Windows Updates--are these 'really' updates or is there a problem?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by wegs, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I recently purchased a one year old laptop (ASUS) from a friend of mine who bought herself a new computer and no longer needed this one. The laptop I had been using was a DELL, and I purchased it four years ago. It had so many issues wrong with it, so it was great timing with my friend, because now I don't have to buy a brand new one, and saved some money in the process.

    Let me say, the ASUS is pretty awesome, and I no longer have Windows Vista, thank goodness. (Vista was a nightmare, my opinion.)
    This laptop has Windows 7.

    Here's my question...Everyday before I log off and after I log in, the computer 'asks' if I want to install the latest update. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. So, Windows needs to install a new update...everyday? It just seems odd to me. Is this 'normal' or is there a problem with the computer itself?

    Do you all allow your computers to complete the installation every time you receive a notification such as this? And, what is it updating, exactly?

    Your feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
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  3. elte Valued Senior Member

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    It probably got far behind on updates after not being connected to the Internet for so long. The updates permit vulnerabilities to be corrected and bugs in the Windows 7 software in general to be fixed.
     
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  5. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, that could be since she wasn't using it for a while before giving it to me. I've only had it for a few weeks, now. Thanks for the input, elte!
     
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  7. elte Valued Senior Member

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    You're welcome Wegs!

    And that it is an ASUS should be a plus based on the little I know (compared to computer experts).
     
  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I'm a bit embarassed that I've never heard of 'ASUS,' until she suggested that I take it.
    It's pretty awesome, but the installation updates are driving me bananas.

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  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Assuming that this has to with the overall OS and not the daily, native antivirus updates... It sounds like the Automatic Update option was not selected by the previous owner, but instead one of those "Notify me but don't automatically download or install them" options.

    Another way for avoiding the daily annoyance would be to go to the Win update site itself and manually upload all those missed updates of the past in one shot. Usually the whole lot of them will presented there after it does a search on your laptop, rather than this distributing of them out over several days / weeks as the semi-automatic option seems to be doing. You can also choose the "Custom" preference there to receive information about updates that are not among the critical, but which you might decide to want/select anyway after reading about what they do. Once the OS and IE browser are fully updated, you should normally only receive alerts about updates on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (barring the occasional emergency security update). Or if you should select the complete Automatic Update option, then no asking for your permission at all.

    Critical updates should be accepted because they are necessary to protect the computer and / or solve reported technical problems.
     
  10. elte Valued Senior Member

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    It might help to set the updates to download automatically. I think the computer would still have to be manually shutdown, so leaving it to just get them all done while you are away from it might not be possible. The option for automatic updates should be in the Control Panel, though, if Windows 7 still has the Control Panel. (I wrote most of this before I saw what C C had written.)
     
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Huh huh...she said ASUS...

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  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    hey, thanks CC! Okay, so I logged off and logged back in, and there were two update notifications:

    The first was from Adobe, and it read that 'this update is to address customer issues and security vulnerabilities. Adobe recommends that you choose to update.'' (going by memory, but that was the gist) Assuming this would be a critical one and I should choose to update the next time it pops up, right?

    The second update was from Java. I receive those frequently, too.

    Thanks elte, so my question to both you and CC is...if I were to select automatic updates, will that interrupt the flow of my work, as I'm using the laptop day to day? (as it automatically updates, day to day...etc)

    hehe ...so silly!!

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  13. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Okay I need to vent and just get this out there...

    Why are there so many updates needed, and why am I always be warned about security issues, and the like? With every computer I've owned, not just this one, of course. Must we be this paranoid every time we turn our computers on, that a virus is lurking about...ready to attack our system? Are there really this many virus 'threats' out there?

    (or is it just big business for anti virus software companies?)

    /rant
     
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the clarification, Wegs. You are also being plagued by updates to non-Microsoft programs, then. Which as well should be accepted for protection and to remedy any bugs reported about their older versions. There are reputable geeks who suggest removing JAVA altogether these days, due to its intermittent security risks and a supposed less need for it now (the latter which I question a bit since I do still rarely encounter a service or function that requires it). JAVA plug-ins can be easily disabled in the Firefox browser, though (and possibly the other browsers), which is an alternative to uninstalling it.
     
  15. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    wegs, not actually silly at all! The adobe and java updates you mentioned are actually not a part of "Windows Update" - they are part of those programs - adobe and java - that were installed to "run automatically" when those programs were installed on your computer.

    Here is a link to how to configure "Windows update", if you actually need it : http://voices.yahoo.com/how-set-automatic-windows-updates-windows-5767418.html?cat=15

    wegs, believe it or not, I, dmoe, am actually very proficient in building, maintaining and the troubleshooting and repair, of both computers and the software programs installed on them - enough horn tooting.

