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New File Naming Schema for Microsoft Windows Software Update Packages

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.

Support for Windows Server 2003 ended on July 14, 2015

Microsoft ended support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

For a Microsoft Office version of this article, see 816916.
For a Microsoft Exchange version of this article, see 817903.
For a Microsoft Visual Studio .NET version of this article, see 822464.
SUMMARY
Microsoft has adopted a standardized file-naming schema for all software update packages for the products that are listed in the "Applies to" section of this article (hereafter referred to as "Windows software update packages"). The new naming schema went in effect in April 2003 for all Microsoft Windows software update packages that are created and distributed by Microsoft.

For additional information about the standard terminology that Microsoft is adopting to describe software updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the Standard Terminology That Is Used to Describe Microsoft Software Updates


Microsoft has adopted this file-naming schema for software update packages for the following reasons:
  • It creates consistency across Microsoft software update packages.
  • It makes it easier to search for software update packages and their associated Microsoft Knowledge Base articles.
  • It clearly identifies the language of a software update package and the intended operating system, when applicable.
This article contains additional information about the new standardized file-naming schema for Windows software update packages.
MORE INFORMATION

New Schema for Naming Windows Software Update Packages

Microsoft uses the following schema to name Windows software update packages:
ProductName-KBArticleNumber-Option-Language.exe

For example:

WindowsXP-KB123456-IA64-ENU.exe
Windows2000-KB123456-ENU.exe
WindowsServer2003-KB123456-x86-ENU.exe
The following list provides information about each attribute in the new naming schema.
  • ProductName
    The full product name, including the product version information. For Windows software updates, this attribute is one of the following:
    • Windows2000
    • WindowsXP
    • WindowsServer2003
    • WindowsXPTablet
  • KB
    Indicates that an article exists in the Microsoft Knowledge Base that is associated with the software update.
  • ArticleNumber
    The ID number of the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that is associated with the software update.
  • Option (Optional attribute)
    Used to differentiate software update packages that address the same issue but are designed for different processor platforms. These options include:
    • x86 (for 32-bit processors)
    • AMD64 (for x86-64bit AMD processors)
    • IA64 (for 64-bit Intel Processors)
  • Language
    The standard language name abbreviation that represents the language the software update package is intended for. For example, ENU (for English), RUS (for Russian), JPN (for Japanese).

    Note The abbreviation INTL is used in cases where the software update package applies to multiple languages. In cases where the software update package applies to all languages, no standard language name abbreviation is used.

    For a complete list of standard language name abbreviations, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Exceptions to New Naming Schema

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 software updates will continue to use the earlier naming schema. For example, Windows NT 4.0 hotfixes will continue to use a naming schema with the following format:

Q123456i.exe
security patch security_patch cumulative rollup Hotfix Critical Update Update Rollup Service Pack Feature Pack Driver Connector Development Kit Tool Guidance naming convention
Properties

Article ID: 816915 - Last Review: 04/20/2012 05:51:00 - Revision: 7.0

Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86), Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Update Rollup 2, Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition

  • KB816915
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