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To Update Or Not - That is the Question

Posted on 2014-02-11
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Last Modified: 2014-02-11
I have an XP-SP3 PC.
I have not updated windows in at least 5 years.
I ran windows update and approximately 175 updates are listed.
It seems like a lot of updates in one go.

Should I update, and if I do, might I regret it?

I have created a restore point (and image) but I'm still wary.
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Question by:Eirman
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by:aadih
aadih earned 30 total points
ID: 39850591
Not to update is not an option. :-)
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by:Scott Thompson
Scott Thompson earned 40 total points
ID: 39850602
If your computer is on the internet, then yes, I would recommend updating it.  This will give you the best protection against infection (for XP) and will also allow websites to display properly (at least for the time being).

Here's a couple of articles explaining some of the benefits of upgrading to a newer system as Windows XP ends support

http://pcsfortdodge.com/?page_id=341

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help
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by:Eirman
ID: 39850620
I know XP Support end in April. This is an oldish machine and will never be upgraded.
Besides, I'll always need one PC with XP for customer support purposes.

I'm just worried that I could run into problems when doing so many updates in the one go.
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by:n2fc
n2fc earned 40 total points
ID: 39850648
If you are that concerned, just do the recommended security updates as these are essential for computer health & safety...

You can save the optional updates for another time (if at all)...

As a side issue, Microsoft has relented and agreed to supply updates to Microsoft Security Essentials (AKA Windows Defender) for XP for yet another year (although the install file will not be available after support drops).

See: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

and

http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2014/01/15/microsoft-extends-updates-windows-xp-security-products-july-14-2015/#!vf8mw
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by:Eirman
ID: 39850662
I'm running all the updates at the moment.

I'll let you all know how it went in a few hours.
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IT_admin_031 earned 237 total points
ID: 39850671
There are many reasons you should, but It is more of personal viewpoint rather than if you should.

I believe you should. There are probably more than just 175 though. After you update those, there will probably be another 100 or so. Reasons you should:

1. vulnerabilities - if you go to a malicious website you will more than likely end up with some web STD.
2. you won't have long to get the updates - April is the deadline.
3. Lawsuits - Microsoft patches things for a reason. Some reasons are from infringed code that others have copywrite protections. If you don't update (Like office 2007 sp3) you can be held liable for using the infringing code.
4. enhanced features - Even though a lot of negativity swarms updates, they do improve program features when applied correctly.

This is what I believe you fear.
If the updates don't apply correctly, you may lose some reliability. All hardware/software come into play with that though. how a program is installed, what that program affects when it is installed, then how an update from Microsoft affects that. If your program relies on a windows DLL that microsoft finds a vulnerability in, then patches the DLL, it will likely affect that program.

If you have already captured an image and a restore point, I don't see the harm. I have patched thousands of machines through WSUS, and about 1-5% have problems, but most of those are from bad software that was already installed, faulty hardware or a 3rd party drivers.
Good luck either way.
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by:aadih
ID: 39850690
I'm running all the updates. ~ Eirman

Great. You are doing it. :-)
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by:Eirman
ID: 39850908
Thanks IT_admin_031

It's @ #88 .... That ms server is so slow!
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by:garycase
garycase earned 148 total points
ID: 39851030
You've already done what I'd have recommended -- made an image, so it's possible to restore to the "as was" state if needed.    But you not only SHOULD do all the updates (as you're already doing) ... but you should do them again every week until the final set is issued in April ==> THEN you should image your "clean, fully up-to-date as of EOL" copy of XP.

Then if you ever need to restore it, it's just a matter of restoring the image -- which, of course, you should have stored in at least two places.
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by:aadih
ID: 39851046
Come April, the question becomes: To XP or not to XP?

And the answer to this is also an obvious one. Practically, objectively speaking.  :-)
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by:garycase
garycase earned 148 total points
ID: 39851125
"... Come April, the question becomes: To XP or not to XP?
... And the answer to this is also an obvious one."

Not necessarily.   For anyone who's in the business of supporting computers, I agree completely with the author's comment, "...  I'll always need one PC with XP for customer support purposes."

... and that will be true for several more years.    XP support is ending ... but that does not in any way mean that XP computers won't still be useful, and indeed still used by a LOT of folks !!
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by:aadih
ID: 39851161
Of course, garycase. Undoubtedly.  The special cases will always remain; my comment was for general use by the masses (not so obvious as I thought). :-)
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Author Closing Comment

by:Eirman
ID: 39851817
Thanks everyone.

After 6 hours of painfully slow downloading, two reboots and some testing, everything seems to be okay.
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by:aadih
ID: 39851959
Great. You did it. :-)
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by:IT_admin_031
ID: 39851995
Good for you Eirman - Next we will get you setup with a WSUS server so that all the updates will be downloaded to your machine, installed and rebooted in 30 minutes. :-) Thanks for the points!
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