The following article will provide its readers with the necessary software to enhance and secure their operating system.
We’ll take a look at some of your choices for improving the look and feel of your operating system, but also keeping it up-to-date with the latest hotfixes released by the Redmond company.
For starters, let’s see what some of your options are if you’re trying to use a freeware program for updating and patching your Microsoft operating system.
Running a computer from the stone-age, with just Windows 98 installed, will not offer you many options for keeping it secure and patched, as Microsoft ceased support for this OS back in July, 2006. Therefore, the options are very limited: one has to choose from no more than three Windows 98 patchers, Auto-Patcher for Windows 98SE, Windows 9x Power Pack and Unofficial Windows 98 SE Service Pack. We recommend the first package, as the second and third haven’t been updated for almost two years.
Let’s head on to the next important operating system in Microsoft history, Windows 2000. Sadly, in this case you don’t have that much of a choice, since only a single package was developed to compensate the lack of major security patches for Windows 2K after the update rollup for Service Pack 4 in 2005: Gurgelmeyer’s Microsoft Windows 2000 Unofficial SP5. Unfortunately, the creator of this impressive package has gone missing in the summer of 2006 due to health problems, but others have continued his work and a new release will most probably come even sooner than expected. Of course, you can also try Autopatcher, but this project has come to a full stop in August 2007 and although efforts to raise the program from its ashes are being made as we speak, it’s impossible to tell if the program is ever going to regain the success, support and impact it once had.
Last, but not least in our list of unofficial security patchers are the update packs for Windows XP. After Microsoft’s sudden decision to shut down the development of Autopatcher, only a few important Windows patchers were left standing and even fewer are currently under active development. Since the recent release of Service Pack 3, none of these programs have been updated, therefore we recommend a much better solution to avoid installing the same updates over and over again on a computer. You can easily create a fully customized Windows XP CD, with all the patches and hotfixes included, using a freeware application like: nLite, Windows Unattended CD Creator, WinFuture xp-Iso-Builder, Windows XP PowerPacker or RVM Integrator. Unfortunately, the official Microsoft utility for creating unattended XP installation CDs doesn’t support adding updates.
Let’s continue with Softpedia’s most popular shell replacements and themes, which will allow you to easily change the look of your Windows to a much more attractive one. To give your operating system a shiny new look, you can try the Windows 98 Revolutions Pack 7 on Windows 98 of course and Vistapack on a Windows 2000/XP system. Still, by far the most popular Vista theme for Windows XP is Vista Transformation Pack.
Posted By: IndoSourceCode