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I'm pretty sure blocks are defined within the drawings. If you want to redefine the block, you'd have to delete it first. Otherwise, it's seeing the name of the drawing and going and pulling the existing internally defined block of that name.
If you want to insert a block that is linked to another file, insert it as a reference drawing. Then, if you change the reference drawing, the "block" will update the next time you open the file with no further effort.
Zombie thread! Except that I have this question too, only I also have some fractional answer.
For this Micheal Lindblad's application, it looks like Mike Pogue's idea of using a Reference to an external file is your best choice. If you make the "On Hold" note in a DWG file then it should show up when you browse with Insert:Reference Drawing (also available in the References Palette with the "Attach Drawing . . ." button) which works much like inserting a block. Then the note will update when you re-open your drawing or Reload your References in the References Palette.
If you just copy your new design in (or draw it anew) and and then use a local makeblock command and select your entities (e.g. a text box) and use the same block name and confirm that you want to overwrite, I've seen DS either update the existing instances of that block (which is what we want) or change the new entities you selected to match the old block (which seems to be the behavior your describing). If I come up with the definitive way to make one or the other happen, I'll post again. It may be related to whether you keep the entities, make them into a block, or remove them (I was playing with that) or whether you have them pre-selected or select them using the button in the makeblock dialog box, or select them both ways or twice using the button (that also varied when I played with it). Or some other variation in my method that I haven't noticed. In any case, this seems to be buggy behavior.
I think in general, the external file seems like a better solution, and gives you mare tools when editing since the "block" is not a component in its own file so you can use Copy@ and stuff like that. Unfortunately, I use DXF files to feed into a converter that would not recognize external references, so I'll have to de-refence before conversion, or manage blocks locally and update manually and figure out that weird behavior mentioned above.