I am imaging a large number of pc's using dell image direct and the new pc images do not include updates for windows xp sp3. So I am having to download all of the updates for each machine, this takes a huge amount of time. I was wondering if there is a way to download the updates once, save them, and apply them to all of the computers without using group policy?

  • Sounds like you just need to update the image that you're deploying -- rather than the approach you've asked about.
    – martineau
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 18:25
  • Updating the orginal image would be the best way to solve the current updates each machine needs. Can that be done? I posted the simple manual way and John T posted a centralized managed solution.
    – Troggy
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 18:30

5 Answers 5


You have a few options.

1 - Configure a WSUS Server which can download all the updates once then apply them to all your machines.

2 - Use WSUS Offline Update to create an update binary and run it on all machines via startup script or method of your choice.

3 - Update one machine fully, then use an imaging solution such as Clonezilla to take a fresh image, and apply it to all machines.

If this will be a domain environment, you may want to look into Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) which integrates a whole bunch of Microsoft products into one, including WSUS.


You can download the update from Microsoft here

Then you can just put that on your network file share area and install from that on all your machines.

This would be the manual way to install and avoiding downloading the updates multiple times. If you would like a more automated centralized method, check out JohnT's answer.

  • 1
    I think they are talking about the 100+ updates that come after SP3
    – Moab
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 19:04
  • @Moab Yah, I am hoping OP returns to give us some more information. If he wants the more advanced solutions, I will just delete this answer because I am just mentioning the simple manual way of approaching this.
    – Troggy
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 20:00

Slightly late to the party but AutoPatcher it downloads updates from Microsoft's servers to a local disk such as a USB key and that can be transferred from computer to computer to install the updates.

If you want a more centeralised method then WSUS is the way to go.


There is a 3rd party solution if you cannot get a WSUS server set up.




One way would to do the following:

install it one one computer and do the updates
download this ISO (TRK)
use the mclone utility to copy your current install to all other pcs

mclone works like this, You setup the ISO to boot into an mclone server mode and set all of the other pcs to boot into the mclone client mode. Once all of the other PCs have established a link (not really a connection as mclone is UDP centric), start it up on the server and all of the computers will get an exact image of the first one. Very easy to do and VERY fast (uses my entire network speed... which at gigabit is really really fast)

this is a free solution that works consistantly for me and is really simple to use

  • also, you don't need to burn 100x ISOs either. TRK can be loaded straight to memory, allowing you to use the same CD on all of the PCs... it loads really really fast... taking probably < 2 mins per machine (really most of that is just waiting too so with a few cds you can keep busy the whole time instead of just waiting...)
    – g19fanatic
    Commented Feb 1, 2011 at 19:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .