Friday, 16 April 2010

This months Microsoft Updates

For some time Microsoft has been bundling security updates required by Windows into one batch of updates which it releases once a month. This works well and prevents your computer from constantly updating itself on a daily basis.

If you see a yellow shield icon in the System Tray (the bunch of icons in the bottom right hand corner of your screen, next to the clock) you should double-click it to see if there are updates waiting to be installed. They may not be installing themselves automatically.

In Vista and Windows 7 the easy to spot yellow shield has changed to an obscure blue icon.

Last February the updates that were installed on PCs which were infected with particular viruses caused several issues, leading to the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. This was because the virus had altered some critical Windows files, which the Microsoft Updates then attempted to change again.

To avoid this issue Microsoft has released more intelligent updates this month, which won't install themselves to computers infected with certain viruses. Instead they will trigger an error message, which can then be investigated.

If you are getting sudden, unexplained error messages it may mean that you have one of these viruses and you should ask your computer support company to look into it. The errors will be accompanied by a message saying, "Your computer might not be compatible with Microsoft Security Update MS10-015". Microsoft has a web page which explains the issue at http://www.microsoft.com/security/updates/015

If you don't get any error messages this doesn't necessarily mean your computer does not have viruses though! You should always use a reliable and up to date anti-virus programme.

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