A. In How can I check which hotfixes a remote system has installed?, I discussed CmdInfo, a freeware utility (available at http://www.savilltech.com/cmdinfo.html) that you can use to test whether a hotfix is installed on local and remote machines. Recently, Microsoft released a new tool, hfnetchk, that communicates with a constantly updated list of hotfixes stored on the Microsoft Web site and can determine whether your system is missing any critical fixes. You can use hfnetchk to scan one computer, a group of computers, or a whole domain. See Microsoft article Q303215 for further information.

You can download hfnetchk from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?releaseid=31154.

Here is a sample execution:

                              D:\temp>hfnetchk -i                              Microsoft Network Security Hotfix Checker, 3.1                              Developed for Microsoft by Shavlik Technologies, LLC                              info@shavlik.com (www.shavlik.com)                              ** Attempting to download the XML from                               http://download.microsoft.com/download/x                              ml/security/1.0/NT5/EN-US/mssecure.cab. **                              ** File was successfully downloaded. **                              ** Attempting to load D:\temp\mssecure.xml. **                              Using XML data version = Last modified on 8/21/2001.                              Scanning                              Done scanning                              ----------------------------                                                  ----------------------------                              WINDOWS 2000 ADVANCED SERVER SP2                              Patch NOT Found MS00-077 Q299796                              Patch NOT Found MS00-079 Q276471                              Patch NOT Found MS01-007 Q285851                              Patch NOT Found MS01-013 Q285156                              WARNING MS01-022 Q296441                              Patch NOT Found MS01-025 Q296185                              Patch NOT Found MS01-031 Q299553                              Patch NOT Found MS01-036 Q299687                              Patch NOT Found MS01-037 Q302755                              Patch NOT Found MS01-040 Q292435                              Patch NOT Found MS01-041 Q298012                              Patch NOT Found MS01-043 Q303984                              Patch NOT Found MS01-046 Q252795                              Internet Information Services 5.0                              Patch NOT Found MS01-025 Q296185                              Patch NOT Found MS01-044 Q301625                              Internet Explorer 5.5 SP1                              Patch NOT Found MS00-093 Q279328                              Patch NOT Found MS01-015 Q286043                              SQL Server 2000 Gold                              WARNING MS00-092 Q280380                              WARNING MS01-032 Q299717                              WARNING MS01-041 Q298012                              

It's important to note that Microsoft now offers several utilities to analyze your machine, including

It's best to use all of these resources to ensure your system is up-to-date.