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  • Pesky MS Updates

    Would you agree some 95% of Windows updates are unlikely to serve any useful purpose for 95% of us users. Most are just dreamed up by MS employees as just another nerdy example of Parkinson law of ‘ jobs for the boys, such as below. I know of folk who never accepted any of these wretched updates for years without any problems. That is until one day they tried to install some fancy new software only to find it needed some weird update, so they finally then updated.
    If it is not bad enough having to stop using the PC for some 15 minutes or so while it updates and keeps restarting to install some MS rubbish, I now suspect some free registry cleaner included in my fully paid up AVG, though marginally speeding up the PC has corrupted the list of such Updates. I had the same problem when I paid AVG for an even more thorough Registry cleaner awhile ago. So I am now being bombarded by stupid requests to keep installing updates I already have installed. Therefore it is not surprising I have been obliged to opt to receive NONE of these updates until early next month when presumably we will all be bombarded with umpteen more largely unnecessary updates, in the hope my registry will correct itself by then.
    One more example of nerdy nonsense, I was asked to update my details such as my home address for my web site host due to another of today’s endless takeovers. The crazy form had a compulsory line *Region. I tried my county, UK, England, even Europe and was even thinking of entering Earth or Solar System. But in the end I risked phoning them on an 03 number, only to find I was talking to a lady in the Philippines, hopefully not to be charged for an International call. She tried for several minutes to discover what the nerdy fools who designed the form expected us to enter for ‘ Region’ So I asked her to email me. The answer arrived today to confirm my details have now been accepted, but no indication as to the secret what the fools expect has to be entered for the Region!!

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/has-mic...tag=TRE7ce1dc9

  • #2
    Re: Pesky MS Updates

    Regarding Microsoft updates (at least the critical and security updates) there is a workflow along the lines of:

    Hacker discovers vulnerability
    Other hackers learn about it
    Rest of world learn about it
    Microsoft learn about it
    Microsoft develop fix
    Microsoft deploy fix

    IMHO, if you do not then install the relevant update, you are potentially leaving yourself open to attack, so it is the sensible thing to install the update. If you choose not to, it is at your own risk. I would never say they are "unnecessary"
    I do, however, wait a few days after Patch Tuesday to let Microsoft fix the broken update (or let other people discover the problems first)

    Other updates add functionality or deal with less important issues, so it is entirely up to you if you install them or not.

    Regarding registry cleaners, I have always found them to do more harm than good, and would avoid them (free or not) like the plague. If AVG insist you install one, I would find a different AV engine.
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Pesky MS Updates

      Thanks it would be nice to know what updates may not be really necessary apart from the ones MS designate are Optional.

      Actually the Free Registry cleaner provided by AVG if you wish to use is also supposed to delete some Temp files, check for Fragmentation, and Missing Links.

      The joke is they sent me a Christmas Present -------- an offer for the more comprehensive cleaner at reduced price !!!

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      • #4
        Re: Pesky MS Updates

        Regarding registry cleaners, I have always found them to do more harm than good, and would avoid them (free or not) like the plague. If AVG insist you install one, I would find a different AV engine.
        I wholeheartedly agree, I have a nagging suspicion that some of them are teetering on the edge of being malware with their prophecies of doom. It sounds from your rant that the issue is more what AVG have done to your PC than what Microsoft have done.

        Regarding MS updates, I see similar complaints a lot and I have to say I do not understand them. Microsoft, deservedly, had a very poor rep for security and it was only when they introduced XP SP2 that they started to repair the damage. They have a clear and transparent policy on updates and when they come out, which makes life as easy as possible for us sysadmins.

        Knowing people who have never installed an update and say they never have any issue is in no way a valid indicator. How do they know they've never had a problem? And just because they never have, does not mean they never will. Just ask Sony, I bet they never had any problems before this month. I know that the issue (at least as reported) was more to do with weak passwords than vulnerabilities, but there's no point having a shiny new lock if your door is falling off it's hinges.

        Finally, would you rather Microsoft were like Java and Adobe, whose apps are constantly being patched at random times?
        BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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        Cruachan's Blog

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        • #5
          Re: Pesky MS Updates

          Originally posted by cruachan View Post
          I wholeheartedly agree, I have a nagging suspicion that some of them are teetering on the edge of being malware with their prophecies of doom. It sounds from your rant that the issue is more what AVG have done to your PC than what Microsoft have done.

          Regarding MS updates, I see similar complaints a lot and I have to say I do not understand them. Microsoft, deservedly, had a very poor rep for security and it was only when they introduced XP SP2 that they started to repair the damage. They have a clear and transparent policy on updates and when they come out, which makes life as easy as possible for us sysadmins.