    If you look to the lower right of your monitor - on the "task bar" - just to the immediately left of your clock - Win 7 displays a linear list of all the "programs" that are started or "running" on "startup" - each time you turn your laptop on. The adobe and java "update manager(s)" are evidently "running on startup" and are truly and actually not needed, and only tend to slow down your laptop for the most part.
    If you have quite a few "icons" just to the immediate left of your clock (NOT the "icons" on the "far left" side of your "taskbar", next to your "windows" or "start" orb) - the speed or processing power of your laptop may be considerably slowed or inhibited.
    If interested - you may check what is "running at startup"on your laptop, then Post back here, and I will gladly instruct you on how to considerably speed up your "flow of work" as you call it, and to make your new Asus laptop even more efficient - kind of like going from a "4 door family sedan" to a "high performance sports car".
     
  16. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol Yeah, I thought it was a windows update. It's all the same to me.

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    I want JAVA updates to go away...so I can disable this? I don't mind uninstalling it, whichever you think is best.
    As mentioned above, the updates are lumped into the same bucket of annoyances, to me.

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    Thank you for stopping in here, so what do you mean, they were installed to run automatically? Why do I keep seeing update notifications then?

    thank you for this!

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    Congratulations, then. You, dmoe, are going to be helping me, wegs, a lot...with my computer woes and quasi emergencies.
    (I'm really not joking)

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    Before we go further, I just looked at the bottom right corner, and clicked on a flag with a red 'x.' It has three 'messages,' I clicked on it...and they read:

    * find an anti virus protection software online (of course)

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    * windows defender needs to scan your computer (of course x 2)
    * set up backup (i backed up recently, wth?)

    Actually, I don't have too many icons. Here's what shows: plug in, the volume, the internet access, the stupid flag with the 'x', show hidden icons, options, help feature, and something known as 'correction.' Does that sound like too many, dmoe?

    I have another question. Okay...

    For some unknown reason, and I don't know how this happened, I had google as my homepage. Now, it's set up as ''ask me?'' I have no idea how this happened. When I try to make google my homepage, I get this pop up with a series of instructions. I've followed them, to no avail. It gets worse. Now, I can't even use google.

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    For example, I type in google into the ask me bar, and it takes me to google choices, and then...I click on google.com, and the box pops up...so, not only did I 'lose' it as my homepage, I can't use it at all.

    I need help. lol Thank you in advance!
     
  17. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Modification to the above:

    Sorry, my homepage is not 'ask me,' it's 'babylon.' I want google! :geek:
     
  18. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    After installing the latest update, you will at the most usually receive one JAVA update per month, as part of their supposed recent efforts to do a better job of defending its vulnerabilities from malware and hackers.

    This lone page should help you with the whole bundle: Whether or not you should uninstall JAVA and how to do it with Win7. Here's another how-to, as well as a couple more below that specifically deal with merely disabling it.

    Disabling JAVA in browsers:

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414191,00.asp

    http://gizmodo.com/5975475/how-to-disable-java-in-your-browser
     
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    I get that Adobe pop-up all the time. Everytime I try to load it it errors out. So I totally ignore it now. Hell, I don't even know what Adobe is!
     
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The ever-increasingly bloated Adobe Reader can be uninstalled as well, if you get an alternative PDF reader like Foxit, PDFx-Change Viewer, etc (first make sure you are fully satisfied with the performance of one of the latter replacements, though). Browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome even have their own built-in PDF readers now, which can be set to bypass their Adobe plugins. But they are lightweight and primarily for online use, and thus one should still have a traditional, faster reader for any gigantic PDF files stored on a computer. One way or another though, the non-browser types will all still offer updates 2 or 4 times a year, though the other programs will usually only alert you when you open them up / use them.

    PS - Yikes! I can't believe I forgot Adobe Flash Player. That's long been a major doorway for attacks and threats, and the monthly updates for it should always be accepted. Especially for anyone who visits YouTube regularly. Flash is unavoidable -- there are animated ads using it on most commercial websites which one visits. Most browsers have somewhat difficult to access options for shutting off Flash unless requested (offering a click-on button to activate a pre-killed SWF video or tool). Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera also have extensions made by non-company developers which can be downloaded from their official sites that will make Flash files clickable for those who don't want to wrestle with finding the native means of enabling such on those browsers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  21. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Microsoft release new updates on the Second Tuesday of each Month (These are referred to as Patch Tuesday's)

    An attempt of analogy could imply, Patches are like taking a piece of frayed string and attempting to cut and splice new pieces of string in place of the frayed areas, this in-turn causes the string to suffer slight irregularity over a standard piece of string because of the splicing itself. Over time it's best to upgrade from a previous operating system to a new one because the new version will likely incorporate all the same things but without the irregularities of splicing. (The QA system for patching is somewhat different from the actual programming from scratch)

    As mentioned by others, an operating system that has been cleanly installed or hasn't been connected online in a while will attempt to download "All" available updates to make the system current. This can result in multiple reboots to update all of them.

