Patching OFFLINE Systems with Windows Update
A number of listeners wrote in with answers to my question - how can I update a Windows system that's NOT connected to the Internet, given ~70 updates and 6 reboots needed to get an XP SP2 system "up to date?"
I had a lot of trouble - as the de facto IT manager for my family - while in Tanzania trying to bring systems up to a safe standard without even dial-up internet.
I brought my trusty 2gig USB stick along with a pile of Portable Apps and the usual suspects for anti-crapware and general malware. I didn't realize that I could have brought the latest patches and rollups as well in an easy-to-install form.
- Colin Bell and Dave Russell each point me to AutoPatcher, also mentioned on LifeHacker recently. It requires SP2 as a baseline, but otherwise is a great solution. If you're interested in "surviving the first day" after installing a slipstream XPSP2 installation, it appears to be the bomb. It also includes support for Windows 2000, which really would have made a big difference for me in Tanzania; it probably would have saved me at least 8 hours of downloading.
- Marc Scheuner suggests "c't Updater" from the German computer magazine "c't." He says: "They do this by maintaining lists of download URL's and using free software like "wget" to download everything and "mkisofs" to create ISO files from those downloads. The client is smart enough to allow you to run all the downloads at home on your fast connection, burn a CD (or put the .ISO files onto an external hard disk), and then go to your Mam's site and update her computer from the ISO / CD-ROM / DVD-R (whatever you choose to do)."
Download the software package (scripts and free software and all) from this page (in German - just get the " 3.02" latest release): http://www.heise.de/ct/ftp/projekte/offlineupdate/
And an English translation of the original article exists at:
and an English speaking discussion forum about it exists at:
- Balazs Attila-Mihaly points me to both of these on his blog, as well as a Microsoft-hosted and created ISO image for all that month's security updates for easy burning to blank CDs.
The Microsoft CD images have the advantage of supporting all currently supported Microsoft OSs in most major languages in one download.