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What options, if any, exist for offline update of Microsoft Windows?

If a solution exists please list your experience using it.


If for any reason a computer does not have a connection to the Internet or the connection is too slow to download several hundreds of megabytes every so often some kind of offline Windows Update is required.

In a multi-computer environment a lot of bandwidth (and thus in some cases money) and/or time could also be saved if it is possible to update in an offline manner.

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10 Answers 10

How about WSUS Offline Update ?

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Yes, it seems to work pretty well –  Sergio Mar 3 '10 at 22:43

I have been using WSUS for the last 2 years at home and in many enterprise environment. This is the most simplest and easiest way to do this.

For most of the base operating systems and products the installers for Service Packs are provided as separate downloads or as slipstreamed installation discs.

Another alternative is using ipCop with the Advanced Proxy and Update Accelerator add-ons.

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FYI: I use both these solutions at home and I have cut my download bill down by at least a 1/2 of what it was. I also run a mixed environment of Windows Vista/7/2008 - MacOSX and Linux. –  Diago Jul 17 '09 at 16:52
So, do I understand this correctly: The download traffic of Windows Update is also cached by the Update Accelerator? Thus Windows Update causes the same kind of traffic like downloading in a browser? –  Tom Wijsman Aug 25 '10 at 18:35
@TomWij Correct. –  Diago Aug 25 '10 at 18:38

heise security, a website of a German publisher has a nice solution for packaging Windows Updates for all major Windows versions:

DIY Service Pack - Installing Windows updates without an internet connection

Looking for manageable Windows updates even without an internet connection? Our offline update 3.0 script collection downloads the entire body of updates for Windows 2000, XP or Server 2003 from Microsoft's servers in one fell swoop and then uses them to create patch packages on CD, DVD or USB stick. Those in turn allow you to update as many PCs as desired.

Windows 7 will be supported soon according to this forum post.

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Autopatcher can download updates once and apply them to multiple computers offline

In short, AutoPatcher combines the advantage of both Windows Update (presentation and description of updates and automated installation), and the special administrative updates (portability and installation without the need of an Internet connection).

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Microsoft offers their Service Packs in standalone "administrator installer" formats (along with, as Lance mentioned, some of their hotfixes and patches). Download once, deploy via your preferred medium.

If you're having trouble finding a specific hotfix for download (i.e. it is only available by request from Microsoft), give Hotfixr a try; it helps automate the request process.

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CTUpdate (now called WSUS Offline Update) supports Windows 7 now

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Sometimes if you're lucky, you can find a specific update through MSDN or Technet, and just download a file. It was nice in the old days when they had a specific download page.

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If you need to take the updates to go or can't/won't go with WSUS, you can look at using CTUpdate. I've used it to keep a copy of all updates for when I need to do clean installs - lets me install all updates before the PC ever hits the web. :)

Not that it isn't insanely self-explanatory (well, for a SuperUser...), Michael Boman wrote a tutorial using an older version. Not much has changed as of v6.

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c't update is pretty slick; I've been using it for several years. It's also handy for downloading the service packs and hotfixes so you can slipstream them into a new Windows install disc. –  rob Oct 9 '09 at 21:33

If you want something that will automatically grab updates from an Internet connected PC, try Windows Update Downloader. It will grab all of the updates your system needs, so you can just take them to the PC and launch the installers.

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If you contact Microsoft and explain the situation they may be willing to send you a disk with the latest service pack on it. They did this for me with Windows XP SP2 when I was in a place where I could not get an Internet connection. Of course, this probably won't work well on a regular basis but if you're in a standalone environment patches protecting you from Internet-based threats probably aren't high priority.

Alternatively, you can follow Kyle Bedell's advice. This is how we run updates where I work and I can attest that this works very well.

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