Automatic Updates means that your computer will check periodically if updates for Windows XP are available and install the automatically if it finds any. The computer needs to be restarted after installing those Windows updates because some files can't be exchanged while the operating system runs.
While the automatic update function in Windows XP and Vista is a good way to keep your system up to date with the latest patches it has the nasty habit to nag the user after downloading the patches to the computer. I suppose everyone has received a message that asks the user if he wants to reboot now or reboot later in XP or the dialog box that asks you to restart your computer to finish installing important updates in Windows Vista.
It sometimes might be a good idea to get a list of all installed Windows Updates on your system for administration or security purposes. WinUpdatesList is a sweet small software from one of my favorite developers NirSoft. The software lists all installed Windows Updates on your system detailing all updated files on your system.
I have written several times about the Autopatcher project which was basically providing users with the opportunity to download one executable file that contained all official patches for their Microsoft operating system. This method had a lot of advantages over downloading patches from Microsoft servers: You would save bandwidth if you had to apply the patches to more than one operating system and did not have to rely on the automatic updates website to select the patches.
The Autopatcher team seems to be back on track with the release of core and update Autopatcher files for Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Server. Additionally, and for the first time, Autopatcher files for Office 2002, 2003 and 2007 have been released as well.
Microsoft released a total of nine security patches yesterday fixing six critical and three important vulnerabilities on its August Patchday. Those updates were available on both my Windows XP and Windows Vista system and Microsoft in Windows Update but can also be downloaded as single updates from the Microsoft website.
The autopatcher team finally managed to update all of their update packages for Microsoft operating systems to July 2007 which means that you can download all patches that Microsoft has released for your operating system and apply them at once instead of using automatic updates or connecting to a Microsoft server at all.
I mentioned three days ago in my blog that the Autopatcher team released the June 2007 patches for Windows Vista and just now they announced that the updates for XP can be downloaded as well from their sites. In case you missed the last post here is what Autopatcher does.
Autopatcher is an ongoing project that creates a monthly executable that contains all patches for Microsoft operating systems that have been released in that month. It is then possible to execute this program and apply all patches that have been released by Microsoft at once without connecting to the Microsoft server at all.
Autopatcher is a very convenient and easy way to patch your operating system with the latest patches, updates and security fixes without connecting to a Microsoft server at all. All that needs to be done is to download the latest release of Autopatcher and run it. You may then select the updates that you want to install and everything else is done automatically (that's the auto in autopatcher, hehe)
I'm using a program called Autopatcher XP on my Windows XP system to apply all patches that Microsoft released in a month at once without connecting to Microsoft at all. This is a very convenient way to patch a operating system and I was looking for a way to do the same for my notebook running Windows Vista Home Premium. I found a reference to Autopatcher Vista on the excellent Windows Vista Tweaks blogs
Users with Microsoft Windows Vista and an iPod might have encountered the problem that under certain circumstances the data on the iPod could become corrupted after removing it from the computer that was running Windows Vista. According to Microsoft the problem could arise under two circumstances which I pasted below:
The German computer magazine CT analyzed the new WGA Notification that is installed during Windows Update. They decided to cancel the installation and immediately after doing so the firewall reported that update.exe tried to connect to the internet. This caught their attention of course and they decided to analyze the data that was send after the connection was established.
They used Wireshark to analyze the traffic and found out that update.exe sends data to genuine.microsoft.com. Some of the data seems to be encrypted while some could be identified. It sends registry information, namely the SusClientID as well as information about the version of the WGA tool, the windows version and the language of the operating system. It also sets a cookie which contains a GUID which could possibly be used to identify the computer.
I recently received an email from one of my readers who asked if there would be a secure way to update a Windows XP installation that already had service pack 2 installed with the latest patches issues by Microsoft in the months after the second service pack was released. His main concerns were about WGA, Windows Genuine Advantage. He did not like the fact that data was sent from his computer to Microsoft.
For some time everyone thought that it was only possible to use a Vista update DVD from within Windows XP to update to the latest operating system. The Windows XP key would become invalid and the Vista installation could commence. DailyTech posted a workaround which makes it possible to install Windows Vista using a Vista update DVD without XP.
It seems that Microsoft added the upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 to the automatic upgrade feature of Windows XP. Automatic Updates will notify the user that a new version is ready for download giving the user the option to Install, Don't Install and Ask Me Later. It seems a pressing matter to Microsoft to get a large basis of Internet Explorer 7 users in a hurry to regain lost grounds in the waging browser war against Opera and Firefox.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.