How many windows updates do I really need for a windows media center dedicated PC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-19-2013, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I will explain my network architecture before I go on.

I have a windows 2008 R2 domain that the media center is joined to, but before the internet hits any of my computers or servers, it goes through Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway with malware protection.

So, I was doing a fresh install on a client's computer and I noticed that the machine slowed down more with each batch of updates.

I'm going to purchase an SSD and do a fresh install when I get it.

Can I just disable all updating? Are there certain ones windows/PowerDVD/Arcsoft/mpc-hc need?

This is the second time in a year I'll be doing this. Not my idea of fun, but, windows is taking way too long to start and it's not going to be something an SSD will fix.
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-19-2013, 06:54 PM
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Why not just clone the drive?

Otherwise just install all the updates.

I've been running MSE for three years without issue. You might want to consider using a light anti virus. Most commercial AV software does nothing but slow down your system.

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-19-2013, 11:26 PM
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Skipping updates is a terrible idea, you should always install them. 99% of those updates just replace existing parts of the OS and would not cause a slowdown, just don't install stuff like the new Desktop Search which Windows Update sometimes offers too.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

Skipping updates is a terrible idea, you should always install them. 99% of those updates just replace existing parts of the OS and would not cause a slowdown, just don't install stuff like the new Desktop Search which Windows Update sometimes offers too.

Don't install Bing toolbar. Install everything else.

Agree with Nev. Skipping them is a very bad idea.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 06:04 AM
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I've never noticed a system slowdown with updates. I was responding to this on my phone and thought you were saying the update process was slowed down by your anti-malware software. This is why I mentioned MSE. You are probably okay with the one you have. Like assassin said, Bing Desktop is the only non-driver update I haven't installed because see no need for it. I also download and install all drivers from the device manufacturer and not through windows update.

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, in my other post, it seems there is a huge problem with my computer, 5-6 minutes for a whole boot (after bios when "Starting windows" appears until I can launch WMC).

I haven't done much to this system when I formatted last July. Can't figure out Wtf is slowing it down. When I format, I need to make sure I'm doing it right, I shouldn't need to do it this often.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 12:31 PM
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for past 10 years i never do updates, i dont run an antivirus, i dont run a firewall(except whatever's in the routers) ... although this wouldnt work for everybody
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post

Well, in my other post, it seems there is a huge problem with my computer, 5-6 minutes for a whole boot (after bios when "Starting windows" appears until I can launch WMC).

I haven't done much to this system when I formatted last July. Can't figure out Wtf is slowing it down. When I format, I need to make sure I'm doing it right, I shouldn't need to do it this often.

Or ever. Win7 is very stable. I have not formatted my system since first installing it in 2010.. Knocks on wood.. but I did do that occasionally with earlier versions of windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulls View Post

for past 10 years i never do updates, i dont run an antivirus, i dont run a firewall(except whatever's in the routers) ... although this wouldnt work for everybody

Really? I suppose you could do that.

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post #9 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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The only reason my media center is connected to a network is because I need to transfer movies, it's an Exchange DAG Witness and, xbox. Don't really do much on the net from it unless it's downloading updates to products.

I refuse to install virus software. Every single one of my business clients had virus protection when they got a virus (and it was up to date).

I leave my gateway to do the malware scanning and block ips.

If I get stupid and download a virus, it's usually on a different computer anyway, and, I accept full responsibility for downloading a file without using an online scan.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 01:48 PM
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If your system is ever used to browse the internet then install all security updates.

An equally important security measure is using a known DNS provider. Personally I use Google's servers for external lookups.

If you only visit safe streaming media sites such as Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix then you should be okay without AV. Any other surfing and I would use AV.

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post #11 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post

Every single one of my business clients had virus protection when they got a virus (and it was up to date).

So in consequence, not installing virus protection, and you don't get a virus? smile.gif
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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My gateway won't let me visit sites that contain viruses, it pre-downloads all my files and scans them before it lets me download to any of my computers.. I don't need AV on my computers.

