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Is There A Way Or Means To Check Online For Reputable Website That Has Well Reviewed Microsoft/Windows Updates And Its Impact On The Operation Of Windows?

Posted on 2011-09-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello. I have a question.

Is there a way or means to check online for a reputable and a fair rating schematic website that has reviewed by expert consensus (similarly to peer reviewed) Microsoft Updates (used by Windows XP and earlier) or Windows Updates that are reporting those updates more problematic than others and what the Microsoft/Windows Update impacts in relation to the operation of a Windows operating system?

Please refer me to the *BEST* website that is *SPECIFIC* "reference" to my question above, and NOT a personal forum for question and answer (Q&A) for Windows Updates and Microsoft Updates. For example for a particular KB (Knowledge Base) Microsoft/Windows Update including a well written description of the update (what it impacts), plus expert comment and/or personal user comments provided. Nice to see a reliability rating of sorts if available. Sometimes third party websites (outside the controlling interest or domain of Microsoft) can be more valuable and non-bias than one that is Microsoft influenced. However, any website regardless who manages it, I am willing to see.      

Please provide your own best possible well written, detailed and documented website links; and/or your own detailed facts, suggestions, hints, and tips.

DO NOT USE LMGTFY.com or similar-like web links in your reply. I consider its use very unprofessional for EE experts. If you do, you will not get acknowledged and receive no credit.

Please reply.

Thank you
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Question by:RegulaOne
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Insignificant Volunteer
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Hmmm.  Let me google that for you ... ;-)
Just joking.  Watching out of interest, but no immediate ideas because I haven't used any.
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Assisted Solution

by:duffme
duffme earned 50 total points
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I am not aware of anything like what you are asking about.  This would be extremely difficult as there are so many combinations of software.  When people have issues with service packs and hotfixes they usually have a problem with it breaking a particular application, or the existence of some application or configuration causes a problem for the service pack or patch.  To keep track and provide some matrix would be very difficult.  Enterprises thus test these patches in a lab against their standard configurations before deploying them through datacenters and to end-users.  We also tend to use things like WSUS and SCCM to filter what gets applied.  

The possible issues with patching is also why it is vitally important to have complete backups.  I prefer images (think Ghost) to standard tape-like backups for speed of recovery.  

I think the closest you will find you what you are looking for (and I could gladly be wrong) would be to determine your key applications and reference them directly when considering applying service packs.

I will tell you that it may be easier to consider only applying security patches regulalry and then worrying more about service packs, which will have all of the non-security patches included, and skipping the other patches unless you have a specific issue.  Third party vendors are much more likely to track problems at the service pack level.  And wait a bit before installing; disable the fully automatic installation of patching.  Microsoft often corrects their own patches if they encounter problems soon after deployment.
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by:centerv
centerv earned 80 total points
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Yes, www.windowssecrets.com
the column is written by Susan Bradley and is very specific as to what you should patch, why and when.
However it is part of the paid version. On the other hand you name your price for the year.Here's a sample   http://windowssecrets.com/patch-watch/internet-explorer-gets-another-round-of-patches/  
well worth it.
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by:
jcimarron earned 130 total points
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RegulaOne--These sites do not satisfy all your criteria, but you should be aware of them.
http://kbalertz.com/
http://kbalertz.com/allKbs.aspx
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Assisted Solution

by:btan
btan earned 240 total points
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Some security enterprise does give their feedbacks e.g. eEye digital security which also host Vulnerability Expert Forum by their Security Research Team talking on each vulnerability. They also have their severity rating

http://www.eeye.com/Resources/Security-Center/Patch-Tuesday/Alert/August-2010-OOB.aspx

Another is Lumension which reviews the Microsoft Security Bulletins and provides specific comments, recommendations and key considerations to help customers implement the latest round of security updates as quickly and effectively as possible.

http://www.lumension.com/Press---Events/patch-tuesday-alerts.aspx

Likewise Secunia also has something similar delivering a live monthly Secunia webinar digging deeper into some of the main issues flagged by Microsoft and elaborate on them further, applying Secunia’s research as a source.

http://secunia.com/blog/172/
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Author Comment

by:RegulaOne
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@ BillDL:

Hello again. Nice to see you again! Thanks for your comment and interest with my question/thread.

