Understanding Microsoft Updates Is Hard For Me

Discussion in 'Windows Update' started by Mark M Morse, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Mark M Morse

    Mark M Morse Guest

    Hi:

    I sure experience a lot of frustration, in general, when trying to
    decide whether or not to install optional updates offered to me at
    the Microsoft Updates web site.

    The main reason for this is the nonsensical descriptions which this
    web site usually provides for these updates.

    It is my unsolicited opinion that I am justified in my use of the
    adjective "nonsensical" because I claim that the majority of
    individuals who utilize that site are neither information
    technologists or computer scientists.

    I would like to know how an average home-user may determine whether
    or not to install any particular optional update in the absence of
    an explanation pertaining to necessity.

    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    For example, the Microsoft Update web site offers me the following:

    Update for Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0 Service Pack 1
    (KB934268) MSXML 6.0 Service Pack 1 (MSXML6.1) has improved
    reliability, security, conformance with the XML 1.0 and XML Schema
    1.0 W3C Recommendations, and compatibility with System.Xml 2.0.
    After you install this item, you may have to restart your computer.
    Details...

    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    When I click on the "Details..." link, I am taken to this
    information:

    Update for Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0 Service Pack 1
    (KB934268) Date last published: 4/24/2007 MSXML 6.0 Service Pack 1
    (MSXML6.1) has improved reliability, security, conformance with the
    XML 1.0 and XML Schema 1.0 W3C Recommendations, and compatibility
    with System.Xml 2.0. Recommended CPU: Not specified. Recommended
    memory: Not specified. Recommended hard disk space: Not specified.
    More information: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=87548

    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    When I go to the web page at the above URL, I see this:

    MSXML 6.0 SP1 is intended as an upgrade path for existing MSXML 6.0,
    MSXML 3 and MSXML 4.

    MSXML 6.0 SP1 will update the version of MSXML6.dll to 6.10.1129.0

    MSXML 6.0 SP1 could also be installed without any previous versions
    of MSXML 6.0 on the computer.

    MSXML 6.0 SP1 will be installed side by side with MSXML 3 and MSXML
    4

    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    Microsoft's Knowledge-Base web site tells me that there is no
    article with ID KB934268.

    +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+

    I know of no way to determine whether or not I will benefit from
    this update. Microsoft software errors currently waste sufficient
    amounts of my personal time to preclude me from being able to
    research issues related to cryptic updates.

    Is anybody able to provide me with a method to determine when to
    install an optional update that is offered without comprehensible
    explanations?

    Cheers,

    ~ Mark
     
    Mark M Morse, Apr 30, 2007
    #1
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  2. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    This doesn't answer your question, but I suspect such frustrations -- as
    mine with KB934238, which hosed my HP printer settings -- have led to
    the increase in Macintosh penetration of the market from 3% to 5% in the
    past year. The summary explanation for the KB934238 update was pitiful.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, Apr 30, 2007
    #2
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  3. Mark M Morse

    PA Bear Guest

    An "average home-user" who doesn't understand what an update's Details (or
    links in Details) is saying would probably do best by enabling Automatic
    Updates and using the "automatic" setting, Mark.

    How to configure and use Automatic Updates in WinXP:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306525

    How to schedule automatic updates in WinXP, Win2K and Win2K03
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/327838
     
    PA Bear, Apr 30, 2007
    #3
  4. Mark M Morse

    Richard Guest

    Hi

    Just my two cents worth. Telling a user to "turn on automatic
    updates" isn't explaining what or what not the patch will be doing to
    their computer. You are asking the "average home-user" to trust
    Microsoft on blind faith that they will not install any viruses or
    destroyer their computer is asking a lot from them. There have been
    occasions where Microsoft has come back and said "Opps! Don't install
    that last patch we issued, it screws up the computer but install this
    one instead." Many professionals in the IT world know not to install
    patches when they are first released into the wild. They usually wait
    till a service pack comes out or a few months down the road after the
    patch was released. Microsoft needs to hire some technical people who
    can break down the jargon and tell the average computer user what
    exactly is happening, why they need the patch, and what is all does.

    Richard
     
    Richard, May 1, 2007
    #4
  5. Mark M Morse

    PA Bear Guest

    There is free (i.e., no cost) support from Microsoft available to /any/ user
    who encountered a problem installing or after installing an update.

    IMHO if a "typical home user" doesn't want to spend the time to /learn/, I
    say it's better for them to trust MS than not install any updates.
     