Besides, before I had Threat Management Gateway, I didn't use AV for a long time before, just as I said in my last post, it's just useless and taking up memory and processor cycles.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-20-2013, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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My gateway won't let me visit sites that contain viruses, it also pre-downloads all my files and scans them before it lets me download to any of my computers.. I don't need AV on my computers.

Besides, before I had Threat Management Gateway, I didn't use AV for a long time before, just as I said in my last post, it's just useless and taking up memory and processor cycles.
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post #14 of 22 Old 02-10-2013, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Exact reason I don't want to bother with updates.. Good thing I backed up right before this...

I started the install of all the critical updates and it's hung.. Always does this crap
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyB View Post

I refuse to install virus software. Every single one of my business clients had virus protection when they got a virus (and it was up to date).
That's akin to having unprotected sex. However, even contraception isn't a 100% guarantee that you won't get pregnant. The same goes for A/V software. Every A/V program out there isn't 100% effective against all viruses. A/V program A may work well against certain viruses while program B works well against others. The thing is, not using an A/V program pretty much guarantees that at some point you could get infected. It's just not smart not to use one. MSE is free and doesn't intrude on whatever the PC is doing so it's pretty much invisible to the user.
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 04:47 AM
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Install MSE.

Set it to auto update.

Done.

+1. MSE all the way as far as I'm concerned. No other company knows the O/S like MS (obviously!), and their A/V is so lightweight with zero system performance impact, that I wouldn't run anything else now. I'm guessing Defender in 8 is the same, but I'm staying with 7, so will keep MSE. I do periodically apply updates to my HTPC though, but not religiously, and I'm very selective on what I actually install.
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Install MSE.

Set it to auto update.

Done.
This.
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post #19 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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If I don't do any web browsing on the Media PC why would I need that? My firewall has intrusion detection and I haven't got a virus in 7 years.. I think I'm fine
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 05:39 PM
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I only install the most critical updates and then the Media Center roll-up. Then I try to keep my browsers up to date but I definitely turn off auto update. I have been burnt before in XP days. Microsoft fixed a powerpoint vulnerability but ended up disabling some key functionality for good. From now on, I do updates in batch. So that I can rollback in batch.

I see no good reason to update an HTPC if you don't do web browsing.

By the very nature of updates, they tend to patch things up. Therefore it will most likely make things slower - by checking for special conditions so as to minimize functionality impact. It is just that you won't notice the slowness very much.

One thing really important for an HTPC is reliability. I cannot ensure reliability if it is constantly changing its software in the background. So every Tuesday the machine will work a little differently. I don't have the bandwidth to debug all these problems. If Microsoft did not verify their Powerpoint patch against their own Powerpoint software, I cannot expect them to test against the zillions different motherboard / chipset / CPU / GPU / tuner combinations.
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post #21 of 22 Old 02-11-2013, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
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My point exactly.

I made a backup before I did my updates last night. More than 100 of them.

Surprisingly, it didn't slow my machine down in the least. I am glad for that. I was forced to do it because I couldn't figure out which update fixed media center so it would stop creating dsm directories because I have a custom start menu on media center and it kept going away daily.
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post #22 of 22 Old 02-12-2013, 10:14 AM
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I set up Windows Update to download all updates but let me choose which ones get installed. WU tends to download funky hardware drivers along with miscellaneous Windows updates so I prefer to avoid them and get my driver updates direct from the vendor's website. What bugs me is when I've just updated to the latest drivers and WU insists that there are newer ones available. I made the mistake of letting it update the drivers for my Intel NIC and it totally hosed my system. That was a hard lesson to learn as it caused me all sorts of angst and frustration trying to get things working again. Aside from that, I've never had any issues when limiting the updates to security updates and only others I would consider essential to the health and well being of my HTPC.
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