Patchmate XP, and its Windows Server 2003 counterpart Patchmate 2003, are ISO images that contain all Windows XP updates (Windows Server 2003 Updates) that have been released by Microsoft.
The developer adds new Windows XP updates to the ISO image on a monthly basis so that it will always include the latest patches issues by Microsoft (but requires a new download to get those).
There are several situations where an ISO image with all Windows XP updates might come in handy.
It is for instance possible to install Windows XP updates to a computer system prior to going online with the system. Another reason is easier distribution; think of multiple computers in a computer network. Instead of downloading and installing the Windows XP updates multiple times (once for every computer system) they could be downloaded once in form of the PatchMate XP iso and applied to all computer systems.
Note: Support for Windows XP has ended. This means that the distribution is no longer provided as well.
The download and installation is also faster. Users who downloaded and installed updates from Windows Update in the past have most likely noticed how slow the downloads and updates would be commenced even on modern computer systems with broadband connections.
Patchmate XP can be downloaded as an ISO image from the developer's website. It can then be burned to CD or DVD to be executed right from within the Windows XP operating system. The user interaction has been reduced to a minimum.
Patchmate XP will detect the Windows XP Service Pack that is installed on the PC, and install the Windows XP updates based on the detection. Only post service Pack 3 updates would for example be installed on a computer system running Windows XP Service Pack 3.
The patches will be installed even if they are already present on the computer system which is not the most optimal thing as it may prolong the overall installation of the updates. A restart is required at the end of the update.
PatchMate XP speeds up patching of Windows XP systems. One downside is that you will have to download updated ISO images whenever new patches get released to have them included.
An option to exclude updates from being applied would be helpful to cope with scenarios where updates cause problems on a computer system. Another useful feature would be the creation of a system restore point prior to installing the Windows XP updates.
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