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Identify the details of Microsoft Fix or update patch

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Jinish KG
I'm Jinish KG,  Total 10 years of experience in IT field.
When you try to extract and to view the contents of a Microsoft Update Standalone Package (MSU) for Windows Vista, you cannot extract the files from the MSU. Here we are going to explain how to extract those hotfix details without using any third party tools
Operating Systems
 
Windows 2008 server,
Windows 7
Windows Vista,
Windows 10,
Windows server 2012
 
Problem
 
You cannot extract the contents of a Microsoft Update Standalone Package for Windows vista onwards.
These issues may occur for the following reasons:
 The /x command-line switch cannot be used to extract MSU packages.

 
Solution
To resolve this issue, use the Windows  Expand command to extract and to view the files in an MSU. The Expand command is included in later editions of Windows  and in the Windows Vista OEM Pre-installation Kit (OPK). 

Coming to the scnario
 
We have a Microsoft patch. But we have no idea about that whether this fix for windows vista or windows 7 or windows 2008 server.
For Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003, whether a fix can be applied into it is judged from the name of the fix. But it’s not so obvious for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. The information to judge it is including in a .txt file expending from the .msu files of this fix.  Here we are explaining how to get those details using  expand command.
 
 For testing purpose , hotfix Windows6.0-KB928439-x86 is downloaded.  Suppose that Windows6.0-KB928439-x86.msu file is put under folder G:\Patchlist.
 
Firstly type the following command at a command prompt to expand the .msu file to a particular folder:
 
     expand -f:* "G:\ patchlist\Windows6.0-KB928439-x86 " G:\patchlist
 
The folder now contains one or more subfolders and files that have .mum and .manifest file name extensions. The subfolders contain the files that are updated by the MSU. The files describe the file operations, the registry modifications, and the other operations that need to be completed to install the component

 
Here we are created one folder patchlist for getting the output result.
Then you can get following contents from file G:\patchlist
  • Windows Update metadata
                             This metadata describes each update package that the .msu file contains.
  • One or more .cab files
               Each .cab file represents one update.
  • An .xml file
               This .xmL file describes the .msu update package.
  • A properties file
    This file contains string properties we use to identify whether this fix can be applied to Vista or Server 2008.
 
Open the properties file under the G:\patchresult folder .Open the txt file named Windows6.0-KB928439-x86-pkgProperties.txt. There is a string property named Applicability Info. This property tells that which windows 6.0 systems the hot fix can be applied to.
 
 

Note: The Expand command used here are differs from the Expand command that is included in earlier versions of Windows.

To use the  Expand command to expand the files from the MSU, follow these steps:
  1. If you are extracting a hotfix package, follow these steps:
    1. Double-click the Hotfix.exe file.
    2. In the Microsoft Self-Extractor dialog box, click Continue.
    3. In the Select the folder where you want to unzip the files to box, type C:\MSUFolder, and then click OK.


Sample content as follows
 
ApplicabilityInfo="Windows Vista SP1; Windows Server 2008;" /*This property tells to which systems hotfix 928439 can be applied to.*/
Applies to="Windows 6.0"
Build Date="2008/08/01"
Company="Microsoft Corporation"
File Version="1"
Installation Type="FULL"
Installer Engine="Component Based Servicing - WUSA.exe"
Installer Version="6.0.0.0"
KB Article Number=" 928439 "
Language="ALL"
Package Type="Hotfix"
Processor Architecture="x86"
Product Name="Windows 6.0"
 Also we can get more information like Processor architecture, Language, KB article number that we can refer it on internet, build date, package type and more.


More info:

Information about the Windows Expand command

Use the following syntax to run the Windows Vista Expand command:

Expand [-r] Source Destination
Expand -r Source [Destination] 
Expand -D Source.cab [F:Files]
Expand Source.cab -F:Files Destination

The following table explains the Expand command syntax.
-r    Rename expanded files.
-D    Display the list of files in the source file.
Source    The path and the name of the source file. Wildcard characters may be used.
-F:Files    The names of files to expand from a .cab file.
Destination    The path and the name of the destination file or directory. If Source is multiple files and if you do not specify -r, Destination must be a directory.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.
 
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