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Windows 7: Any way to get automatic updates in reusable form?

24 Jan 2010   #1
brocks

Win7-64
 
 
Any way to get automatic updates in reusable form?

Is there any way to re-use the Windows updates that I've already installed?

I upgraded from 32-bit XP to 64-bit Win7, and I'm trying all kinds of shareware and drivers to get it the way I want. I end up discarding most of them, and I like to reinstall Windows after I've accumulated a bunch of junk in my registry (a bad experience has put me off of registry cleaners forever).

I don't mind letting Windows download and install updates once, but if I reinstall Windows, I don't want to have to download them again (I have very limited bandwidth). Reading through this board, I found a post that said the downloaded updates are stored in Windows/Software Distribution/Downloads, but when I looked there, I only had one file, and the name was no clue to what it did. I know that when I installed Win7, I downloaded over a dozen updates, and I know I've never deleted anything from that folder. Did turning Automatic Updates off make the files disappear?

I ran Windows update again today for the first time in a month, and it said there were four new updates for my OS. I let it download and install, and now the Download folder has three files with long hexadecimal names, plus two folders that contain over a hundred items between them. Not intuitive, to say the least.

Is there any way to just download the updates without installing them, so I can save them and run them any time I do a reinstall? I know I can go to the Windows download site and download the KB files, but they have about 50 files for every one I really need, and it would take a day to sort through them all. So I would really like to let Automatic Updates do the downloading for me, but then leave them in KB form, so I can install them and re-install them whenever I want.

Is there any way to do that? Thanks for any help.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Jan 2010   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Type windows update in search. Then click on it. Then change settings. I think, once there, how to update will be self explanatory.

As far as I know, there is no way to modify the action so that you would not have to download again, if wanted in another computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #3
brocks

Win7-64
 
 

>"I think, once there, it will be self explanatory."

Thanks for your reply, but it is not at all intuitive. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong.

I did the following on a fresh install of Win7HP-64:

During the install, I said do not turn on Automatic Updates.

After installation completed, I looked at the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder, and it was empty. I rebooted, and went to Windows Update/Change Settings. Under "Important Updates" I said to download updates but let me choose whether to install them. Under "Recommended Updates" I said do it the same way. I clicked OK, and it said "looking for updates," and then gave me a long list to choose from. I unchecked all of them but a Security Update for IE8, 14MB in size. The message on the screen confirmed that only one update had been selected.

At this point, based on my earlier choices, I would think it would now give me the option to download my selection, but it didn't. The button said "Install Updates," and I didn't see anything about downloading, so I clicked it. It said it was downloading, so OK so far. Then it said it was installing, which is exactly what I did NOT want, so I hit the button to cancel the install.

I looked at the Download folder, and there were four files and six folders, all with long hexadecimal names. Total space used was over 200MB.

What I wanted to see was one KBxxxx file of 14MB.

So what did I do wrong?

Thanks for any help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2010   #4
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

The instructions that I have given, demonstrate how to install the updates manually, and not how to be able to reinstall on another computer. I have amended my statement to correctly present my thought. It was my intention to reiterate, for other readers, the procedure to download the updates, and then indicate that I did not know of a way to reuse thm. Personal business, however, interrupted my answer, and I inadvertently omitted the last part of my post.

There will be a SP, eventually and this Service Pack will contain all the updates previously issued. Service packs contain all the updates, plus other modifications. At the point that we get to the issuance of the SP, you can download just that and then any subsequent updates that have been issued. Sorry about the mistake.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #5
brocks

Win7-64
 
 

Thanks for your time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #6
Orpheous

XP Pro/Vista Ultimate (64)/Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition(64)
 
 

Not sure if this is what you're after....
WSUS Offline Update - Update Microsoft Windows and Office without an Internet connection
I've been using it, and it's predecessor c't update for a couple of years. It downloads the updates directly from the MS update servers, saves them to hard drive, creates an installer that will also reboot and recall the updates, and creates an iso image (if you want it too). I copy all of the update folders to an external drive to work on machines away from home...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2010   #7
brocks

Win7-64
 
 

Thanks very much. That sounds like it's exactly what I want -- I will look into it.

I also found this on the net:
Windows Update Agent API (Windows)

It turns out that Windows Update has an API which can be accessed with what looks like elementary javascript. As I don't know javascript, I have some learning to do, but it looks pretty simple, and they have example scripts for the major functions. I'll report back if I get it working for me, but it may be a week or two.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #8
Orpheous

XP Pro/Vista Ultimate (64)/Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition(64)
 
 

"System administrators can use WUA to programmatically determine which updates should be applied to a computer, download those updates, and then install them with little or no user intervention."

Sounds like work to me!
WSUS update automatically installs the updates in an "as required" manner on each individual computer, Office updates/format converters are included. I've got to head out for a few hours, but if you like, I'll post some screen snips later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2010   #9
brocks

Win7-64
 
 

>"Sounds like work to me"

Thanks for your response, but I enjoy programming. I looked at the other website, but if I read it right, it automatically downloads *all* the updates suitable for your PC, and then you pick which ones to install. I would rather just download the ones I want.

At any rate, without knowing anything about vbscript, I was able to find and download just the updates I want after just a few minutes of fooling around with the sample code, so I doubt it would take much more effort to write exactly what I want, than it would to become good with somebody else's program that may or may not do what I want. Since vbscript is the "native" language of Windows Scripting, learning it seems like a very high return investment, because I can use it to automate all kinds of stuff, so that's the direction I'm inclined toward.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2010   #10
jimbo45

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers
 
 

Hi there
That's one of the reasons for an eventual SP1 release.
What you then need to do with this when it appears is to "Slipstream" into your Windows install disk and then the next time you install windows it will be already integrated.

If you are testing lots of shareware etc - I would suggest the BEST way of doing this in 99% of cases is to use a Virtual Machine - since you can "clone" these you'll be able to have a fresh W7 installation to install your test software in every time - or whenever you want it.


Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Any way to get automatic updates in reusable form?




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