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Windows 98 > Troubleshooting Windows 98

Windows Update - Save to Disk

By: Arie Slob

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How to reinstall the Windows 98 updates downloaded from the Windows Update Page. By Tom Porterfield -

Microsoft gave in to numerous complaints from advanced & corporate users and finally made the Windows 98 updates available "the old way".

According to Microsoft: "If you are a corporate IT Manager and would like to download Windows 98 Updates for installation at a later time or on a different machine, use the Windows 98 Updates for Corporate IT Managers site. This site is designed for Advanced Users who are familiar with the Windows Registry and know how to roll back to previous versions of software."

So if you have want to save the downloads for later use, just head over to the new download site.

As you know, when you download an update from the Windows update page, it installs automatically after the file has finished downloading. But what if you want to install that same update on another PC. Or what if you want to save the files that were downloaded so that you can reinstall them later if need be without having to download them all over again. This can be done with a little planning.

Before you go to Windows update, empty your Internet cache folders.

Right click on the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop and choose Properties. You can also get there by running IE and clicking on View > Internet Options. On the General tab under Temporary Internet Files, hit the Delete Files button. This will make it easier to identify and copy out the files that get downloaded from the update site.

Now, go to the Windows update site and download the updates that you want. During the download, watch the Temporary Internet Files folder. You should be able to tell which files it is downloading to do the updates. They are *.cab files or *.exe files. Once the files have downloaded, copy them to a directory for storage. If you can't find them in the Temporary Internet Files folder, do a search for an msdownload.tmp directory on your PC after they have finished downloading, you may find them there.

The Windows Update will automatically install the files once they are finished downloading. However, reinstalling them is not as automatic is it should be, but we'll find a way around that as well.

For the *.exe files, it is easy to reinstall this update. Simply double (or single) click on the exe file and it will reinstall. For the *.cab files, there is a little more to it. To start with, you will need to extract the contents of the cab file to a temporary directory.

Since cabview is built into Windows 98, this requires nothing more than double (or single) clicking on the cab file, selecting all of the contents, and choose Extract from the File menu. Extract them to a temporary folder.

One of the files that gets extracted is a *.inf (setup information) file. The usual procedure is to right click on the file and choose Install. This won't work on some of the files downloaded from the update page. They are a new type if inf file that we will call an "advanced inf file." These require a little more to install. After digging through some of the dll's on my machine, I found this command will work to install:

RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection <inf file(required)>,
<inf section
(line wrapped for better readability)

So, to install the advanced inf files, you will need to run this command from a MS-DOS window, supplying the name of the inf file as the first parameter, the second parameter is not needed.

Now for the way to automate this. You can create a simple batch file that will extract the contents of the cab files and install the updates using the inf files. To do this, first copy the *.cab files to a temporary directory. Next, use notepad to create the batch file and copy and paste these two line into the file:

for %%1 in (*.cab) do extract %%1 /E
for %%2 in (*.inf) do RunDll32 advpack.dll,LaunchINFSection %%2

Run the batch file in the temporary folder containing the *.cab files and it will first extract everything from the cab file and then install the update using the advanced inf file. You can use this to either reinstall the updates if you ever need to reinstall 98, or to copy the downloaded updates to another machine and install them there without having to re-download the updates.