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  1. #1
    iNET Interactive
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    Software that updates your other software




    TOP STORY

    Software that updates your other software


    By Fred Langa

    The release of Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) 3.0 prompts a test drive of the new version, plus six alternative general-purpose auto-update tools.

    One surprise: Some of these automatic-update programs can worsen your PC's condition.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/software-that-updates-your-other-software/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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  3. #2
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    Good solid advice - especially re drivers
    Drivers were a major source of problems, 20 years ago.
    But these days they are rarely a problem, and even more rarely a solution.

    I took PSI 3.0 for test drive, went half way round the block and took it straight back to showroom.
    Then I jumped into my trusty old PSI 2.0 and came home.

    And I'm not the only one to have done so, https://secunia.com/community/forum/...disappointment

    All they've done is to implement a dumbed down user interface and removed the "advanced" mode.

    I use Filehippo daily, PSI and CNET weekly; the latter with great caution.

    Filehippo doesn't push Pay4Me versions when you're running a legit Free version, CNET does it all the time.
    Filehippo only notifies, it does not do the download or the install, nor would I want it to.
    "Settings->Results->Dont Show Beta Versions" - set and voila, beta versions out of sight.

    CNET has better coverage, in the sense that it ''knows' about programs that PSI & Filehippo 'miss'
    But I don't trust it as a download site, let alone let it auto-install

    I always get what PSI/CNET recommend from vendor site, or via the software's built in updater, or another download site (rarely).
    I would never download from PSI or CNET, on more than one occasion I've discovered that they don't have the latest version.
    CNET once offered a download that was a more that a year older than what I already had.

    All three of them have trouble with applications that have 32 & 64 bit versions.

    nW
    Last edited by northwood2222; 2012-07-26 at 00:03. Reason: improve clarity

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    clarkg888 (2012-07-26)

  5. #3
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    I remember C/NET had an online program that did this but then they stopped supporting it (over a decade ago). I see they now have a new tool which is free. I enjoyed the article but now, for most of the programs that I use, I get an email alert when an update is available. I regularly go to my MB home site (bare bones) to check for driver updates, but the only driver that they ever offered for 64-bit Win7 was the audio driver and they had just had an update a month ago (they leave the other drivers for Windows I suppose). I have the NVidia Settings running in my taskbar and I get updates for my Video card (purchased last Christmas) a few times already. What I'm trying to say is I don't really care to depend on auto-updaters anymore and prefer to check for updates myself. Still, I do appreciate this article and it might get me to change my mind (got red faced angry when C/NET took down their auto-updated those many years ago).

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    eikelein (2012-07-26)

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    Post System Resources

    Very informative thanks! You have saved us from some nasty pitfalls.
    QUERY: Some of us have machines of different vintages. Will it be possible in future to indicate basic level of resources needed. The impact on the system and broadband is unquantified. I have removed autostart of PSI on an XP laptop in an endeavor to speed it up. Are the other provisional options resource hungry?

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    eikelein (2012-07-26)

  9. #5
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    Not a fan of the new PSI either.
    One app I do really like though is "Allmyapps".
    Have also used the FileHippo one but it doesn't have great app coverage.

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    eikelein (2012-07-26)

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    Easy way to update important third party apps

    Excellent article. But i would have thought, fred, that it might have been worth mentioning a way to update all the main important third party apps like Java, flash, & pdf readers etc, without actually installing another app. I use the excellent Ninite (www.ninite.com) to not only install with one click any essential apps, but also to actually keep them up to date. Once chosen products are selected (just the important third party apps that actually access the internet for example), and the ninite shortcut put on the desktop, it can be deployed at any time with one click to literally update said apps in one foul swoop. Should updates not exist, ninite just leaves existing products intact. Naturally there are no toolbars selected. If you find it only necessary to update essential security risk programs. This is really easy. Great if you prefer not to install an additional program like Secunia PSI. I used to use their OSI but found it typically slower than ninite since it would only check items and present links, where ninite completes in one hit instantly. Job done.

  12. #7
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    Secunia PSI 3.x? Boooo from me

    IMHO the big problem with all "automatic" updating is:
    The updater goes to the vendor's download page where all too often you get an installer with some foistware. And automated installers just can't read the text in the little windows where the cheeky "offer" to install XYZ toolbar or worse is pre-selected.

    Totally agree with northwood2222. When it was new I took PSI 3 for a spin and reverted lightning fast to PSI 2.x. I use it's warnings to do the update manually.

    Filehippo checks only for programs on their download site and nobody has everything.

    I have told my customers for years to stay away from CNET's Download.com and similar sites. You can find more details here.
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

  13. #8
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    If you use SUMo, be sure to download the .zip/.7z file or go directly to the "free of all sponsors download links" just below the list on KC Software's download page. Doing either will avoid all the pitfalls mentioned in the article and allow you to use SUMo. If you do, you will like some of its detection features - its database stores far more software than even TechTracker's. Updating using SUMo is a little tedious, but it's a good addition to your arsenal.

    I agree about PSI 3. Tried the beta, dumped it because of the lack of control. Tried it when it was released as final and dumped it because it really chewed up a huge percentage of my processor and interfered with everything else. I ended up reinstalling PSI 2.x, and running it on demand every week rather than on startup.
    Last edited by egf; 2012-07-26 at 11:02.

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    Has any one tryed https://www.eminentware.com/

    It is a module that adds its self to a WSUS server interface. I tried it and it does a good job of reports. I thought the interface was a little cumbersome but looked like it could get the job done. I was just testing but my company did not want to spend the money on it yet to automate our manual update process for 3rd party apps. I’d like to know how eminentware stands up to PSI! In the near future Im going to bring the 3rd patching issue back up to try and get a patching product.

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    PSI is the worst program for false positives. Use File Hippo and you will never have a problem.

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    Not sure why I couldn’t Edit my previous post but I am with a company of 300 Windows computers and manage MS patch updates with our WSUS server. Our users are restricted users that cant install patches themselves just authorized patches from the WSUS server.

  18. #12
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    I don't bother with any of these update programs.
    I find them confusing, fickle and un-reliable..

    If my programs are working properly then I leave them alone..

    I know others like to use them and find them useful but I am not one of them..
    "If You Are Reading This In English, Thank A VET"

  19. #13
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    I think their is a real need to keep Adobe flash, Reader and Java updated for our buisness environment to keep the security issues patched.

  20. #14
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    I too have used PSI 2 and updated to PSI 3. The main problem is that after starting windows, PSI 3 really uses system resources to analyze the system for updates - which slows down being able to actually use my system (this is a Win7/64 i5 system which normally is very responsive). I like the free Web-based tool much better - I can run it when I need to check for updates (probably once a month along with the Windows updates) - and I prefer being able to choose what I want to update. The automatic updates in PSI 3 can be very slow - I have had some program updates take 30 minutes or more.

  21. #15
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numer8tor View Post
    Very informative thanks! You have saved us from some nasty pitfalls.
    QUERY: Some of us have machines of different vintages. Will it be possible in future to indicate basic level of resources needed. The impact on the system and broadband is unquantified. I have removed autostart of PSI on an XP laptop in an endeavor to speed it up. Are the other provisional options resource hungry?
    PSI when running locally was a huge resource hog. PSI 3 has reduced that load, but by all reports not gotten it totally under control.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-07-26 at 15:19.
    -- Bob Primak --

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