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OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates

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Kelly Griffin
OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 4:22:05 pm

Is there a way to get Windows7 to NOT install any updates? I ask because my production computer isn't connected to the internet, except for occasional times when I'm browsing a Digital Juice library. It seems that every time I do that, Windows tells me it has a bunch of updates for me, which I don't want to install.

Is there a way to tell my system to ignore everything?

--Kelly


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Mike Kujbida
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 4:30:19 pm

Kelly, the following is from the Windows Help file on my Windows 7 machine. Hope this helps.


If you don't want updates to be installed automatically, you can choose to be notified when updates apply to your computer instead. Then, you can download and install them yourself, or you can set Windows to automatically download updates, and then notify you so you can install them yourself. Here's how to change how Windows installs or notifies you about updates:

Click to open Windows Update (Start - Control Panel - Windows Update).

In the left pane, click Change settings.

Under Important updates, click one of the following:

Install updates automatically (recommended)

Download updates but let me choose whether to install them

Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them

Never check for updates (not recommended)


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Kelly Griffin
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 4:42:36 pm

Thanks Mike! YOODAMAN

--KG


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Mike Kujbida
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 4:59:30 pm

My pleasure Kelly. Always glad to help :)


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Aaron Star
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 6:41:45 pm

I understand not wanting to be nagged about updates, but those updates are there for a reason. In the words of Agent Smith, those updates " are given for your protection..." Is it a bandwidth reason?


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Kelly Griffin
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 7:02:33 pm

Not at all. After years of "experience" (i.e., "having crap just 'happen' over time"), I'd have a system all dialed in, and would install updates religiously, and then watch that system over time all-of-a-sudden have this problem, then that problem, then too many problems.

So now, I go with what I know seems to work-- get my system dialed in, then LEAVE IT ALONE.

I'm so damn tired of "updates" on so many things that, over time, just wind up painting me into some PITA corner I didn't bargain for.

So, I leave it alone unless I have a specific problem that an update might fix.

--KG


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 7:04:08 pm

[Aaron Star] "but those updates are there for a reason. In the words of Agent Smith, those updates " are given for your protection..." Is it a bandwidth reason?"
It's called "if it ain't broke... don't fix it!"

Any professional should turn off automatic updates as a first sep in setting up a production system. Then you should only apply updates after you have a full system backup so that if anything goes wrong you can recover quickly.

I had Microsoft mess up my system the day before I had to go NAB to demo some software. I had to find another computer that hadn't been updated yet to get my work completed. After that I turned off automatic updates and I keep them off so that I control when my system gets updated... and you should too.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Aaron Star
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 7:20:38 pm

I agree with "if is works, don't fix it," especially if you have a deadline presentation like you are referring to. I also would not want my machines with known vulnerabilities that have patches, sitting connected to the internet, whether you think your network systems are secure or not. Even if you have a layered approach to your security, IPS, and HIPS, you are still at risk to downloads. I recommend staying patched when times are not so critical.


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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 24, 2015 at 10:20:41 pm

Kelly said his machine is not normally connected to the internet, so he has eliminated the need for most updates. That said, I think a periodic system image type backup is absolutely essential before anything runs any serious changes. My system image backups produced by Acronis True Image have saved my bacon on many, many occasions.

That's also one of the main reasons I am very reluctant to upgrade to a new release of Windows. In a real, professional environment, all such changes and updates are thoroughly tested before they can be installed. Such testing may require several months to insure that no production systems are adversely affected. I don't have the time to do that kind of testing. I do allow security updates, but I keep my backups handy.


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Steve Rhoden
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 26, 2015 at 12:28:36 pm

I detest Windows Automatic updates, it offers no benefit or good to a
Video professional system. But if you dont make a living from your PC and only
use it in the evenings after work for a few minutes, then it really doesn't matter, lol.
Dont be mislead by these security updates!

Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia


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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 26, 2015 at 4:22:43 pm

The issue is not how much you use your machine. The issue is whether or not your machine is connected to the internet. If it is, you would be foolish in the extreme to skip security updates. That is one of the ways that Sony was penetrated. Machines that were internet connected, but which had not been updated to close well known, open holes. I routinely allow all security updates because my computer is always connected to the internet. I almost never allow optional updates for things like video cards. I look to the vendor or manufacturer for those. I also aim to backup my system image often enough that it won't hurt me too much if I have to revert to the backup.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 27, 2015 at 11:12:23 am

[Bob Peterson] "The issue is whether or not your machine is connected to the internet. If it is, you would be foolish in the extreme to skip security updates. That is one of the ways that Sony was penetrated. Machines that were internet connected, but which had not been updated to close well known, open holes."
It's important to note that your computer is most likely not "on the Internet" the way the Sony servers were. You cannot, for example, host a web site on your desktop because more than likely, you are behind a router that has a hardware firewall built in to prevent such access. If the IP address on your computer starts with 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x you are using a non-routable IP that is not accessible from the Internet. If, however, your computer is directly connected to the Internet, you should run out and buy a router with a hardware firewall to hide behind.

