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  1. #1
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    Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    I have Windows Update set to automatically download updates but to offer me the option of installing them. Taking Woody's advice, I've been selecting "remind me again in 3 days" when a new one comes up. I started doing that a while ago, and hadn't realized what an administrative task I'd taken on, so didn't keep track of every one that showed up and when it did (which I now realize is necessary since the update's release date isn't given in the info Update provides), so quickly accumulated a handful that I didn't know anything about. Then I got hit by the RPC worm and had to clean up and install them. Feh. And then

    Even after the worm, I didn't want to be installing any new updates until some time had passed and I could see if Woody had any warnings. So when recently I had three available to install, I selected one and deselected the other two. Now those other two don't show up when Windows Update pops up - seems I've deselected them permanently(?) FIRST QUESTION: Is there any way to clear the deselection so they come back?

    How I know that those deselected two don't show up, is that WU has just popped up with a new one, and it's all alone, but when I go to the Windows Update web page and have it "scan for updates", it comes up with three.

    So here's my SECOND QUESTION: Are these ok to install: 1) MS03-032 revised, 822925 (I already have the "bad" version, 821557, installed - oops - with neither of the ill effects that Woody mentioned, AFAIK); 2) MS03-033, 823718; and 3) MS03-034, 824105?

    The first two are the ones that I will have to manually download because WU doesn't list them, and #3 is the new one that just popped up today (so I imagine I should hold off on that one).

    The strategy that I'm staggering toward is this: Make a note of the date and KB# of each new item that WU presents me with, but delay install for three days, and three more, and three more if need be, until the next WWW comes out. See if Woody reports any issues with it, and check back here for any reported issues. If it's ok to install everything WU has in its hopper, then let WU go ahead. Otherwise deselect the one(s) that I don't want and install the rest. If I do this deselection and consequently lose the ability to use WU's automatic download to get one I later decide to install, then I'll have to go get it and download manually.

    So THIRD QUESTION: Is there any fundamental flaw in this strategy?

    Please speak slowly and clearly, I'm new at this and there's an awful lot I still don't understand. And THANKS!!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    Tegan--

    I have a simpler solution so that you don't lose track of these or fall victim to the erratic ways of Win Update--and also a suggestion about how to use and configure Win Update to get it to do better what you want if you insist on using it. I stopped long ago. With my suggestion where all the security patches will be delivered, you can still use Woody's or any other newsletter's as input in your vetting or screening process. The hotfixes you mentioned should be fine-I haven't had problems or seen reports on them. You can also check sources like CNET News which is sensitive to reporting any problems with these early on. If you use Windows Update, you should always go to the left and Click on Personalize Windows Update

    Register for Microsoft Security's Newsletters which will notify you of every hotfix earlier than Win Update--and won't repeat when you already have one or miss any as WU has been known to do. You can also search for any hotfixes at this site, and they are all listed as well.

    Also see Software Update Services (Apply to XP as Well

    This may work better, but I think it's more efficient not to use the WU site--just my method--works very well for me.

    Windows Update Corporate Site and Click on Personalize Windows Update

    Try going here: Windows XP From A to Z and look in the 'W' section for Windows Update. Kelly has several things to check/do to fix WU problems.

    See Windows Update FAQ's for Help


    Lounge XP Thread Can't Use Windows Update A number of helpful links

    Lounge XP Thread Windows Update Corporate Location A number of helpful links

    Windows Update Error with Links to Several WU Lounge Threads in Post 288653

    Loung Thread XP Catching Up With Updates

    Windows Update Fails to Download Patches

    WMP Codecs, and other Win Media, Direct X, IE/OE, Office can be easily handled with a quick trip to their sites. Office Security like the five issued yesterday, will be included in this free email service from Microsft that is PGP signed. They never email the patches of course here, they link you. MS never emails patches, the exception being they do when you've had a phone request for special patches to fix special problems announced in MSKB's.

    When using Windows Update, clicking on Windows Update catalogue and selecting your OS may help although that's not error free.

    Ultimate Windows Update Guide

    See Microsoft Windows Update Troubleshoter

    Microsoft Windows XP Hotfix Installation and Deployment Guide

    296861: How to Install Multiple Windows Updates or Hotfixes with Only One Reboot

    319109: Windows Update Site Lists Updates That You Already Installed

    Hotfixes/Updates aren't always listed in Help/About or Add/Remove so there are a couple places where you can confirm them in the registry:

    Hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    Key: SOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersionHotfix

    There will be a subkey for each hotfix that has been applied. This registry tip applies to NT, W2K and XP.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftUpdatesWindows XPSP1


    hth,

    SMBP

  3. #3
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    Re: Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    SMBP: I've read through your post twice, and had already read some of the other Lounge posts on Updates, but haven't understood all I've read. With the the information you've provided, I expect I'll comprehend much more - I can see that I'll have to work my way through all the links to understand all you're providing, but wanted to thank you, even before I do - that was very generous of you to go to so much trouble.

