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Microsoft no longer supports the Windows 95 or older operating systems. However most people are now using the Windows 98 or newer operating systems, and on the brand new computers is the Microsoft XP operating system. As each newer and fancier version of Microsoft Windows becomes available, so do many newer and fancier security holes in the operating system. Anything to fix a security problem or any major operating system flaw is called a Windows critical program update.

How do you know when there is a Windows critical program update? There is a feature built into Windows called "Windows Update". Depending on which version of the Windows operating system you have, and how it was originally configured, is how you can find this function. Sometimes it will be on your "Start Button" pop-up menu, sometimes on the "Control Panel" as an icon by itself, sometimes on the "system" icon, which is found on your "Control Panel", and even sometimes as a "link" in your browser. If you still cannot locate where on your system it is - use the "find" or "search" function on your "Start" button to locate the "Window Update" function, or search in your "help topics" to find it.

When you finally find this important feature, you can probably change the "properties" or "options" to have a message automatically pop up in your system tray, when you are connected to the Internet, that says an update is now available to download. You may already have had this happen and didn't quite know what to do. When you answer "yes", to the download, another window appears explaining what kind of update is available from Microsoft.

IMPORTANT - on Windows ME, Windows 2000 or Windows XP, create a "go back" date before you download the update. If for some reason, the download screws up your system, you should be able to go back and restore your system the way it was, when you created the "go back" date. If you are on Windows 98 - you will have to backup your system the best you can. (We will be discussing this in a few minutes.)

If you see any Microsoft updates that state they are Windows critical program updates , it would be in your best interest to always download and install them by clicking on the Windows Update reminder that does appear from your system tray. If you do not have the automatic Windows update feature enabled - you should go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ on a regular basis to check updates available to your operating system to make it run better. You will almost always have to restart your computer to complete the update installation. Again, you really do need to download and install any Windows critical program updates.


See ResourceRecommendations. Feel free to add additional resources to these lists, but please follow the guidelines on ResourceRecommendations including ResourceRecommendations#Guidelines_for_Rating_Resources.


  • () ValHaring - 03 Oct 2002
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Topic revision: r2 - 2002-10-21 - ValHaring
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