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  • What is the story with WSUS Offline?

    Posted on DriveBee Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 What is the story with WSUS Offline?

    This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Schnarph 1 week, 2 days ago.

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    • #150240 Reply

      DriveBee
      AskWoody Lounger

      Hey, all. I have been looking at WSUS Offline. There is an option to check to install security only and not rollups. Is this a viable way to get a laptop updated that has not been updated at all for a year? I did a search here and seems like I am reading that people don’t recommend using WSUS Offline. What are the issues with it?

    • #150347 Reply

      Schnarph
      AskWoody Lounger

      Hey, all. I have been looking at WSUS Offline. There is an option to check to install security only and not rollups. Is this a viable way to get a laptop updated that has not been updated at all for a year? I did a search here and seems like I am reading that people don’t recommend using WSUS Offline. What are the issues with it?

      I’m sorry I can’t answer that exact question, but I’ve been using WSUS-offline for Windows 7, 10, and Office for many months on 4 computers (3 users) without any problems other than it’s easier for me to run monthly MSRT updates through the normal route. I did try the security only method with WSUS-offline for 2 or 3 months and it worked fine but I gave up. I’m the only that cared about telemetry, I’m dual-booting with Win10, and didn’t want the hassle of a truly telemetry free Win10 (if there really is such a thing). I still use WSUS-offline every month, running the update check/download at the end of the month which is when askwoody usually drops to ms-defcon3. I would not advise running WSUS-offline to download updates on patch Tuesday, even if it’s security only.

      I reinstalled a fresh Win7 Sp1 in June or July and used WSUS-offline for all the updating. It took a while as expected but I’m using that system right now and never have a problem. Do a full system image/backup first and give it a try. I like Macrium Reflect (free) for full backups/cloning but that’s another topic.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #150350 Reply

      SkipH
      AskWoody Lounger

      I use WSUS Offline to fully patch up a ‘fresh’ install of Windows 7, SP1. I’m usually doing it for a client, or one of my systems. It works great. I attempted to report about it on AskWoody in the past, but was semi-ignored, so gave up, just went on my merry way.

      I usually use the full ‘roll-up’ update process, since the systems I work on are going out to standard, non-technical users who know nothing about security & quality roll-ups or security only patches. I then run one normal Windows Update after connecting the system back to the ‘Net, and install what (very) few updates it finds, and call it good.

      I haven’t really tried the security only method for Windows 7, because once you get on that path, you have to stay on it, or switch back to the full Security & Quality roll-up method (Woody’s Group A update method). I have a couple of my long running systems on the Group B method, but those are for me only, and have been on that path since October, 2016.

      I also use WSUS to force-feed Windows 10 major version upgrades onto systems that come out of the box 2 or 3 major versions behind on Windows 10. I’ve been getting ‘referbed’ Windows 10 systems for a number of my clients, and all of those have older versions on them, back to 1607, or even 1511. Even new laptops are at least one version behind (did 2 this last week).

      Using WSUS (with the systems NOT connected to the ‘Net) is infinitely better & faster than using the built-in Windows 10 update process. No waiting for a system to ‘find’ updates, download them in slow-motion (or get stuck at 89% for hours), or then get stuck trying to install them. WSUS just jams them on with little user intervention, all very fast.

      It helps to have a fast internet connection with no data caps, because keeping either of the WSUS ‘versions’ (Win7/Win10) requires lots of downloading to keep them up to date (but then so does updating individual Windows 10 systems). Also, the WSUS programmers come out with new versions on a semi-regular schedule, so I start over with the latest version to have it get all the packages they deem appropriate.

      So, I see nothing wrong with WSUS Offline…it makes my life much easier that suffering with either the Win7 or Win10 native updating process. YMMV.

      • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by  SkipH.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #150359 Reply

      Schnarph
      AskWoody Lounger

      It helps to have a fast internet connection with no data caps, because keeping either of the WSUS ‘versions’ (Win7/Win10) requires lots of downloading to keep them up to date (but then so does updating individual Windows 10 systems). Also, the WSUS programmers come out with new versions on a semi-regular schedule, so I start over with the latest version to have it get all the packages they deem appropriate.

      So, I see nothing wrong with WSUS Offline…it makes my life much easier that suffering with either the Win7 or Win10 native updating process. YMMV.

