Monday, July 7, 2008

SP3 to Automatic Updates on July 10

The time has come. On July 10, 2008, at 10:00 AM PST, Microsoft will begin to "push" distribution of Windows XP Service Pack 3 via "Automatic Updates".

Windows XP Automatic Updates NotificationThis is not the first service pack to be distributed, but it is still a risky move. If there are problems with updates to the millions of Windows XP computers, Microsoft will get the brunt of the harsh criticism, both deserved and undeserved.

For computer users who follow Microsoft's advice, Automatic Updates is set to download and install recommended updates as they become available. However, if there is a glitch in the installation process, users could wake up to an unusable computer. That is why I recommend you use Automatic Updates solely to provide a notification of update availability.

At this point, Microsoft knows most of the causes of SP3's installation and compatibility problems. I believe that Automatic Updates will first scan your computer for the known troublemakers, and if detected, will disallow the download/installation.

While I do not know the details of how the update works, I have a serious concern about the reliability of the process. I hope to get answers to questions posed to Microsoft earlier today. Does Automatic Updates have the ability to stay within accepted installation guidelines and to follow Microsoft's pre-installation instructions? These include:
  • Disable anti-virus programs
  • Make sure that no other programs are running
  • Do not depend on battery power when performing the installation
  • Make sure you have enough space on your hard disk
In a previous post, we discuss ways to block SP3's installation.

Useful information: Links to Windows XP SP3 blog posts

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At July 8, 2008 6:10 AM , Anonymous Chris-IT Consulting said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At July 8, 2008 8:16 AM , Blogger Donald French said...

I hope the news gets out early enough for Windows XP users to change their Automatic Updates settings and fully prepare for the installation (data backup, etc.)


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