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Windows 7: To Update or Not to Update?

13 Apr 2011   #1
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 
To Update or Not to Update?

Every time I turn on my PC there seems to be another raft of 'important' updates ready for me to download. I wonder what the general view is on what to do about them? At one extreme there are people who doubtless install everything relevant that comes their way. At the other, those who take an 'if it aint broke, don't fix it' approach.

What is true is that I have never, ever (knowingly at least) had any security issues on my PC in the past 10 years attributable to the fact that I haven't installed the latest Windows updates. On the other hand, I have on several occasions had PC problems that have manifested themselves immediately after installing updates, and I have had to use System Restore to get things running properly again. I even had to restore a C drive disk image after I installed Win7 x64 SP1 - a number of unwanted problems afterwards, which oddly System restore wouldn't fix. I couldn't help thinking, why exactly did I install SP1, things were just fine beforehand? For now I've called a halt to installing updates - I seem to have started to expect the worst every time I do so (though of course most updates I have installed have been fine).

So, by way of a sort of 'poll', I'd be interested to know what people think...

Martin


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Apr 2011   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

I always keep mine update, at least with the critical items.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #3
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

.. but given what I say above, I think you could understand why I hesitate?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Apr 2011   #4
beauparc

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

I always update everything and have done so for years. I have never, on any of my machines, had a BSOD or any trouble whatsoever.

I think that when Microsoft release updates, especially security for the Windows kernal, not accepting them may be leaving yourself wide open to trouble.

That's my opinion only
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #5
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

To a degree, yes I can.

Recently a work colleague picked up rogue software which managed to hijack his Vista "Windows detected a problem" and almost fooled him into following a link to a known malicious site - he hadn't installed any updates or service packs since Vista was released. Had he kept up-to-date, that security hole would have been plugged and he wouldn't have had the problem in the first place.

I believe its better to be updated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #6
niemiro

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by martinlest View Post
.. but given what I say above, I think you could understand why I hesitate?
Hello Martin!

I do see what you are saying. First, have a look from the point of view of a person with a bit of attitude!

Most updates are security updates. They protect your computer. So you wouldn't have any security issues accredited to them because installing those updates have silently and unknowingly to you protected you! Prove me wrong! *I can't prove it either though. We could argue this point all day.

Also, the updates have been tested by Microsoft, and tested good. Therefore any problems you have received are environmental factors (ie blame it on the customer (you) and their computer (your computer)) *This is not Microsoft's actual attitude, and is only my opinion.

This is very unfair I know. I shall now step to the other side of the counter; your side of the counter.

It is fair to say that every update has a slight bit of risk. Occasionally some go wrong. And in all honesty, it isn't your fault. However, you can't really shout and scream at Microsoft. It is just one of those risks. We shouldn't all try to blame each other. I agree that it is unfortunate, but it sounds as though you have good protection in place, and have been lucky so far, in that you have always managed to recover without a Clean Install.

So we have agreed that there is some risk. Is it worth it? Most updates, in particular the Important and Critical ones are security updates. Without doubt they protect you. It is SO easy to hack people without security updates installed. I am not encouraging you to look this up, and don't discuss it here, but there are downloadable payload droppers (basically toolkits for hacking those without security updates) And they are VERY easy to use. Child's play, you might say.

SP1? It is a bigger update. It therefore carries more risk. But it also protects you far more than any other single update. And as vulnerabilities get older, the exploitation tools become better.

I cannot force you either way. I think that the slight risk is definitely worth taking, and very strongly encourage you to install all Important and Critical updates immediately, for the extra protection it definitely offers you. *Without doubt they protect you.

Richard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #7
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

It's not a question that will ever have a definitive answer! (BTW Richard, I make no complaints about MS, let alone indulge in any 'shouting or screaming' ).

I do keep the MS Security Essentials up-to-date, and in addition I also run 'SuperAntiSpyware', which I think has a good reputation. Also (I didn't say), although I do use it online, my Windows 7 PC is pretty much exclusively dedicated to MS Flight Simulator use- there's no sensitive information on it re. bank accounts or whatever, and if any hacker does gain access, they will find mostly aircraft and scenery files.

That said of course, there are risks of hackers doing malicious damage (though I always have a recent image backup to hand). I am not saying that that 'excuses' not installing updates (I have in fact been installing at least the critical ones) but given that a good proportion of PC issues I have had (in which I would include not so much BSOD's - which I have never had after updating) seem to have been as a result of Windows updates I installed, I am a bit 'on the fence' at this stage.

Martin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #8
niemiro

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by martinlest View Post
It's not a question that will ever have a definitive answer! (BTW Richard, I make no complaints about MS, let alone indulge in any 'shouting or screaming' ).

I do keep the MS Security Essentials up-to-date, and in addition I also run 'SuperAntiSpyware', which I think has a good reputation. Also (I didn't say), although I do use it online, my Windows 7 PC is pretty much exclusively dedicated to MS Flight Simulator use- there's no sensitive information on it re. bank accounts or whatever, and if any hacker does gain access, they will find mostly aircraft and scenery files.

That said of course, there are risks of hackers doing malicious damage (though I always have a recent image backup to hand). I am not saying that that 'excuses' not installing updates (I have in fact been installing at least the critical ones) but given that a good proportion of PC issues I have had (in which I would include not so much BSOD's - which I have never had after updating) seem to have been as a result of Windows updates I installed, I am a bit 'on the fence' at this stage.

Martin
Hello again, Martin!

Quote:
(BTW Richard, I make no complaints about MS, let alone indulge in any 'shouting or screaming' ).
Sorry, I knew that you weren't (it is immediately obvious who does - and they don't get a long reply) I did word it badly, because you never showed any signs of "shouting and screaming". It wasn't directed at anyone in particular. Please accept my sincerest apology.

Quote:
I do keep the MS Security Essentials up-to-date, and in addition I also run 'SuperAntiSpyware', which I think has a good reputation.
That is good. SAS is also good. Do you know about Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: Malwarebytes

That is also very good. It sounds as though you do know about it, especially after being around this forum, but the recommendation may help future readers.

Malware obviously isn't great; you don't want to infect the network, or have it slow your computer down, however, your use means that you need them less - this doesn't mean that I don't recommend getting the security patches, quality of service patches, etc. etc. but I do cede your point about your particular usage.

I hope I have been rounded in my response.

Richard
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #9
Borg 386

Win 7 32 Home Premium, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1, Win 10
 
 

I usually wait a day or two after "patch Tuesday" to see if any problems are reported with any of the latest patches/updates.

However, running MSE, you should keep that updated at all times, they release about 3 updates a day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2011   #10
martinlest

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the replies. I don't really have time to scour the net for reports of problems with patches, given there are so many (patches, I mean, not reports of problems!) - what's the best site to see any such reports (one of Microsoft's own?)?

No apology needed Richard (that's why I put the little smiley face!). As I hadn't been screaming or shouting, I guessed it wasn't directed at me (but I do know what you mean about the MS bashing: not a hobby of mine either really). Yes, I have Malwarebytes too but don't often run it ... does it complement rather than duplicate SAS?

M
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 To Update or Not to Update?




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