      I am stuck with satellite ISP @250KBps max and 450MB/day cap, same speed but no cap between 2am-7am, running WSUS-offline to download updates with a task-scheduled shutdown at 7am. Once a month updating still works for me in one run, but it’s only for one version of 7 (x64), 10 (x64), and one Office (2010).  For example, I don’t remember monthly updates for all three going over 3GB. Starting from scratch would be huge, 16.5GB for me, and MS servers don’t go full speed even for my 250KBps connection. My ISP speed/cap limitation is why I initially discovered WSUS-offline, no telling what the others using satellite ISP do with standard Win10 Home auto-updates.

      Perusing the WSUS-offline forum, I believe I recently read that it doesn’t do Win 10 full version upgrades:

      http://forums.wsusoffline.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7216

      If this is incorrect, they need to know and I wouldn’t mind either. Honest TIA, though IMO Win10 updates might be off-topic, this OP was under the forum umbrella of Questions: Windows 7.

      I have downloaded a couple Win10 versions, full install ISOs, and used those as version updates/upgrades. Take a linux netbook to a friend’s house with broadband and get the new version ISO, or similar method. After another friend with 3 Win10 computers, 3 different chipsets, the newest one went into version-update-install-fail-boot-loop last month which forced the previous method mentioned, I consider it a fail-safe. Losing a whole day of work troubleshooting with MS “support” cost him hundreds.

      If there is storage space, it’s nice to have multiple Win10 version ISOs for fallback, knowing beforehand when version updates are coming and making an OS image/backup, etc. Even for those not savvy with forums like this, and end of the month backup should be the bare minimum.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #150375 Reply

      SkipH
      AskWoody Lounger

      My bad, I mis-spoke about using WSUS to ‘upgrade’ Windows 10. I have the ‘next’ full build on a USB stick or a small portable hard disk, and do the ‘upgrade’ from there. Then I just use the latest cumulative patch that I manually downloaded to catch it up to date, don’t bother with the Win10 update process.

      I still use WSUS Offline for Windows 7 updating.

      I’m on a Charter cable connection, max speed is ~65mbps. When WSUS is getting KB’s from the MS servers (for Windows 7 or 10), they run way faster than 250kbps. I haven’t done any for awhile, so can’t tell you exactly, but IIRC, they run like 2-3 MegaBYTES a second. I think you will find that your download speed is a factor of the satellite connection, not MS’s servers, or your ISP is still throttling the speed. I also think that a satellite link is ‘shared’, so if there are many other users on the link…the speed suffers, regardless of the theoretical maximum. One good thing about Charter/Spectrum is I’ve never seen a slowdown I can blame on them (an outage, yes, but not a slow down). Every time I run a speed test, it’s always over 50mbps to 65mbps.

      I tired helping a client on a 1.2mbps DSL connection lately, and it was basically a joke. The system was spending all it’s time trying to download either patches or upgrades. I don’t know how you can operate on a 250kbps connection.

      So, your plan of keeping a couple of copies of Win 10 ISO’s on hand to do upgrades from one version to another is good…that’s what I do also to upgrade those referbed systems and even brand new systems that are not current. I used it a lot when the referbed systems were Win7 boxes, but for better or worse…I’ve been S L O W L Y switching clients over to Win10, and will have to do some ‘upgrading’ of Win7 systems at some point as 2020 gets closer, ugh.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #150935 Reply

        Schnarph
        AskWoody Lounger

        I tired helping a client on a 1.2mbps DSL connection lately, and it was basically a joke. The system was spending all it’s time trying to download either patches or upgrades. I don’t know how you can operate on a 250kbps connection.

        Actually, I said my max speed is 250KBps(=2Mbps), not 250kbps. However, it’s still pretty awful, and my ping is over 1,000ms. Again, that’s 450MB/day cap (free time between 2am-7am), all for the low price of $120 month (internet only). When the cap is hit, basically no internet until overnight reset. It gets worse, less than 200 meters/yards away is a fiber optic line but that ISP (Time Warner/Spectrum) refuses to run anything directly to me no matter the cost, though the terrain is average. I would pay thousands for a real internet installation since the monthly bill would be half.

        There are only a few million of us stuck with nothing better than satellite ISPs in the US, with no viable way to “cut the cord” while ironically having no cord to cut. I know, white people problems, but what really grinds my gears is reading others post about hating Comcast, FIOS, or whatever. Back on topic, finding WSUS-offline has made my ISP almost bearable. I do worry about the future, 4 PCs on Win10 and potential forced version upgrades like last month.

