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Choices on Windows Updates

by michhala / August 24, 2005 2:46 PM PDT

Apologies if this particular subject already has a thread -- I have been away for a while.

I have never updated from WU automatically -- preferred to do so manually using the custom rather than express install. In the past, this gave me a choice of which updates I wanted to download. Now I am not given a choice and have to download all recommended, whereas before I could check off the updates I wanted and for which I had use on my system.

Has there been discussion about this on the forums?

My thanks.


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Just update and install all
by Earth9111 / August 24, 2005 8:29 PM PDT

They wouldn't be their if Microsoft didn't think they we're necessary

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by Cursorcowboy / August 24, 2005 9:58 PM PDT

1. The article [Q306525] explains how to configure the Automatic Updates features to include how to download updates and drivers from the Windows Update Catalog.

2. The article [Q327838] explains the Automatic Updates feature that you can use to specify the schedule that Windows follows to install updates on your computer.

Note: Also be advised that if you disable the AutoUpdate service by accessing the AutoUpdate properties page and set the computer for manual updates, the AutoUpdate icon disappears from the notification area but the by design automatic update service is not deactivated, [Q283151].

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Always leave automatic updates ON.
by Prandy / August 24, 2005 10:47 PM PDT

Microsoft only does the critical updates automatically - optional updates are just that and you have to select which ones to add. Why leave your computer unprotected for even five minutes on line? I have never heard of a problem with leaving the updates on ''autopilot.'' If you have a non windows firewall that shows hacker and hijack attempts and don't have a router with a firewall (or are still using dial up), your log will probably show constant attacks (otherwise maybe ignorance is bliss until you have a problem).

Just check for optional updates on a ''convenience'' basis by visiting the Windows Update web site.

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Prandy.. Something you may want to note
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 25, 2005 2:21 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Hi Carol -- We are in total agreement. as usual :) MIKI
by michhala / August 25, 2005 2:38 AM PDT
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No doubt you are correct but .......................
by Prandy / August 25, 2005 11:22 PM PDT

for the less average user, it may be a matter of prioritizing confidence in internet security over the risk of possible improper adjustments to drivers, sounds cards or whatever. Thanks for the link which gives a great ''heads up'' should something go wrong but that leads to another question. I assume if a particular Windows update messes something up, it can be deleted by some normal process or by going to ''system restore'' and selecting an earlier restore point. Using Windows Media Player 10, I just tested a few music MP3 files that I have had for over two years and they still sound great. I also inserted a Disney (Lion King) DVD and picture and sound quality/clarity is AOK and as good as when played on Panasonic DVD player hooked to TV. However, I noticed lower sound quality when the same MP3's are played on RealPlayer and MusicMatch Jukebox versus Windows Media Player. I have the latest versions of everything and assume sound quality issues with RealPlayer & MusicMatech have nothing to do with windows updates. Again, thanks for enlightening me.

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Hi Prandy. There is no correct or incorrect..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / August 27, 2005 4:21 AM PDT

it's all about personal preferences. And prioritizing as you say. Only as a point of fact, I might mention one of the other reasons, I choose to install them manually. It has been noted various places, that having the ability to temporarily disable your AV and Firewall while offline, will allow for a cleaner install. (I was recently surprised to hear a tech at Dell also mentioning this, as a matter of course. Something they NEVER did MY case :)) In addition, the update site may offer some important updates, which Windows Update won't. You'll always get the Critical ones, but the site will give you more options.

There is absolutely nothing wrong or ''incorrect'' about how you are doing this. I am only offering you an additional way to look at it.

My thought's for the day ( :D)..

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No doubt you are correct but..........
by michhala / August 27, 2005 7:17 AM PDT

Prandy -- In January of 2005, I had to reformat my hard drive after my Registry was corrupted by upper-level Microsoft technicians trying to fix a situation with my system information file that could not be fixed. The overall opinion of all of these upper-level techs was that the source of my problem was a result of one of the Windows Updates either not downloading properly or being corrupted.......even WU is not perfect all the time.

My point is that the art of the computer is not perfect, nor is Windows Update or Microsoft. There are times when we know our own computer and need to make a judgment call. It is my feeling that I want to exercise as much control over what comes into my computer as possible, without jeopardizing safety and security. One of the methods I find works best for me is to investigate each recommended Critical Update, using the referral links given on WU, before allowing into my computer.

I do not like to use ''automatic'' anything on my computer, including downloading virus defs and other security settings. It is a habit I picked up using Windows 98....all the ''automatic'' settings needed to be running all the time which reduced the system's resources. In all probability, XP does a better job of handling.

Having said all that, the ''automatic'' settings are critical for those who forget to check daily for new virus def and security updates, WU on a regular basis, maintenance, or any programs needed to keep the computer healthy.......and CNET forums, of course Happy

Just my two cents' worth.....


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Miki, The 'Custom' Install STILL Allows For Selection...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 25, 2005 12:13 AM PDT

You may be seeing one or two of the "required" downloads which have recently been required. Visiting the Windows Update site at the link below DOES allow for individual updates...

There are some important things to know that have happened recently at the WU site. First, if you haven't visited Windows Update in a while, there will two required "critical" updates that will load all by themselves. One is the newest Windows Installer 3.1 Version 2 and the other is the "Validation Tool" which validates your Windows 2000 or XP computer. Because these particular updates are required to load first, when you visit the site for the first time, you'll ONLY be given an option to load those particular updates. (There's a "Details" link you can click on to find out what is being installed.) If you don't click on the "Details" link, you won't know that you're only loading the updates I've mentioned above. Be sure to download and install those specific updates.

IMPORTANT After installing these item GO BACK to Windows Update and visit it again. You may need to visit it a couple of times in order to once again see the options for UNCHECKING the Critical Updates installations.

Personally, I NEVER use the "Automatic Updates" option. It uses resources and I don't like the "nag" screen which is displayed. Besides, I'm familiar with Microsoft's schedule of releases updates once a month and I visit the update site religiously. For those who aren't so diligent, it's not a bad idea to use the "Automatic Updates".

Hope this helps.


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Miki, The 'Custom' Install STILL Allows For Selection...
by michhala / August 25, 2005 2:50 AM PDT

Hi, Grif -- Your scenario is right on re the two required downloads! What confused me was that on July 03 I was able to download only one of the two required downloads successfully without doing the MS Validation one. Yesterday, when I was updating a friend's computer, for the first time I ran into the situation that one could not be done without the other. I checked it out on my computer, and since I had already done one of the required updates, there was only the Validation Tool on the WU list.

Appreciate your help and common-sense approach as always.


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