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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a Windows 7 PC that houses a Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe tuner and runs Windows Media Center.

Installing the monthly "Patch Tuesday" Windows Updates has always been a nail-biting experience for us, since often enough we'll have a problem getting cable channels to display again after a reboot. But back in January, the problems were so big and resistant to solution that I ended up doing a System Restore and vowing never to do Windows Updates again. :mad: We almost ended up getting a cableco DVR. :mad::mad:

As of today there are dozens of updates waiting to be downloaded. I'm not extremely concerned about it, as we use the PC almost exclusively for WMC. Once in a while we'll go into Netflix or Hulu to watch a show that WMC missed recording, but that's about it -- no e-mail, heavy Web surfing, or anything else is done on that PC. We do keep our antivirus (Norton Internet Security) up to date, and I do install the latest version of Adobe Flash.

But I'm curious to know how other WMC users handle this issue of Windows Updates. Do you keep your computer up to date? Do you ignore the monthly patches? Something in-between?

Thanks!
 

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We have a Windows 7 PC that houses a Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe tuner and runs Windows Media Center.

Installing the monthly "Patch Tuesday" Windows Updates has always been a nail-biting experience for us, since often enough we'll have a problem getting cable channels to display again after a reboot. But back in January, the problems were so big and resistant to solution that I ended up doing a System Restore and vowing never to do Windows Updates again. :mad: We almost ended up getting a cableco DVR. :mad::mad:

As of today there are dozens of updates waiting to be downloaded. I'm not extremely concerned about it, as we use the PC almost exclusively for WMC. Once in a while we'll go into Netflix or Hulu to watch a show that WMC missed recording, but that's about it -- no e-mail, heavy Web surfing, or anything else is done on that PC. We do keep our antivirus (Norton Internet Security) up to date, and I do install the latest version of Adobe Flash.

But I'm curious to know how other WMC users handle this issue of Windows Updates. Do you keep your computer up to date? Do you ignore the monthly patches? Something in-between?

Thanks!
I'm using WHS for backups so lately I've just been letting updates run since restoring is pretty trivial if something goes horribly wrong, but prior to that I'd always let windows download updates, but I'd wait a week or two before installing them so a) I'd usually know if there were any pitfalls by then and b) I could do it on my schedule.
 

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Usually about once a month I either need to reboot my server or I'm using it at a time where I see that rebooting it wouldn't bother anything since nobody is using it. No automatic updates for me, I let it run lots of downloads updates and other but I install most everything manually with the exception of a trusted list that can automatically update (windows isn't on that trusted list for me)
 

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Windows Update bricked a Windows ME machine I was using once upon a time, and since then I have not run Windows Update on any subsequent PC, ever. If I want to patch a specific problem that I find annoying, I locate and download the hotfix for that specific problem but only after researching the fix to ensure it doesn't cause other problematic side effects, which seems to be the norm for most of Microsoft's patches.
 

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Mine is set to always auto install. Kind of annoying at times since the colossus card inside locks up frequently (especially if you just reboot rather than shutdown and power up). It locks up a lot less than my HD-PVR ever did, but that's because my system sleeps which gives it a chance to reset.

I have to use it because my cable provider doesn't provide cable cards and they force you to use their set top boxes.
 

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There are 2 schools:

(1)Updates are fixes that *almost* always make thing better and it's automatic, and Microsoft recommends it, so why not? Surely we want to be latest on security no?

(2)My School: I CONTROL WHEN TO UPDATE. Updates don't necessarily makes what I have "better." ANY software, including updates, will have bugs, there is no such thing as bug-free software. I TRUST what I currently have as WORKING, I know this to be true. So I tend only want to update when I need to specifically fix something, or it's been a while and maybe I shouldn't let my stuff lag so much, but I always keep my current back up so if something goes awry with the update, I can GO-BACK quick. Am not paranoid about security, I have an hardware firewall, and am very sensitive to anomalies, so if anything looks weird, I will immediately restore to my last known-to-be-good back up.

Whether you are in school 1 or school 2, a KNOWN-TO-BE-GOOD back up is key.

Your mileage may vary.
 

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I do Windows Updates, but not automatically. I have it set to notify me. That way I can do it when it won't interfere with any recording that may be taking place. Once in great while I'll use the HTPC to browse a website for some reason or stream from Hulu or a TV network's website, so I keep Windows up to date.
 

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I do not run updates unless I absolutely have to....and so far I've never had to. To me it's more of an appliance...it's working, leave it alone.
 

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I install updates, but only the ones I choose to install. I have it set to download the updates but let me pick which ones get installed. I rarely install them right away so I usually find out about any problematic ones before installing them. If I get word that one causes problems I just hide it so it never crops up again. There have only been two updates that have ever caused me issues since I started using Windows 7 and neither of them get installed on any of my Win 7 PCs.

I have four HTPCs and two desktop PCs that get updates, but they only get installed when I feel like it or remember to do it. Some may go for months before the updates get installed. So far, it hasn't caused me any heartburn by delaying the installations. It's probably not all that critical on any of the HTPCs since they rarely connect to the internet other than downloading guide data or getting the latest drivers. I don't get any e-mail or surf the web with these PCs so they're relatively safe even without the updates
 

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Haven't been burned by an update in many years, so I just leave it on auto and never have to touch it. Mainly update because I use it for web surfing as well, not just a DVR and file server. Otherwise, I'd probably turn them off.
 

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But I'm curious to know how other WMC users handle this issue of Windows Updates.!
Windows 7 followed by Windows 8 since the Beta for almost three years... zero update issues. Now I stopped using WMC but the PC still gets updated. :)
 

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If it's a dedicated HTPC, you can get away with no updates, just keep your anti-virus updated and make sure the firewall is left on. And NEVER install 3rd party stuff unless you know what it is, and NO web browsing on the machine.


There was 1 update that came out a month or so ago that broke DRM, and caused major havoc for some people.


I've installed a bunch of HTPCs based on Windows Media Center and I did a test between a few clients (with their permission of course). Out of 10 customers, 5 did updates (auto install, Do not reboot but, scheduled scripted reboot for late am), and 5 No updates (just scripted reboots late am on weekends).


In the following months, I got almost NO calls from the clients with out updates, 4 of the customers with updates had some funky problems, that COULD of been because of updates.


I did close shop when the eHome team was broken up, still sucks :(


SO, if your looking for the bullet proof non play with to fix Media Center computer, Get everything perfect, video, sound, 3rd party items, BACKUP and disable updates. If it "Ain't" broken, don't fix.


Now as a person who works in IT, I would not suggest it tho, due to possible security but, you can get away with it.
 

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My Win7 64 machine is only used for DVR duty. I do weekly image of the OS drive, disable wupdate service completely, and manually do updates maybe once a month, only after "the dust settles". Never had to restore OS from backup image, yet. Knock on wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys, it looks like there's many different ways people handle the updates issue.

Given our home's experience with updates, the way we use the PC, and wife's extreme upset when the thing isn't working, the best policy in our case might be to turn off or ignore the Windows Updates.

There was 1 update that came out a month or so ago that broke DRM, and caused major havoc for some people.
I remember reading about that. That update came out the month after we stopped installing updates, and boy was I glad we did.
 

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Yes, I think that's the one. I remember reading somewhere that the update (I don't recall which one anymore) also messed up DRM for Windows Media Player.
Yep, that was a nasty one. But it was simple enough to fix. Didn't really bother me. I think it's more important to have the latest anti-malware and security fixes, especially if you use a browser on your HTPC. Prompt to install is probably the best option if you are afraid of breaking something.
 
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