Scott Hanselman

Patching OFFLINE Systems with Windows Update

January 18, 2007 Comment on this post [4] Posted in Tools
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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.

Thanks folks!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Hosted in an Azure App Service
January 18, 2007 10:34
Don't forget
January 18, 2007 15:14
If the computers are without even dial-up access to the Internet, aren't they already de facto "safe"? What, exactly, are the 70 updates and 6 reboots attempting to protect against, in that case?
January 18, 2007 22:21
Dorf - it's more accurate to say that they are "occasionally connected" systems.
January 19, 2007 1:51
I've been using this method over at ( He updates it every month after Patch Tuesday (have they trademarked that name yet? :) and use it now instead of ghost to nuke & pave a machine quick-like without having to do 100+mb of Windows Updates.

There's a variant to update the local machine, or you can just burn all the downloaded patches from your download directory. He's got a .mak file for use with cygwin that creates and burns an ISO, but I just used the batch file version and then used the Nero instructions to make a bootable cd from The Elder Geek (

After running through the script a couple times, I can't tell you enough how VITAL wget.exe somewhere in your path is, otherwise it uses your default browser to download the patches, and that's a lot of clicking for no good reason.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.