How to Update Your Windows Operating Systems

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It is important to keep your Windows operating system updated. Some of the security updates can help protect your computer against the latest virus/malware threats. Some of the patches released by Microsoft will help to fix the bug in a program. In short, Windows updates are critical to the proper, efficient, and secure functioning of your operating system. Following are some of the ways you can ensure that your operating system is up to date.

1. By enabling the automatic Windows update

It is perhaps the simplest and traditional way to update your operating system. All you have to do is go to the settings and turn the automatic update option on. Windows will automatically download the updates, and install it. You have the option to set a specific time for download and install, as well. All you have to do is keep your computer turned on during the assigned time and make sure it is connected to the Internet.

2. Autopatcher

The offline updater can be used for installing service packs, software patches, and other Windows updates. Autopatcher is ideal to update systems that do not have Internet connectivity. You can download the updates on a different system with the help of Autopatcher, and run it on your system that does not have an Internet connection. It also ensures that your computer is not exposed to online threats.

Autopatcher can also be used to install patches for a variety of Microsoft software, like MS Office, MS Internet Explorer, and so on. It also allows installation of registry settings. Autopatcher is available for Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. It is also available for Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 server editions. Autopatcher is a freeware application.

Autopatcher 1.0 was a simple batch script. It contained twenty-two updates. It was developed exclusively for Windows XP Service Pack 1. Versions 4.0 to 4.2 used ‘. AXP’ file format that resulted in more stability, and contained all the critical updates. Version 4.5 saw the integration of an XML database. Version 5.1 contained recommended, critical, and component updates, and commonly used applications like Java, and registry tweaks. Version 5.6 included a new user interface and advanced intelligent scripting. In version 5.7, support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 were added. Version 6 is in active development.

Project Dakota

3. Project Dakota

Project Dakota was developed to update Windows XP operating system from a USB, CD, or a network drive. It was primarily designed for the following type of users.

  • Users who re-install Windows XP frequently.
  • Network administrators or system builders who want to install all the updates to multiple Window computers, quickly.
  • Users who do not wish to expose their system to the Internet for security reasons.
  • Users with slow Internet connection.
  • Users with limited Internet usage cap.
  • Users who want to update their operating system quickly.

The reason to initiate this project was to update multiple school computers all at once and to keep a track of all the computers. The application managed this by creating text files that were then uploaded to the main school server based on their hostname. The project was then adapted for general use, where it still created text files, but uploaded it to an FTP server with information about the hardware, and update details.

Project Dakota is a freeware application. According to its developers, there will no longer be a new version of this software since there is no longer any demand for this application.

4. WSUS Offline Update (c’t offline updater)

It provides a secure way to update your operating system by creating a locally stored package that has the latest security updates and patches. You can run it on your system to update the operating system. WSUS offline updater will let you choose the desired Windows OS, the language, and the architecture type. You also have the option to include latest service packs, MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) latest versions, C++ Runtime Libraries, Windows Defender virus definitions, and the ‘.NET Framework’. Once the package is downloaded, you can run the application on your system.

If you are looking for updates for a non-English operating system version, then WSUS offline updater is ideal. It supports Windows XP (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows 2000, Windows 2003 server editions (32-bit and 64-bit), and Windows Vista.

5. Windows Update Downloader (WUD)

Windows Update Downloader allows you to download all the latest Windows updates with the help of a simple interface called Update Lists (ULs). The application lets you choose which updates you want to install for a particular version of Windows operating system. Once WUD has finished the downloads, you can simply integrate it into your Windows source, using a tool like nLite. ULs are also available for automatic installation of updates on supported versions of Windows operating systems. It helps the system administrators to speed up unattended installations, automatic updates, and network deployments.

You can rent a system that has these Windows updating applications, try it out, and then decide to download it.

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