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Windows Updates - Should I set it to automatic?


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#1 funnytim

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:30 AM

Hi BC,

For a ... long time now, I've always set Windows Updates to only notify me when new updates are available, and I choose when to download + install them.

However I'm read a lot, (including here), that for maximum protection I should always set Windows to automatically download and install updates by itself so I can have the latest updates. However, I've also read about situations where people install updates that come out right away, only to find that the update itself messes up their system instead. (Not sure if thats 100% true, but it's what I've heard before.)

So...my question is, SHOULD I change the Windows update settings to make it automatically update, or is it better to let the updates be on there for a while so MS can remove any updates that may screw up a computer instead of helping?


Thanks!

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#2 frankp316

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 06:39 AM

There seems to be a lot of fear mongering about Windows Updates. I have them on auto and have never had a problem. You're leaving yourself vulnerable if you're not up to date.

#3 FiOS Dan

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 11:55 AM

There are definitely two schools of thought on this issue. FWIW my wife has everything on her PC set to auto and she never has a problem. On the other hand, I have WU set to notify only. I run as a Limited User, except to manually update, so I feel comfortable taking a few days to see if the latest update(s) from Windows crash anyone's systems.
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#4 Swordie

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 09:49 PM

Honestly, I would say go to Auto. Windows does some intensive testing of their updates before they officially release them. I have set them to auto and have never had a single problem. The thing with setting them to notify you, is that sometimes you'll see the bubble, and your like, ahh, it's annoying, and you'll forget. I'd rather get it on Auto, but if you pay attention to your notices, there isn't really a difference.
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#5 funnytim

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:09 PM

Ok thanks!

Seems like a lot of the time, when I used to set it to Auto, it would install updates, then prompt me to restart while I'm doing something. Then the annoying dialog keeps poping up asking me to restart in (XP), which I can't because I'm working on something. Guess I should change the auto update time to another time.

#6 Swordie

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 09:34 PM

Ok thanks!

Seems like a lot of the time, when I used to set it to Auto, it would install updates, then prompt me to restart while I'm doing something. Then the annoying dialog keeps poping up asking me to restart in (XP), which I can't because I'm working on something. Guess I should change the auto update time to another time.


Or, if you can, press on the Postpone to 4 hours sign if you get one. I get them all the time; I just press Postpone for 4 hours, and I usually turn off my computer by that time anyways.
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#7 Orange Blossom

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:26 PM

If you are in the habit of checking for OS updates bi-weekly or monthly on a regular basis, setting the updates to automatic will not make you more secure.

I have mine set completely to manual. I have several reasons for this.

1) I'm on dial-up. When I do updates for the OS, I do ONLY updates for the OS. Having them set even at notify only takes up too much bandwidth to do anything else.

2) I have to loosen some of my security in order to get the updates to download and install. I DO NOT want to have my computer set at this looser setting all the time.

3) Microsoft seems to think I need updates that I don't need. For example, they insist I need MS Outlook updates. I don't use Outlook at all and have it as uninstalled as I can get without uninstalling the entire office suite. Why on earth would I need an Outlook Junk e-mail filter when I use Thunderbird? Yet, MS says it's a critical update. That's like getting jumper cables when you don't have a car.

4) There are times when it is better to wait a bit - it depends on the situation.

However, if you're the type of person who forgets to check for updates, then having them set to automatic would be a wise choice and would make your computer more secure because then your system would be patched even though you forgot to check for and install the updates because the computer would have done it automatically.

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#8 scff249

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 11:49 PM

Mines set to automatic, but I'll let them install and restart the computer when it asks me to so that I can save the hassle of waiting on them. I get to my college a half an hour early so that I can check for updates, check e-mail, and etc while I wait (the only one I can't update is SAS since the download vector for SAS updates is blocked....but meh. I don't care. School network needs to protect itself, and I don't blame them. In fact, I'm fine with it.....especially after our little incident a year ago with autorun.inf running rampant).

