Rod Trent of myITforum.com shares his answers to some frequently asked questions on the subject of patch management.
As CEO of myITforum.com (http://www.myitforum.com) and author of white papers and articles on patch management, I frequently get questions on different technical aspects of deploying patches for Microsoft platforms. Here is a selection of some common questions and my answers. You can find additional entries in the Patch Management FAQ at myITforum.com.
Q: Can hotfixes be downloaded from Microsoft without using Windows Update or SUS?
A: You can download the hotfixes via the Windows Update Catalog, TechNet/Security Bulletin Search, and the Microsoft Download site.
To download them using the Windows Update Catalog, first add a Windows Update Catalog link to your Windows Update page. This gives you quick access to download updates manually from the Windows Update Catalog. Go to the Windows Update Web site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com) and click Personalize Windows Update. Then select the checkbox labeled "Display the link to the Windows Update Catalog under See Also" and click the Save Settings button.
To use the Microsoft TechNet/Security Search feature, simply go to http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.asp.
Finally, you can download hotfixes from the Microsoft Download Center at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/.
Q: Where can I search for a specific Microsoft security bulletin?
A: Use the HotFix & Security Bulletin Service at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/current.asp.
Q: How can I be notified when new security patches are available?
A: You'll want to sign up for the Microsoft Security Notification Service at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/notify.asp.
Q: I went to the original page to download some old updates, but they are no longer available to download. How can I access them?
A: You can manually download and install them using the Windows Update Catalog. See http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=323166 for details.
Q: I can get updates from the Windows Update web site for Windows XP and Windows 2003. Where can I find updates for earlier operating systems?
A: To obtain updates for earlier operating systems, go to of the following links:
Windows 2000 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/)
For Windows 98 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows98/downloads/)
Windows 95 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows95/downloads/)
Windows NT 4.0 (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsnt/downloads/)
Q: Is there a support forum specifically for Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA)?
A: Yes. Microsoft provides a newsgroup specifically for MBSA. It can be found on the msnews.microsoft.com news server in the microsoft.public.security.baseline_analyzer newsgroup. You can also access and interact with the newsgroup through the Google MBSA News Group Access interface at http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&group=microsoft.public.security.baseline_analyzer.