If you find yourself waiting half an hour for an update such as Service Pack 2 for Windows XP to make the required backup before the installation process actually begins try using the /n switch with the update to indicate that you do not want files backed up. The last time I ran WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe /n I probably saved about 15 minutes. The trade of with using a switch such as /n is that uninstalling the backup now is totally out of question.
For other switches and version information visit the Command-line switches for Windows software update packages
The following lists the command-line switches that are supported by the Update.exe program:
/help – Displays command-line help
/passive – Unattended Setup mode. No user interaction is required, but installation status is displayed. If a restart is required at the end of Setup, a dialog box will be presented to the user with a timer warning that the computer will restart in 30 seconds.
/quiet – Quiet mode – same as unattended mode, but no status or error messages are displayed.
/norestart – Do not restart the computer when the installation is finished.
/warnrestart – Presents a dialog box with a timer warning the user that the computer will restart in x seconds. (Default is 30 sec). Intended for use with either /quiet or /passive switches.
/forcerestart – Restart the computer after installation and force other applications to close at shutdown without saving open files first.
/promptrestart – Presents a dialog box to prompt user to restart if required. Intended for use with /quiet.
/forceappsclose – Forces other programs to close when the computer shuts down.
/nobackup – Do not back up files for uninstall.
/overwriteoem – Overwrite OEM files without prompting.
/integrate:path – Integrates the software updates into the Windows installation source files located at the path specified. Note that :path refers to the folder that contains the i386 folder.
/log:path – Allows user to specify where to create the log file.
/ER – Enable extended error reporting.
/verbose – Enable verbose logging. Creates %Windir%\CabBuild.log upon install that details files to be copied. Using this switch may cause the installation to occur much slower.
/d:path – Specifies a backup directory for Windows Service Pack installation. :path indicates the destination folder for the backup files. The default backup location is %Systemdrive%\$ntservicepackuninstall$.
/extract[:path] – Extracts files without starting Setup. If “:path” is not included, you are prompted for the path of a destination folder to extract the files. If “:path” is used, the files are extracted to the specified destination folder.
/hotpatch:disable – Disables hotpatching functionality, and installs the cold patch only.
The following lists the command-line switches that are supported by the Hotfix.exe program:
/f – Force other programs to quit at shutdown
/l – List installed software updates
/m – Unattended mode
/n – Do not back up files for uninstallation
/q – Quiet mode – no user interaction required
/y – Perform uninstallation (must be used with /m or /q)
/z – Do not restart the computer after the installation