Updating Windows XP with all its updates

You may have read my blogpost on the actions admins need to take to continue working with Windows XP in their networking environments. It’s a long list. While many blogs and websites have shared similar information, one action is on everybody’s list:
Update Windows XP with the latest updates.

So, how easy is it to perform this task?

Without a fourth ServicePack for Windows XP, containing all the updates for Windows XP up till April 8th, 2014, it’s really about connecting a device running Windows XP to the internet and downloading the updates through Windows Update, or connecting a device to the corporate network and downloading updates from the on-premises Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) installation. This, of course, is not the best of ideas: Every security expert has warned against connecting Windows XP boxes to the internet or your corporate network after April 8th…

Straight from my toolbox comes a tool that helps you with this task:

 

WSUS Offline

WSUS Offline is an unofficial program, that you can use to update Windows installations for situations with no and low-speed Internet connectivity. It was previously known as “c’t offline update” and “DIY Service Pack“.

It allows you to simply check Microsoft products, after which it will fetch all the updates from Microsoft’s official FTP server. So far, this sounds like the official Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) that Microsoft offers, but Offline WSUS has another trick up its sleeve: After you’ve downloaded all the applicable updates, you can create a virtual CD/DVD (*.iso file) per product, per architecture (x86 / x64) and/or per language.

Version 9.1 of Offline WSUS was released on April 4th, 2014 and is the last version of Offline WSUS. This, then, is the version of Offline WSUS you want. You can get it from wsusoffline.net.

Tip!
After you’ve downloaded wsusoffline91.zip, check it is 2281694 bytes in size and use Microsofts File Checksum Integrity Verifier to check it has a SHA1 checksum corresponding to 369d17656164139de81f49c3c32192286c492b1b.

Next, extract the contents of the file and run UpdateGenerator.exe. Next, select the Legacy products tab. This is where you’ll find updates for Windows XP x86:

Legacy Tab in the WSUS Offline Update 9.1

Tip!
Download Office 2003 through WSUS Offline as well, when you’re running it in a networked environment, since support on this product also ended on April 8th, 2014.

Tip!
You can point WSUS Offline to your on-premises Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) installation to pull all the updates. Use the WSUS… button to this purpose. After successful download and tests, you can free up (expensive) hard disk space by cleaning up the Windows XP updates there.

 

Today, I’ve selected English and Dutch for Windows XP (including ServicePacks) and ended up with two virtual DVDs (*.iso files) in to iso subdirectory of where I unpacked to:

  • wsusoffline-wxp-enu.iso
    807 MB, 181 applicable updates
  • wsusoffline-wxp-nld.iso
    821 MB, 181 applicable updates

From each of these virtual DVDs, I can now use the UpdateInstaller.exe executable to update 32-bit installations of Windows XP without an internet connection, without hassle.

 

Concluding

WSUS Offline allows you to download updates for Windows XP (and Office 2013) to update them with Microsoft updates, once and for all. After that, you can easily run the executable from the (virtual) DVD or USB drive to update Windows XP without an internet and/or network connection, without hassle.

Related blogposts

So you want to continue using Windows XP?
How to install Windows XP Mode for Application Compatibility
Windows 7 Migration Checklist
Windows 8 Migration Checklist

Related downloads

Microsoft File Checksum Integrity Verifier

Further reading

Windows XP support has ended
WSUS Offline Update
Microsoft Windows Update
Windows Server Update Services Home

7 Responses to Updating Windows XP with all its updates

  1.  

    my dell crashed, when restored to default/factory specks it has internet explorer 6. This prevents me from going to ANY windows site to install upgrades or updates. what do I do

  2.  

    Hello Sander

    I found version 9.2.1 of the UpdateGenerator is the last version to support windows xp. However after running it several times. I then check it with windows update online and it shows 15 or so updates that need to be installed. Have you run into this?

    • Microsoft officially ended support on Windows XP a year ago.
      However, some of its components and add-ons are still supported and still receive updates.
      These updates can not be deployed using solutions like WSUS Offline, since these tools ended supporting Windows XP as a target platform.

      Please, migrate off Windows XP.

       
  3.  

    I like XP and will keep it offline.

  4.  

    I like W2000 and still use it in an offline environment, mainly because it interfaces well with an old, high quality CRT monitor that, in my opinion, gives far better colour authenticity than my LED monitors.

  5.  

    “Please, migrate off Windows XP”

    Yeah, that’s what I want to do. Move on to Windows 10, the telemetry nightmare from hell. Not only has Microsoft created this monster in order to placate the US government’s alphabet agencies, but they’ve implemented “security” updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8(.x) which render those versions of Windows privacy nightmares as well.

    No, I’m sticking with XP for now. If I move on, it will be to another OS entirely.

  6.  

    Using the old wsusoffline as of 2019 is no longer advised as it lacks some working links now since microsoft have removed them. A select handful of updates no longer exist.

    Even before ms pulled updates the wsus app didn’t ever provide users with KB4012598 or KB4018271, tbh im not even sure it ever managed to download KB2964358.

    Updating today (online with any system) it lacks at-least 8 updates, two of which can’t even be obtained from the microsoft catalogue site.

    The windows update cab a.k.a Wsusscn2.cab also has errors now too in which some office updates have 3 versions of a file being offered and regardless of choice the newest is not installed, nor is that on the cat site.

    Best tip for updating (and times running out) because when they pull windows 7 they’ll no longer need WindowsUpdateAgent 7.6 and at that stage, updating SP3 will be the same issue as trying to update SP2

    The tip is to install the 7.6 agent, install KB909520-v1.000 and KB898461, enable auto updates to notify but not download (then reboot)

    After a reboot, don’t open windows update or anything, just go into the windows folder and keep an eye on WindowsUpdate.log (its size should increase) when that stops, the tray will notify of updates, grab them, reboot & then hit windows update. But you’ll still be lacking those 2017 updates, exFAT and a few others they no longer provide.

    That update log also holds the URL’s to any “System Specific” Hotfixes only that hardware required, Inc drivers 😉

    Im still using XP (offline) as my goto system & its worth considering that when they kill off 7, a lot of those machines will run XP like a dream 🙂

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