Download Portable Update on your most up-to-date Windows® machine (Computer A). This computer needs to have an internet connection
Plug in your favourite USB flash drive or external hard drive
Extract Portable Update on your external device
Launch the app and let it initialise
Plug your external device in the target Windows® machine (Computer B)
Plug your external device back in Computer A
Go back to Computer B and run again Search and then Install
How to use it
Search target computer for new updates
Download updates needed to the target computer. This can be done from the same target computer if connected to internet or on any other computer connected.
Search again the target computer. This is needed because it is only during the Search Phase that updates are physically copied to the "Software Distribution" directory.
Install all updates of your choice.
Portable Update works with:
Microsoft Windows 11®
Microsoft Windows 10®
Microsoft Windows 8.1®
Microsoft Windows 8®
Microsoft Windows 7®
Microsoft Windows Server 2012® R2
Microsoft Windows Server 2012®
Microsoft Windows Server 2008® R2
Microsoft Windows Server 2008®
Microsoft Windows Xp® starting from SP1
Microsoft Windows Server 2003®
Microsoft Windows Vista®
Microsoft Windows 2000® starting from SP3
How to Install
You may download the most recent version of Portable Update here.
As any other portable applications, Portable Update does not need a setup phase, nevertheless the app requires a first-time-only initialisation phase.
From Wikipedia: [...]In order to make properly portable applications, software applications must leave the computer they run on exactly as they found it when finished. This means that the application cannot use the registry, nor store its files anywhere on the machine other than in the application's installation directory.[...]
The very first time, Portable Update needs to be run from a computer connected to the internet with an OS version capable of resolving HTTPS traffic. This is to allow Portable Update to download all the files and information it needs for run unplugged.
If your computer is running a legacy version of Windows® (like Xp), you will not be able to initialise the app from that OS, as you might be missing the TLS library to resolve HTTPS traffic. For that you can manually download the toolbox and place it in the same folder where the Portable Update executable will run from.
If by any reason your app is not able to finish initialisation (i.e. the app is telling you that you are not connected when you actually are online), try downloading the toolbox manually.
Portable Update and External Storage
Portable Update works best if used on an external portable drive, but there are some things you should be aware of:
Portable Update saves Windows® Update packages in a cache folder hence the cache directory will grow size very quickly as you start using the app.
15GB of free space are strongly recommended.
The amount of storage required will depend on few things, e.g.:
Number of machines you are keeping up-to-date
Number of versions of Windows you are using Portable Update on
Variety of languages chosen in your operating system
Please be aware that Portable Update can potentially download the same update for different OSs and different languages and, if not manually removed, it will keep them in cache and never delete. This applies also to old updates and 'suspended' updates.
One happy place to run Portable Update from would be a NAS, given you have fast enough network and storage.
Please run Portable Update in a folder as close as possible to the drive root.
Portable Update can suffer from very long paths (loads of subfolders)
When you launch Portable Update for the first time, please make sure you do that on a machine connected to the internet. Portable Update will need an internet connection to download the required packages from the Microsoft repository and it will automatically create all directories required for its operation.
For your external storage choose a filesystem that it is compatible with all your target machines. For instance Windows XP does not natively support exFAT. NTFS can potentially be the safest choice. Avoid FAT or FAT32 if you can.
Under the Hood of Portable Update
Portable Update updates every internet unplugged computer by means of two steps:
Copy the update from the external cache (that is from the USB drive) to the Windows update internal cache (Software Distribution).
Invoke the Windows® Update Install procedure providing the copied update as parameter.
The external cache will be filled only once per update session using the same tool on another computer connected to internet.
Once downloaded the updates needed from the Windows® Update site to the Portable Update cache, they remain here ready for every computer that needs that update in the future or for the same computer if you need to install it again.
Thus, the complete algorithm is condensed in two phases:
The "Unplugged" Phase
Scan the unplugged computer to take note of all updates that are needed; this is accomplished using the standard Windows Update Agent API.
If the updates are already present in the Portable Update cache, fill the internal Windows Update cache (this pass is possible only during the scan phase).
Install one, two or all update copied in the previous step.
The "Plugged" Phase
Download from the Windows® Update site all the update needed to all computer searched in the "Unplugged" Phase to filling the Portable Update cache.
Go back to the start of the "Unplugged" Phase.
This is the complete list of all standard software needed to update a computer from scratch. Portable Update can download this components automatically: