The second Tuesday of each month is Microsoft's official day for rolling out that month's patches -- security fixes, updates, and other upgrades to Windows and other Microsoft products. But what if Patch Tuesday comes and goes, and there's nothing new under the sun from Redmond? In that case, there are still things you can do that'll help keep you up to speed.

  1. Check for Microsoft patches that aren't released through Windows Update. If you're running Microsoft server products like Exchange and SQL Server, the updates for those products aren't released through Windows Update -- you'll need to go to the sites for those products and check for updates by hand. This may seem cumbersome, but it's by design: since many people may depend on such services, it's best to stop and upgrade them only after the people using them get sufficient notice. Having this happen automatically would be disruptive at best! Since not everyone who runs Windows runs them, notification for updates to those products is completely separate by design, too.

  2. Check for Office updates if you're running Microsoft Office. Updates to Office 2003 are provided through Microsoft Update, but not for other versions of Office. Those will need to be checked for by hand, through the Office Update site.

    Requires Free Membership to View

  1. Check for updates to non-Microsoft applications. It's almost a given that there would be programs from vendors other than Microsoft in your organization. Such updates would fall into roughly five categories:
    1. Regular programs that don't have their own updaters. Some third-party vendors such as Symantec have an update mechanism for their programs, but some don't -- especially commonly-used freeware applications that need to be rolled out by hand.
    2. Device drivers not found through Windows Update, such as on-board RAID controllers.
    3. Middleware, such as MSDAC (used for database access).
    4. Support applications, such as Java or Flash.
    5. Codecs, like the QuickTime codec (and its own support applications).

About the author:
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter.

This tip originally appeared on

This was first published in February 2009

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.