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Downloading ONE Windows Update for multiple computers?  WSUS without using WSUS?  Slipstreaming XP for ANY computer?

crnz asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We are a humble computer company that loads a fresh copy of XP onto about 15-20 computers a week on computers of all makes including OEM, retail, academic and OEM SLP licenses.  So 15-20 a week we need to request *critical* Windows/Microsoft updates.  Even though our broadband connection is ok most of the time, we are consistently only receiving 20-30k/s throughput on Windows Updates - this seems throttled at the MS end.  And it's slooooow.  It takes 50-70 minutes per computer.

We need to find a way to reduce the time the Windows/Microsoft update portion of these jobs, as we are a growing company and the updates are always getting larger.  With SP3 on the distant horizon, there seems little temporary relief in the short term.

Our own environment is XP Pro peer-to-peer, and Windows Server is complete overkill for our own needs.  This is why WSUS isn't an option, and I am looking for ANY other method, that allows us to download Windows/Microsoft updates once, store them locally, and then have the client computers updated from our local copies.

I don't mind if the processess of creating and updating the local library of updates is a manual process and/or a little time consuming (that's what apprenticeships are for ;).  I'm looking for ANY way to only do ONE Windows/Microsoft update a day to one workshop computer, and have the customers run their Updates from that.  Something similar to the SP1 and SP2 update packs as supplied by MS.

Now, there is lots of info about slipstreaming CDs, so therein may lie some degree of an answer, but I somehow have not been able to put my finger on a method that's going to be able to download ALL the critical updates AND present them in an installable format on a number of computers which are completely different in age, brand and internal makeup.

I don not know if this against EE rules (in which case I immediately withdraw the offer), but any person who can help us out here to achieve at least a 50% improvement in the time spent on updates can expect at least 2000 additional points. (After all, it says right here on the page: "Experts compete to earn these points. Don't be stingy!") :)


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Top Expert 2012

A small group of former co-workers have had success utilizing this...


And here is the actual home page for the same software...


In your position, I would test in out on a "guinea pig" computer and see if I like it.


Thank Run5k, popping over to have a look at that now and will report my findings.

We have a lot of guinea pig pcs here - so that won't be a problem.

And I like to add - the solution doesn't have to be free :)

Ryan_RIT Systems Administrator

How to make an XP setup disc so that it installs any service acks, windows updates, extra drivers, and your own software in the one installation process:    http://unattended.msfn.org/  PS- there is a PDF file in the 'references' page for offline reading.

How to download updates for multiple use:
1. Start > All Programs > Windows Catalog
It's ideal that you run this on a PC that doesn't already have many (if any) updates, so that you can download them all to a temp loaction where you can later burn to disc...

2. On the http://unattended.msfn.org/ website (on one of the pages, try References for starters) is a link to a program called Windows Update Downloader (beta 2.23 i think). If you can't find it on this site you can google it and get it.

3. Goto ftp.microsoft.com  and goto the mssoftlib folder. I can't tell you exactly what files you'll want to get from there but I do believe that's where the updates are. Perhaps you can research this to find out what files you want.

Hope this helps,
Ryan R
Ryan_RIT Systems Administrator

Please be cautious that in making any unattended XP disks that you don't break your license agreement with MS in copying your XP setup disks (unattended or not).


Ryan R

Thank you for your time supplying an answer - I really appreciate the help.

As I understand you answer, creating such a CD will only work for one type of license per CD.  We deal with all brands and al windows licenses on a daily basis, so creating what is in escence a slipstreamed CD isn't going to be the answer with the exception of one for pure OEM installs.

Most computers come with rescue discs or partitions, and these are always used first.  It's the step of then doing the windows updates that I would like to achieve with downloading each update only once, and then applying them to each customer computer on the workbench as needed.

I'm sorry if I misunderstood your reply - but it doesn't seem to go towards my requirement of working for *any* computer brand and *any* XP license type. And yes, taken to its extreme I would need to create a CD for each XP license type, and I would definitely run foul of licensing regulations.

The point at which I need to CD or a repository in a shared folder or flash drive is when the computer already has a fresh copy of XP just loaded on it and is at SP2 level.  It is at THAT point that I wish have help.  Does your suggestion help with that?  I can't see it if it does.
Ryan_RIT Systems Administrator

The license issues are for OEM CDs. At "THAT point" as you specified your best bet is to get Windows Updates Downloader and try that out (or use Windows Catalog).



