Does PatchLink alter Microsoft patches?

A number of people in our shop are concerned that patches installed via
PatchLink are somehow causing computers to slow down. This happens
particularly on a Dell Precision 690. If we install Windows XP SP2 with
all patches coming directly from Windows Update, the system does not
slow down. In this scenario, PatchLink is not installed on the system.

But, if we use PatchLink to patch the same kind of computer starting
with just Windows XP SP2, after patches, the system is noticeably

A long time ago, we noticed that on this system, if we used PatchLink's
version of XP SP2, we had problems getting another app to run. But, if
we downloaded and installed SP2 directly from Microsoft, we didn't have
the problem.

Many in our organization suspect PatchLink is somehow changing/altering
Microsoft patches. Is there any truth to that suspicion?


12/18/2007 9:47:27 PM
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absolutely not. There is not "Patchlink version" of patches, all they 
are doing is putting a wrapper around the provided install mechanism.


Shaun Pond

12/19/2007 1:05:15 PM
Shaun Pond wrote:

> Michael,
> absolutely not. There is not "Patchlink version" of patches, all they 
> are doing is putting a wrapper around the provided install mechanism.

I didn't believe there was a "PatchLink version" of Microsoft patches.
However, I am faced with some some forces that like to place blame on
PatchLink whenever a system begins to act up, slow down, behave
sluggishly, etc. I am having a difficult time convincing one person in
particular that XP SP2 from PatchLink is no different than what can be
downloaded directly from Microsoft. When he installed SP2 directly from
Microsoft, a third-party adaptation of ArcGis ran without any problems,
but the service pack through PatchLink caused big problems.

Now, I have another person who believes PatchLink patches are causing a
general slow down of a Precision 690. He bases his theory on the fact
that machines with PatchLink are slower than those without.

I'm not sure how to defend PatchLink against these kinds of unwarranted


12/19/2007 2:57:13 PM

stupidity will always find a way. All that the system does is place it 
in the temp directory, then run it with the usual switches. Get them to 
define "slowdown", what's taking the CPU at the time for example? I 
canunderstand if, for example, DAGENT.EXE is taking CPU...


Shaun Pond

12/19/2007 4:36:08 PM
There are a couple of things you can do that will slow down a system running
the patchlink agent - we had a few issues crop up in the past. 

One potential problem is setting a policy that sets the "Agent Scan Mode" to
fastscan (might've had a different name in an earlier version?). It's not
fast / quick due to being more cursory, it's faster and quicker because it
uses more of the client PC's resources to finish more quickly. 

Secondly, setting the registry key to exclude mapped network drives helped
us out a lot. That was really beating up some slower computers. 

12/21/2007 2:37:36 PM
Can you elaborate on the registry key to exclude mapped drives?  I've
read a LOT of things regarding Patchlink and DAU in particular.  This
is the first I've seen something about excluding network drives.

DAU and its impact on systems is a very hot topic in our environment.

JamesWoods's Profile:
View this thread:

1/9/2008 6:46:01 PM
Nevermind....I found it: 'Answer' (

Can't believe I hadn't come across this before.

JamesWoods's Profile:
View this thread:

1/9/2008 7:26:02 PM

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