    PA Bear, May 1, 2007
    #5
  6. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    MS needs to do a much better job to make sure that their updates don't
    have unintended consequences. They should also look at whether or not
    each update is "critical" as in some cases updates labeled as such as
    not. When an update messes up my computer settings I don't consider it
    "learning" to contact MS about the problem. Brian Livingston's Windows
    Secrets newsletter is very helpful in this regard.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 1, 2007
    #6
  7. You simply can't test any side effects on every configuration (hardware
    and software) _and_ release an update in a timely manner.

    Bye,
    Freudi
     
    Ottmar Freudenberger, May 1, 2007
    #7
  8. Mark M Morse

    PA Bear Guest

    <snip>

    What Freudi said. Extensive testing of each Windows Update /is/ done.
    Could it be more extensive? Probably. Would more extensive testing resolve
    the problems a (very) small minority of users encounter after installing an
    update? Probably not. The only way to avoid /any/ problems is to not
    install _anything_ new (including Windows Update) *and* never connect the
    machine to the internet or any networks.
     
    PA Bear, May 1, 2007
    #8
  9. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    HP printers are fairly common. You'd think MS might test _that_
    configuration.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 3, 2007
    #9
  10. Which model, which driver, which ...
    Which one of *a lot*?

    Bye,
    Freudi
     
    Ottmar Freudenberger, May 3, 2007
    #10
  11. Mark M Morse

    PA Bear Guest

    Those with HP printers installed are notorious for not having the latest HP
    drivers and software installed, too.

    Then there's HP Director's legendary cock-up with IE7:
    http://snipurl.com/1j93k (Google Groups archive).
     
    PA Bear, May 3, 2007
    #11
  12. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    I didn't realize I was notorious...

    I follow the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. HP All-in-one
    was working fine until I installed a so-called critical update. Printer
    disappeared from "installed printers" list after update. System restore
    brought printer back. Detailed KB info indicated that the update didn't
    apply to my configuration at all.

    MS should be more careful in what they label critical.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 4, 2007
    #12
  13. Mark M Morse

    PA Bear Guest

    What update, please?
     
    PA Bear, May 4, 2007
    #13
  14. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    KB934238

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 5, 2007
    #14
  15. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    I've installed 80+ updates from MS since I bought my HP computer 16
    months ago. Only three of these caused any problems -- one hosed my
    Realtek audio, one hosed my HP printer, and one did something that I
    can't remember, so it was probably very minor. All three problems were
    resolved. I do not install updates automatically and I at least read the
    brief description of each update before installing it. If I don't
    understand the brief description I will look at the KB reference.

    Never connecting to the Internet and never installing anything new is
    not really an option, so I agree that an occasional problem is
    unavoidable. I'm just suggesting that MS should be more careful as to
    what they label critical updates. KB934238 doesn't appear to be
    critical, at least for my computer configuration.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 5, 2007
    #15
  16. Mark M Morse

    PA Bear Guest

    Your out-of-context reply is meaningless to me, I'm afraid. To keep track
    of things, it helps immensely if you include all of previous message(s) in
    your replies to the newsgroup. Thank you.
     
    PA Bear, May 8, 2007
    #16
  17. So you have .NET 3.0 installed, correct?
    Well, it "may" be a driver issue on HP's end cause of the unidrv.dll
    included in that update. Hardlinking isn't the best idea when it comes
    to drivers. Reinstalling the HP monster drivers should fix the "issue".

    Bye,
    Freudi
     
    Ottmar Freudenberger, May 8, 2007
    #17
  18. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    You don't follow threads? I answered your question.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 8, 2007
    #18
  19. Mark M Morse

    Bill Sharpe Guest

    Thanks for the information. And yes, I have .NET 3.0 installed. However
    the KB artice, not the Update summary window, refers to a configuration
    that I don't have installed so that for me the update is unnecessary.
    System Resore easily fixed the issue.

    Bill
     
    Bill Sharpe, May 8, 2007
    #19
  20. Mark M Morse

    Mark M Morse Guest

    Hello PA Bear:

    Thank you for your post.

    Are you trying to tell me that enabling Automatic Updates (with the
    Automatic setting) will lead to the installation of the optional
    updates from which I would benefit?

    I am motivated to ask you this question because Automatic Updates
    (with the Automatic setting) is already enabled on my system. Since
    it takes up to 17 days for the Automatic Updates feature to download
    critical updates, I generally do not wait. Microsoft sends me
    e-mail notices once or twice a week that notify me of new updates at
    that site. I do a Custom scan after I receive these notices.

    Can you explain for what the Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0
    Service Pack 1 (KB934268) update is intented? I have no idea
    whether or not I would benefit from this update.

    ~ Mark


    PA Bear wrote, in part:
     
    Mark M Morse, May 11, 2007
    #20
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