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Windows 7: Is there a way to backup current MS Updates?

19 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Build 7601 x64 - Windows 8 Build 9200 x64
 
 
Is there a way to backup current MS Updates?

Hi guys, I just wanted to know if there's a way where I can store in an ISO, or external Hard Drive an image of all the updates which have been applied to the computer?
Is that I don't want to be downloading them again after I reformat my machine...
Thanks .

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2011   #2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

No. You should image the windows drive, the installed updates automatically get backed up that way.

Remember, windows updates are pretty numerous and it would be tedious to install them one by one. Downloaded updates are stored in the folder C:\windows\softwaredistribution\download folder, so one can if required pick them up from there.

One tedious way is to download all post-SP1 installs manually and organize them into a folder. You can use WUD to make this task a bit easier.

Download Windows Updates Downloader 2.50 Build 1002 Free - This software will enable you to easily download any critical updates that your PC might need. - Softpedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Build 7601 x64 - Windows 8 Build 9200 x64
 
 

Hehehe, thanks for that... Now, is there a way were I can image the Windows Drive WITHOUT the programs installed?

Thanks in advance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Yes, install windows and drivers, DONT install programs, then use any of the well known imaging apps. You can also the inbuilt backup/Restore utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Build 7601 x64 - Windows 8 Build 9200 x64
 
 

Ok. Now I get where are you going. Jejeje, that's a nice trick. Thanks .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Aug 2011   #6

Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by superjose View Post
Hi guys, I just wanted to know if there's a way where I can store in an ISO, or external Hard Drive an image of all the updates which have been applied to the computer?
Is that I don't want to be downloading them again after I reformat my machine...
Thanks .
Hello!

Unfortunately, this cannot be done. As Bill2 is giving you excellent advice on what you can do, I shall leave that to him, but just talk a little about your first question, partially so that future readers will know.

Contrary to popular belief, Windows Update does NOT store as many downloaded updates as many people believe. Once a downloaded installer is finished with, it is deleted to save disk space.

The directory for these still in use downloads is (as Bill2 said) "%WinDir%\SoftwareDistribution\Download\" ("C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\")

For reasons I really don't want to get into, these are the updates you usually get left with in that folder:

Microsoft Office Language Pack parts/updates. (hard to re-integrate)
Microsoft IE - multiple versions/updates, including beta updates. (therefore most are useless to you on a new computer)
A few seemingly random (but actually not) Windows Updates)

There is also duplication between the downloaded installer, and extracted files from that installer.

Firstly, due to the complicated contents of that folder, you should not just copy it over to a new computer.

The folders within that folder only contain extracted files.

The actual downloaded installers are the files at the bottom.

And as I have already said, most are very small or useless (ie multiple version of Internet Explorer, when you only need the latest version)

Occasionally you might find a gem like an Office Service Pack, but then you have to correctly identify it, rename it, and then patch outside of Windows Update.

If I were you, stay away from that folder - there isn't much of value in it anyway, which is why I have never released a program which I wrote to recover installers from that directory (also, please don't try to clean it out - although it is a safe troubleshooting step should an analyst find evidence in a CBS.log that one of the extracted files or downloaded installers is corrupt - those installers are kept where others are not for a reason - and deleting this does have knock on effects, especially if you want to roll something back at a later date)

Finally, Microsoft sometimes releases multiple versions of the same installer quietly to sort out various issues - and you don't want old versions re-surfacing on a new computer.

I hope this helps you to understand that you really aren't missing much! Mine only has 399MB of installers, the majority of which are out of date, duplicated, or useless.

Richard

P.S. Try imaging as described above or WSUS Offline. I sometimes help around WSUS Offline a little!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Build 7601 x64 - Windows 8 Build 9200 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by niemiro View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by superjose View Post
Hi guys, I just wanted to know if there's a way where I can store in an ISO, or external Hard Drive an image of all the updates which have been applied to the computer?
Is that I don't want to be downloading them again after I reformat my machine...
Thanks .
Hello!

Unfortunately, this cannot be done. As Bill2 is giving you excellent advice on what you can do, I shall leave that to him, but just talk a little about your first question, partially so that future readers will know.

Contrary to popular belief, Windows Update does NOT store as many downloaded updates as many people believe. Once a downloaded installer is finished with, it is deleted to save disk space.

The directory for these still in use downloads is (as Bill2 said) "%WinDir%\SoftwareDistribution\Download\" ("C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download\")

For reasons I really don't want to get into, these are the updates you usually get left with in that folder:

Microsoft Office Language Pack parts/updates. (hard to re-integrate)
Microsoft IE - multiple versions/updates, including beta updates. (therefore most are useless to you on a new computer)
A few seemingly random (but actually not) Windows Updates)

There is also duplication between the downloaded installer, and extracted files from that installer.

Firstly, due to the complicated contents of that folder, you should not just copy it over to a new computer.

The folders within that folder only contain extracted files.

The actual downloaded installers are the files at the bottom.

And as I have already said, most are very small or useless (ie multiple version of Internet Explorer, when you only need the latest version)

Occasionally you might find a gem like an Office Service Pack, but then you have to correctly identify it, rename it, and then patch outside of Windows Update.

If I were you, stay away from that folder - there isn't much of value in it anyway, which is why I have never released a program which I wrote to recover installers from that directory (also, please don't try to clean it out - although it is a safe troubleshooting step should an analyst find evidence in a CBS.log that one of the extracted files or downloaded installers is corrupt - those installers are kept where others are not for a reason - and deleting this does have knock on effects, especially if you want to roll something back at a later date)

Finally, Microsoft sometimes releases multiple versions of the same installer quietly to sort out various issues - and you don't want old versions re-surfacing on a new computer.

I hope this helps you to understand that you really aren't missing much! Mine only has 399MB of installers, the majority of which are out of date, duplicated, or useless.

Richard

P.S. Try imaging as described above or WSUS Offline. I sometimes help around WSUS Offline a little!
Ok! So know I know where and why the heck Tune Up utilities always scanned the "Windows Update Backups". Thanks guys for the great tips!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit 6.1 Build 7601 (SP1)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by niemiro View Post
Try imaging as described above or WSUS Offline.
Richard I found WSUS Offline just a few days ago, and after some fiddling with it determined that it was appropriate only to WSUS that runs on Windows Server. Am I wrong--can it be used for single PCs? I didn't see how.

@superjose careful disk imaging is your answer. I keep a diary of my PC changes and updates and then if I need to restore I know exact what I'll get if restoring to an image from e.g. July 18.

As for Windows Updates I like to use the Microsoft Update Catalog where you can search for updates by OS and sort by date, then I download updates at one time and store them on my NAS for use among multiple PCs. Beats every PC having to download every update, especially if you have an ISP w/limited bandwidth as I do.

These offline updates still register to your Windows Update feature i.e. date of installation and whatnot.

BTW the SoftwareDistribution directory can be emptied in total if you're up-to-date, but I believe you lose your Installed History if you do this. But it's safe to empty the Downloads dir therein; as Richard indicated there's not much value to it after your updating is complete and working.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Build 7601 x64 - Windows 8 Build 9200 x64
 
 

Umm.... just one final question... any good and free Imaging Software solutions?

Thanks .

Edit:
BTW, thanks maxseven for the solution... now I just need a simple and free software solution XD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2011   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

Macrium is very good.

Imaging with free Macrium
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is there a way to backup current MS Updates?





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