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  1. #1
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    MSBA vs Windows Update

    Hi,

    I run Microsoft Security Baseline Analyser from time to time, partly because I prefer to use Firefox and this way I can actually get the updates one at a time. The last time through, though (just now), it identified 7 critical updates as missing, and one that couldn't be confirmed. Funny, because I have automatic updates turned on (at least to download and inform). So I checked with Windows Update - and that is adamant that I am up to date.

    Who should I believe?

    Thanks.

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    First, did you upgrade MSBA with the latest version that supports SP2?
    Also, MS just released several new patches, are you sure this is not just a timing issue?

    If both of the above are are ok, I would go back into Windows Update and check for installed updates - see if the ones identified in MSBA as needed have been installed.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Is this a home or work PC? If it is for work, are you using a proxy server that could have a caching issue? MS is usually pretty prompt about updating the MBSA XML Database for the latest patches. Why bother with MBSA if you have automatic updates on?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Bill, hi.

    Yes - I am using the version which supports SP2 (v1.2.1 - actually, this was the first version I installed). It could be an issue of timing, but I would have expected Windows Update to be "up to date" even if my PC hadn't got around to doing the download yet. FWIW, my home PC did download a number of patches the day before yesterday, but I wasn't sure if they were new patches I hadn't got on my laptop, or old patches that I hadn't got on my home PC.

    The missing critical errors are based upon file versions which are not quite as MSBA expects them to be. The issues in question are MS05, numbers 7, 8 and 11 through 15, with 9 being the one that they couldn't tell. I checked back with Control Panel | Add Remove Programs (show updates checked), and none of the KB numbers quoted against the MS05 references are listed, so it seems highly likely that I don't, in fact, have the updates. Finally, reviewing the installed updates in Windows Update also doesn't show the "missing" patches. Seems fairly conclusive, then!

    Which brings me back to Windows Update, and why it tells me that I'm up to date...

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Joe, hi.

    It's a work PC, but as I'm self employed and manage my own network connection, I know what I have fitted and there ain't no proxy servers. And the reason I use MSBA is because I don't altogether trust Windows Update (and I like to avoid using IE wherever humanly possible). See my reply to Bill slightly higher up the thread to see that I have checked back with Control Panel and also with Windows Update | Installation History to confirm that the KB numbers quoted by MSBA haven't, in fact, been installed.

    At least I know which to trust now, but it begs the question as to why Windows Update thinks that I'm OK.

    Cheers,

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    You didn't specifically say which OS is on each PC. As far as trusting WU or MBSA, I'd say that WU is the vehicle that is updated first by MS. If you check the MS newsgroups, there is always a little lag in getting MBSA up-to-date on what it checks. Have you ckecked the 'Help and Support' link on the WU page?

    Joe
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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    <hr>Which brings me back to Windows Update, and why it tells me that I'm up to date<hr>
    <!mskb=830066>Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 830066<!/mskb> has a possible solution.
    John
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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Interesting, but no help. The best I could manage was a number of lines which say:

    "update {<class_id>} has no local extended metadata. Do not return it"

    which to me means absolutely nothing.

    I think my best bet is to go and find the individual patches and install them. Any dissenters?

    Cheers,

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    In the scan results, when you click on "How to correct this", see the following notes:

    <UL> <font color=6495ed><LI>Windows Update does not carry non-Windows security updates such as Microsoft
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Thanks for your help - I decided to go and find each knowledgebase article quoted and download the patches individually. I still don't know why WU wouldn't find them, when they appear to be OS-related (XP Pro, by the way), but it just reinforces my belief that I need both tools to be able to keep my machine fully up to date.

    Cheers,

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Interesting follow up:

    I only managed to download one of the individual updates. Then today, Windows Critical Update announced that it had a wholel load of patches for me. Installed them, and now MSBA reports that I'm all hunky dory. That was a full week after MSBA told me that I wasn't up to date.

    Message is clear - Windows Update left me exposed to known security threats for a week after the patches were available. Trustworthy computing indeed.

    Regards,

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    It makes you wonder how long the updates were available to Windows Update? I wonder if they were there but because the rest of the world goes through Windows Update their servers are always swamped? Or maybe for load control they "trickle them out".

    Now that I read my own question, that does not make sense for when you run WUD manually - or does it? I'm confused.

    Or, is MS waiting for the Stuarts of the world to act as their guinea pigs for the new patches??? Let the geeks test them first?

    Or must the patches be wrapped differently for WUD and so are released through a different department at MS - still a week is ridiculous.

    Something to watch for, thanks Stuart.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Stuart,
    Having MBSA updated first is backwards of how the process typically works when MS releases security patches. Updating the MBSA detection catalog usually lags the WU availability by a bit. This sure seems like something amiss with your setup. Have you tried the Windows Update Troubleshooter? Are you running a proxy server that could be caching something?

    Also, remember that MBSA only is for security updates. MBSA does not detect any critical non-security patches, recommended patches, or new features. If you choose to continue to use both that's fine but do continue to use both.

    Joe
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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Joe,

    Honestly, no proxies no nothing. Just me, my ISP and WU. Or me, my ISP and Windows Critical Update Notification, if you prefer. Never let me down in the past (so far as I know!)

    Certainly I won't be stopping using WU - as you say, there are frequently other updates that are useful to have - but my confidence in using it has been sufficiently knocked that I shall be using MSBA on a much more regular basis.

    Regards,

    Stuart

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    Re: MSBA vs Windows Update

    Stuart,

    Hmmmm, have you looked at the WU troubleshooting?

    Joe
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