Information Technology Services

Service packs, patches and updates

Service packs, patches and updates

Keeping your computer up-to-date with service packs and patches are an important step that should be done on a weekly basis to keep your computer safe and secure. Often Microsoft releases updates/patches on a weekly basis. Over time many of these updates/patches are bundled together into a Microsoft service pack. Computer manufacturers will also release new updates specific to the model of computer you own.

Some updates are not bundled but are managed by software on your computer. Adobe Acrobat and Sun Microsystems’s Java are some of the most common that will ask you to update and you should always accept. Of course some viruses will try to confuse you and act like an update. It’s always a good idea to configure your software to update automatically to help you identify legitimate threats.

Why is it so important?

Updates from computer manufactures come in many flavors. Some are hardware updates, some are software. Some close holes that a hacker could use to compromise your computer. Some improve the performance of your hardware, like a video card update. These updates are critical to keep your computer working properly.

Can a service pack break my computer?

Yes, it does happen. Usually if someone ignores updates and service packs over a period of time and then installs them incorrectly, that will sometimes corrupt an installation of your operating system. Some of the most common causes are lack of patients. When performing an update on a mobile device, make sure to have it plugged in. Running out of battery while doing an update will certainly invite those gremlins. Also, some updates take time and if you force shut down a computer during an update will more than likely crash your system. This is another reason to keep back-ups of your data.

Do you want to read more on updates?

Follow the link:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/downloads/service-packs

and:
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1338

Clark ITS is committed to helping you. If you have any questions, need help or advice, please let us know.

Clark ITS Help Desk | Clark University - Academic Commons
helpdesk@clarku.edu | P: 508-793-7745
http://www.clarku.edu/helpdesk
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