Run5k, your suggestion also is a slipstreaming solution.

I did find this link on that site you suggested


They have the right idea however in as much that it's a post XP install update solution.

It doesn't look very, erm, reliable - so still looking for more suggestions from the experts.

Ryan_RIT Systems Administrator

For your own PC slipstreaming is fine. The only problem with making multiple copies of slipstreamed CDs is that you have to go through the process of making the slipstream each time you want to burn a different OEM xp cd, as you need to start off by copying the i386 folder to the HDD and apply the hot-fixes to that folder. If you have a retail CD i think you can just use the one cd to preinstall xp on PC's and then perhaps change the product key after using Magic Jelly Bean or something.

But for now just stick to using those 2 apps i mentioned (WU-Downloader and the catalog) and see if this does what you want.


No offence intended Ryan, but have you carefully read my question?

I need a single solution for a post-install Windows Update of XP, for any brand, any XP license type.  Slip streamingis not going to do the job.  

Simply put - what I need is an "SP3" that I can keep up to date myself and can apply to any XP computer at SP2 level without connecting to the Internet.

In other words, like WSUS without the need for having a Windows Server 2003 box to act as as a distribution point.

Top Expert 2012
If that's the case, you might actually want to consider taking a second look at AutoPatcher.  I don't have any first-hand experience utilizing it myself, but I have tried the AutoStreamer application that was produced by the same software vendor, and it works like a champ!

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You are missing the point completely here.  Windows is DESIGNED to do a "live" system update by finding out what each system has on it first, then getting the needed components from the MS site.   The only way to avoid this invasive windows updata mania is to download a corporate version of the update for "deployment by MIS managers to multiple computers" -- or some such MS nonsense -- and then put those files on a server, and have each PC look to that server to run the SETUP.EXE.  These MIS manager updates are only available on MS FTP website -- and now you have to go through the idiotic "genuine DISadvantage" propaganda just to get them.  Good luck fighting this MS debacle.
Ryan_RIT Systems Administrator

No offence taken,

I was only explaining my previous comments - not providing it as a solution. My solution/idea was to use the downloader program or windows catalog. You would then download all the updates onto a share where all the networked PC's could access them. If you wanted to you could make a single batch file that would run all of the .exe files silently so that you wouldn't have to run one after the other.

You could also view this link:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21954505.html

Also regarding SP3, read the 4th site update: http://www.experts-exchange.com/communityNews.jsp
which starts off by saying "Received through a member from a Microsoft MVP:"


You could try and install WSUS on XP, according to the following article it can be done.


If you install WSUS but don’t configure client to use it you could use WSUS as storages for Updated files, it start to download all Updates for all platforms you configure when its running and save all update in a folder, configure it to update every day.
Then you cold share this folder to always have the latest update locally stored in your network. One hack is to install these files, the came as exe files.
try this batcher it is very useful for clean installation of the pc and it is updated
you will find the latest updated in automated batcher file so you don't need to install them separately.
it is full automated and run smothly, i used it for my company (like your situation 10-30 daily new clean installation)
look at this post
This link is constantly updated with whatever patches are released along with unattended install commands and links to direct downloads. I put all of them in a folder and wrote a quick batch file to execute each one. now I plop the folder on a PC with a clean install and can get them all up-to-date in around 15 minutes with no downloading:



I'm sorry I haven't been able to get to this today - I spot some very valuable information in that lot - many thanks.  I'll go try out some of the answers and will report back!


Ok, time to report in.

I'm going to give Autopatcher a go (http://www.autopatcher.com/).  It seems to do what I need for the moment, although I am a little concerned about the registry performance and security tweaks that it does (they are reversible).  It's definitely close enough to our requirements to take it for a spin.  Time will tell.

Eagle6990's suggestion would be my next choice, in the event Autopatcher proves unacceptable.  It takes a while to set up, but I can see how it would work, and it wouldn't take too much to keep up to date.  I will keep this suggestion as a backup.

About the "unofficial SP3" warning.  I am aware of the web site, thanks, and have steered clear of it already.

SUS/WSUS on XP?  Apparently possible with many patches, tweaks and reverse enigneering.  Also needs SQL databese, IIS... just too hard, to hungry and not future proof I feel.

Thanks for your help everyone.

You can use MS download function where you have a basket for files.

You can change language and select OS, it looks like Windows Update
But it while not install any things, you select were to download these files.

This one is for free.
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