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Do I have to download ALL Windows Updates?

Microsoft Windows xp home edition with s...
August 12, 2010 at 00:06:14
Specs: Windows XP
My PC is 6 yrs old. (If I had the funds, I’d upgrade to a Mac!) I’m running Windows XP with SP3 (not sure if it's "Media Only" or "Full Product"), and using IE7 with pop-ups blocked. I also have firewall, antivirus, and spyware/adware blocker through McAfee. Do I HAVE to download ALL of Microsoft’s Security Updates? What the heck is wrong with MS that they even have to send out so darned many of these things in the first place – at least one (usually more) arrives nearly every day, for crying out loud?!

Please DO NOT tell me to upgrade to IE8 … I did that and it crashed my computer to the point where I almost wasn’t able to turn it back on, and when it finally did boot up, I had to go all the way back to IE6 and then reload IE7! I’m quite content with IE7 … so, I just want to know if it is “imperative,” considering all the other security I have in place, to have to download all these darned Windows Updates – some of them, well-over 10 MB!

Thank you!

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August 12, 2010 at 00:37:19
ie7 is better, so stick with that, especially with xp.

You only have to download critical updates, no need for the others. I own an apple laptop and hate it, just too many hassles so i hardly ever use it. Windows 7 is the best OS to date as far as I'm concerned.

I would dump McAfee like a lead brick, maybe try avast free or one of the others. McAfee is just a resource hog and not much good for protection.

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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August 12, 2010 at 23:20:39
Do these CRITICAL updates you refer to actually have the word "critical" in their title? Right now, there are 8 updates with the title "Security Update for Windows XP..." and each has a different number, beginning with the letter "K," behind it in parentheses. There's also one entitled "Cumulative Update for Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP..." also with the letter "K" and a long number thereafter in parentheses. The final thing is the August Malicious Tool download. None of these contains the word "critical," so does that mean I can ignore them?

Appreciate your insights!

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August 13, 2010 at 01:05:42

Although I certainly don't work for Windows, my gut feeling is that adding the "Critical" adjective in front of anything like "Software Update" is generally a bit exaggerated.

If Microsoft were to ask me "What should we call these updates" I would call the "Updates designed to solve problems that we think might prevent some obscure problem in the future, and that probably won't cause your computer to operate differently in any noticeable way, but might fix some problem you would have only heard about if you were a software developer."

Now I'm not saying that I would call them "useless updates designed as a practical joke to annoy you", but I still think that most all software companies go overboard on how frequently you need to look for updates to their software, microsoft notwithstanding. I also tend to think that the fact that Windows seems to want to update on a daily basis has some lawyers and non-computer business people in its ancestry.

I myself generally don't actually get any updates unless I'm loading some software onto my computer and the new software demands that I get all relevant updates in order to function.

Finally, from within the control panel, there are a number of ways to disable the annoying windows updates. Several settings may have to be changed in order to get your XP system to never ask for an update again, and I'd be happy to direct you through it if you need help finding these settings.

Hope this helps,


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August 13, 2010 at 01:16:34
I can't believe photon,
Critical updates patch the security on a PC, I have no idea what planet he is from.

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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August 13, 2010 at 02:10:04
My apologies -- that last post that I made had an editing error that I didn't catch before posting.

I agree that there some updates that are well worth having, the "Critical" ones in particular, precisely for the reason stated by XpUser4real. I'd prefer it if microsoft would be a little more descriptive about what their updates do, but they're "Critical" in the sense that they're not just there to make things convenient, and to distinguish them in importance level from other ones. You're computer will still operate as before, but there is usually some security reason why you'd want to get the "Critical" ones, even if you seldom if ever get the other ones.

I also agree with dumping McAfee, of all the anti-malware programs I've seen, I (and most people for that matter) rate it at the bottom of the list.


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August 13, 2010 at 18:02:59
It's entirely up to you. You either download the lot or decide which ones you feel you need. On the Windows Update website you can click on them for more information in order to make a decision. This is where it will say "critical" if that applies.

To my mind security updates are worth having because they block holes that the hackers will be trying hard to break through.

As for "the rant", criminal gangs are out there trying to find their way through whatever MS come up with. Most MS updates are to counteract this activity. Mac might fair better but mainly because more folk have MS Windows so it is more worthwhile the crims attacking it. Personally I'm not clever enough to write an operating system so I'm therefore disinclined to criticise. In any event this aspect should be fired at MS, not a help forum - there's not a fat lot we can do about it.

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