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Save Windows Updates

Austin asks :
Is there a way to back-up Windows updates (in my case, for Windows XP) to a CD, so if I ever have to format and re-install, I don’t have to re-download everything?

Windows updates is a service by Microsoft which helps you to install the latest Windows components, hotfixes, security fixes, software upgrades e.g. Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer and so on. Security updates or critical updates eliminate vulnerability to known malware and security exploits.

Usually, updates are handled automatically via the Windows Update service, but there can be situations when you would want to store a local copy of Windows updates, so that you can install these updates on a computer without an internet connection. Another advantage of using a local copy is that when you format your computer, you do not have to download all the updates from scratch. You can install all the necessary service packs and other basic security fixes quickly.

Following are the steps involved to save a local copy of Windows updates in your computer’s hard disk, on a removable drive or in a CD/DVD:

1.First download Windows Update Downloader and install it on your computer.

2.Go to this page and select the operating system installed on your computer. Then download the corresponding updates list, as shown in the following image:


Make sure you choose the correct platform for your operating system. Choosing a different platform will not work.

3.Once you have downloaded the updates list and installed the application, you are ready to go. Run the Windows updates downloader and you will see the following screen:


Click “Ok” to continue.

4.Now double click on the updates list file and you will see a message window as “Compressed UL file installed”. Click “OK”.


Note: If you get an error message like, “Warning, .NET framework component is not installed”, you have to install the .NET framework first. Use this link to download and install the latest version of .NET framework from the Microsoft website.

5.Once you have clicked the UL file, return to the Windows updates downloader window and you will see a list of basic windows updates listed.


6.Choose the features you want to download and select the corresponding checkboxes. If you want to use these updates every time you format your system, it’s recommended to choose all the updates which includes service packs, Internet Explorer, critical upgrades, Windows Media Player, .Net framework an so on.

7.Click on the “Change” button and choose a folder in your computer where the files will be saved. Do not save the files in the operating system partition, choose a different partition (if possible) instead.

8.You are good to go. Now click the “Download” button and all the updates will be downloaded in the local folder specified by you.


Depending upon the size of the updates, it may take some time for the downloads to finish. Do not close the application window or disconnect from the internet while the files are downloading.

9.When the download is complete, open the folder and you will see all the files required to install Windows update on your computer.


10.To install these updates, double click each file and Windows will install the updates automatically. You will have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Now you can burn all the files in a CD or a DVD and install the updates on any computer.

~Amit Banerjee