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"Automatic downloads are ready to install..." - Should I?

Periodically I get little messages saying that there are new updates or downloads that I should install for my Windows XP - SP3 software, and I always say "yes, download them." But last week after downloading a new batch, I rebooted my PC and all kinds of crazy lines appeared on my monitor, and Windows would not load. After about 8 attempts, Windows DID load, so I did "system restore" to get my system back to the way it was before those automatic downloads were downloaded.

I connect to the Internet using Mozilla Firefox 5.0 via cable modem.

My questions: How do I know what those downloads are? Do I need to install all of them or can I choose ones that sound appropriate for my needs? Are these new downloads part of SP4? What happens if I don't download them -- other than the recurring, annoying little popup at the bottom of my screen? Is there a way to shut off that popup without downloading the new downloads?

Many thanks!

Ellie

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When You See the "Updates Are Ready To Install?

..then click once on the message, or the update icon, and select "Details" when the display item opens. You should then be able to UNCHECK the boxes next to those Windows Updates you don't want to install.

Still, in most cases, you should install all of the Critical Updates provided by the Automatic Updates window.

See the link below for options in Windows Automatic Updates:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306525
________________

By the way, are you sure you're using Firefox 5.0.. On my newest version of Firefox, if I click on "Help" in the upper left, choose "About Mozilla Firefox", my says "version 3.6.3". Your's says: "5.0" ?

Hope this helps.

Grif

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Automatic downloads - thanks!

Hi, Grif!

You have answered all of my questions! You're a genius! Wanna get married or something?

Seriously, I really appreciate your answers--not just the information but the patient, step-by-step instructions you give. I'm not exactly a "newbie" since I've been using a PC forever, but I think I'm stuck in about third grade, having reached a plateau in my technical knowledge. The last step I took, in fact, was to discover that I didn't have to learn anything else -- ever -- as long as I could open CNET Forums!

Um, er... You are right about my Firefox. It's not 5.0. But it's not the same as yours, either. It's 3.5.9 I know where I got the 5.0, though. On that same page, under the copyrights, it says: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.9.1.9). I guess I saw the Mozilla /5.0 and got it confused with Firefox. See? Third grade, all the way.

Again, my sincerest thanks, Grif, for coming to my rescue yet again. And if you decide you DO want to get married or something, let me know so that I can drop my membership here in CNET Forums. I won't need it any more! ;o) - Ellie

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