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A friend has a 5 yr-old emachines desktop. We just did a system recovery which reloaded XP home. She has a dial-up connection.

What is the best way (least time consuming) to get all the XP updates loaded?

Brainstorming so far has suggested:

  1. Go to Microsoft Update, put the machine on auto-update, and wait for days and days to get the zillion updates downloaded and installed, tying up her phone for all that time, and running the risk of having call waiting interrupt things.

  2. Download all the applicable XP updates to a CD or DVD or flash drive on my computer, then go over to her house and load them all on her computer. Problem here is how to know and select the correct updates. Is there a list somewhere that has all the updates for this situation in a nice tidy package?

  3. Take her computer to my house, install it on my DSL network temporarily, download and install everything, then give it back to her

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I think #4 is by far the best idea. Doing all those updates over a 56k line that can be interrupted at any time by call waiting would be a nightmare. Bring it somewhere with a broadband connection, get everything updated, then put it on auto for the future. It will probably be less painful than trying to manually download all of the updates and run them one at a time.

Of course, #3 has its appeal too :)

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You can probably disable call waiting with the correct dial-code at connection time, but that presents its own problems. – Shinrai May 13 '11 at 16:17
Especially since there is more than just Windows Updates that'll need to be loaded; AV updates and patches, drivers, etc, it is best to get it to a broadband location for a day or two and get everything up to date and running well, and set to automatic, and then return to the original site. – music2myear May 13 '11 at 16:53

You need WSUS Offline Update. The whole procedure is pretty simple: You run one program on your PC to download all the updates, then take the whole thing over to another PC to actually install them all.

Specifically, you run the UpdateGenerator.exe program in the top level folder, select what OSes to download (and maybe some extras, like .NET Frameworks, IE, Security Essentials, etc.), download, and wait while your system downloads lots of stuff.

Afterwards, you take the entire client subfolder, copy it to a flash drive (or burn to DVD), hike it over to your client's place, run UpdateInstaller.exe, and wait while it installs everything. If you're also installing optional updates, it might take multiple runs (with reboots in between) to get everything installed, but it's still far faster than waiting for the downloads.

The UpdateGenerator program also remembers its state between runs so that you can get new updates as they're released by simply rerunning it.

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There are a lot of if's to this one, but here is what I would do:


  • You have and are comfortable with an Android Phone
  • You have unlimited Data (3G/4G)
  • You have a little bit of time

Download and install PDANet (the free version will work fine). Tether your android's 3G/4G data network to the machine via USB and let 'er rip.

Again, quite a few if's, but that's what I would do and would probably be easiest and fastest in the right circumstances.

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