The only updates I've ever held back on were times when I had no clue about computer security, which I know better nowadays, and Service Pack 3 since one of my buddies got infected somehow while installing it....but it's probably some trace infections that were left on his computer that acted up once Service Pack 3 was installing. After that, I had to install Service Pack 3 since we were installing Adobe Flash CS4 (and supposedly, SP2 had issues with it for whatever reason)

......but then there's the time where I went completely bonkers and ended up spreading the word to a number of places to update their computers if they had the specific OS's specified during the huge security risk issue that was issued by Microsoft, which BC also put up on the top of the forums warning everyone....

And I'm shutting up.

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"Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you." -The Dandelion Girl
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#9 Queen-Evie

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:56 AM

I have mine set to download but notify me. When I'm notified, I click on the option to see what updates there are. I like to know what is being installed on my system.

#10 JamesFrance

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 03:14 AM

I tried to install SP3 for XP soon after it was released but it made my machine unbootable and I had to reformat.

After that I set updates to notify, but it was several months before I was offered SP3. I then installed it, but the installer did some checks first and all went smoothly that time.

From that I presume that they can check your system for compatability with the update before offering it to you, so I now have mine back on auto.
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#11 tork

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 12:23 PM

I do the updates manually, I want to decide what is going to be installed and when. I'll do a backup before doing the updates. I'll look around the web and see if there are any problems with the updates I'll be installing. Also, as previous posters have said with the Automatic Download option, Microsoft downloads updates for programs that I do not use. So the manual updating works for me.

#12 Swordie

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Posted 03 March 2009 - 06:20 PM

Well, I have it to install all IMPORTANT and Recommended Updates. I've never seen them do anything else besides that.
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#13 Stang777

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 09:23 PM

There seems to be a lot of fear mongering about Windows Updates. I have them on auto and have never had a problem. You're leaving yourself vulnerable if you're not up to date.

That would be me, lol. I am afraid of the updates, one bad experience ruined them for me. I am one of the idiots who do not update Windows. I had more problems from an update than I ever have without them. You guys can tell me I am being stupid, trust me, it isn't anyting I haven't heard before, but it also won't make me do the updates. I know many people who have never done an update, are on the web all the time and have NEVER had any problems.

#14 scff249

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 09:52 PM

Well, now that I think about it....I'm not sure what my computer does technically.....

Every time I get onto the computer and it says that updates are ready to install, I'll go to Custom Install to see what's going in so that I know what kind of an update it is. If there's something I don't need, which is pretty rare, I'll uncheck it and install everything else. Then go to the Windows Update site to make sure that the one that I didn't install is then hidden so that I don't have to have it harass me.

"Ototo'i wa usagi o mita no...Kino wa shika...Kyo wa anata." -Kotomi Ichinose (Clannad) [see below for translation]
"Day before yesterday I saw a rabbit, and yesterday a deer, and today, you." -The Dandelion Girl
"You are not alone, and you are not strange. You are you, and everyone has damage. Be the better person." -Katawa Shoujo


#15 tork

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:24 AM

There seems to be a lot of fear mongering about Windows Updates. I have them on auto and have never had a problem. You're leaving yourself vulnerable if you're not up to date.

That would be me, lol. I am afraid of the updates, one bad experience ruined them for me. I am one of the idiots who do not update Windows. I had more problems from an update than I ever have without them. You guys can tell me I am being stupid, trust me, it isn't anyting I haven't heard before, but it also won't make me do the updates. I know many people who have never done an update, are on the web all the time and have NEVER had any problems.



Stang777 - I know some people who have done what you are doing and in each case they ended up regretting it - I'd encourage you to rethink not doing the Windows updates. You can choose to download the updates automatically but not have them installed. You then can backup your system using whatever your backup system is. Also, those of us who have been burned by updates - I've been there believe me - can then prowl the web to see if there have been any issues - you don't have to be the first to patch (I'm not) but you can patch when you've checked them out. A little more work but worth the effort in my opinion to patch the vulnerabilities. Hope I've encouraged you to at least rethink the patching issue.




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