Susan Bradley/Windows Secrets Newsletter
Easy trouble-free Windows patching
For Windows users who manage their own system updates, the patching process is a bit like going to the dentist — you really hope it’ll be pain-free.
For making that twice-monthly chore a little easier, here are some simple tips and tricks to avoid patching woes.
Make the updating task a regular routine
If you’re a Windows user who handles updates manually, you might still be slogging through the most-recent Patch Tuesday releases of .NET, Windows, Office, and Silverlight fixes. My first tip for installing updates is to set aside a specific time each month to review and install them. Although new batches of patches typically come out the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, in most cases it’s safe to tackle updates just once a month. (On rare occasions, an especially critical patch might require your immediate attention.) I tend to wait until the weekend following an update’s release.
Reboot your system more often — not less
Yes, I know it’s a pain to reboot your machine; but when it comes to patching, rebooting often is better. In fact, I recommend rebooting PCs right before installing updates. It reduces the likelihood that some unrelated issue is the cause of problems cropping up during the update process.
I’ve had computers fail to reboot right after an update was installed, and I eventually discovered that the root cause was something completely separate — such as a failing power supply, motherboard, or hard drive. Rebooting before patching might have revealed those types of problems and saved time wasted on troubleshooting a perfectly good patch. (It’s always a bit surprising that PCs can run continuously for months, then fail when rebooted.)
This excerpt appears with permission from Windows Secrets Newsletter.