Please join along with me since I feel you would be very interested on this sort of topic as these EE experts as I see below present an wealth of information for your already large and wonderful and reputable computer and Internet tool chest you have shared with me recently (THANK YOU!); I know you can definitely use here too. I can actually see how you would have a strong interest in this particular question/thread.

Thanks!

@ duffme:

Hello. Nice to meet you! Thank you for your comment.

Your comment from your posting above, "I think the closest you will find you what you are looking for (and I could gladly be wrong) would be to determine your key applications and reference them directly when considering applying service packs.


I will tell you that it may be easier to consider only applying security patches regularly and then worrying more about service packs, which will have all of the non-security patches included, and skipping the other patches unless you have a specific issue.  Third party vendors are much more likely to track problems at the service pack level.  And wait a bit before installing; disable the fully automatic installation of patching.  Microsoft often corrects their own patches if they encounter problems soon after deployment.".

I find this information interesting. I had heard the same thing from others online and in person; but I never put a means or methods on how to go about doing this. Basically you are saying to save time referencing with the latest Microsoft/Windows Updates as they are immediately released because they are often fixed soon after the initial release like on Patch Tuesday of each month, but be more concerned about ones that are tired and true (reliable) from Windows service packs; unless I do need them for my particular Microsoft/Windows program or operating system. Very useful for my methodology in how I go about performing my Microsoft/Windows Update gathering process. Your answer is indirectly related to my question, but related none-the-less as you provide 'facts, suggestions, hints, and tips'. I heed your caution and instruction.

@ centerv, jcimarron, and breadtan:

Hello. Nice to meet centerv and breadtan! Nice to see you again, jcimarron! Thank you all for your answers.

All of you have provided me excellent resources, mostly free and a combination of free and paid means depending on how you reference and what you want to reference with the information. I have skimmed and perform preliminary reading on some featured content this is what I found at first glance:

1. I see WindowsSecrets.com has a wealth of information circumventing all aspects of Microsoft and not just Microsoft/Windows Updates; but Apple, and all other technology news. Also they have their own editorials from experts in the field that discuss reviews on hardware components as well, and so much more. I like how they 'score' their articles they publish. They have cute and metaphoric titles to their articles too. They do seems to be objective in their articles, but after reading a few articles; I think they do have a focus that tips the scales (tend to become bias for logical ad sensible rasons) so to speak on a topic like any article out there. The do keep to the latest news and information. They accept most any kind of donation to be a paid member, it's not a preset amount; however I see they 'kind of' desire that $35 a year since they give you some free software at that donor's level. This would be an excellent resource if you needed to know something going on in the techie world!                

2.  Kbalertz.com is a focused and orderly article I am much more looking for. Per Kbalertz.com:

"What is kbAlertz.com?

kbAlertz.com is an e-mail notification system that scans the entire Microsoft Knowledge Base every night, and e-mails you when updates or additions are made to the technologies you subscribe to. Since we scan the entire knowledge base, we also have a pretty good search system for you to use on the left menu.

Subscribing is easy. Simply fill out your e-mail address and password below. Then, select the technologies that you're interested in. That's it. Now you'll be kept up to date when Microsoft publishes updates to your favorite technologies!!!".

Source: http://kbalertz.com/

I cannot say more. That says it best. However, unlike like WindowsSecrets.com's personal editorial reviews; KbAlertz.com uses a very good source by linking to Microsoft's TechNet Security TechCenter like Security Bulletins for its review source. Yes, this is an undoubtedly a good solid foundation as a source (and definitely worth the read), but if I wanted an expert review aside Microsoft for non-bias or from another outside perspective, I am not going to get it here. This website refers back to the Microsoft/Windows Update source -- Microsoft. Yes, it is free; but you have to create an account to subscribe which is understandable under the conditions you need to have your desired Microsoft/Windows Updates personalized for your system. This concise methodology of collecting and reviewing your particular Microsoft/Windows Updates is highly valuable and highly organized!

