Description of the Dynamic Update Feature in Windows XP Setup

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q311220
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Windows XP Setup includes the Dynamic Update feature. Dynamic Update downloads and uses critical content to enhance the Setup program. If the computer can connect to the Internet during Windows XP Setup, Dynamic Update prompts you to download critical content. You have the option to skip Dynamic Update during Setup.
Dynamic Update content includes drivers and replacement files.


Drivers are downloaded only for devices that are present in the computer. Dynamic Update downloads two types of drivers:
  • Drivers that are not included with Windows XP are downloaded from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site only; these drivers have passed the Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) logo certification program.
  • Drivers that are included with Windows XP and for which a fix exists are posted if Microsoft determines that the fix is critical. The fixed files are treated as replacement files because the files do exist on the Windows CD-ROM. However, the drivers are not delivered as .cab files (this is similar to drivers that are not included with Windows).

Replacement Files

Replacement files replace the existing files on the Windows CD-ROM. No new files are added to the product. This category includes:
  • Updates include fixes to any files that are currently installed.
  • Upgraded .inf files include all .add, .rep, and .inf files that are useful during the upgrade process.
  • Winnt32 fixes include any critical fixes to Winnt32 dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) that are used by Setup.
Dynamic Update does not replace the role of Windows Update to provide fixes; it only uses the most critical fixes to improve the Setup program and provide a stable operating system. You can use Windows Update any time after you install Windows to download any updated drivers or program. Dynamic Update is only available if Setup is initiated by Winnt32.exe and if you have a connection to the Internet. If you do not have a connection to the Internet you can skip Dynamic Update.

You can deploy Dynamic Update for Windows XP Professional Setup in a corporate environment without connecting to the Windows Update Web site. For additional information about how to do this, see the following Microsoft Web site:The Windows XP Dynamic Update package includes the fixes that are described in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:
314582 List of Fixes That Are Included in the Windows XP Dynamic Update 1.2 Package
312401 List of Fixes That Are Included in the Windows XP Dynamic Update 1.1 Package
309127 List of Fixes That Are Included in the Windows XP Dynamic Update 1.0 Package
For additional information about how to implement the Windows XP update package, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
312110 How to Deploy the Windows XP Dynamic Update Package

Article ID: 311220 - Last Review: 12/07/2015 08:04:58 - Revision: 1.4

Microsoft Windows XP Professional

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbenv kbinfo kbsetup KB311220