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Overview of Windows 7 Update Files
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Windows 7 uses MSU files for installing updates, which are Microsoft Update Standalone Packages . MSU files are not executable as are updates for versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista . However, they function quite similarly to executable files because you can double-click them to install an update .
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For security purposes, MSU files should be treated as executable
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files. Therefore, if you block executable files as e-mail attachments, you should also block MSU files.
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MSU filenames have the following format: <WindowsVersion>-KB<ArticleNumber>-[v<VersionNumber>-]<Platform> .MSU The version number is listed only if an update is re-released with a version number higher than 1 . For example, version 1 of a 32-bit Windows 7 update can be named Windows6 .1-KB961367-x86 .MSU . The 64-bit version of the same release of that update would be named Windows6 .1-KB961367-x64 .MSU . The following list describes each of these placeholders:
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WindowsVersion The version of Windows to which the update applies . For Windows 7, this is Windows 6 .1 . ArticleNumber The Microsoft Knowledge Base article number that describes the update . You can look up the article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/<ArticleNumber>. For example, if the update filename is Windows6 .1-KB961367-v1-x86-ENU .MSU, you can look up the supporting Knowledge Base article at http://support.microsoft.com /kb/961367 . VersionNumber Occasionally, Microsoft might release multiple versions of an update . Typically, the version number will be 1 . Platform This value will be x86 for 32-bit operating systems, x64 for 64-bit versions of Windows, and ia64 for Itanium-based computers .
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Standardized naming for updates simplifies update processing by allowing you to evaluate updates from a script using only the filename .
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Manually Installing, Scripting, and Removing Updates
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How to Script Update Installations
Windows 7 opens MSU files with the Windows Update Standalone Installer (Wusa .exe) . To install an update from a script, run the script with administrative privileges, call Wusa, and provide the path to the MSU file . For example, you can install an update named Windows6 .1-KB961367-x86 .MSU in the current directory by running the following command .
wusa Windows6.1-KB961367-x86.MSU
Additionally, Wusa supports the following standard command-line options:
/ , /h, or /help
Displays the command-line options .
/quiet Quiet mode . This is the same as unattended mode, but no status or error messages are displayed . Use quiet mode when installing an update as part of a script . /norestart Does not restart when installation has completed . Use this parameter when installing multiple updates simultaneously . All but the last update installed should have the /norestart parameter .
Scripting is not usually the best way to install updates on an ongoing basis . Instead, you should use Automatic Updates, WSUS, or Configuration Manager 2007 R2 . However, you might create a script to install updates on new computers or to install updates on computers that cannot participate in your standard update distribution method .
How to Remove Updates
Some updates can cause application compatibility problems . Although this is rare, if you suspect that an update has caused a problem, you can remove the update to alleviate the problem . Then you should work with Microsoft and any other software vendors to resolve the problem so that you can install the update .
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Before you remove an update, view the update s Knowledge Base
article to determine whether you can use a different countermeasure to remove the vulnerability that the update resolves. For example, you might be able to reduce the vulnerability by properly configuring your firewall. This will reduce the risk of being compromised while you work to resolve the problem with an update.
You can remove an update in two different ways:
WSUS You can remove some updates with WSUS, but many updates do not support being removed . To remove an update for a group of computers or all computers with WSUS, follow these steps:
1. View the WSUS Updates page . 2. Select the update and then click Change Approval under Update Tasks . 3. Click the Approval list and then click Remove . 4. Click OK .
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