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Bruceleeon

Windows Update Woes

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We've all heard the Microsoft updater woes. It seems Microsoft comes out with a critical update patch for XP on a daily basis. Last year, Microsoft tried to answer those who were dissatisfied about constant updating by switching their critical maintenance updates to only once per month. Unfortunately, that didn't work either, as a common PC could by that time have a few MB to download in updates and patches-pity on those few internet surfers who still subscribe to the net with a dial-up connection. How was Microsoft to solve this problem? With the advent of XP Service Pack 2, Microsoft made it easier to update a PC by simply suggesting to the user that they turn on the new feature Automatic Updates, which not only downloaded but installed as well. Hooray! Microsoft's update/patch problems have been solved! I think not.

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I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. Yes, having to download patches and service packs for the OS is a pain in the backside but sadly it has to be done.

Why did you download all the security updates before you installed SP2? SP2 would have included most of them and would have saved you a little time.

In any case, how can you say that "Microsoft still does not have a handle on their update and patch problems". Windows Update and its derivatives (WSUS, SUS, Microsoft Update) are as about as good as patch delivery systems can get. Windows Update detects what patches you have and what patches you need and delivers that information in an easy to understand format and lets you download and install the patches easily and automatically. What more can Microsoft do? How can they improve it? Aside from a couple of interface issues which have been ironed out in the lasted version of WindowsUpdate its difficult to see how.

Additionally, automatic updates have been in XP ever since it was released. They're just not turned on by default until SP2.

Windows is not the only operating system with security flaws. Windows is not the only operating system that needs to be patched regularly to be kept secure and up to date. Linux operating systems need updating just as regularly and in a lot of cases the update mechanism on those is a lot trickier.

There is nothing stopping you from downloading SP2 and all the hotfixes seperatly and keeping them stored away on a CDR or something. That at least means that you can save the time of having to download them each time.

Finally, if all this really pains you that much, why don't you invest in a piece of software like Norton Ghost, do a fresh install of the operating system with all the patches and take a snapshot of the disk. So simple yet so effective.

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What you say is true Norphy. But even after a fresh install of XP SP2 a few days ago I had to go to WU and download 50+ megs of critical updates. I have broadband so no biggy for most of us but if I were on dialup it would be agonizing!

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I don't understand the point you're trying to make here. Yes, having to download patches and service packs for the OS is a pain in the backside but sadly it has to be done.

Why did you download all the security updates before you installed SP2? SP2 would have included most of them and would have saved you a little time.

In any case, how can you say that "Microsoft still does not have a handle on their update and patch problems". Windows Update and its derivatives (WSUS, SUS, Microsoft Update) are as about as good as patch delivery systems can get. Windows Update detects what patches you have and what patches you need and delivers that information in an easy to understand format and lets you download and install the patches easily and automatically. What more can Microsoft do? How can they improve it? Aside from a couple of interface issues which have been ironed out in the lasted version of WindowsUpdate its difficult to see how.

Additionally, automatic updates have been in XP ever since it was released. They're just not turned on by default until SP2.

Windows is not the only operating system with security flaws. Windows is not the only operating system that needs to be patched regularly to be kept secure and up to date. Linux operating systems need updating just as regularly and in a lot of cases the update mechanism on those is a lot trickier.

There is nothing stopping you from downloading SP2 and all the hotfixes seperatly and keeping them stored away on a CDR or something. That at least means that you can save the time of having to download them each time.

Finally, if all this really pains you that much, why don't you invest in a piece of software like Norton Ghost, do a fresh install of the operating system with all the patches and take a snapshot of the disk. So simple yet so effective.

Norphy,

One thing you have to understand is that this was an article written by one of our readers. We felt it had enough merrit to deserve a publication. What a lot of us forget is that "normal" users, those who don't know ghost, those who don't have a network to pull sp2 from, don't know how to slipstream, those who only have a dell recovery CD. That is the point of this article. This guy, Eric, has as much experience with a computer as most "newbs".

Don't forget that we (forum dwellers, oc'ers, geeks) are the minority. Everyone forgets that when we read articles like this. What is so obvious to us, may not be to everyone that searches google. Hence, the note at the bottom to order the CD from Microsoft.

COD is not for only the experienced. When an average user gets frustrated with Updates and hits google, I want them to find that article, with that note, and know that there is hope yet.

That is the point. Your opinion may vary, but that, I feel, is our purpose here to inform people.

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Norphy,

My point was simply this--Microsoft's Updating system is not effective due to the fact that it takes an amazing amount of time to do so. Do I have an answer to the problem? No, I don't, but I don't see that as a rebuttal to my argument because I'm not in that line of work. I teach high school English, I'm not extremely knowledgable about operating systems. What I do know, however, is that Microsoft is the biggest and richest computer company on the planet. Windows is their flagship product. Explain why there isn't an easier alternative to fully reinstalling Windows? There should be.

You have become too accepting of Microsoft's meager attempts. Why should Microsoft care? Are their competitors offering a better product? Of course not, that's why they've been hit with the anti-trust offense. I expect more from a company that is headed by a man who ranks in the top 60 richest countries (that's not a typo) of the world. As an average user, the updating fiasco I recently went through was ridiculous. That, my friend, was the point of the article. Microsoft, the globally dominant computing company, has a major problem with the ease of a clean install of their major product, Microsoft Windows.

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