Updating Windows 7
Windows 7 users need to ensure that software updates and service packs are applied in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to understand the different options available to manage Windows Updates, know how to verify your current configuration and take the necessary measures to ensure that your system is up-to-date with the latest updates. The most basic way to manage Windows Update is through the control panel, however there are other tools, such as Local Group Policies and the command line. For instance, to perform a manual check for updates from the command line issue the command Wuauclt.exe /detectnow.
From the Windows Update control panel tool, users with administrative privileges can modify all settings, but standard users can only check for and install updates. Windows Update relies on the Windows Update service and although this service is normally enabled by default make sure that it remains so. Additionally, make sure that an Internet connection is available when checking for updates and note that checking for updates manually does not automatically download and install updates. Also, in network environments there can be a local server acting as an update server for internal computers!
There are three different categories of Windows Updates:
Important Updates – Important updates often address critical security issues. Sometimes, updates with the important classification address publically known exploits which make your system more vulnerable to attacks and it is critical to have these fixes installed as soon as they are released!
Recommended Updates – These updates often address functionality issues or bug fixes related to your system stability, performance and reliability.
Optional Updates – These updates provide items such as driver updates and language packs that may enhance your system usability and performance.