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If there are any other folks out there that work as a network admin, or pc specialist type role in a business environment, I'm wondering how you handle the constant flow of patches that come out from Microsoft. The reason I ask this is because I do receive security updates directly from Microsoft as they are released in order to keep advised on patches as they are available. The problem with this is I receive such notification from Microsoft on some sort of patch on nearly a daily basis, and often receiving two, three or more in a day. My feelings are mixed on this. First I'm glad Microsoft appears diligent in addressing security issues and bugs in their software, but it's just ridiculous keeping up with all of them. As I write this another new cumulative patch for IE appears to be out. This is the third one in a month or two. My basic philosophy has been to first wait until they appear on the Windows Update site since many times when I receive email notification the patch is not yet released publicly. Then every month or two I make a point to install all available updates to the pc's, provided they are not brand new. Also on pc's which have automatic updates, I have that feature disabled on all machines in the office. A couple of reasons. First the possibility of a buggy patch. That could be a nightmare scenario if automatically installed on all pc's. The other reason is bandwidth on the network. I'd be interested to hear how others handle the often aggravating issue.

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Our IT department downloads each patch, burns them to a CD or floppy disk, then prints the documentation and sticks it in a binder. They then analyze how critical the patch is and then decide whether or not to install. They are constantly fixing the corporate XP image so they will often install patches as they build new images and see what happens to them before rolling out. We usually get a new image once a month unless there are software bugs that need to be fixed and we might often see 2 images within a week. Our labs are Ghosted at least once a week.

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