I am running Windows 8.1 Pro. I use Firefox browser. Both are updated fully. I have Flash installer set to "Notify me to install updates." Occasionally I receive an Adobe notice as soon as I boot into Windows that an update to Flash is available. I tell it to install the update, it appears to proceed normally and I am asked to save an update file to my hard drive. This is all exactly how I want it to work, but every time this happens, the file I am given to download is named "flashplayerXXau_ha." However, if I go to the Flash website and ask it to check my version and download the latest update, the file I am given to download is named "flashplayerXX_xa." Why do the two files have different names? What is the difference between the two files?
Essentially there is no difference between the two files except for the file name. The online installer (which this is) is a shim installer that downloads and installs Flash Player silently in the background with any optional third party offers the user may have chosen. Since there are a myriad of options, the file name changed based on the options.
Thanks for the clarification. I must say that I think this is a very bad idea. With all the malware and spyware and phishing out there, the fact that I am prompted by a popup to download a file with a name that is different from the one I get by going directly to the Adobe site is a Giant Red Flag to me. I don't trust popups, not even popups that look like legitimate Adobe update alerts. If I receive one, I always go to the vendor's site to verify that there really is an update available, and if when I get to the vendor's site I find the update they are recommending has a different file name, I become suspicious.
There is a difference between the two installers. The one I receive directly from Adobe's site (flashplayerXX_xa) offers me two third-party options, and the one I receive from the update alert (flashplayerXXau_ha) offers me only one third-party option (McAfee). This difference also makes me suspicious.
I totally understand your concern. Unfortunately, I'm not privy to the third party offering rules to determine what is offered and when. I would actually recommend opting into Background Updates. Notification Updates, what you currently have selected, can take up to 7 days to notify the user an update is available, whereas, Background Updates usually updates the system, with no user interaction, within 24 hours of an update being released. For example, version 220.127.116.11 was released earlier today. A system opted into Background Updates will be updated to 18.104.22.168 within the next 24 hours. A system opted into Notification Updates will take up to 7 days to notify the user an update is available.
I knew that someone would recommend using background updates. I appreciate your input, but I would never, under any circumstances, allow any program to update my computer without my knowledge, which is the reason why I refuse to upgrade to Windows 10. Having been a Systems Admin for 30 years I have seen the problems that automatic updates can cause. For many years Adobe was one of the few companies I could trust to not include third-party offers in their installers, but that changed a few years ago. Therefore, background updates are not an option for me. I am not worried about delays in receiving updates because I rarely use Flash Player, and on the rare occasions when I do use it I check the Adobe site for recent updates.
I understand. I, too, don't allow automatic (Windows) updates on my system, but Chrome and Firefox do auto-update these days. I did forget to mention, Background Updates do NOT include any third party offers, just Flash Player by itself. Third party offers can only be presented on the website where the user has the option to accept or deny them.
I have Firefox Options set to notify me about updates and let me choose when to install them. If Firefox ever removes this option I will stop using Firefox. It's nice to know that background updates do not include third-party offers, thanks for that info. However, it has been my experience that I really can't trust any software company 100%, so Adobe might change that in future and I wouldn't know about it. Nothing stays the same in technology, and software companies must maintain a competitive edge just like all other businesses.