3. eEye Digital Security (eeye.com) is more of an independent proactive expert review of Microsoft/Windows Updates from what I can gather much like the WindowsSecrets.com, but more focused for paid services for 'Enterprise" or corporate and government level IT professionals and developers. Unlike WindowsSecrets.com that touches on all different technological issues and topics, eEye Digital Security I can see focuses on 'patches' or Microsoft/Windows Updates issues they discover. They goal is to critical observe system exploit vulnerabilities and prevent their attacks. They run their very own in house vulnerability trial testing in a secure laboratory with various computer and networking systems. This is interesting, but a little over done for a home PC user. I see as per the EE comment, personal questions you have about a Microsoft/Windows Update can be addressed through eEye Support Forums.

4. Lumension.com similar to that of eEye Digital Security provides security solutions or security programs to install in lieu of your basic typical security solution suite for the basic home PC user like eEye Digital Security I failed to mention. Again, to render their paid services is simply overkill for the typical home PC user. More back to my issue for this question/thread... ...I like the weblink that was provided that directed me to a well structured Patch Tuesday Microsoft/Windows Updates listing over the course of many previous months that links to a "Patch Tuesday Commentary" I really like. Paul A. Henry who is the company's Security & Forensic Analyst does a nice synopsis of the Patch Tuesday Microsoft/Windows Updates -- short and concise. This is an excellent source... ...Just what I am looking for!!! This is good reading to get an conceptual ideology of what the Patch Tuesday Microsoft/Windows Updates are concerning if you're in a hurry.    

5. Secunia.com is yet another I have determined that operates security solutions in much the same fashion like eEye Digital Security, and Lumension.com. Again, ditto on the fact that the home user is not at all recommended for their grandiose services. Like Lumension.com, they provide a webinar that I find interesting as well as indicated in the EE comments posted above that a home PC user can review and extract useful information periodically maintaining their link as provided.

At this time, I am going to close this forum since I am getting no new comments and I already have a wealth of good, distinct, decent, and proved sources and concerning personal suggestions. This question/thread comprises of a well balanced set of EE comments from EE experts!!!

THANK YOU for all your replies!!!

Next, I will reward solution titles and points with explanation...  
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Author Closing Comment

by:RegulaOne
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@ BillDL:

Hello again.  Unfortunately, I cannot award points this time to you or award solution titles ("Accepted Solution" or "Assisted Solution") for obvious reasons. ;-)  

I hope you have learned something like I have!!! These EE experts provided great input with this particular question/thread I posed. I would say that is more valuable than all the points and solution titles with this question/thread!

Thanks!

@ duffme, centerv, jcimarron, and breadtan:

Hello again.

This is how I am going to break up the titles first. I found the all 5 online resources highly useful and in certain circumstances, will benefit from all 5 online resources at times. Therefore centerv, jcimarron, and breadtan will get solution titles for the replies and comments as "Assisted Solution". All these three EE experts have 'directly' answered my question/thread. So who gets the that ONE "Accepted Solution" title?

The answer is jcimarron's weblink: KBAlertz.com: Knowledge Base Alerts. I found them to be the most concise and orderly and easier to access and it is a *SPECIFIC* reference that I was asking for in my initial question.  
duffme, your 'facts, suggestions, hints, and tips' are valuable and do apply to my question in an indirect manner. I am awarding your comment an "Assisted Solution" too.

Now from the 500 total points -- this is the breakdown:

1.  jcimarron - 1 comment - 1 website resource  (2 web pages of the same website) - "Accepted Solution" - 130 points

2. centerv - 1 comment - 1 website resource (2 web pages of the same website) - "Assisted Solution" - 80 points

3. breadtan - 1 comment - 3 website resources - "Assisted Solution" - (3 x 80) or 240 points

4. duffme - 1 comment - indirect answer/methodology - "Assisted Solution" - 50 points

Again, THANK YOU for this well done question/thread!!!
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by:jcimarron
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RegulaOne---Glad to have helped.
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