Chapter VI.4. Patching and Plugging

In This Chapter

  • Getting the whole story about Windows Update

  • Deciding which level of Automatic Update (if any) is right for you

  • Making Windows Update work the way you want

  • Retrieving a declined update

Windows Automatic Update is for chumps.


I've taken a lot of flak over the years for advising people to turn off automatic updating. I think you should tell Windows 7 to advise you when patches are available and then wait and see whether the patches do more harm than good before applying them to your PC.

Let's face it. You have to patch, sooner or later. Patching isn't like brushing your teeth, where you can ignore it for a year or two and things turn smelly and then gradually rot and fall out. If you don't patch today, by next month your computer can look and act and feel like toast. The bad guys know what's been patched, and they prey on people who don't get their updates.

On the other hand, you don't need to follow Microsoft's dictates and apply patches the moment they're available. More than a few Dummies have seen their computers melt down because of a bad patch that has been force-fed to them by the Automatic Update mechanism.

Almost everyone — certainly, anyone reading this book — needs to check out the latest Microsoft missives before applying updates. Blindly updating Windows can lead to all sorts of problems.

Windows Update stinks. Massively. Permit me to elaborate: Both the security patches that Microsoft dribbles out to users and the method ...

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