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Windows Update or MBSA? Or Both?

By rdhatch ·
I'm trying to determine what's the best method for keeping my NT/W2k Servers up to date with Hotfixes/Security updates.

I've tried "Windows Update" & MBSA and found each produced different results. So which one is the best to use or should I useboth of them. Or neither?

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Windows Update or MBSA? Or Both?

by timwalsh In reply to Windows Update or MBSA? O ...

It really isn't an either/or proposition. These 2 tools perform what appear to be somewhat similar but in truth are 2 totally different functions.

Windows Update does merely that. It scans the operating system of Win98/2K/XP computers (but not NT) and compairs what it finds against a database on an MS website to determine if ANY updates (not just security related) are available for the OS. If so it give you the opportunity to download and install these updates. It does no security analysis of any kind. It merely determines the presence or absence of a given update.

MBSA is a security tool. It scans the computer on which it is installed for a wide range of security related settings. It not only scans the OS but other applications with known security problems (IIS, IE, SQL, Office). It also detects the presence or absence of security related updates by comparing what it finds against another database provided by MS. However, all it does is scan and provides a report of what it finds as well as recommendations based on what it finds. However it doesn't (appear to) provide any download or installation capabailities for any available updates.

Hope this helps.

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Windows Update or MBSA? Or Both?

by rdhatch In reply to Windows Update or MBSA? O ...

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Windows Update or MBSA? Or Both?

by Bobby Gillette In reply to Windows Update or MBSA? O ...

I personally use both... I run the MBSA to find out what vulnerabilities, if any, my systems have. Once I've done that, I run Windows Update, then run the MBSA once again. I have encountered assorted hotfixes that have somehow escaped the ever-vigilant eye of Windows Update, so for the best most up to date fixes, I'd run them both extensively.

One great thing about MBSA is the reporting functions it gives on uneccessary or perhaps poorly conceived shares and permissions on your systems. Really helps clean things up...

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Windows Update or MBSA? Or Both?

by rdhatch In reply to Windows Update or MBSA? O ...

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Windows Update or MBSA? Or Both?

by rdhatch In reply to Windows Update or MBSA? O ...

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