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Windows 7

Installing Windows 7 (part 4) - Using Windows Update & Installing Windows Service Packs

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8. Using Windows Update

Windows Update, shown in Figure 2, is a utility that connects to Microsoft's website and checks to ensure that you have the most up-to-date versions of Microsoft products.

Figure 2. Windows Update

Some of the common update categories associated with Windows Update are as follows:

  • Critical updates

  • Service packs

  • Drivers

Follow these steps to configure Windows Update:

  1. Select Start => Control Panel.

    • From Windows Icons View, select Windows Update.

    • From Windows Category View, select System And Security, Windows Update.

  2. Configure the options you want to use for Windows Update, and click OK.

The options you can access from Windows Update include the following:

  • Check For Updates

  • Change Settings

  • View Update History

  • Restore Hidden Updates

  • Updates: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Installed Updates

8.1. Check for Updates

When you click Check For Updates, Windows Update will retrieve a list of available updates from the Internet. You can then click View Available Updates to see what updates are available. Updates are marked as Important, Recommended, or Optional. Figure 3 shows a sample list of updates.

Figure 3. Checking for updates

8.2. Change Settings

Clicking Change Settings allows you to customize how Windows can install updates. You can configure the following options:

  • "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)"

Figure 4 shows the settings that can be configured for Windows Update.

Figure 4. Windows Update Change settings

8.3. View Update History

View Update History, as shown in Figure 5, is used to view a list of all of the installations that have been performed on the computer- You can see the following information for each installation:

  • Update Name

  • Status (Successful, Unsuccessful, or Canceled)

  • Importance (Important, Recommended, or Optional)

  • Date Installed

Figure 5. Windows Update, View Update History

8.4. Restore Hidden Updates

With Restore Hidden Updates you can list any updates that you have hidden from the list of available updates. An administrator might hide updates that they do not want users to install.

Sometimes it is important for an administrator to test and verify updates before the users can install them. This area allows you to see hidden updates so that they can be tested before deployment.

8.5. Installed Updates

Installed Updates allows you to see the updates that are installed and to uninstall or change them if necessary. The Installed Updates feature is a part of the Programs And Features applet in the Control Panel, which allows you to uninstall, change, and repair programs.

9. Installing Windows Service Packs

Service packs are updates to the Windows 7 operating system that include bug fixes and product enhancements. Some of the options that might be included in service packs are security fixes or updated versions of software, such as Internet Explorer.

Prior to installing a service pack, you should perform the following steps:

  1. Back up your computer.

  2. Check your computer to ensure that it is not running any malware or other unwanted software.

  3. Check with your computer manufacturer to see whether there are any special instructions for your computer prior to installing the service pack.

You can download service packs from www.microsoft.com, you can receive service packs via Windows Update, or you can pay for a copy of the service pack to be mailed to you on disc. Before you install a service pack, you should read the release note that is provided for each service pack on Microsoft's website.

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