Windows UpdateSshhhh An Even Better Update Utility From MicrosoftWindows UpdateSshhhh An Even Better Update Utility From Microsoft

Due to the news that it now takes around for 20 minutes for a newly installed Windows XP PC to become infected after being exposed to the internet, it's time to get that computer of yours updated. It's too much of a risk not keeping your computer updated. Unfortunately for you dialup users out there, the Windows Security Update CD is no longer available from Microsoft. I know. I can hear you now. It'll take forever to download all of that. That's a real bummer. I ordered that CD earlier last year and despite it's age, it still comes in handy for computers that I work on that have never been updated. When I find the time, I'll give you the option of purchasing a similar CD for anyone out there who doesn't have a broadband connection.

First, let's make sure that Automatic Updates are set to download all the high priority updates.

  • Right click on "My Computer".
  • Select "Properties" from the menu that appears.
  • Select the "Automatic Updates" tab.

Make sure that "Automatic (recommended)" is selected and choose a schedule that is convenient for you (most likely when your sure that you'll be online). Now, with that out of the way, let's start downloading the latest updates from Microsoft. It's imperative to get this done as soon as possible.

  • Open the "Start Menu" and select the "Windows Update" icon.
  • Select either "Express" or "Custom" tabs when the webpage finishes loading. (Windows Update may ask to install an ActiveX executable. Be sure to install it.)

It make take a few minutes for Windows Update to discover the necessary updates to get your computer up to speed. For those of you out there that already know how to use Windows Update, I've discovered a real gem. Do you see it in the lower right corner of your browser? There's a new version of Windows Update available called "Microsoft Update" that not only keeps your computer patched, but you applications, like Office, as well.

  • Go ahead and click on "Upgrade to Microsoft Update".
  • When done, click on the "Start Now" button.

Microsoft Update will go through it's phase of checking your computer to see if anything is necessary to get itself running.

  • Review the license agreement from Microsoft.
  • When you have finished reading, click the "Continue" button.

Notice the small rectanglar popup? You have to install the "ActiveX Control" to get Microsoft Update running.

  • Click "Install ActiveX Control...".

A small popup (Internet Explorer - Security Warning) will appear asking for permission to install the ActiveX Control.

  • Click on "Install".

For the power users out there, this may look familiar. There's a difference though. Remember when I said that you could not only keep the core of Windows XP updated, you know can keep your core Windows applications updated as well. You can now select "Microsoft Update" instead of "Windows Update" to keep everything secure and running.

Update: Microsoft has finally released a new security and critical updates cd. It can be downloaded here.

by Jarrett Graham
References and Bibliography

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Jarrett Graham is the owner and operator of both Computer Corner Plus, LLC and http://www.computercornerplus.com. He has been servicing, installing and repairing
networks, computers and peripheral devices for over 10 years.

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