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  1. #1
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    Patches I'm Depending on You, Son

    I'll start with a tip of the hat to Susan Bradley, whose knowledge and experience have been helping Windows users for many years.

    Still, I have to wonder about her advice on Windows Updates. It's no simple thing to keep track of which updates she approves of and which she doesn't; and which updates she previously disapproved of and now approves.

    For years I have installed every Critical, Recommended and Important update offered by WinUp, and I've never experienced a problem. During that time Susan has withheld her blessing from many of these, and advised caution on many more. (I almost never install Optional updates - not interested in the Bing toolbar - and I don't install drivers from WinUp.)

    I do take very good care of my PC, and that likely contributes to my success with Windows Update, but I'm sure that I'm no smarter or competent than the average Windows Secrets reader to whom Susan directs her advice.

    So, am I lucky or is Susan Bradley...finicky?

    [P.S. For those below a certain age, "Patches" was sung by Clarence Carter and featured my title in the chorus.]

  2. #2
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    There many hundreds of millions of Windows users who install the monthly patches without incident including many Loungers. Then there are millions who have problems including some Loungers. If there are a billion Windows PCs in the world (and there are probably more than that) then 1% is ten million. It is not unreasonable to think that at least 1% of the users will have problems with patches. The almost unlimited configurations of Windows PCs make testing an impossible job. The more unusual hardware and software on a system the more chance there is for trouble with updates.

    For those who do not want to automatically install all the patches, Susan is lending her experience and expertise. Finicky or cautious after having been burned more than once?

    Joe

  3. #3
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    90% of Windows users install all updates automatically, and 5% never check for updates. So only the remaining 5% can be finicky or cautious.

    (Windows 7 statistics two years ago, but I doubt if it's changed much.)

    I install everything immediately; it's so much easier. It's extremely rare that an update causes problems AND cannot be easily uninstalled.

    Susan's service would be a lot more valuable if it were comprehensive. When she fails to mention a particular update we all have to wonder why.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I also install most updates as soon as they appear. I also do not want or need the Bing Desktop, and some drivers offered. Never had any problems with WU. I appreciate Susan's attempts, and I guess for many her advice is spot on. I however prefer to investigate myself on any questionable updates. After all my setup is different than others. Who better to check.
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Patches. Good song!

    I remember it well.

    Do you "Believe"? Do you vote? Please Read:
    LEARN something today so you can TEACH something tomorrow.
    DETAIL in your question promotes DETAIL in my answer.
    Dominus Vobiscum <))>(

  6. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I'm not afraid of a 'bad' update, because I can get over it with an image restore if necessary. I don't do Bing or MS drivers (except for my MS keyboard/mouse), but I run all the rest.

    The only difficulty I've had was with a couple of updates that didn't update the cache and sfc couldn't find files. But I got that straightened out with an image restore of my OS partition, and reinstalling updates a couple at a time. Now I'm back to all good.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  7. #7
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If you have a simple, basic setup like most home users (and like me), in my opinion you should install whatever "critical" updates come to you via Windows Update. The only exceptions I make to that would be if you want to stick with IE9, you should not install the update which gives you IE10, and a few other items like what Medico mentioned above.

    Susan is advising a much wider audience, however, than basic home users, and in my opinion that's why she uses so much caution. Business users not only have more complex situations, but mistakes can be more costly for them than for a home user. For example, a business might be running an old, but mission critical, software package, which may get hosed by the latest Windows update. (I have seen that happen.)

  8. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    My setup is simple (in concept, not necessarily in getting there), but not basic. I have all-things-Bing hidden, and I hide MS driver updates (except for my MS mouse/keyboard). I typically don't update drivers, anyway, just for the sake of having "the latest driver". If the driver I'm using is working, I'll stick with it.

    But I do install all other updates offered, to make sure that my setup remains compatible with all updates. If an update comes along that won't work on my setup, I'll be able to post that on my site for the benefit of those who use my methods and use Windows in the same way I use Windows.

    So far, no update has failed, although I did have a couple that did not update the cache used by sfc, and I restored an OS drive image prior to the updates and then went through the update process a couple at a time, and that ameliorated that situation.

    So in that regard, I'm my own guinea pig so that should an update problem ever materialize due to my setup, I can pass that along via my web site.

    I'm looking forward to the availability of 8.1 through the Windows Store, to see if it will install on my setup, or whether I will have to put Humpty Dumpty back together again in order to get it to install, then carve it back up. In either case, I'll pass that along via my web site, as well.

    In the case of Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1 installed on my setup without a hitch. Perhaps 8.1 will work similarly on my Windows 8 Pro.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  9. #9
    Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Susan is advising a much wider audience, however, than basic home users, and in my opinion that's why she uses so much caution. Business users not only have more complex situations, but mistakes can be more costly for them than for a home user. For example, a business might be running an old, but mission critical, software package, which may get hosed by the latest Windows update. (I have seen that happen.)
    You make a very good point. I guess it didn't occur to me that business users would ordinarily follow Windows Secrets, which seems to me better suited for individual users. If I was to run a business I think I would look for something more 'mission critical'.

  10. #10
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Many of us do computer support for businesses, or have in the past. Susan currently does computer support and consulting for businesses (including her own company), in addition to writing her column at Windows Secrets.

    On my last job, a Windows update hosed our accounting package! I determined which updates came in that morning or the night before and uninstalled those three updates. Problem went away.

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