I was not advocating that you never apply updates, but rather that you turn off automatic updates and only allow updates to happen when you have a full backup of your system to revert back to in case things go wrong.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 27, 2015 at 3:00:00 pm
Last Edited By Bob Peterson on Aug 27, 2015 at 4:06:47 pm

The article I read said that it was more than just the servers which were used for entree. It talked about user PCs which were penetrated in various ways to gain access to the servers through internal computers connected to their network. I recently encountered a PC which was so infested with viruses, key loggers, and other nasties (a malware program counted over 600), that the malware had established its own partition on the hard drive. The user could not access that partition, but, after the OS was reinstalled from HP supplied discs, that partition was gone. Incidentally, the PC was owned by an elderly woman who is a retired missionary. I don't think she ever engaged in the sorts of activities that are known for installing malware.

If there is no need to be concerned, then we are all wasting huge amounts of time and energy. However, I am far too cautious to take chances in this area. Just a few passwords may be sufficient to give me a huge financial problem. I fully agree on the need for regular backups so that things can be backed out.

Another thought. I am even more appalled with Sony security's negligence if their problem existed solely due to failures to update necessary software on their servers. That is truly inexcusable although it does fit the image in the article where the security area left unattended PCs accessible to anyone who walked in off the street.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:01:52 am

[Bob Peterson] "If there is no need to be concerned, then we are all wasting huge amounts of time and energy. However, I am far too cautious to take chances in this area."
It's important to note that I am referring the risk of delaying Windows updates that fix OS vulnerabilities when you have a hardware firewall in your router. If you already have viruses and malware on your computer then you are definitely at risk already and Windows updates aren't going to help you.

The first line of defense is using a plug-in like Web of Trust (WOT) in your web browser. This will alert you to malicious sites so that you can surf safely to begin with. It has a great rating system that tells you if Google results are good web sites or bad ones.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:15:31 am
Last Edited By Bob Peterson on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:24:19 am

John, surely you know that I do not think that existing viruses can be removed by Windows updates. I am, indirectly, pointing out with my example that a PC behind a fire wall is not thereby protected from all malware. Malware can still penetrate in several different ways. I am talking about updates that plug holes in programs which can be exploited by the malware seeking to take up residence. Surely you are aware that this problem is real and exists although I do think that Apple people sometimes assume that they no longer have to be concerned about such things. In my experience, many Apple fans think that Apples are not vulnerable to malware. IMHO, that is a huge mistake to make.

Since you did not respond to my point on PC security being a significant part of the fiasco at Sony, I'm glad that we now seem to agree on that point. Or, perhaps we have agreed to disagree. I can, if you wish, search for the fairly detailed article I read on that subject. I think I saw it in the WSJ, but I would not swear to that. It was written by some of the security consultants who talked to Sony both before and after the penetration.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 28, 2015 at 2:37:07 am

Yes I understood your point. I think we are talking about two different types of exploits so allow me to elaborate (because I think we agree):

One type of exploit is to attack a server that has not been patched. This requires that the server be visible from the Internet. If your PC is behind a firewall and a router which has assigned it a non-routable IP address, then it cannot be seen and cannot be attacked in this way. So you don't have to worry about these sorts of attacks to your PC.

You are talking about malware that exploits vulnerabilities and I agree that both PC and Mac users need to be careful about these but the first line of defense is to not be tricked into downloading the malware in the first place. That's all I was pointing out. Once you download the malware you have bigger problems.

As for Sony, I don't know enough about the incident to comment but you are correct that a good way to infiltrate a server is by planting malware on a PC that's already behind the firewall within the network via a malicious email or something. I'm guessing that's how Sony got breached and your point was that a server could be attacked from within and I agree.

More often than not, malware is not exploiting a bug in the OS that has not been patched... It is exploiting the end user who gets tricked into installing a program that is stealing their identity via a key logger without any OS vulnerability exploits at all. ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 29, 2015 at 3:39:25 am

I'm sure you know this to John, but I think the point is worth making. Malware can invade a PC if it can exploit a vulnerability in a program which is running on a PC. It is not always dependent on tricking the user into downloading and running it. It can lurk on an otherwise legitimate, but infected site, exploit the vulnerability, and install itself. Things like Flash or Java are a bit notorious for such weaknesses. Windows itself has this type of vulnerability within its many programs which is why security updates need to be applied to protect against attack.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 29, 2015 at 1:33:30 pm

I can't argue with anything you have said Bob. This is why using a plug-in like Web of Trust is so important because you never know when a web site can be infected.

