What about for answered threads, the thread title would have the text "ANSWERED" after it. So for this thread (presuming it was answered), it would say: "answered" thread notification <RSS feed logo> - ANSWERED
Posts that are the answer are highlighted in a different color so it is easy to spot them. I think having some method of marking a thread as being answered would be beneficial.
I know when I look at the "Active Threads" section, if I knew that a specific thread was already answered, I would know not to go into it and add things for them to try. I would also know when I search to see if see somebody has a very similar problem as me, then I would know if they got an answer or not.
Mind you, the above suggestion is only useful if people actually mark posts as an answer.
I do understand about updating the software and security patches. We just had a big project around that where we had highly customized software and needed to do a service pack upgrade. That was painful but now we are back to a more "vanilla" version of the software. We had a similar problem with another piece of software that the vendor did the customizations for us and that was a nightmare. We asked the vendor to update their code to work with JAVA 7 (when 6 got depricated) and they couldn't do it AND keep our customizations. We ended up dropping that software for some in-house software that we wrote and are happy with it.