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Old 05-29-2014, 03:32 PM   #1
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Never Install Updates

With my last computer, my policy was to avoid installing windows and other updates at all costs.

With the new computer, I decided to just go ahead and install all the recommended updates. And note that every day there's something telling me I need to install updates.

Today I installed some "important" HP and Windows updates, and now I have to re-solve some of the same problems I solved weeks ago.

For example, after the update, the fan was once more always on. Luckily, I remembered how to fix that (BIOS setting).

The other problem is that something is preventing the OS from sleeping. I never really figured out how I solved that last time, so I've already spent an hour searching.

So I'm back to my old policy: "If it works, don't update it."
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:46 PM   #2
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I know this is after the horse has left the barn, but before the update is when you need good rollback software or an image of your HD to go back to.

When I was fixing up my Win 7 desktop, I hurried and didn't make the image and had to restart over. Fog happens in the heat of the battle.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I know this is after the horse has left the barn, but before the update is when you need good rollback software or an image of your HD to go back to.

When I was fixing up my Win 7 desktop, I hurried and didn't make the image
and had to restart over. Fog happens in the heat of the battle.
That's a good thing to do, and I did have a restore point.

But here's the problem: You don't necessarily know until later that the update caused a problem. It was a while before I realized that the computer wasn't sleeping anymore, so at that point, if I had gone back, I'd have lost other stuff that I'd done.

Sometimes it could be a week or more before you realize there's a problem, and you might not even consider that it was related to the upgrade.

I fixed the sleeping problem by doing this in the command window:

powercfg -requestsoverride driver \filesystem\srvnet system

That's not how I fixed it last time, but I recall that srvnet was involved.

Who knows if that will cause other problems. I got the solution from here:

Why Won’t Windows Automatically Sleep? Boydo's Tech Talk
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:56 PM   #4
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That's a good point Al about sometimes not realizing the problem until afterwards. I have a similar situation in that despite me having rollback software and some image copies, my system for some reason tends to pause (nothing happen but the spinning wheel) for about 30-60 seconds...then resume as if nothing has gone wrong. But I don't know when this weirdness happened and am in no mood to go rolling back to certain points to pinpoint just when this started.

However, are you really thinking of not doing updates? What happens then if a security update is needed? Will you hold off or update and hope nothing else gets broken?
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:21 PM   #5
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If it ain't broke...

Updates would be fine if there were an easy way to undo them. These days generally there is not.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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Well the main reason people were being told to stop using XP was M$ would no longer be supplying updates and it would vulnerable. So by not applying the updates you are doing the same thing, might as well stuck with XP.

Updates can be uninstalled by going to Control Panel>Programs and Features>View installed updates. Then select and uninstall the update.
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
However, are you really thinking of not doing updates? What happens then if a security update is needed? Will you hold off or update and hope nothing else gets broken?
Well, that policy worked out for many years. Of course, perhaps my machine was compromised without my knowledge. I rarely upgraded software either, as long as it was working to my satisfaction.

This morning re-convinced me. I spent some time wondering why the fan was on all the time, then I remembered the update. Then I had to remember how to fix it, and remember what key to press to get into the BIOS.

Fixing the sleep issue involved much testing, each test requiring waiting for two minutes, with a number of reboots.

OK, sorry, too much ranting.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:23 PM   #8
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Updates are definitely a two-edged sword. I have my laptop set to prompt me with updates, so I can make the decision. I typically just let them apply, however, because it's usually a pain to research them all. I lean to updating to mitigate the security things, suffer through the aftermath...

With my Android phone, however, I approach operating system updates with a lot of trepidation. I've never had one that didn't leave me worse off than before. I do let my apps update, however, same rationale as for the laptop.

It's the internet connection that compels me to update, to avoid problems that others might exploit. Without that connection, I'd be more inclined to not update, per the 'ain't broke-don't fix' perspective...
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
...

OK, sorry, too much ranting.
No, it's a valid point. I wish I had a solution, but our computers are really quite complex - software from different suppliers, many, many different components for the OS, different hardware in so many computers. These things all interact in complex ways.

I can't even imagine how much testing would be required to make sure a set of Windows updates would work on a single hardware platform with no variation, with only MS products. Now throw in all the variations and third party SW, and it's mind-boggling.

Apple has a much simplified hardware line, and from what I understand, it does help. But it's not a guarantee either.

To fix this, it would probably take a very much simplified hardware option choice, and software with a much more restricted set of APIs with a lot more documentation. We might not like the effects of that either, I don't know.

I'm not trying to give the updaters a 'pass', I wish they would do better (heck, I have a bunch of programs that I only use a couple times a year, if even - I always wonder if they will still work when I do need them) . But I think the reality is that some of this is inevitable.

The little netbook that I use mostly for a music player now, and that I don't get on the internet with - I don't update that for the reasons you mention. Though it is Linux OS, I'm not sure anyone is actively trying to exploit old things that were patched years ago. The target audience would be just a small fraction of Linux users, which is a small target period. Yes, I know they say "Security through obscurity" is not a good defense, but I'm not so sure it isn't 'good enough' in this case.

