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  • How to tell if software truly needs updating

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog How to tell if software truly needs updating

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      • #2174746 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        Top post: LANGALIST By Fred Langa There are four types of useful version-checking tools that can help determine exactly which patches and updates are
        [See the full post at: How to tell if software truly needs updating]

        8 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2174846 Reply

        I m a little confused.  When you say to go ahead with the updates  are those of us who haven t bought a new computer and upgraded to Windows 10 yet suppose to check for updates and  update them or is this for Windows 10 only? I have a Laptop with Windows 7 and don t know what to do.

        • #2174882 Reply
          Da Boss

          This is not aimed at the Windows OS, it is aimed at programs and apps that you have installed in Windows.
          Win7 is EOS. There are no more updates for the Windows OS unless you have an ESU subscription. The only patches you may get are, for example, Office, MSRT, MSE Definitions (not program updates), etc.

      • #2175005 Reply
        rc primak

        This is one of the few articles from PC experts where I would not change even one word. Fred, you really nailed this one! Thanks.

        Just one minor point about SUMo. It also lists as software components which are really parts of driver packages. These should be treated as drivers, not as software. My Intel based NUC contains a lot of these components. I have to remind SUMo to ignore these components. I wish their screening and detection algorithms could make such distinctions without my intervention.

        Other than that, I find SUMo to be one of the most comprehensive and readily useful updating tools out there. But it should only be used as an advisory tool, not as an automatic updating shortcut.

        -- rc primak

      • #2175013 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Regrettably, DELL’s Tech Support area admits that the Support Assist is buggy, especially in the download Updates/Bios area.  This after I ran into several problems over the past two years.  Yet, DELL just doesn’t seem to want to fix it.  It is Windows-10 oriented; yet, it does not give any error message if one is using it for a Windows-7 Pro system.  DELL’s Tech Support area suggested I use DELL’s Command and Update utility instead.

      • #2175094 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Been using PatchMyPC for years and never had a problem. Fast, easy. Probably takes 2 minutes to download, startup, confirm what it’s reporting and hit the update button. Then you can just let it do it’s thing.

        Used Secunia long ago but gave up after a new version seemed to make it unreliable.

        I don’t trust vendor tools (e.g. Dell Support Assist). I find them buggy and often resource hogs. I wonder what they’re doing all the time they’re not checking for updates. I assume they’re spyware of some sort–so I install them only to check for updates, perform updates and remove.

      • #2175117 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I find SUMo to be one of the most comprehensive and readily useful updating tools out there.

        I agree. I use the app on a weekly basis including beta versions suggestions.
        90% of software I use is portable ran from the non-OS drive, and I disable most of software notifications/auto-updates. Other software version scanners don’t detect portable software.

        • #2176296 Reply
          rc primak

          I scrupulously avoid beta software and beta updates in particular. Except for Google Chrome Beta, which has gotten Flash Player updates swifter than Chrome Stable. Other betas have often proven buggy and even caused some system crashes. It’s like Woody says — let others be the scouts who take the first bullets.

          -- rc primak

      • #2175134 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Been using PatchMyPC for years

        Out of the million apps PatchMyPC finds some 10 or so. It doesn’t find portable apps at all.
        Use SUMo.

      • #2175135 Reply
        Kathy Stevens
        AskWoody Plus

        Who should we trust for patches and updates?

        Case in point, our year-old HP ENVY Desktop – 795-0050 has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (3 GB) graphics card.

        When we go to the HP support page there is only one driver available to support the GeForce card – Driver-Graphics Version: Rev.A dated November 8, 2018.

        When we go to the NVIDIA support site, I find a multitude of update options. Game Ready Driver (GRD) and Studio Driver (ST). Then under GRD we can download and install driver Version: 442.50 with a release date of 2020.2.27. Or, the ST driver Version: 442.19 with a release date of 2020.2.3.

        Do we go with HP’s November 8, 2018 driver or one of NVIDIA’s two 2020 drivers? Or just leave the machine alone?

        Then there is the PCs’ Intel Core i7-8700 processor. Should we use Intel’s Driver & Support Assistant to find and update the driver, HP’s site for downloading software and drivers, or wait for Microsoft to push a driver update, or just leave the machine alone?

        • #2175157 Reply
          AskWoody MVP

          With add-on video cards (PCI/AGP/PCIE) I’ve always used nvidia reference drivers irrespective of system manufacturer. I tend to treat the GPU as a separate entity YMMV
          They’ve been my goto ever since the ‘detonator’ driver package days before the aquisition of 3DFx. With integrated nvidia video GPU’s, I’ve stuck with the system manufacturer drivers.
          It’s a personal preference thing that works here, from a piece of mind perspective.

          Win7 Pro x86/x64 | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 |
      • #2175144 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Do we go with HP’s November 8, 2018 driver or one of NVIDIA’s two 2020 drivers?

        You go with Nvidia and Intel not with the OEM.
        The same is true for any other drivers/updates like : SSD firmware, BT, Wi-Fi, sound card, network card..
        The only OEM updates to install are Bios/Firmware.

        • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Alex5723.
        • #2176317 Reply
          AskWoody MVP

          You go with Nvidia and Intel not with the OEM.

          If you have purchased a graphics card for your OEM machine separately and installed it yourself, then get needed driver updates from the manufacturer.  If your OEM machine came with a preinstalled graphics card, then get needed updates from the OEM unless the OEM says otherwise.

          Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
          "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
          "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2176301 Reply
        rc primak

        Graphics cards are a special case. For most internal OEM components, regardless of who makes the component, you are best off using the OEM device manufacturer’s site for the drivers which best fit the overall configuration of the whole device.

        -- rc primak

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2176311 Reply
          AskWoody MVP

          That certainly applies for dual graphics switching devices that use Optimus etc.

      • #2176412 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        If your OEM machine came with a preinstalled graphics card, then get needed updates from the OEM unless the OEM says otherwise.

        Never. OEMs (and Microsoft) are slow to update to new drivers for months if not more.
        I don’t trust both.
        I have a Lenovo laptop and won’t let Lenovo published drivers on my laptop.
        The only Lenovo update I accept is BIOS/Firmware.

      • #2177770 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I use SUMo on at least a monthly basis for checking which programs have updates available.  And I agree that it’s very useful — in an advisory role — to note which programs I may want to consider updating.  However, I have one word of caution regarding this following piece of advice from the article:

        Once you’re aware that’s what’s going on with this type of app, and if you accept whatever risks may be involved in continuing to use uncorrected or uncorrectable problems, you can tell SUMo to ignore the offending app from then on. The problem will still be there, but you’ll no longer be nagged about it.

        In the case where I choose to not update an app for some reason, I simply don’t update it.   But as for the SUMo app itself, I never tell SUMo to ignore an app.  There’s a danger in doing that.

        Sure, you may have decided that this month’s minor update for one of your apps isn’t worthwhile; and so you choose not to install it.  But if you go into the SUMo settings and tell SUMo to ignore that app then it will do just that — forever.  So then, if that same ignored app issues a major important update later on (one that you actually would want to install), SUMo is never going to tell you about it.  After all, you already told SUMo that you want to ignore that particular app.  So now you’ll never know that a major update is available for it — at least not thru the SUMo app.

        My advice: If you want to pass on installing an update that SUMo reports as available, simply don’t install that particular update.  But leave the SUMo settings alone; so that you will still be notified of any newer updates that become available in the future.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2264980 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        I’m the developpper of SUMo. Do not hesitate to ask if you need assistance or if you have suggestion to make it even better.

        Btw, we’ve just released 5.10.18 today… give it a try !

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