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I am running XP Home. When I open the window updates It gives me a message that the site has been updated and do I want to down load the new download software program before downloading the updates. Auto up date just downloads the patches ect. Should I use the auto update or do it manually? How do you know what updates are installed like sp1 ect. Also let it be known that this web site sure has some wonder people helping people like me that are lost most of the time. Thank You.
 

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Personally, I like to manually download the updates, I want to know what they're putting on my system. I also want some other people to have installed the updates for several weeks, and I monitor places like this for problems with new updates. :D
 

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There is nothing wrong with allowing the automatic updates, but if you do not want to trust them, you can turn them off, and check in periodically at the Windows update site, and do it manually.
You can set the option in Control Panel/System- Automatic Updates tab.
Whether you update automatically, or do it manually, a record of all updates is kept. You can check this by visiting the Windows Update Site, Allow the site to scan and see if you have missed any updates, then click on the "Other Opions", "View installation history". All the updates you have, whether automatic or manual will be displayed.
 
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