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(Formerly Known As "Hotfix Deployment and Installation Guide")

Published: August 09, 2004
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On This Page

About This Guide
What Is an Update?
The Update Installation
The Combination Installation
Removing Updates

About This Guide

This guide provides instructions for administrators who are installing software updates for Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).

The term software update refers to any update, update rollup, service pack, feature pack, critical update, security update, or hotfix that improves or fixes a software product that is released by Microsoft Corporation. (For definitions of each of these types of software update, see article 824684, "Description of the Standard Terminology That Is Used to Describe Microsoft Software Updates," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.)

Throughout this guide, all of these software updates are referred to as updates unless otherwise specified.

This guide includes technical information, procedures, and recommendations for installing updates on multiple computers in a small business or corporate environment. This includes installing updates either alone or in combination with Windows XP (with or without a service pack).

If you want to deploy either the standalone version of SP2 or the version of SP2 that is integrated with the operating system, see the "Guide for Installing and Deploying Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2" (SPDeploy.mspx).

Although this guide includes some basic operating system information, it assumes that you already have a working knowledge of Windows XP and update installations.

It is designed to complement formal training and other sources of information, such as Windows XP documentation—not to replace them.

Organization of This Guide

This guide includes the following main sections:

  • What Is an Update?

    This section explains what updates are. It also provides information about additional resource material that can help you plan your update deployment.

  • The Update Installation

    This section explains how to install Windows updates onto computers that are already running Windows XP.

  • The Combination Installation

    This section explains how to perform an unattended installation of Windows updates in combination with Windows XP.

  • Removing Updates

    This section explains how to remove a Windows update and discusses the limitations of this process.

Terminology Used in This Guide

The terms in the following table are used throughout this document.

Term

Definition

Integrated

An installation in which the operating system and the service pack are installed together as a single installation.

Standalone

A service pack that is not integrated with other software and can be used to update the operating system that it is designed for.

systemdrive

The drive where the operating system is installed. For example, on most computers, systemdrive is C:\.

systemroot

The "root" directory of the Windows installation on the computer's hard disk. For example, on most computers, systemroot is C:\WINDOWS. If you have upgraded your computer to Windows XP from another version of Windows, systemroot might be C:\WINNT.

Update

Noun: A broadly released fix for a specific problem.

Verb: To make a system or data file more current.

Upgrade

Noun: A software package that replaces an installed version of a product with a newer version of the same product. The upgrade process typically leaves existing customer data and preferences intact while replacing the existing software with the newer version.

Verb: To change to a newer, usually more sophisticated version of a product.



What Is an Update?

An update is a file or collection of files that you can apply to your operating system to correct a specific problem. You can install updates either alone or in combination with Windows XP (with or without a service pack).

An update is provided as an executable (.exe) file. When you install an update, backup files are created automatically so that you can remove the update later if you want to. The installation process also copies files to specific folders and updates registry settings.

Windows XP update programs are named according to the following convention:

WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe

where:

  • ###### = the Microsoft Knowledge Base article number (for example, 123456)

  • LLL = the language

Updates are packaged in a self-installing format. There are two main types of update installations:

  • The update installation

    Use this type of installation to install Windows updates on computers that are already running Windows XP.

  • The combination installation

    Use this type of installation to perform an unattended installation of Windows updates in combination with Windows XP, the service pack, or both.

Important

  • Updates are applied only to software that is already installed when you apply the updates. For example, if you remove a component and later reinstall it, you must reinstall any updates that apply for that component. In addition, if you add further components to your computer that require this update, you must install the update again. Updates included in a service pack do not work the same way. After you install a service pack, updates are applied to all components that you add or reinstall without you having to reinstall the service pack.



The Update Installation

During the update installation, Windows updates are applied to a computer that is already running Windows XP. When you run the update program, it automatically installs the updated system files and makes the necessary registry changes. After the computer is restarted (required only for some system files that are in use during the installation), the installation is complete, and the operating system runs with an updated file set.

You can install the updates by running the WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe program, which extracts the update files and runs the Update.exe installation program. Update.exe then checks the service pack version that you are currently using. If the service pack version was released before the updates, and the language is the same, the Update.exe program installs the updates automatically. If your service pack version was released after the updates, the installation is not completed, and an error message appears stating that the version is incorrect.

Note

  • If your service pack version was released after the updates, and you were completing an unattended installation (using either the /U or /Q option), the installation does not continue and no message appears.

