What Is Microsoft Hotfix?by Avery Martin
Microsoft releases several types of updates to help keep your system running effectively. Updates help to keep your computer secure, improve the reliability of software and install new features to improve existing programs. Hotfixes sometimes issue on Microsoft's monthly "Patch Tuesday," or they come bundled in the form of periodic service packs that include fixes for all known problems since the product release. Service packs also bundle security updates, which Microsoft classifies as its own type of update.
Microsoft releases hotfixes to fix bugs in an application. Microsoft may use several terms to refer to a hotfix, including Quick Fix Engineering or patches. Hotfixes correct specific issues within a program and apply to a limited group of users. For example, if you experience a black screen when you install a particular software program, you could contact Microsoft to see if a hotfix exists for your specific problem (link in Resources).
GDR and LDR
General-distribution releases and limited-distribution releases contain different types of updates. Generally, a GDR contains fixes for security and stability issues, undergoes extensive testing and is installed automatically through Windows Update. Critical updates, driver updates and feature packs get bundled with GDRs. An LDR contains hotfixes that pertain to a small population of Windows users and don't undergo extensive testing. LDR updates usually require a manual installation.
- link Microsoft Support: Description of the Standard Terminology That Is Used to Describe Microsoft Software Updates
- link Search Windows Server: Quick Fix Engineering (QFE)
- link Search Windows Server: Hotfix
- link Microsoft Windows: Service Pack and Update Center
- link Microsoft Support: Description of the Contents of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003 Software Update Packages