I use Windows Update only to check what are the latest Vista updates, then go to the updates' Download Center links to manually download the .msu updates for later installation (and for backing them up into a DVD-RW should I have to re-install Vista for some undesirable reason). However, every time I double-click on a downloaded .msu to install it and give administrative permission to continue, it does an update-search step I believe is slow and unnecessary (it has been already downloaded, so why connect to the update server to search again?), and this slowdown becomes worse after each successive .msu installation. Is there some way to skip this update-search step every time I manually install a Vista update? Skipping this step would allow me to install the manually-downloaded updates more quickly, especially if the updates are larger than 2 MB.
Checking the update website is a necessary step when installing an Update. Installing an update is different from simply installing a software program.
The reasons can be complex, but include the following.
1. The update being installed may have a bug and has been replaced by a later update.
2. Some updates must be installed in a certain order. A pre-requisite update may have been changed or even removed from Windows Update.
3. It rarely happens, but the Update Agent (core Windows Update component) may have been upgraded and is required to be installed before any further updates are installed, even older updates.
4. A bug may have been discovered in the update and it has been removed from the update website. The update website will detect that the update being installed is no longer viable and will not allow it to be installed.
5. An update was offered because the computer had certain third party software/hardware installed. If this software/hardware has been removed, the update would no longer apply and could cause errors.
There are other reasons, but the point is that checking the windows update website is necessary before installing any update.
It is not generally a good idea to archive windows updates, unless you are administrating something like a corporate network and have a dedicated person or team that tracks and tests the updates before they are distributed across the network.
Hope this helps.
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Windows Desktop Experience
Archiving MSU updates not a good idea? This is exactly what saved my butt and time when my computer crashed twice. I don't want to re-download updates whenever I have to re-install Vista after a serious crash. Especially when all updates amount to a very huge total size in the gigabytes and my greedy internet provider (Comcast) always threatens to cut off my bandwidth when I exceed it. Thus for me, archiving updates was the best decision I ever did, it saved me a lot of time and bandwidth usage after my two previous crashes. This is why I never use Automatic Updates except to check if a new update was released; I always download them from the Donwload Center, and I want a way to install them quick without unnecessary update checking before installation (because I had already checked for newer updates the same day I downloaded them and don't want to re-check them twice or three times or four times or more whenever I run the MSUs; time is money and so is bandwidth).
Besides, Windows XP updates never connect to the server when being manually installed, thus they install quick. I remember someone pointed out some way to bypass online update checking to speed up MSU installations in Vista, but no longer remember how it was done (only remember it was buried inside some TechNet forum thread outlining some Windows Update error codes).