Microsoft regularly issues patches or updates to solve security problems in their software. The critical updates are the ones you should be concerned about. If these are not applied, it leaves your computer vulnerable to hackers. Service Packs are larger updates which upgrade and fix security problems.
The Windows Update feature built into Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000, and XP can check your PC against a common database of patches. You go to a Microsoft web site and your operating system is checked against critical updates and a suggested list shows for your PC so that you may download and install these. You should do this periodically.
More recent versions of windows have an Automatic Update feature. This is available in Windows 2000, XP, and ME. If you turn on this feature, your PC will check for, download and install critical updates over night. This eliminates the need for you to periodically check for updates.
Performing Manual Updates
Check for critical updates to Windows 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP
- First check in the Start Menu for a Windows Update icon and it will take you to the Windows Update website.
- If is not available then go to Microsoft's Windows Update site and it will automatically detect your operating system.
- Next, click Scan for updates and it will scan your computer for updates. The main updates that should be checked are the critical updates.
Pick and Install Critical Updates
- Click on the Critical Updates and Service Packs section on left so that a suggested list of updates for your operating system is displayed.
- A list of Recommended Updates appears for your computer. Click on the Add button. Sometimes, you may only be able to choose one or two critical updates at a time.
- To begin the download and installation of the critical updates, click on the Review and Install Updates link. You may be asked to click on various boxes to agree to Microsoft licensing. Click the boxes until the update is downloaded and applied to your computer.
You may have you to restart your computer after the download. REPEAT as needed so that there are no more critical updates.
Configuring Automatic Updates
How to Setup Windows Automatic Update for Me, 2000 and XP
Windows Automatic Update feature is available in with Windows 2000, ME, and XP. This is a tool that will automatically check for any new Critical updates that your computer needs and install them at a designated time.
There are several ways that updates and downloads can be applied, but we recommend the last setting so that your computer is kept up to date.
In Windows ME: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Automatic Updates
In Windows 2000: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Automatic Updates
In Windows XP: Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Automatic Updates
- Click on the checkbox to Keep my computer up to date.
- Under settings, choose the last choice, Automatically download the updates, and install them on the schedule that I specify. Pick a time that your computer will usually be on but not being used a lot, perhaps between 11pm and 4:00am.
- Click OK.