMI8738 soundcard driver. I let it do it once; the updated driver disables the line-in jack. Seems Microsoft doesn't want me to save my old LPs and cassettes; they'd rather sell me WMA downloads (if they're popular enough for them to bother with).

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Windows Update Warning
by pkander / January 13, 2005 8:53 PM PST

Thanks for the information,I will watch for that.

P.S. I enjoy reading your newsletter. I have learned several things.

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If it ain't broke...
by slashdevnull / January 13, 2005 9:37 PM PST

But maybe it is. How do you know? Drivers (especially kernel mode drivers) can potentially open the system up to serious security threats if they have bugs that can be exploited.

Not every fix is to repair a problem that's immediately recognizable by the average user.

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Noticed this too.
by DM3206 / January 13, 2005 10:48 PM PST

I as well noticed this switch as I orginally had an optional hardware update that has now switched to High Priority. I orginally did this update back when it was on the optional list as it was for my audio card. The only problem is that it doesn't work with my audio card. Interesting that Micorsoft's hardware analysis does a crappy job at picking up the correct drivers... but then again it is Microsoft.

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