That being said, you have to balance that against the possibility of Microsoft messing up your computer with their updates and you missing a client deadline. I've had Microsoft do this several times. I've never had malware on my computer. I will err on the side of not updating until I'm at a point where I can afford downtime from Microsoft updates.

What started this thread is the fact that Microsoft just issued an update to Windows 10 that broke a lot of people's computers. I can't take that chance. I understand that Windows 10 Home doesn't allow you to turn off updates while Window 10 Pro does. That's an argument right there that anyone using Windows 10 in production should buy the Pro version.

BTW, major corporations turn off Windows updates by default. They do not risk the fact that Microsoft can cause applications on their computers to not work. Instead they test each update and then release them at a later date once they know they are working. That's all I'm suggesting that you do as well. If it's good enough for the Fortune 500, it should be good enough for your business.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Wayne Waag
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 29, 2015 at 3:46:15 pm

[John Rofrano]

I understand that Windows 10 Home doesn't allow you to turn off updates while Window 10 Pro does.

Apparently, there are several ways. This article explains how to disable automatic updates in Windows 10 Home.

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/laptops/features/how-to-disable-windows-10-automati...

I haven't upgraded to Windows 10 and haven't tried it. This link was originally posted in a thread on the Vegas Pro forum.

wwaag


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Bob Peterson
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 30, 2015 at 12:35:15 pm

John, I think all that is true although I had not read about these problems with Win 10. I read your comment discouraging an update from Win 7 to Win 10, and I absolutely agree with you. I would not touch Win 10 with a 10 foot pole at this point. I have better things to do than spending time trying to install a major upgrade to Windows, and I'm not inclined to spend the money replacing hardware which may be rendered useless by it.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Aug 30, 2015 at 2:37:22 pm

[Bob Peterson] "I have better things to do than spending time trying to install a major upgrade to Windows, and I'm not inclined to spend the money replacing hardware which may be rendered useless by it."
Exactly! I don't see any reason for a Windows 7 user to upgrade. Not a single one. There are almost no new features and certainly none that you "need". Let's face it, Windows 10 was release purely because Windows 8 was such a dog with it's crippled Desktop and Metro interface and Windows 10 is really fixing what was "wrong" instead of bringing something "new".

Unfortunately for Microsoft, all the things that were wrong in Windows 8 that Windows 10 fixed, don't even exist in Windows 7 so why would a Windows 7 user upgrade to Windows 10? For Windows 8 users it's a needed fix. For Windows 7 users I just don't see the need to upgrade. As Bob pointed out, there's just no payback for all the effort.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Steve Rhoden
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Sep 1, 2015 at 8:07:54 am

"you would be foolish in the extreme to skip security updates"
Well you can continue believing in that!
This is one of the hidden gremlins that makes many Vegas/NLE
users gets up one day and start having a nest of worries in there
editing workflow. Its not good for a dedicated editing/Motion
graphics/Compositing workstation!


Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia


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Wayne Waag
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Sep 1, 2015 at 6:21:22 pm
Last Edited By Wayne Waag on Sep 1, 2015 at 6:24:17 pm

[John Rofrano]

I don't see any reason for a Windows 7 user to upgrade. Not a single one.

Here's one reason that tempts me. 192GB memory in V10 vs 16 GB in V7 Home Premium. Running multiple instances of Vegas, Photoshop and other apps oftentimes brings things to a crawl--especially Photoshop. Being able to add another 16 GB RAM is appealing. Hence, the temptation, although as others have warned, its probably best to wait awhile until the end of the free offer period. OTOH, I could just pay the upgrade cost to V7 Pro.

wwaag

Added: The anywhere upgrade to V7 PRO is no longer available.


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John Rofrano
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Sep 1, 2015 at 7:12:32 pm

That's a Home vs Pro argument. Not a Windows 7 vs Windows 10 argument. I have Windows 7 Pro with 24GB memory and I have no reason to upgrade to Windows 10.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Steve Rhoden
Re: OT: Stopping Windows from installing updates
on Sep 2, 2015 at 1:31:07 pm

Listen, if you are on windows 8, i always advise to upgrade to Windows 10.
But if you are on Windows 7, the option is yours, you can easily and confidently stick with Windows 7.

Steve Rhoden (Cow Leader)
Film Maker & VFX Artist.
Owner of Filmex Creative Media.
Samples of my Work and Company can be seen here:
http://www.facebook.com/FilmexCreativeMedia


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