Hotfixes by Email - Just What the Windows Doctor Ordered


Microsoft hotfixes for Windows can be handy, but until now, getting your hands on them hasn't always been easy. Sometimes, knowledge base articles contain links to hotfixes, but if Mama Microsoft has decided you might hurt yourself by applying a hotfix, many articles tell you to call Microsoft tech support and make your very best pitch for permission to download the recommended repair. So, what's the best way to make your request? Should you cry, scream, yell, or threaten to hold your breath and turn blue if you don't get the patch you need? What about threatening to take your mouse and go home? Maybe you should try groveling...

Hotfixes a Request Page and an Email Away

Put away the "Actor's Guide to Persuading Tech Support" - you don't need it anymore. As discussed on MSDNer Steve Patrick's Spat's Weblog (and at Computerworld ), Microsoft now offers a contact page for hotfixes: enter the Knowledge Base article number referencing the hotfix you need, select your location and Windows version, and supply your email address, and Microsoft emails you a link to the downloadable file within eight business hours. As 'Spat' points out, one of the advantages of the new system, aside from the obvious one of not needing to persuade a skeptical support desk worker that you need a hotfix, is that you can request hotfixes that are too new to have been posted in the Microsoft knowledge base.

Keep in mind that hotfixes haven't yet been tested as thoroughly as the final versions that wind up in a service pack, so you should try workarounds or other provided solutions first. However, if you're tired of playing "call me" to get hotfixes, this is welcome news indeed.

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