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 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.
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:
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.
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:
807 MB, 181 applicable updates
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.
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.