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View Full Version : Do I really need Windows Updates?



tuiruru
08-02-2009, 01:19 PM
I'm running a fairly new Toshiba A 300 Notebook with a 2.4 GHz Processor, 4 gig RAM, Vista Home Premium (32 bit) SP 1. Every so often I get a notification that Windows updates are available but I've never downloaded or installed them cos I've read in forums like this about people just doing it willy nilly and ending up with problems. I've just checked and found that I'm missing 51 important updates totalling almost 390 megs. Do I really need them all and if not which ones should i select?

Thanks

plod
08-02-2009, 01:21 PM
Yes. their are there for a reason. This is the reason for the latest worm/trojan. unpatched systems

Speedy Gonzales
08-02-2009, 01:24 PM
Yup thats how people get worms etc (ie: conficker), because they cant be bothered updating windows. Then, by the time they think about it, its too late.

Whatever has either corrupted / deleted something / screwed windows up somehow.

Then you'll have to format, to fix it

pctek
08-02-2009, 02:21 PM
In fact I disagree. MS updates are endless and never fix the security holes in the O/S anyway.

If they did, they'd stop wouldn't they?
Eventually the updates are massed together and becomes a service pack.

I do install service packs, although not instantly they arrive, but updates, no. I do however ensure I have plenty of 3rd party net protection installed, including those that warn of changes to the system.

Can't say I've ever had any malware take over nor do I get warnings but I have seen others get warnings from them, so in my opinion you're better off with 3rd party.

MS has never be known for its safety. Just look at how useful Windows Defender is.
And often patches break something and then theres the patch to fix the patch scenario.

Speedy Gonzales
08-02-2009, 02:27 PM
Well its up to you, but you've got yourself to blame, if you get hit later

Everything has patches / updates

If nothing needed updates, there would be no point in using it. Since it'll be too too buggy / full of security holes

And you probably wouldnt have windows / macs, or even the internet

Most of the computers, I've fixed, the person has either installed a P2P program, (and been infected), or havent updated something in windows (and complained later, because they've got a worm / trojan)

Bantu
08-02-2009, 02:50 PM
Some are worthwhile, but some are not needed. Like we sure need the Timezone Fix for Kenya or the fix for the Euro don't we? NOT.

Some related to programs we choose not to install, no patches needed for those either.

I update via Autopatcher and my estimate is there is about 10-15% of the updates I don't need to install

blanco
08-02-2009, 04:12 PM
More words of wisdom from Speedy. Some MS updates are
invaluable - you need to be selective in which you choose
to instal. I would suggest that you should sign up for security
newsletters from the likes of CNET which keep you fully informed
of new risks and solutiions for free.
I would advise you to install MS update KB958644 which is a
safeguard against attack from the polymorphic worm virus known
as Conficker, Downadup and Kido, which is globaly rampant and
has caused chaos to unknown numbers of PCs. Not all 3rd party
antivirus progs in current use are up to dealing with this threat,
especially if they are not frequently updated as your case suggests.
A little time spent taking care of these issues can save you a lot of
hassle and expense.
Hope you don't mind this little lecture......................Blanco

plod
08-02-2009, 04:22 PM
In fact I disagree. MS updates are endless and never fix the security holes in the O/S anyway.

If they did, they'd stop wouldn't they?
Eventually the updates are massed together and becomes a service pack.

I do install service packs, although not instantly they arrive, but updates, no. I do however ensure I have plenty of 3rd party net protection installed, including those that warn of changes to the system.

Can't say I've ever had any malware take over nor do I get warnings but I have seen others get warnings from them, so in my opinion you're better off with 3rd party.

MS has never be known for its safety. Just look at how useful Windows Defender is.
And often patches break something and then theres the patch to fix the patch scenario.

Is this the advice you give your customers, well I guess its one way to stay in business.

blanco
08-02-2009, 04:25 PM
Should have named WINDOWS SECRETS as a good
newsletter source (weekly by email)

pctek
08-02-2009, 04:31 PM
Is this the advice you give your customers, well I guess its one way to stay in business.

Funny.
I do not disable updates on customers PCs. I do, always, ensure they never leave the shop without adequate 3rd party protection on them and stress the need for that to be kept current and used often.

So, all the techs here that have decided Nortons is useless because they see Nortons protected PCs stuffed with malware - now explain to me how MS updates have protected all these people that bring their fully patched PCs in also stuffed with Malware?

It doesn't work.
Simple real world observation.

plod
08-02-2009, 04:41 PM
Funny.
I do not disable updates on customers PCs. I do, always, ensure they never leave the shop without adequate 3rd party protection on them and stress the need for that to be kept current and used often.

