Update Windows without Microsoft

I recently received an email from one of my readers asking if there was a safe way to update a Windows XP installation that already had Service Pack 2 installed with the latest patches from Microsoft in the months after the second Service Pack was released. . His main concerns were the Windows Genuine Advantage Program. He didn’t like the fact that the data was sent from his computer to Microsoft.

Fortunately for him there is an easy method to update Windows XP without having to contact a Microsoft server. This, of course, is only half the truth, some software products like IE7 and Windows Media Player 11 contact Microsoft during installation. You can use one of the techniques described in my posts to avoid this or choose not to install those programs.

The current size of the Autopatcher file is about 350 megabytes for Windows XP and can be downloaded from the Autopatcher home page. I suggest you use a torrent or mirror to make it easier to load on the main servers. You will also find versions for Windows 2000 and 2003.

Download the full version of Autopatcher for your language and then the smaller update for January. Install both on your computer and run the application later. The difference between the full and light versions is that some third party products (eg Sun Java) have been removed from the package, all Microsoft patches are still inside.

Autopatcher scans the system and displays a list of patches that can be installed. There are the following categories:

  1. Microsoft Windows – Critical Updates
  2. Microsoft Windows – Recommended Updates
  3. Microsoft Windows – Updated Components
  4. Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage Program
  5. Windows Plugins
  6. Registry settings

The first three are automatically (partially) selected. I would advise reviewing the patches manually and removing anything that seems unnecessary. Click Update after you have made your selections and Autopatcher will update your system.

Autopatcher is ideal if you have more than one operating system to update. Instead of downloading all the patches multiple times, you do it only once. Great time saver.