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I have a small computer lab to set up. At this point there are 6 machines. Another 14 will be added later.

We don't have any servers in the building; the whole business network is a workgroup.

Each lab machine has Windows 7 pre-installed. When we start one up for the first time it wants to download a large slab of updates. If all 6 machines do that, that will blow a huge hole in our download allowance (read SME in Australia.) If we do the same for the following 14 we'll be shaped back to dial-up speeds until the beginning of the ISP's next accounting period.

Is there a mechanism available which would make possible the one-time download of these updates and then the application of them to the whole lab? Or am I going to be forced to purchase a server version of windows (e.g. 2K8) so that I can do WSUS?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Hope this helps.

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I second this suggestion. This software works well for me. – coneslayer Jul 16 '10 at 17:04
I used it. It worked. The other solutions required more time than I had. Am checking out autopatcher now just in case I missed something. – bugmagnet Jul 19 '10 at 5:35

The only answer I'm aware of would be manually downloading the various .MSU files for the updates and applying them "by hand" on each machine.

I'm fairly certain WSUS will work on the "Web Edition" versions of Windows Server 2008, which should make your license quite a bit cheaper. (Don't quote me on that-- download a trial version and see for yourself. WSUS would install on Windows Server 2003 Web Server Edition, but I haven't tried it on W2K8...)

You might have some luck using Squid-Cache to cache updates, however it looks like it would take some "tweaking" if it even works at all w/ the Windows Update client in Windows 7. (I haven't tried it before, so I can't speak to the pros / cons...)

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Woo-hoo! 40k day!!! – Evan Anderson Jul 15 '10 at 5:16
Congrats on the 40k. It's 11k day for me, but doesn't even get me in column 1... Hey your 40k is actually 40k (40,001) not just a rounded up 39.5k ;) – Mark Henderson Jul 15 '10 at 5:17

Or... you could:

  • Install the Windows 2008 R2 180 day trial
  • Install WSUS 3 SP2
  • Get the current 8 machines patched
  • Get the other 14 online and patched within 180 days
  • Blow away the server
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You can always aggressively cache the windows update files if you have a proxy.

I've been on networks that don't run a WSUS server, but their proxy (usually a free one, like Squid, running transparently) holds cached versions of the hotfixes.

This was quite a while ago, back when it was still a web interface, so I don't know if the Windows 7 WSUS is open to proxy caching, but it could be worth a try. A quick monitor of the URLs passing through the proxy during the update would tell.

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This approach could work for you:

  1. Download the updates on one PC (but don't install them yet)
  2. Stop the Windows Updates service on all the PCs
  3. Go into C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download on the first PC, and copy all the contents to a USB stick
  4. Copy those contents into the same folder on the other PCs
  5. Start the Windows Updates service again

In theory, the clients will check in with Windows Update, see they need some patches, check their cache, and realize they already have it.

I haven't verified this, but it's worth investigating. We're based in NZ and do some work out of an Australian office. We hit issues with bandwidth caps and the speed across the Tasman all the time.

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Try using Autopatcher to download all updates once to a share or usb drive.. i use it and it works like a charm!!

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I went for wsusoffline at the time but am now looking at autopatcher – bugmagnet Jul 19 '10 at 5:39

check out dism.exe its a new utility for offline and online patch management, its part of the win7 OS. You can get the patch iso downloaded from MS then use DISM to distribute the patches. Best of all its free!

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