    There are a number of other programs that attempt to also keep "maintained" such as Java (as mentioned),Adobe, Antivirus software and even various browsers (notibly Google Chrome) These attempt to check for updates everytime the system boots up, other programs attempt checks when their program is run for the first time (Like Mozilla Thunderbird, Apache OpenOffice and even Notepad++)

    Java's update system by the way is far better than it was previously as now it does attempt to keep one folder current, previously you could end up with dozens of defunct Java versions cluttering your hard-drive up.

    Notibly "Avast Antivirus" has included an "Update index" where it attempts to identify if you are using current software, if not it points you to where to go to update it. (Pretty useful if you are trying to stay on top of the available patches)
     
  22. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    @wegs

    READ AND IF NEEDED, REREAD THIS WHOLE POST BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES THAT I OFFER!!!

    It would appear that you that you are a victim of "default" settings! The laptop has never had a good "Tune up".

    You mentioned the "show hidden icons" symbol on your task bar, by left "clicking" on it, it will show all the other programs that are running on startup.
    There is a built in feature in Win 7, called the "Microsoft Configuration Utility" - long name, simple program - there are a few simple ways to gain access to it.
    1. - if you are familiar with the "run" command (if not see 2) - use it and type in " msconfig " - without the quotation marks, and hit the OK button or "enter" key on keyboard.
    2. - left click on the "start", or Windows orb at the lower left of your screen and type " msconfig " - without the quotation marks, and Win 7 should list : msconfig.exe in results - left click directly on that result.

    You should now have displayed on your screen a box(window) titled "System Configuration", I believe 5 Tabs at the top.
    On the "General" tab, left click on the "option circle" next to "Selective startup" - DO NOT change anything else on the "General" tab.

    Now, left click on the "Startup" tab at the top of the box(window) - you should now be looking at a list of ALL the Programs that have the "option" of running on startup in your system. The boxes that have a "checkmark" in them mean that the program listed to the right of the box is "enabled" - and will therefore "automatically run" every time you turn your laptop on!

    OK, Windows 7 does not "require" any of these programs to "run at startup" for normal operation, however, if you use any desktop "gadgets" (if you do not know what they are - you probably are not using them) for them to "run at startup", they must be enabled here.

    wegs, since you Posted this :
    * find an anti virus protection software online (of course)
    * windows defender needs to scan your computer (of course x 2)
    * set up backup (i backed up recently, wth?)
    I would recommend that you left click on "Disable all" then "Apply" and then "OK" at the bottom of box(window)... but read on BEFORE DOING ANYTHING!!

    You may go through the list and by simply "left clicking" on the "checkmarks" in the boxes, disable the Programs that you DO NOT want to "run at startup" - remember : check = enabled : no check = disabled !!
    When finished - left click on "Apply" at the bottom of box(window) - then left click on "OK" at the bottom of box(window) - when you do this you should get a "prompt" notifying you that you have to restart Windows for the changes to take affect - so...click on the Restart Option...your laptop should shutdown and restart.

    wegs, this : * find an anti virus protection software online (of course)
    I would wholeheartedly recommend an anti virus program called "Avast", a free version is available at the website avast.com in the United States - it should be available worldwide so... you only have to register it and re-register once a year(a paid version is also available, but unless you are running on a private network, you do not need it. (again, if you do not know what a private network is - you are probably not on one)

    As far as changing your "Home Page" on your Browser - get back with me on what Browser(s) you are running and I will instruct you in how to permanently set your "Home Page" for each Browser.

    REMEMBER READ AND REREAD IF NEEDED PRIOR TO CHANGING ANYTHING

    Also, you can print these instructions so that you can use them to make any future changes.
     
  23. elte Valued Senior Member

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    1,253
    You're welcome Wegs, my impression from experience is that getting Windows update set to automatic mode basically lessens the inconvenience by not imposing itself until you get ready to put the computer on standby or shut down. Then it notifies you that an update is waiting to be installed.

    Those annoying pop-ups are a sign that your computer has been infected with malware. What I'd do is try to get all the security updates and all the protections that you can operating before browsing and clicking on links in general, or links that are not very familiar to you.

    Three protections include firewall, which Windows has a resident version of--just need to be certain it's turned on, Windows Defender, which is the built-in version to protect against stuff called malware (a famous nonWindows-provided protection for this is Spybot Search and Destroy), and anti-virus, which protects you from viruses. I think Avast! is the best free antivirus out there. Windows 8 has a Microsoft-supplied virus protection but apparently Windows 7 doesn't. My personal preference is to try and use all the protections that Microsoft provides already if they are available to keep things simple for myself, and they are given for no extra charge, too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013

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