Microsoft Windows provides a utility to schedule download installation of patches, updates, and feature improvements for all Windows versions. But unlike Linux, the built-in Windows Update utility lacks the ability to save downloaded files for deployment in other computers.
The need to deploy updates without an active Internet connection is useful in the following scenarios:
- Users with no Internet connection at home can go to a public Hotspot and download the needed updates.
- Those charged with managing updates for multiple Windows computers can download the updates once and deploy them across multiple computers without the need to have each computer download them independently.
- Speed up roll out of new Windows installations by pre-downloading updates and applying them from a hard drive instead of downloading them after installation.
The time savings can be quite significant considering the current update size of Windows 7 (x64) is at 1.25 gb.
Jean-Sebastien Carle has written a free (donation based) utility called Windows Updates Downloader. It's an easy to use utility that connects to the Microsoft Windows update repository and downloads the necessary user selected components based on a list of file provided here. It's not a perfect list and also not the most current but it will allow users to download a large portion of the needed files for deployment. Once these updates are applied, users can apply a final update check to catch all remaining updates. There are a few glitches where the files are not found at the expected location on the Microsoft servers but it's not a show stopper and those missing files can simply be skipped for later download.
Tech Tip: Those planning to deploy multiple versions of Windows should manually create download folders corresponding to the Windows versions as this utility dumps everything into one folder by default.