In Windows Vista you are constrained to use the default tool,Windows Updates, which is set to download only the files which need to be updated, by example if xxx.dll exists in Microsoft’s database as a bigger version and needs to be updated, then only this file will be downloaded from the Microsoft servers.
What if you need to reinstall your computer and you don’t have Internet connection available? Sometimes when you don’t know where your work will ask you to be, is better to have all updates archived safely and closely to you, on your harddrive.
I would like to present two ways that I know of how you can download and save Windows Updates files for Vista. Maybe this discussion is applicable for all versions of Windows, but I tested only for my Windows Vista Business. So read the warning below:
WARNING : this article is presented as my experience. If you choose to follow the steps presented below you are doing this on your own risk and I can’t be held responsible for your actions.
The idea is that you only need to use the applicable Update List.
For this, you have to go to the Windows Update Catalog BETA site, find and click on Find Updates. Then you choose Vista (or appropriate version of your Windows). Search or click on Advanced Search if more search options needed. Then you have to click on ‘Add on the windows updates’ which updates you would like to save. After checking all needed updates, go to the Download Basket and select the harddrive directory where you want to save them. After this, click on Download. For more informations or if you have some problems, always refer to the original help for this – Microsoft Knowledge Base Article :How to download updates and drivers from the Windows Update Catalog
But there is another way:
You can download and use a little, but smart, utility called Windows Updates Downloader. It is a small program that allows you to DOWNLOAD & SAVE all of the current Windows updates. All updates are downloaded directly from www.microsoft.com to your computer with a single mouse click. But first you will need to download the applicable update list; and install it.