If the language of the updates does not match the language that you selected for your Windows XP operating system, Setup is interrupted. If there are no version conflicts, Setup continues with the installation. The Update.exe program registers the updates under the following registry keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft
\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Hotfix\KB######

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Updates\WindowsXP\SP3\KB######

During the installation, information for removing the updates is stored in a hidden folder named systemroot\$NtUninstallKB######$. For information about removing updates, see Removing Updates later in this document.

Update Installation Methods

There are several methods that you can use to perform an update installation. These include the following:

  • Run the Update.exe program manually with a combination of installation options.

  • Use Systems Management Server (SMS).

  • Use Windows Installer.

You can distribute updates either by using a shared network distribution folder or by downloading the updates from the Web. Because this guide is intended primarily for corporate users, its update installation procedures focus on the shared network distribution method, which is the most common method of update distribution for this audience.

The instructions in this section explain how to install updates on computers that are already running Windows XP.

Using Qchain.exe

Windows XP updates have Qchain.exe functionality built in as part of the Update.exe installation program. You can install SP2, and then install any number of post–SP2 updates without having to restart the computer between installations.

If multiple updates replace the same file, Qchain.exe ensures that the correct version is retained. If you install multiple updates, be sure to use the /Z option that is described in “Command-line options for the update package” later in this document.

If the update that you are installing does not use Update.exe as its installation engine, you might need to install that update separately.

For more information about how the Qchain.exe tool works, see article 296861, "How to Install Multiple Windows Updates or Hotfixes with Only One Reboot," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Command-line options for the update package

The following table identifies the command-line options that the update package supports.

Command-line option

Description

/F

Forces other applications to close after installation and before restart.

/N

Does not back up files for removing updates.

/Z

Does not restart the computer after the installation is completed.

/Q

Uses quiet mode. Shows no user interface.

/O

Overwrites OEM files without prompting.

/U

Uses unattended Setup mode. Requires no user interaction and shows only critical errors.

/L

Lists installed updates.

Some updates include the new options described in the following table.

Command-line option

Description

/help

Same as using /?.

/quiet

Same as using /Q. Uses quiet mode. Shows no user interface.

/passive

Same as using /U. Uses unattended Setup mode. Requires no user interaction and shows only critical errors.

/uninstall

Uninstalls an update. For example, you can type: WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe / uninstall instead of using Add or Remove Programs.

/norestart

Same as using /Z. Does not restart the computer after the installation is completed.

/forcerestart

Forces the computer to restart after the installation is completed.

/integrate:fullpath

Integrates this software update into fullpath. For fullpath, provide the absolute path to your operating system source files.

Installing Updates on Computers Running Windows XP

To install an update on a single computer, run the update program, WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe, on that computer.

If you want to install the update on more than one computer, you can create a distribution folder for the update on the network. The following procedure describes how to install one or more updates using this method.

Note

  • For the following procedure, Drive:\ represents the drive of the network or computer where your distribution folder is located.

To install an update by running the Update.exe program

  1. Connect to the network or computer on which you want to create the distribution folder.

  2. In the shared network distribution folder, create a distribution folder for the update files.

    For example, to create a distribution folder named Update, type the following:

    mkdir Drive:\Update

  3. Copy the Windows XP Update.exe program to the distribution folder that you created in Step 2.

    For example, to copy the Windows XP Update.exe program to the distribution folder named Update, type the following:

    xcopy C:\WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe Drive:\Update 

  4. To install the update from the shared network distribution folder, run the WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe program.

    For example, to install the update from the distribution folder named Update, type the following:

    Drive:\Update\WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe

    The WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe file supports the same command-line options as the Update.exe program. You can use command-line options that are described in the tables that precede this procedure.

  5. To ensure that your updates take effect, restart your computer after you finish installing all of the updates.

Installing several updates together

You can group multiple updates together in a batch file and install them as a unit. This makes it unnecessary for you to restart your computer after each update is installed. The update installer provides options that you can use when performing this type of installation.

The following code sample is a batch file that installs updates and ensures that the correct files are replaced after the computer is restarted.

@echo off 
setlocal 
set PATHTOFIXES=Drive:\update 
  
%PATHTOFIXES%\WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe /quiet /norestart 
%PATHTOFIXES%\WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe /quiet /norestart 
%PATHTOFIXES%\WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe /quiet /norestart

Important

  • To ensure that the updates that you installed take effect, restart the computer if the batch file does not automatically restart it for you. If you want your computer to restart automatically, in the last update that you install, replace the option /norestart with the option /forcerestart.