-ERD50
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:29 AM   #10
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Sounds like you have had some bad luck Al. Many updates provide "fixes" you may not need but some are critical security patches that really are important. You can't easily pick and choose as often some newer patches require installation of previous service releases and the like. I have used automatic updates for many years on many computers and have never noticed a problem (other than the PITA delay when a laptop I am shutting down to leave on a trip decides it has to update right then). I keep restore points and backup images (although they are getting a bit aged as I write this) but haven't needed them except in the case of hardware failures.

On the other hand, I have an ancient Linux server that used to function as my web server. It has been running as a file and print server without turning off or being patched for about six years. But it is no longer connected to the Internet.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:31 AM   #11
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Reading all this, I thought it was probably time to upgrade my own.

I'm strictly a Mac guy, but there are a few programs I need Windows for, so I run them in a virtual machine on my Mac.

I have Parallels Desktop 9, the latest and greatest, and they claim to be fine for Windows 8.1 so I bought a copy of 8.1 on Amazon and got the disk in the mail yesterday.

I put it in and created a new virtual machine (leaving my Vista installation alone) and started the install. Went to the grocery store for a couple of things, and when I got back home the installation was done.

No problems, no issues, easy as it could be. In the install, I set it to default to the desktop on booting. Downloaded and installed Firefox, smooth as silk.

So I now have to virtual machines on my Mac -- one with Vista and bunch of miscellaneous apps and stuff, and one with 8.1. I'll try installing my favorite apps on the new VM, and report if any can't handle it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:54 AM   #12
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I do not automatically do every update. Some of the updates are for things I do not have installed or involve software I am not using right now. If it ain't broke (or present), why fix it?
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Old 05-30-2014, 07:03 AM   #13
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How about Smart phone updates? Sometimes my Android phone tells me what has been updated, other times it asks and I never update......months ago I updated a GPS program, Android switched providers taking away a free GPM and installing one that cost $1.99 month. How do all of you handle smart phone updates?
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rbmrtn View Post
Well the main reason people were being told to stop using XP was M$ would no longer be supplying updates and it would vulnerable. So by not applying the updates you are doing the same thing, might as well stuck with XP.
I actually felt relieved when that happened: "Now I won't get any more notices about updates that I won't be installing anyway." But it was time for a new machine anyway.
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Old 05-30-2014, 09:39 AM   #15
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Computer are getting to be like cars. You'll go broke trying to keep up with the latest technology and gadgets. Although I'd like a newer, hi powered PC (mainly for playing XPlane) I'm gonna keep plugging along on my 2009 i7 iMac.

I also run parallels 7 on my mac, but still use an old version of WinXP only so I can run ESPlanner. Haven't updated any software on windows in over 4 years and it all seems to work pretty well. Again, going with the car theory and driving it into the ground.

As for the phone, I'm taking the same approach there. Seems with each iOS update something gets broken and has to be fixed. Our iPhones will be 4 years old this month and no more updates will be installed. Hopefully we'll get another 2 years out of them.

My frugal gene appears to be winning the technology upgrade battle
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Old 05-30-2014, 10:10 AM   #16
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Sounds like most of your problems have more to do with the HP updates than the Windows updates. The HP updates (drivers,BIOS) are rarely security related and may not be needed unless you're seeing problems. I would definitely select to be notified before installing any of those updates.
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Old 05-30-2014, 05:02 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
Many updates provide "fixes" you may not need but some are critical security patches that really are important.
And that's the issue. I don't know what I don't know about how various software applications interact with each other. While I'll update if it's a security issue, if it's something like a printer driver that works fine I'll leave well enough alone. I suppose even that could be a security issue and not labeled as such.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:50 AM   #18
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I generally do updates immediately but it is a major black mark on the software developer if people don't want to update due to bad experiences.

Two other things you can do besides not updating: (1) make a whole disk bootable clone of your OS drive and use that to restore if the update seriously breaks something. This will take computer time but not much of your own effort. And a bootable clone is useful to have anyway in case of hard drive failure. (2) delay the update for a week or two and see if others have problems first. This might not be effective for minor updates which don't impact many people.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:26 AM   #19
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I would urge people to accept updates that are to plug security holes. Some of them for the OS, for instance, are reaaaaly bad. For instance, a flaw in font rendering in XP (which runs in the kernal) means you just open a web page and you're now running malware.

You'd be nuts not to keep Adobe Reader updated, that thing has exploitable bugs in it showing up all of the time.

If you say "I only go to reputable sites when I surf", I'd say if you go to a site with ads (which is everywhere), you're at risk; those ads are not screened and could easily contain that font exploit, for instance.
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Old 05-31-2014, 09:25 AM   #20
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My Generation 3 iPod Touch turned into a paperweight one app update at a time. And it seems once updated, you can't go back to the one that used to work.
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