How many times did you have to leave your computer, after a format, to download the updates you had before it? How many times did you have to go do something else, leaving your friend's computer download the load of updates with their poor little dial-up modem? How many times have you wished for the updates to be portable from one computer to another and not require but a few mouse clicks to install?
If you're the "computer guy" of the pack, no doubt the answer to the above questions was "I've lost count"! And if you have one or two computers you should consider yourself lucky as well. Think of what would happen if you had to update ten or twenty computers daily!
Is there any way to avoid all this trouble?
Besides the updates one finds on Windows Update (which are not portable), Microsoft also issues special updates (called administrative updates or network install updates), which do not require an Internet connection present during the installation process. The user however will have to answer to a series of (for the most part identical) questions. Even this can be an annoyance since it requires the user's presence for quite some time.
AutoPatcher is based on the functionality of these special updates, automating their installation process. This way, with only a few mouse clicks and two minutes of your time, AutoPatcher is able to continue with the installation of the items you selected. In short, AutoPatcher combines the advantage of both Windows Update (presentation and description of updates and automated installation), and the special administrative updates (portability and installation without the need of an Internet connection).
Update N computers in 1,2,3!
Using AutoPatcher is really easy. The most difficult part of the procedure will probably be the downloading, because, due to its size, it's not something a 56k modem owner would go for. Typically, an AutoPatcher release weighs about 200-300MB, since it includes all the updates in one big package.
Since there are quite a few releases, your choice must be based on the following criteria:
Each release targets a specific version of Windows. Choose the right one for the system your updating.
An equally important piece of information is the operating system's language. Unfortunately, international versions of Windows (such as Greek Windows) use different updates from the 'base' English version, so the English AutoPatcher releases cannot be used on Greek Windows. Note this is not so with Windows Vista!
- Core releases, these are the main releases which contain the bulk of the patches.
- Update releases, these allow you to update a Core release with additional patches as new ones are created.
- Addon packs, these add additional patches and addons (such as 'sunjava') not distributed in the main Core release or Update releases.
Extraction & burning on CD
After downloading you'll have to extract the file's contents in order to run AutoPatcher. This procedure is taken care of by the installation program, and shouldn't trouble you at all. If you want to burn AutoPatcher on a CD (so it can run directly off the CD), just burn the contents of the folder in which you extracted the contents of the file you downloaded.
The last step is the most important. AutoPatcher will now install the items you selected and, after a restart, your system will be up-to-date and ready to be used. This procedure is divided in 4 stages, though your presence is only needed during the item selection (it can be done 100% unattended):
- Item selection
- Installation of the selected items
- System restart