    I do have a few follow-up questions right off the bat: 1) What am I after when I've selected "Personalize Windows Update" at the WU site? and 2) do any of the alternatives that you're recommending include the WU feature of downloaded behind the scenes? and 3) do any of the alternatives that you're recommending tailor their notices to my system?

    Thanks again,

  4. #4
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    Re: Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    Oh, <img src=/S/stupidme.gif border=0 alt=stupidme width=30 height=30>I just found a piece of the puzzle - I couldn't remember where the controls for the settings on my machine were, but I've just found them under Control PanelSystem, on the "Automatic Updates" tab: to restore the previously de-selected updates to the WU list, I clicked the "declined updates" button - now WU will re-download those automatically, behind the scenes. I'll still have to decide whether to install or not.

    I know WU is flawed, but I am inclined to keep using it as long as it continues to work on this machine. The hardest parts of the Update Tango are the vetting (which is an issue I'll have no matter what method I use for identifying and downloading the updates) and the fixing after the vetting proves inadequate (which ditto). So, onward. <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15>

  5. #5
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    Re: Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    Sorry about that--since we don't and probably won't have search for a very long time it looks like--I have wanted to get my links to frequent questions in one convenient thread.

    Here's the nitty gritty--

    You save a lot of grief whether you are a beginnner or Bill Gates and Paul Allen and Jim Alchin by by passing Win Update and going to the security link I provided that'd be this guy--

    Security and subscribe to the newsletter. You can get rare non-security updates the few that ever issue in Microsoft history, by visiting a few sites like IE, Office, Win Media, Direct X which you should do anyway.

    The other tip that most people who use Windows Update well and with little aggrevation prefer is to go to the task bar on the left and Customize it and Click on Personalize, The link for downloading many updates at once is useful, and reading the link to Kelly's site is very helpful.

    You don't have to read the others.

    hth,

    SMBP

  6. #6
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    Re: Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    Let me make the hardest part of the "update tango" an easier dance. Woody's is excellent overall, Security Focus' Bug Track Section is good for vetting and using CNET news will notify you quickly. And remember this--Microsoft has historically held back releasing security flaws often--so your odds are pretty good in waiting a week or too, but in the current climate when they say critical I install.

    With the exception of Direct X and Win Media 9 Beta, I don't know of hotfixes that can't be uninstalled including most SP's for Windows or Office versions if there's a perceived problem.

    "What are you after you personalize windows update?" See Windows Update Versus Windows Update Catalog Screenshots for using Personalize and the Catalogue.

    You can save settings with the save settings button and you can get a list of all updates, drives, ect. I find it cumbersome, I find updates being cued I already have and drivers that are outdated when I have much newer audio and video drivers going to manufacturer sites, and I find Microsoft sometimes offers lower quality problematic erratic drivers through their Update service.

    Also see:

    Setting Up Automatic Update: 4 Approaches

    I prefer the many lists on the web or the security site, but lets say you use Win Update and install Windows XP for someone else in your family, office or another machine and want to know all the updates--you can Personalize and then have access to the Windows Update Catalouge that allows you to review all the updates for that software to date, drivers or other categories of update.

    I don't understand your question with the phrase "downloaded behind the scenes" but if you clarify it I'll sure try to answer it.

    The alternative I recommend makes sure you don't miss the update, and unlike Windows Update it gives you a short or detailed take your choice context and explanation for each update so you know whether you need it--in that regard it tailors it to your system. Some bulletins just like updates--if you aren't running Exchange Server or SQL or Windows Server 2003 then of course you don't need them and you ignore them.

    If I didn't answer, then pinpoint me further--"behind the scenes" I just don't know what you mean.

    SMBP

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  8. #8
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    Re: Updates (XP home, Svc Pack1)

    Wow. That's a lot of material. I'm slightly overwhelmed, both with your generosity and by the information - but that's not a bad thing; I'll get through it.

    Behind the scenes: The first time I realize that my machine has downloaded a WU update is after the download is complete, when WU pops up and shows me what it has in the hopper and asks if I want to install. I don't have to baby-sit a download - it happens automatically: starting, stopping, resuming without my involvement.

    As for the tailoring to my system issue and your reply "explanation for each update so you know whether you need it--in that regard it tailors it to your system. Some bulletins just like updates--if you aren't running Exchange Server or SQL or Windows Server 2003 then of course you don't need them and you ignore them", But, ya see, I have no idea whether I'm running SQL, or a server - Woody had that recent warning that one might have something like that without being aware of it (of course Woody also said that particular one was one that the WU site wouldn't recommend, anyway). That's the kind of buried info that a mere user such as I doesn't necessarily know. Another example is today's batch of Office updates - I'm running Office 97, SP1 - and I will have to try to figure out which, if any, of those to install. I know that's another thread in another section, but it's an example of what I mean. I guess I can turn to these fora for that kind of thing, though, and probably get quick, clear answers and learn a lot in the process, so I won't make this "tailored" aspect a deciding factor. I just have to go check these links and see if I understand it all - I'll let you know if I'm still confused.

    Thanks again, some more. I'm hugely grateful; you're the greatest!

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