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Test before update deployment VS. Windows Automatic Updates

By Bill Detwiler Editor ·
Tags: Off Topic
Microsoft security updates, released in late February 2005, cause strange errors on some machines running Windows XP SP2. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem but not provided a fix. IT organizations should be prepared to troubleshoot these errors before Windows XP SP2 becomes mandatory on April 12, 2005.

Our Resolve Windows RPC errors caused by XP SP2 and security updates quick-reference task sheet provides a list of potential errors and a simple workaround.

Check out the download:

Many organizations test software updates prior to deployment, but others rely on Windows Automatic Update for simplicity. Which strategy does your organization use and why?

Also, let us know if our Resolve Windows RPC errors caused by XP SP2 and security updates quick-reference task sheet provides helpful information and if there's anything we can do to improve the document's content or format.


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Let Microsoft do it

by Michael Cortes In reply to Test before update deploy ...

1000 PCs, 2 techs and no central management
system. Such is IT in the world of Education.
We don't have the staff for an R&amp lab.

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Dito from fellow IT in Education

by cali5sol In reply to Let Microsoft do it

I agreee that it is a heavy strain for education to keep up but you will save lots of time if you setup a R&amp environment. I am one man in a high school and I have implemented this environment and seen that it has paid off. The initial cost will seem great but some people are going to have to wait while you are doing this. You must get the backing of the administration before doing this as you may have to ask for equipment...and for Christ sake centralize it's a matter of TCO. Good luck.

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Multiple Options

by Computer LUser In reply to Test before update deploy ...

Knowing Microsoft does a limited testing of its software and can't possible mimic the environment of millions of users in various scenarios, we use a pilot process to test. We have a lab setup to test the process and software, we then pilot the process to a technical group, then pilot the process again to a small inhouse group. Based on the feedback we make changes and test again if necessary but typically roll out the software after the inhouse pilot.

Since we have an inhouse development team we quickly learned the impossibility of being able to test in the same widespread environment our user's do when they utilize the software. This process is highly effective and can be adapted to smaller environments. It is better to take the time to test the software on limited scale than to undo the chaos on a grand scale if something goes awry.

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by jbaker In reply to Multiple Options

I would rather control what gets installed on my network rather than let MS do it. I have been burned more than once (2K SP6, and XP SP2)...different types of failures, but both caused a loss of productivity that was unacceptable.

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Automatic, but staged

by bfepistle In reply to Test before update deploy ...

I am responsible for the design department and front office
computers for a small business. Our design department
computers are mission-critical, so I read up on the updates first,
getting an idea of how critical they are and how unstable they're
likely to be. The small updates I usually do almost immediately.

SP2 took me months to feel comfortable rolling out. For SP2, I
implemented it on one machine a week, on average, and thus
was able to learn what to watch out for. (E.g. Norton Security
must be completely uninstalled, then SP2 installed, and then
Norton Security reinstalled.) I performed backups and installed
SP2 from an installer downloaded to our server. I instructed
everyone in the office not to automatically install SP2, and they
demurred to the flashing icon until I had time to do careful
custom installs on each machine.

But the six-digit security updates? Usually I install them right
away, trusting Microsoft to know what will work with each setup.

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problem with SUS

by love4u.pratik In reply to Test before update deploy ...

i m having SUS server in my network. My client machines are with WINXP SP2. After i manually approve updates, i can see some clients have taken the updates, but some clients doesnt reflect the updates. We have active directory, so i have updated domain policy to take windows update from an intranet server. i m am really screwed up with the issue

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