The pragmatic reality is that I don’t expect it, or any of dozens of similar missives posted across the internet, to have much effect. If Microsoft is listening (they probably are), they are unlikely to act on it, as their business priorities are clearly elsewhere. Even if they do act, they won’t act quickly — it’s no longer in their nature.
Which leaves us with a very vexing question: what the heck are we supposed to do?
Several media outlets are reporting that some, though not all, Windows 10 upgrades to the 1809 October update have lost data files in the process. It’s apparently a bug in the update. While it’s unclear how many people are affected, even if it’s just a few, it’s a bad thing.
There are steps to take to prevent data loss. Hopefully, you’re already taking them.
What are your thoughts on automatic updates? Windows updates, but also automatic updates for my spyware and antivirus programs. I have several and I have automatic updates turned on on all. Could this lead to problems by leaving my computer open to the net?
This one’s easy: I love automatic updates.
Let me explain why, and how to make sure your automatic updates are safe and doing what you think they are.
I’ll also explore one area where things have gotten worse instead of better over the years.
I’d confidently asserted that unless you asked for Windows 10 – either by direct download or by accepting the “reservation” they offered before launch – Windows 10 would not be downloaded to your machine. I figured people who claimed otherwise had obviously forgotten that they’d somehow asked for it. That reservation thing was pretty confusing, after all.
I was wrong.
As reported by The Inquirer, and several other news outlets, Windows 10 may be downloaded to your machine whether you want it or not.
Peer-to-peer downloading is pretty amazing technology. It can speed up downloads significantly, and it can make downloading significantly more resilient to network hiccups and other types of failures.
It’s most commonly associated with BitTorrent, which uses peer-to-peer to create a network of download sites that are efficient, resilient, and potentially difficult to track down. But the technology is used in other places as well – download a Linux distribution, and peer-to-peer BitTorrent downloads are often an option; updates for large applications, like online games, are often provided using peer-to-peer technology.
Now, Windows 10 is apparently using peer-to-peer technology as part of its approach to distributing updates.
There are, however, some problems, both generally and with Windows 10 peer-to-peer downloads.
Here it is many days after the demise of Windows XP support, and I’m still automatically getting updates. I’ve allowed them to be installed and nothing untoward has occurred. Do you have an insights into this?
Several folks have been surprised to see updates still being delivered to their Windows XP machines. I can think of at least three separate reasons why that might be happening and in fact, will keep on happening.
I have a Fujitsu laptop running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1. It’s running fine. I used Microsoft Security Essentials per your recommendation. After reading your last newsletter about manual updates, I went searching around the MS download site and found out about the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal tool and Microsoft Security Scanner. Should I download both of these and run them? Or are they earlier versions of software that are now wrapped up in Microsoft Security Essentials?
I wouldn’t necessarily consider them wrapped up with the existing software. But you don’t have to worry about them. Let me explain.
Windows Update is one of those more-or-less magical components of Windows that we all know should be turned on and that we all hope never causes us a problem. When it’s working properly, it’s something that we can usually just take for granted.
There’s actually more to Windows Update (or “Microsoft Update,” if you have it configured to update all your Microsoft products) than simply downloading and installing the latest security patches for us. For example, you may want some updates but you’re not aware of them.
And there may be updates that Windows Update offers that simply annoy you.
Let’s look at managing Windows Update a little more proactively.