How to update multiple Windows installations Online & Offline

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As you all know that AutoPatcher is now discontinued due to violation of Microsoft’s terms & service. It was an easy & convenient way to update multiple PCs running Windows XP without connecting. Now you might say that this is a wrong move from Microsoft however you forget to see that Microsoft is already providing legal ways for home users to update their computers without even needing AutoPatcher.

Every month you used to download 50 or 100 MB worth update of AutoPatcher monthly update or a full 200+ MB version of full AutoPatcher with all the updates released after Windows XP SP2. So why can’t you follow these steps to do the same automatically for you without needing AutoPatcher.

I am assuming that you have a Windows XP with SP2 or Vista RTM installation which is genuine. Pirated Windows users cannot avail some of these methods.

1) Download all manually – Go to Microsoft Download center & download all the updates & other packages for Windows XP & Vista manually. You can do this offline too.

2) Download all via Windows Update. This will download & install all the required update applicable only to your computer. After a reboot which may or may not be needed, backup the

C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload folder.

Just zip or copy it somewhere else but do not delete this original Downloads folder.

Suppose you reinstall Windows now, simply copy the contents of the backed up Downloads folder to the original folder at the path above, then connect to Windows Update & select all those updates to install. However this time Windows will not download all the updates again because most of the updates are already there in your computer at the above mentioned location. It will only download some new updates as applicable. You can copy the content of Downloads folder to another computer & take the same step on that other computer.

3) Use Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer & backup the downloaded files after their installation. Then install the downloaded files as needed on all computers.

4) Use Offline Update 3.2 script as mentioned at the webpage.

5) Use Windows Update Downloader with Windows XP or Vista Update List. It will download full file for all the updates automatically & install. It is equivalent to step 1 just that this time it is automatic. One downloaded you can backup the downloads for further use.

6) For large scale deployment you can also use Microsoft Windows Server Update Services

I hope this makes life a bit easier for system administrators who download at one computer & install on all computers in a network also that Microsoft brings back AutoPatcher in one form or other. To install multiple updates downloaded manually, or by Windows Update downloader or by MBSA or Offline Update script you can use QChain provided by Microsoft.

Thanx to Saurav for this wonderful tutorial..