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?MS Updates site refusing access via Firefox?

by jco / December 14, 2005 8:17 PM PST

Dell Dimension 8200, Intel Pentium 4 2000 Mghz, 512 Meg RAM, XP SP2 totally updated and patched; running AVG Pro, Thunderbird, Firefox, CCleaner, RegSeeker, DefragMentor, MS AntiSpyware, Spybot and Cacheman, all totally updated.

I had set my MS Updates to notify me when updates are available, but let me choose when to download and install them. This worked fine, until very recently.

Now the yellow shield pops up saying updates are available; click here to download, etc. When I click the shield, it simply disappears. When I click "Start," "All Programs," "Windows Update," nothing happens, and when I try to get the Windows Update site through Firefox, I get the following: "To use this site, you must be running MS Internet Explorer 5 or later."

Hmmm. Is this, A) a screw-up on my part; B) my computer trying to tell me something I don't understand; C) a Microsoft mif against Mozilla?

I'm at a loss. Thanks for all your past help, and any help you can give me now.

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The moderators in these forums say they use IE...
by martylk2 / December 14, 2005 8:39 PM PST

for no other reason than to get MS updates. So, according to their statements, I presume updates are only available through IE.

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Answer: C...
by John.Wilkinson / December 14, 2005 8:57 PM PST

Unfortunately Firefox is not compatible with all sites (yet), mainly because it does not handle ActiveX controls due to security reasons. (That's one of the largest weak spots in Internet Explorer's security.) Microsoft Updates is the first site on that list, meaning you must use Internet Explorer to use it. While other sites try to make themselves compatible with the rising browser, Microsoft has chosen to put 100% of the money behind IE. Mozilla and third-party developers are working on ways to make sites such as that compatible, but it may be a while before we see a solution that's widespread and free of security flaws. Until then you'll have to use Internet Explorer once a month.

Hope this helps,

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In all likelyhood the more popular M/F becomes...
by martylk2 / December 14, 2005 9:40 PM PST
In reply to: Answer: C...

the less secure it will become, also. It's a great browser, it has some very minor hiccups, and is the most like IE and is as functional, maybe more so. This in itself will likely cause it to be noticed more by malicious hackers.

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If I understand correctly...
by glenn30 / December 14, 2005 9:44 PM PST

You are using Firefox and the gold shield appears but nothing downloads. I am using Firefox 1.5 and yesterday the gold shield appeared and the download started and finished installing the monthly Microsoft updates. I suspect your problem is something else.

Good luck!


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Then me, too. I use Firefox 1.5 and have auto updates...
by martylk2 / December 14, 2005 9:56 PM PST

turned on but I, just this morning, found 3 high priority updates to download only after I ran IE and clicked the update site.

So if you are getting updates in firefox, spread the trick around. Inform the moderators, as well.

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by jco / December 14, 2005 10:29 PM PST

Thanks so much to everyone who responded. I've been using Firefox exclusively now for about a year, and I was always getting the updates without any hassle whatsoever. It's been very recently (less than a week, I think) that something has changed. After reading your posts, some things have occurred to me. I'll do some checking, and let you know if anything new develops.

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You're welcome, jco!...
by glenn30 / December 14, 2005 11:49 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

Simply related my experience. Wish you success.



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May have found something
by jco / December 15, 2005 12:29 AM PST

Thanks again to EVERYONE who responded. After some fooling around, here's what I've come up with: I definitely can't go to the Windows Update site "on my own," so to speak, without Internet Explorer. And, I can't install IE, because even with IE6 SP1 (supposedly the latest), I get a message saying a more recent version already exists on my computer. Huh?

I know components can't actually be removed, but I did the "Remove Windows Components" thing a long time ago. Granted, an irremovable (for me, anyway) folder still exists within "Program Files", but it's NOT a more recent version of IE.

Hmmmm. Could it be that the WinUpdate site is recognizing Firefox as a new and improved version of IE? Maybe I'm dreaming -- but it would be kinda' funny.

Onward: I can still get updates from the Win Update site, but ONLY if I have the SP2 Security Center settings on "Automatic." The other options ("Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them," and "Notify me but don't automatically download and install them")now do nothing more than if I would choose "Turn off Automatic Updates." It seems to me like this is a recent change.

Just wanted to let you know what happened, and thanks again to everyone!!!!!!!!

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