The Combination Installation

The combination installation uses both the update installation and integrated installation processes to install the service pack with one or more of the following:

  • Windows XP

  • Windows XP updates

  • Additional Microsoft and non-Microsoft software that might be included on the Service Pack 2 CD

For a combination installation, you can include the components that you want to install as entries in the Svcpack.inf file, along with the updates. You can also choose to install the service pack at the same time.

This section provides instructions for using unattended Setup mode to simultaneously install Windows XP and updates.

Important

  • When you are performing a combination installation, it is important to install the service pack before you install any updates that were released after the service pack. Installing more recently released updates before you install the service pack can cause problems with your system.

Installing the Service Pack and Updates with Windows XP

This section explains how to perform a combination installation that includes the service pack and post–service pack updates, integrated with Windows XP in a shared distribution folder on a network. A combination installation makes it unnecessary for you to perform separate installations of Windows XP, the service pack, and the Windows XP updates.

If you want to install Windows XP with updates, you must use this method. This process installs the updates during Windows XP Setup.

Preparing for the combination installation

Before you deploy the installation of Windows XP and the Windows XP updates across a network, you must copy the Windows XP and Windows XP update installation files to a shared distribution folder and complete the steps described in the following procedure, "To create and set up the required folders and files for Windows XP."

If you are an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and you plan to install additional OEM files (such as device driver, application, or component files) on the destination computers, create a \$1 subfolder within the \$OEM$ subfolder. The \$1 subfolder corresponds to systemdrive, which is the destination drive for the Windows XP installation.

Note

  • In the following procedure, Drive:\ represents the drive name of the network or computer where your distribution folder is located.

To create and set up the required folders and files for Windows XP

  1. Connect to the network or computer on which you want to create the distribution folder.

  2. Create a distribution folder by typing the following (using the appropriate drive name):

    mkdir Drive:\WXPDIST 

  3. Use the command xcopy to copy the files and subfolders from the integrated installation product CD that includes Windows XP and SP2 to the Drive:\WXPDIST folder.

    For example, if D: is your CD-ROM drive, type the following:

    xcopy /E /I /V D:\ Drive:\ WXPDIST

  4. Use the /integrate option to run the update that you want to install by typing the following:

    WindowsXP-KB######-x86-LLL.exe /integrate:Drive:\WXPDIST 

  5. For more information about installing updates, see “Installing Updates on Computers Running Windows XP” earlier in this document.

For more information about how to integrate updates, see article 828930, "How to Integrate Software Updates into Your Windows Installation Source Files," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Deploying the combination installation

You can deploy the installation of the Windows XP updates and the Windows XP operating system to multiple computers from a shared distribution folder on a network. During the standard installation process, Windows XP Setup installs the operating system and applies the updates.

To deploy the installation

  1. Verify that the installation and executable files for the Windows XP updates and Windows XP exist in your distribution folder.

  2. Customize Windows XP Setup as necessary. For more information about customizing Windows XP Setup, see the Winnt32.exe command syntax topic in the Microsoft Windows XP Professional Resource Kit Documentation on the Windows Deployment and Resource Kits Web site.

  3. Run Windows XP Setup. This deploys the installation of the Windows XP updates and Windows XP to multiple computers from the shared distribution folder.

Note

  • For more information about the preceding procedure, see the Microsoft Windows Corporate Deployment Tools User's Guide (Deploy.chm) included in Deploy.cab in the \Support\Tools folder on your Service Pack 2 CD.



Removing Updates

You can remove an update for Windows XP by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.

If you install multiple updates that replace the same files, and you want to return your computer to its original state, you must remove the most recently installed update first. For example, assume that UpdateA and UpdateB replace the same file and that you installed UpdateA before you installed UpdateB. To return your computer to its state before the installation of UpdateA, you must remove UpdateB before you remove UpdateA.

To remove an update for Windows XP

  1. Open Control Panel.

  2. Click Add or Remove Programs.

  3. Select the Show updates check box.

  4. Click the update that you want to remove, and then click Change or Remove.

  5. Follow the instructions that appear on your screen.

    Important

    • If you try to remove the updates in the wrong order, a warning appears that lists all of the updates and programs that have been installed since you installed the update that you are trying to remove. The warning names the update you are trying to remove and warns you that if you continue, the programs listed might not run correctly. Click No if you do not want to remove the update, and if you prefer to remove the programs and updates that are listed before you continue. Otherwise, click Yes.

    • You cannot remove updates that were installed by using the combination installation method unless you reinstall the operating system. Reinstalling the operating system overwrites the updates.

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