- Device drivers
- Updated system files
- Service packs
- New Windows features
We also discuss how IT Professionals can use Software Update Services, such as Windows Update and Automatic Updates.
Important This content is designed for an advanced computer user. We recommend that only advanced users and administrators download updates from the Windows Update Catalog. If you are not an advanced user or an administrator, please visit the following Microsoft Web site to download updates directly:
Steps to download updates from the Windows Update Catalog
Step 1: Access the Windows Update CatalogTo access the Windows Update Catalog, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Step 2: Search for updates from the Windows Update CatalogTo search for updates from the Windows Update Catalog, follow these steps:
- In the Search text box, type your search terms. For example, you might type Windows Vista Security.
- Click Search, or press ENTER.
- Browse the list that is displayed to select the updates that you want to download.
- Click Add for each selection to add it to the download basket.
- To search for additional updates to download, repeat steps 2a through 2d.
Step 3: Download updatesTo download updates from the Windows Update Catalog, follow these steps:
- Click view basket under the Search box to view the download basket.
- Verify your list of updates, and then click Download.
Note If you are prompted, click Accept to accept the license agreement.
- Select the location where you want to save the updates. You can either type the full path of the folder, or you can click Browse to locate the folder.
- Click Continue to start the download.
- When the download is complete, click Close to close the Download Window.
- Close the Windows Update Catalog Window.
- Find the location that you specified in step 3c.Note If you have downloaded device drivers for installation, go to "Installing Drivers."
- Double-click each update, and then follow the instructions to install the update. If the updates are intended for another computer, copy the updates to that computer, and then double-click the updates to install them.
If you want to learn about additional update services, please see the "Software Update Services for IT Professionals" section.
- Open a command prompt from the Start menu.
- To extract the driver files, type the following command at the command prompt, and then press ENTER:expand <CAB FILE NAME> -F:* <DESTINATION>
- To stage the driver for plug and play installation or for the Add Printer Wizard, use PnPutil as described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:937793 The staging and the installation of driver packages by using the PnP Utility (Pnputil.exe) in Windows VistaNote To install a cross-architecture print driver, you must already have installed the local architecture driver, and you will still need the cross-architecture copy of Ntprint.inf from another system. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:952065 You cannot install third-party printer drivers for cross-architecture support in Windows Vista or in Windows Server 2008.
Software Update Services for IT Professionals
Windows UpdateIT Professionals can use the Windows Update service to configure a server on their corporate network to provide updates to corporate servers and clients. This functionality can be useful in environments where some clients and servers do not have access to the Internet. This functionality can also be useful where the environment is highly managed, and the corporate administrator must test the updates before they are deployed.
For information about how to perform enterprise-wide driver updates by using Windows Update, visit the following Microsoft TechNet Web site:
Automatic UpdatesIT Professionals can use the Automatic Updates service to keep computers up-to-date with the latest critical updates from a corporate server that is running Software Update Services.
Automatic Updates works with the following computers:
- Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional
- Windows 2000 Server
- Windows 2000 Advanced Server (Service Pack 2 or later versions)
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows XP Home Edition computer
- You may receive the following error message:Software update incomplete, this Windows Update software did not update successfully.For more information about this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:319585 "Software update incomplete" error message when you visit the Windows Update Web site
- You may receive the following error message:Administrators Only (-2146828218) To install items from Windows Update, you must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.For more information about this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:316524 You receive an "Administrators only" error message when you try to visit the Windows Update Web site or the Microsoft Update Web site
- You may be unable to view the Windows Update site or the Microsoft Update site if you connect to the Web site through an authenticating Web proxy that uses integrated (NTLM) proxy authentication.
Similar problems and solutions
Installing multiple updates with only one restartThe hotfix installer that is included with Windows XP and with Windows 2000 post-Service Pack 3 (SP3) updates includes functionality to support multiple hotfix installations. For earlier versions of Windows 2000, the command-line tool that is named "QChain.exe" is available for download.
For more information about how to install multiple updates or multiple hotfixes without restarting the computer between each installation, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: