Minimal set of Vista Updates?
March 27, 2009 2:13 PM   Subscribe

Just reinstalled Vista in my laptop, and now the next step is to install MS updates, right? The thing is, I don't think now installing every available update from MS Windows Update is a good idea. What are the absolutely necessary updates to install, if any?

After some unresolvable issues with my HP laptop, I decided to format the disk and reinstall the Vista Business version included with the computer (in a different partition). Now, after some bad experiences after installing some updates in the past months, I now want to install nothing more than the bare minimum in this PC -- which is for work only.

Could you please recommend the smallest possible set of Windows Updates to install? I tried googling a bit, also looked around in AskMe, but no luck yet. My main concern is security; driver updates and such are of little concern.

Any recommendations? Maybe another website that could help?

If it helps at all, I took some screenshots of the list of 74 (!) updates that MS wants installed: 1, 2, 3.
posted by papafrita to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I really can't think of a good reason why you wouldn't want to install them all.
posted by Mwongozi at 2:20 PM on March 27, 2009

I'm a satisfied, experienced Vista user, and in no way am I a tech professional of any kind.

I'd install everything. You can always roll back. Vista will create restore points for every update and/or you can uninstall them in Add/Remove Programs.

If you don't use Windows Mail (Vista's Outlook Express) then don't install those security updates. Ditto for Windows Defender if you're using another good antivirus program (and if you are, I suggest completely disabling Windows Defender).

You don't have to download the driver updates if you don't want to, although I don't see why you wouldn't, unless you're planning to go to each driver periodically to check that's it's up to date.

As for the tons of generic security updates, you can click each one for more information and see what it says. Some things turn out to only be applicable in certain situations like for the IT departments at large companies using Exchange, etc.

If you choose not to download certain updates, you can right click and select "Hide," which will keep those updates from continuing to bother you.

Vista's come a long as far as bugginess and compatibility, and I think that a lot of these updates are necessary. I don't think you're going to find a list of "bare minimums" because things are bundled and work interconnectedly.
posted by thebazilist at 2:22 PM on March 27, 2009

Best answer: Easy. Everything that lists Important as Type.
posted by JaredSeth at 2:28 PM on March 27, 2009

Installing updates doesn't hurt, they usually just update existing files so its not like they will slow down your system. I usually just so the express option in WU, that usually ignores the non important/critical stuff.
posted by wongcorgi at 2:51 PM on March 27, 2009

Best answer: (I work on the team that creates these updates, if you ever have a problem with a specific update please let me know)

You want all Critical and Important updates. They fix security issues and/or fix common crashes. They are all extensively tested to ensure that you won't have any issues caused by them.

Optional updates are the ones that you could pick and choose from, only selecting the ones that address specific issues you'd like addressed.

The other option is to wait for the next Service Pack (coming to a computer near you "soon"), which would include all critical, important, and optional windows update fixes, as well as every single fix any customer had recieved for Vista SP1 and then some.
posted by Diddly at 2:56 PM on March 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

By "Critical and Important", I meant "Important and Recommended".
posted by Diddly at 2:59 PM on March 27, 2009

SP1 should get most of them off the bat, but yeah there's really no reason not to install all of the critical and important updates right away.
posted by karizma at 5:31 PM on March 27, 2009

Get Service Pack 1 for sure, and 2 if it's available. I forget when that is/was to be released.

That should pretty much do it, unless you need the root certificates updates or .Net framework. Verify that all of your hardware is working correctly too. If so, don't bother with any hardware updates. Updates usually don't hurt though- the worst you could do is waste some time, bandwidth and a reboot.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 8:15 PM on March 27, 2009

Install them all.
posted by SirStan at 7:37 AM on March 28, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone... the reason I was wary of installing them all was because I'd thought that some updates I installed late last year were the reason that my computer went from reasonably fast to irritatingly slow; but now I realize that the cause was most likely some other software I might have installed, since after following everyone's advice today, the PC is just as fast as it was yesterday.

Thank y'all.
posted by papafrita at 1:27 PM on March 30, 2009

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