FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for an answer to your questions regarding Windows Update Restored in general? The FAQ is the right place!


 

Doesn’t this project promote the usage of unsupported operating systems?

No. Nobody tells you to use an operating system without support. Fundamentally though, we believe in choice of operating system. The Windows 7 system (released in October 2009) is the last version of Windows that supports the use of the skeumorphic Aero Glass user interface. However, many people don't like the new oversimplified user interfaces and prefer to use the old one. We believe that the people who bear the relevant risks have the right to use whatever software or operating system they want, and in fact, some people will use these older systems, whether Microsoft wants to or not. This project is specifically aimed at making the Windows Update website usable again for Windows XP and earlier. This project assumes no responsibility for security issues arising from the use of an unsupported version of Windows.

How do the Windows Update websites work?

Quite simple. The Windows Update websites offered on Windows Update Restored work with an ActiveX control (proprietary technology belonging to Microsoft Corporation) downloaded and installed when running the website in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and newer. Once the ActiveX control is installed, the websites start downloading the necessary files to work. They check for updates and, once "Install Updates" clicked, download and install them directly to the user's computer.

Does this work on Server editions of Windows?

Yes. The Windows Update website supports every Server edition of the Microsoft Windows operating system, except Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. All versions newer than Windows Home Server works only with modifications added to the system.

Does this work on Embedded editions of Windows?

Yes. These websites do work for embedded versions of Windows starting from Windows XP Embedded all the way until Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 versions, including Windows Fundamentals For Legacy PCs and the Windows XP Mode in Windows 7.

Do we support Compact Editions of Windows?

No. Windows Update does not support Compact editions of Windows, and never supported it. Those editions received MSI update files with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005-2008.

Does this work on x64 systems?

Yes. 64-bit operating systems are supported from Windows Update v5 and onwards. The v5 website supports Microsoft Windows XP x64 Edition, Windows Vista x64 (requires system modifications) and any other newer x64 Microsoft Windows operating system (requires system modifications as well).

Are we hosting official updates from Microsoft?

Yes... and no. The vast majority of updates you download from the Windows Update Restored website are official updates released by Microsoft back then. Unfortunately, some updates are no longer available for download, and we had to recreate them. You can find out which updates are made by Windows Update Restored and which ones are not with the "test@example.com" or "windowsupdaterestored.com" signature warning popup window appearing when downloading and installing an recreated update. You are free to only install Microsoft updates by unchecking the others in the list.

How do I know if the this files I'm downloading are signed by Windows Update Restored?

With the provider name. Windows Update Restored signed updates & CAB files will appear to be signed by "test@example.com" on Windows 95 and 98, and by "windowsupdaterestored.com" on Windows NT4, 2000 and newer. The files signed by Microsoft are marked as provided by "Microsoft Corporation". If the files (usually CAB ones) you are downloading are not signed by one of these providers, do not download them and immediately report the issue to the Windows Update Restored team.

Where are we getting all those updates from?

We are getting them from Microsoft, and then we move them to our custom CabPool (repository). We get those updates from the Microsoft servers ("download.windowsupdate.com"), and then we move them to our CabPool, to ensure that if Microsoft decides to delete them from their servers, we still have them and you'll still be able to download and install them. As a part of them are not on the Microsoft servers anymore, we're also getting them from the Wayback Machine.

What's the point of such a project?

Fun and nostalgia. While this project does not offer "newly made" security updates, and do not make Windows 95 to XP secure, it gives you the nostalgia of the old Windows Update websites from different eras (the Windows 9x and XP ones mainly), and we think it's funnier to use a website rather than an autopatcher with command lines to update your old computer.

What are you looking for to restore the old Windows Update websites?

Windows Update inventories. We are looking for the contents of the WindowsUpdate folder (located in C:\Program Files\) from old Windows 9x/Me/2000 computers with original Windows Update files on them. The inventory files are:
 - .INV files
 - .BM files
 - .AS files
 - .GNG files
 - .DES files
 - .CIF files

The file extensions mentioned above are the ones used by the Windows Update v3.1 website. We are looking for every of them. If you have those files in the folder, please get in touch with us on our Discord server (left sidebar).

On the other hand, we need iuhist.xml (located in "C:\Program Files\WindowsUpdate\v4"), and even more importantly Windows Update.log (located in "C:\Windows\"). The file mentioned above are the ones used by the Windows Update v4 website. The first contains titles, descriptions and other details, while the second contains the download links for the updates.

Do we provide download links for the updates we host?

No. If you want to download the updates we host, you'll have to do it through the Windows Update websites. If you're using Windows 98, Me, 2000 or XP, the Windows Update Catalog may be an option of choice.

Are we providing updates for Windows Vista and newer ?

Not officially. Windows Update Restored v5 can provide you with Windows Vista and newer updates, but it is tricky to get to work, and requires huge system modifications. We recommend you the Legacy Update project for that.

How do we pay the server costs ?

Not from ads or traffic. The server costs and domain names are generously paid by a donator member (millennium_tech). Even though someone pays our server, we do not make any money of the service. Read the Privacy Policy and Legal information, or contact WULover for further information.