You may already have been offered version 8 of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser via Windows’ built-in Automatic Updates routine, but you should be aware that some Web sites don’t work with the new release.
In my testing, IE 8’s security and compatibility settings cause problems with some sites, and XP users must first uninstall SP3 in order to remove the latest build of IE.
If you followed the instructions in my May 21
to build new systems without installing the trouble-prone Windows Genuine Advantage app, you may want to patch your PC using something other than Windows Update, which offers again and again to install WGA.
My favorite third-party software update service is currently the Shavlik Patch Google Gadget, although Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is a worthwhile alternative.
If you’re a legitimate Microsoft customer, you can download and install all the Windows updates you need without running Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) and exposing yourself to the false positives it’s become known for.
In today’s article, I explain how to install Windows XP and upgrade it with every available security fix and many optional updates as well, without ever installing WGA.
Previous Office service packs could be undone only by uninstalling the entire suite and then reinstalling it.
Office 2007 Service Pack 2 changes this and adds PDF and OpenDocument support, but I still urge you to wait before installing the update.
Two separate updates for all IE versions prevent carpet-bombing attacks that are already targeting the browser.
One of the IE patches blocks remote-code execution on XP and Vista PCs that also have Apple’s Safari browser installed.
Windows may be the primary target of today’s malware authors, but it’s far from the only one.
Keeping your applications and media players up-to-date is as important as applying the latest patches for your operating system.
Microsoft’s instructions for disabling AutoRun in Windows XP, which I referred to last week, pointed to an incorrect Registry key.
It’s easy to find the correct key, however, and understanding this Registry tweak can give you fine-grained control over the kinds of external media that AutoRun is allowed to work on.
If you installed XP Service Pack 3 or Windows Server SP2 after September 2008, you need to reapply an important security update.
In addition, if Windows Update offers your XP or Server 2003 system Microsoft’s security bulletin MS08-067 patch, you should install it — even if you’ve previously done so.