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Is there such a thing as a machine readable (csv, xml) list of all available updates and download locations for Microsoft products such as Windows Server 2xxx? Basically, I would like a version of link text that I can run a script over to report what's available and possibly download.

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It's overkill I know, but you could potentially set up a WSUS box and read from it's database.

You'll need to be aware that the situation with Windows updates is not quite as simple as you might like. There are chains of dependencies, superseded updates and cancelled updates that you also need to keep on top of. In the end anything you make yourself would essentially be a reverse-engineering of WSUS, so you may as well just use that.

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This. If you're doing it for one machine, just run Windows Update. If you're doing it for more than 5-15 machines on one location, set up WSUS. Really though, you generally want to apply all of the recommended patches, and maybe do some functional testing and/or wait a week after first availability to see if a patch breaks something for enough people that it makes the security/IT news feeds. @JCS - What's your reason for wanting this instead of just applying everything available for a given machine? – mfinni Feb 23 '10 at 20:24
+1 WSUS is what you are looking for. I – DanBig Feb 23 '10 at 20:28
It actually occurs to me that one valid reason for wanting neither WU nor WSUS might be if you wanted to copy off the patches for an unconnected machine, but I guess the OP would have said that if so. – Le Comte du Merde-fou Feb 23 '10 at 21:11
If I set up WSUS with no clients, is it possible to have it download all updates (including those from the past?) – kdt Feb 23 '10 at 22:35
WSUS operates 100% independently of its clients, so yes. – mfinni Feb 23 '10 at 23:21

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