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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    Recently (Post: 383442) I asked about autoupdate failures. I finally have time to go through the responses (Thank you everyone!) and found many helpful suggestions and a new question.

    Many, perhaps most, suggestions for correcting autoupdate failures involve disabling anti-virus protection, turning active-x on, and otherwise disabling the security features that protect computers for the duration of the process. Turning those features off and on is a trial in itself, IMO. I understand that SP2 will increase the default security levels in IE and other vulnerable areas, but also that the mean time for an unprotected computer to be found and possibly attacked is now under one minute.

    Why does the program that distributes patches and updates apparently require users to make themselves defenseless in the process?

    Disclaimer: I use IE only under duress, to reach MS sites and download email from my employer's network for example, because of its weak security.

  2. #2
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    I have been using Windows Update since it came out. I do NOT use the Auto mode, for I like to see what is happening. I have NOT had any problems with the updating of the critical files. There appears to be problems when using BOTH the Windows Update and got to the KB Page for a fix.

    I have a AV, Firewall, Script Blocker and pop up blocker running at the time of updates. I have also been able to install betas of XP SP1 and SP2 and the final release of SP1 with these protectors running.

    Bottom line in my opinion, is the tweakers are the ones that have the problems.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    I agree with Dave. Windows Update (and Office Update) work fine on my PC with all protection running (firewall, anti-virus program, spywareblaster, popup blocker). I decide which updates to install myself, after that the update proceeds unobtrusively in the background; if necessary I let it restart the PC at the end.

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    George

    The injunction to "turn off software firewalls and antivirus packages" when doing Windows Updates is probably a hangover from the occasions where Microsoft found/alleged that problems with their update process were being caused by these allegedly-badly-behaved applications! Allegedly. Nothing to do with their update software. Oh no. Not even a little bit. Compare the suggestions, when installing almost any software package, that you should stop all other programs. (Who actually does this, eh?).

    However, when we come to applying XP SP2, since it's almost a complete replacement of everything you hold near and dear, it might be a good idea to get the SP2 update CD, take the day off, disconnect your computer from the internet, go into a darkened room, and install warily...

    John
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  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    George,

    Like the rest of the responding Loungers, I have never had to disable anything in order to get Update to work. I followed the thread you mentioned and did not see anyone from the Lounge suggest disabling anything. You must have gotten your advice from elsewhere on that angle.
    Just googling around for Update failures, I didn't see any suggestions like that. <img src=/S/yikes.gif border=0 alt=yikes width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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  6. #6
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    Thanks to everyone who replied.

    Following links in the suggestions on the thread (some were essentially lists of links), I was struck by the number that include turning off firewalls, antivirus, etc. and turning ActiveX on. Several came from MSMVPS or MS sites. Apparently update insists on ActiveX and gets stuck in some (many?) pop up, ad, etc blockers, firewalls, and virus traps.

    That just made me curious. Why would MS use update service to distribute security patches and upgrades that requires (?) low or no security by their own recommendation.

    I'd think update software would be more user friendly and bulletproof than anything else, but I guess not. Is it harder to design and implement?

    I'm not sure how my own problem with repetitive updates started (early in April), and I haven't worked through it yet.

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed.

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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    I don't believe they do anymore. I'll bet some of those posts are pretty old. With V4 of Windows update MS eliminated the pop-up that used to occur. Also, some of the suggestions may of the 'here try these if you have a problem' type just to get started with debugging update problems. Also take a look here Kelly's Windows XP site under 'W' - Windows update.

    Joe
    Joe

  8. #8
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    One of the cleanest solutions is to place *.microsoft.com in your Trusted Sites list, so that the more lenient security restrictions of the Trusted zone apply. That way, you don't have to alter your tough security restrictions for general Internet sites. If you double-click the lower-right end of the Status bar where the zone is listed, you can access the security tab of IE's Internet Options dialog. (That's from memory; I'm in FireFox at the moment.)

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    Re: How secure is MS update process? (XP SP1)

    Thanks, Joe and J. I've used both of your suggestions and look forward to seeing their results. I've added Kelly's Korner to my troubleshooting check list. It looks like a great site.

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