So, all the techs here that have decided Nortons is useless because they see Nortons protected PCs stuffed with malware - now explain to me how MS updates have protected all these people that bring their fully patched PCs in also stuffed with Malware?

It doesn't work.
Simple real world observation.

Having a patched PC doesn't stop the need for 3rd party AV and the likes, but surely using solely 3rd party apps without a fully patched system is asking for trouble. This latest worm was getting through a lot of 3rd party firewalls that were up to date.

mzee
08-02-2009, 05:34 PM
I use XP pro SP2 and Vista Home Premium No Updates.
The XP is on 2 Desk Top's and have never had any updates, other than SP2 and Firefox, Anti virus plus software etc.

The HP laptop was bought over a year ago. I removed the Norton AV & installed Avast and Zone Alarm. In all this time it has never faltered, nor had a Windows Update, not even SP1.

1) Keep antivirus, firewall & anti spy ware up to date.
2) If it aint broke, don't fix it.

As for reformatting & installing, why?? just make an Image of the system, takes a few minutes to restore.

Speedy Gonzales
08-02-2009, 05:38 PM
The HP laptop was bought over a year ago. I removed the Norton AV & installed Avast and Zone Alarm. In all this time it has never faltered, nor had a Windows Update, not even SP1.

Is this on the net tho? If it isnt, thats prob why it hasnt been hit yet

mzee
08-02-2009, 05:57 PM
The Lap top on Vista belongs to my ex wife who knows nothing about computers. It is connected to Broadband via a wireless router plugged into a Dick Smith LAN/J45 router shared by 3 other computers.
I scan it for virae and spyware every 3 months or so and ensure that they are up to date. It has never refused to boot. No Windows updates have been done.
I made an Image of the drive after installing the software but never had to use it. (must do another)
Murphy's law being what it is, I will expect a call anytime soon! Should keep quiet ;-)

tuiruru
08-02-2009, 07:08 PM
Thanks for the prompt replies and advice people - lots for me to think about.
I'll soon start a new thread on the third party stuff I'm already using and whether I need anymore - watch this space!

bk T
08-02-2009, 07:59 PM
...
I update via Autopatcher and my estimate is there is about 10-15% of the updates I don't need to install

I thought MS has blocked Autopatcher? Still available for download?

Speedy Gonzales
08-02-2009, 08:13 PM
I thought MS has blocked Autopatcher? Still available for download?

Thats what I thought, but obviously not. I think they were told to stop

BUT it does work. I used it to make ISO's last mth for updates for Office XP/07/03, the net framework updates, and x64

Paul.Cov
08-02-2009, 10:40 PM
It all depends on what you use the computer for, and particularly, whether or not it ever sees the internet.

I have a games machine that has had no updates, no patches, no service packs beyond the SP1 it came with.

There is no current antivirus, but there is the protection of a software firewall, and a router as another layer of separation.

It rarely gets connected to the net, and when it does, it is going to trusted sites, like steam to get more games, and is promptly disconnected once the task is complete..

It never surfs the net. It's been fine!

If you use something OTHER than the main vectors for attack (Internet Explorer, Instant Messager, Outlook, Torrents), and if you have a bit of a brain about what you click on, then you may be relatively safe.

Particularly if you avoid the MS trap of using Media Player and Internet Explorer, then 90% of all the updates are worthless to you anyway.

I'm a tad frustrated about some new hardware out there requiring SP3 on Vista, but am addressing that problem by simply not buying that hardware.

Most of my internet use is done via an old Win98 system, and it's been fine too! Has Avast and ZoneAlarm.
Nortons was indeed a piece of excrement.

If you have some nouse, and use the internet with caution, you may be able to cut down on the updates.

If you have kids using it online, put every patch and protection you can find on it, and get familiar with using restore points. Kids will bring every digital curse you can imagine.

blanco
08-02-2009, 11:49 PM
You can pick up many infections without being internet
connected. A growing concern is the presence of USB
device worms which are becoming more prevalent.
There have been recent cases of conference delegates
given USB keys and digital photoframes as freebies which
were all infected "maliciously" at the manufacturing source.
These viruses will then spread fro PC to PC via USB .
The number of users thought to be infected by CONFLIKER
is estimated at 20 million.
I think this highlights the need for security awareness and
the risks of complacency.
Regarding the availability of the mentioned Autopatcher.
A good alternative is Personal Software Inspector from SECUNIA
which runs inobtrusively in the background, monitors any
changes to your software, informs you of any end-of-life
or at-risk progs which need patching and suggests the best
solution, with direct links to download the patches Automatically.
A system restore point is optional before any patching.
A good way of keeping abreast of things.

Bantu
09-02-2009, 07:11 AM
Autopatcher and MS came to some agreement. Autopatcher did stop for a while but is back again now and updates are current.