If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy
James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More on Update Utilities and so on...

As many of you know there are a few offline/online update utilities and update integration packs out there for Windows. Offline update utilities will download all the patches for a particular Windows OS or just those that the OS requires. The online update utilities perform a system scan and downloads all updates as needed, much like the official Microsoft Update Site. The update integration packs are updates that have been packaged together and integrated into your Windows Install Disks via a process called slipstreaming. There are a few utilities that simplify the slipstreaming process like nLite and RyanVM Integrator...there are more I am sure, but these are the more popular.

The main reason that people would use these utilities is to have more control over what is installed in the form of updates, to avoid using the Automatic Update Service (and associated services), as a means to update machines that are new builds, or to distribute patches in a network environment offline.

The integrations packs are used to keep your install disks up to date with the latest patches in order to avoid the process of downloading and updating after future installs. No matter what process of updating you choose...all of them are meant to stem the spread or exploitation of the OS from the many vulnerabilities that are found between your initial OS install and any future installs of the OS you might have.

Here are a few Offline/Online Windows Updaters:

Offline Update - Downloads all windows updates / creates an ISO of these updates / has an installer that compares the downloaded updates against already installed updates on your pc and installs what is missing / cool part is it is all done offline after the initial download via CD/DVD/or Network share

Windows Updates Downloader - Developed by Jean-Sebastien Carle...WUD is a tool that will download all the updates from Microsoft and organize them by patch type (i.e. Critical Updates, Patches, etc...). Unlike the Offline Update tool WUD does not have an installer for all the literally downloads the installable patch files from Microsoft that can be manually installed depending on what updates one would like to apply. This is especially helpful in a corporate environment allowing testers to see what effect each patch has on their systems.

WindizUpdate - An online update utility/site that works with Firefox / after installing a plug-in you are ready to let the utility run much in the same way as the Microsoft Updates Site

Here are some integrations packs that can be used with nLite and RyanVM Integrator:

- Xable's Update Pack
- RyanVM's Windows XP Post-SP2 Update Pack

With so many options on updating you just need to find what fits your needs. As I have tried all of the update methods and tools listed above...I can say that they all have their niche in the update arena and I do encourage all to try them out.

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