        Aaaaanyways, I hope the OP DriveBee will give WSUS-offline a try. They have a forum, maybe half of it is in German but the dev(s) and mods speak English well enough, and there are translator addons/extensions which help if necessary.

    • #150943 Reply

      SkipH
      AskWoody Lounger

      Jeeze, I’m batting about 0 for 2 in my replies, might need some new glasses!

      Sorry I mis-read the “k” for a “K”.  But that’s still kind of slow, and the cap is really a bummer.

      You can still do the minor ‘updates’ on the 4 systems using a manually downloaded cumulative update, then a major version “upgrade” from the latest ISO from MS.

      I assume you know all the tricks to block MS shoving the updates/upgrades onto your systems?

      I’ve messed a bit with the O&O ShutUp10 utility:

      https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10

      It seems to be able to put a pretty good block on lots of stuff.

      Otherwise, I set both the WiFi and Ethernet connection as ‘metered’, and I guess you can always turn off the Windows Update service as a last resort if you know there might be a big gob of c**p coming from Microsoft, then figure out the best way to get it on your systems.

      Too bad about that fiber optic line being so close and you can’t get connected.

       

      • #150963 Reply

        Schnarph
        AskWoody Lounger

        Jeeze, I’m batting about 0 for 2 in my replies, might need some new glasses!

        Sorry I mis-read the “k” for a “K”. But that’s still kind of slow, and the cap is really a bummer.

        You can still do the minor ‘updates’ on the 4 systems using a manually downloaded cumulative update, then a major version “upgrade” from the latest ISO from MS.

        I assume you know all the tricks to block MS shoving the updates/upgrades onto your systems?

        I’ve messed a bit with the O&O ShutUp10 utility:

        https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10

        It seems to be able to put a pretty good block on lots of stuff.

        Otherwise, I set both the WiFi and Ethernet connection as ‘metered’, and I guess you can always turn off the Windows Update service as a last resort if you know there might be a big gob of c**p coming from Microsoft, then figure out the best way to get it on your systems.

        Too bad about that fiber optic line being so close and you can’t get connected.

        OP DriveBee, sorry for the topic derailment but I’m hoping some of this will eventually help the you or others. Obviously I’m a fan of WSUS-offline. My favorite basic options are being able to burn the update installer to a CD/DVD/USB for one or all versions of any currently supported Windows OS or MSOffice (or older versions if you’ve been doing this long enough). Also, the updates are downloaded to folders making them easy to check for version/KB. With a little easy text file tweaking, mostly covered in the FAQ, KBs/updates can be skipped or added. The updates come directly from MS update CABs, almost all the issues I read on their forum are either obvious user error or MS updates that don’t work properly keeping Woody and many others busy and readers like us trying to catch up.

        1: Mistakes with KB/kb, MB/mb, GB/gb are extremely common. Many uninformed reviews of HDs/SSDs/USB drives still complain about these discrepancies which are simply marketing/advertising manipulations by the manufacturers. In this case, I could blame speedtest.net for providing my results in kilobytes/ps rather than kilobits/ps. (off topic, why is my spellchecker confused with “kilobit”?)

        2: Thanks to forums like this and others, I have learned various methods of blocking/delaying most updates/telemetry/”features”. O&O Shutup is among the best but not the only 3rd party tool that can block the icky parts of Windows 10. Some use tools like NTLite to remove the uglier “features” pre OS install. There are tweak utilities galore, far too many IMO, check reviews before downloading.

        3: Anyone could assume that the built-in metered/Wifi connection/wushowhide settings would work as intended, but then this happens:

        https://www.askwoody.com/2017/microsoft-confirms-that-win10-1703-users-are-being-upgraded-without-warning-to-1709/

        Similar to the original GWX deal, it takes at least some effort to avoid potential loss of work time or worse. This is not a challenge meant for the typical Windows user, Ubuntu is easier. Back on topic, WSUS-offline if more straightforward.

        4: Last but not least, anything can be taken for granted. I’ll take clean water and air with terrible internet over the opposite. W.P.P.

        Again, I hope DriveBee is having luck with WSUS-offline.

         

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Schnarph.

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