Windows

Build Your Skills: Chain Windows hot fixes for installation without multiple restarts

Use the Windows 2000 Resource Kit tool, QChain.exe, to install hot fixes with a single restart.

Installing Windows 2000 on multiple systems and keeping those systems up to date can be a real chore. You could allow users to run Windows Update to update their systems, but that’s generally not the best solution because you have no control over which updates they install. The result could be a lot of add-on software or fixes that they just don’t need. One case in point is MSN Messenger, which sucks up a lot of bandwidth with excessive Universal Plug and Play (UpnP) traffic on the network.

A better approach is to download hot fixes and updates from Microsoft’s Web site and apply them as needed to provide consistency across the enterprise. A potential downside is that hot fixes generally require a restart, which can be a pain if you need to install several. A good solution is to use the Windows 2000 Resource Kit tool QChain.exe to install the hot fixes. QChain lets you install multiple hot fixes with a single restart.

Using QChain
To use QChain, first run the hot fix installer using the -z and -m switches. According to Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q296861, the hot fix installer will be either the self-extracting package program file (Qnnnnnn_w2k_spx_x86_en.exe) or Hotfix.exe (if you've extracted all the files from the package.

The command line would look like this:
Qnnnnnn_w2k_spx_x86_en.exe –z –m

Or it will look like this:
hotfix.exe -z –m

The -z switch suppresses the restart, and -m (which is optional) runs the update in quiet mode.

After you’ve installed all hot fixes, run QChain.exe, and then restart the computer. You can incorporate the updates and QChain in a batch file and run it as a shutdown script through group policy, if you want to automate the updates. Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q296861 provides the following sample batch file, which demonstrates this method:
@echo off
setlocal
set PATHTOFIXES=some path

%PATHTOFIXES%\Q123456_w2k_sp2_x86.exe -z -m
%PATHTOFIXES%\Q123321_w2k_sp2_x86.exe -z -m
%PATHTOFIXES%\Q123789_w2k_sp2_x86.exe -z -m
%PATHTOFIXES%\qchain.exe


Microsoft has included QChain functionality in all Windows 2000 hot fix releases since May 18, 2001. If you don’t have the Resource Kit, you can download QChain from Microsoft’s Download Center.
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