          Knowing people who have never installed an update and say they never have any issue is in no way a valid indicator. How do they know they've never had a problem? And just because they never have, does not mean they never will. Just ask Sony, I bet they never had any problems before this month. I know that the issue (at least as reported) was more to do with weak passwords than vulnerabilities, but there's no point having a shiny new lock if your door is falling off it's hinges.

          Finally, would you rather Microsoft were like Java and Adobe, whose apps are constantly being patched at random times?
          I agree. Additionally, while it might be viewed that updates are an inconvenience and more hype than real threat, Microsoft would be completely remiss in their obligation and responsibility if they simply said "This is likely to only affect .01% of installed systems so we'll just ignore it."

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          • #6
            Re: Pesky MS Updates

            Though not a regular user of any Linux nevertheless it amazes me none of the many versions of Linux ever seem to need any regular security updates similar to thousands issued by MS over the years.

            Even when a new free version of a Linux is produced I cannot remember it being mentioned it was essential like Windows updates.

            I only use a Linux to either access the drive with a crashed Windows to rescue files, or to create Debian Linux free versions of my software as on my site.

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            • #7
              Re: Pesky MS Updates

              I understand the frustration but at the end of the day, you make the choice whether or not to use Windows. If updates are that burdensome to you then maybe you'd be better off not using Windows.

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              • #8
                Re: Pesky MS Updates

                No problem now thanks. Thought MS seem to want to hide it I discovered a simple way to block unwanted updates that keep bouncing back with Win 7 is just right click on and you can hide them. I have yet to find a similar way with XP. But then MS claimed never to send any more updates for XP so I may reject them all. Anyway I use Firefox if I use Win XP for anything.

                Actually I would consider using Linux Mint on my second PC, but I understand Skype will never work on a Linux. I need Skype for club committee meetings where I have been lumbered with the job of acting chairman !!

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                • #9
                  Re: Pesky MS Updates

                  Gordon, I share your pain. MS updates give me the shits so much that I now have a burning ring of fire. The constant reboots are of such a pain that I actually lost it and posted a very strong rant in a "different forum". We get Patchs, sorry, Update Tuesday with multiple hundred MB updates this month (had my laptop reboot while I was doing something in a Remote Session) only to get a 49KB file 2 or 3 days later and have to reboot again. Do that with 3 laptops, 2 Desktops and I think I have about 8 VMs and it gets old VERY quickly.

                  Having said that, as per above the Updates ARE necessary and it would be wise to do them when they come knocking on your machine.

                  You can run Windows as a Virtual Machine on Linux. Have a read here. http://www.howtogeek.com/133515/4-wa...ware-on-linux/
                  1 1 was a racehorse.
                  2 2 was 1 2.
                  1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                  2 2 1 1 2

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pesky MS Updates

                    Originally posted by GordonSweet View Post
                    Though not a regular user of any Linux nevertheless it amazes me none of the many versions of Linux ever seem to need any regular security updates similar to thousands issued by MS over the years.

                    Even when a new free version of a Linux is produced I cannot remember it being mentioned it was essential like Windows updates.

                    I only use a Linux to either access the drive with a crashed Windows to rescue files, or to create Debian Linux free versions of my software as on my site.
                    Really. Maybe you should look a bit deeper into Linux then as there sure are vulnerabilities that need patched.

                    Lets not forget that Windows has the market share when it comes to PC usage globally so guess what the hackers will try and attack!!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pesky MS Updates

                      Originally posted by wullieb1 View Post
                      Lets not forget that Windows has the market share when it comes to PC usage globally so guess what the hackers will try and attack!!!
                      That may (currently) be true for home computers, and then only if you exclude mobile devices. However, the vast majority of the web servers and DNS servers on the Internet are not running Windows. Linux has a huge share of that market.

                      Linux certainly needs patching from time to time, but a Linux system is just so much more modular. Unless the bug is in the kernel proper (and it very rarely is on either platform), a reboot is not necessary to update a Linux system.

                      A different OS design and a very different approach to the handling of open files makes the "update" experience a lot smoother under Linux. I mean, you can upgrade/update the SSH subsystem while the system is running, while you and others are logged in using SSH, and without the connection being dropped for anyone.

                      Granted, not every component is quite that flexible, but still; you very rarely need to reboot a Linux server. For comparison, when did you last see, say, a .NET update on the Windows platform that didn't require a reboot? Surely, the Windows kernel doesn't depend on the .NET framework?

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