Among the many numerous modifications that Home windows 10 dropped at desktop environments, maybe none has been as profound as its modifications to fundamental replace mechanisms. Launched in 2016, Microsoft’s Unified Replace Platform (UUP) applies to the Home windows Replace service that delivers Home windows updates, together with by way of Home windows Replace for Enterprise (WUB), Home windows Server Replace Companies (WSUS), and Microsoft Configuration Supervisor (ConfigMgr), in addition to for Home windows 10 and 11 cases that use the built-in Home windows Replace facility.
Thus, UUP is price digging into, as a result of understanding it reveals how Home windows updates work, the place they’ll go fallacious, and easy methods to repair them.
The Unified Replace Platform is a technique for delivering updates to all gadgets that run Home windows-based OSes — PCs, tablets, servers, IoT gadgets, and extra — from a single replace platform. It covers the whole lot from month-to-month high quality updates to annual characteristic updates to Home windows Insider preview builds.
The impetus for UUP got here from consumer suggestions about how Home windows Replace would profit from decreasing consumption of native processing assets to enhance battery life, and for obtain sizes to be smaller to finish extra rapidly and eat much less bandwidth. Thus, UUP is greatest understood as a method designed to restrict the dimensions of particular person downloads. (UUP does many, many small downloads because it runs.)
To perform this, Home windows Replace scans your PC’s element retailer and packages up solely these replace information that should be utilized to your system. As an alternative of downloading the identical monolithic obtain file to each machine, it downloads solely these information for the goal system for which updates can be found.
The UUP structure defined
Microsoft Study gives loads of documentation about UUP. “Get began with Home windows Replace” specifically is a terrific supply. It describes how UUP works to allow Home windows shoppers to search out, obtain, set up, or roll again Home windows updates. The structure diagram from that article helps put its items and components into perspective, as proven in Determine 1.
The way in which to learn this diagram is to see it as three columns (although all of the improve and replace parts are shared, besides on the backside). Column 1 names numerous parts within the UUP structure. Column 2 specifies parts associated to consumer upgrades for Home windows; Column 3 does likewise for consumer updates.
(For the report, an improve entails a change within the main digits of a Home windows construct quantity, whereas an replace entails a change within the trailing digits of a Home windows construct quantity. For instance, all Home windows 11 21H1 builds take the shape 22000.xxxx, whereas all Home windows 11 22H2 builds are numbered 22621.xxxx — thus, when Microsoft releases a brand new model of the OS every fall, that’s an improve. Alternatively, the March 2023 cumulative replace for Home windows 11 22H2 took it from Construct 22621.1344 to Construct 22621.1413 — that’s an replace.)
I’ll march via the diagram by UUP parts from the highest down, discussing associated consumer improve and replace parts as wanted:
- Consumer Expertise: Employs the Home windows Replace consumer interface that’s principally equivalent in Home windows 10 and Home windows 11. For customers who get their updates from Home windows Replace servers on the web, this can be accessed in Home windows 10 by way of Settings > Replace & Safety > Home windows Replace or in Home windows 11 by way of Settings > Home windows Replace. It gives entry to replace examine and historical past capabilities.
- Replace Scheduling: Makes use of the Replace Session Orchestrator (USO), a Home windows element that handles (orchestrates) downloading, then putting in all types of updates from the Home windows Replace service. Replace sorts embody characteristic updates (upgrades), OS safety updates and cumulative updates (CUs), machine drivers, .NET frameworks, and Defender definition updates. Sometimes, Microsoft additionally mentions “high quality updates” — that is merely a grab-bag time period for a number of the previous gadgets as delivered month-to-month, usually on the second Tuesday each month (previously often called “Patch Tuesday,” now normally known as “Replace Tuesday”).
- Verify for Updates and Downloads: The Home windows Replace Shopper, a.okay.a. UpdateAgent, runs as a dynamic hyperlink library (DLL). It’s downloaded to a Home windows machine when an replace is discovered. It gives entry to software programming interfaces (APIs) to carry out an replace, reminiscent of producing an inventory of payloads to obtain, actions to take, and replace staging and commit operations. (The latter permits updates to roll again in the event that they fail, and roll ahead/commit in the event that they succeed.) We’ll see this consumer at work in an auto-generated UUP script from UUPdump.internet later on this story.
- Set up Handler: Often known as the Home windows Replace Arbiter, this code is included within the UpdateAgent DLL through the replace course of. It gathers details about its host Home windows machine and reads element databases (XML information known as CompDBs) to output an motion record for relevant replace parts. It additionally determines which payloads will deliver a tool updated. These might be compressed binary information (ESD, for digital software program obtain, used to retailer encrypted Home windows Imaging Format or WIM information) or Home windows packages (normally .MSIX, used to bundle all information wanted for apps or functions arrange for quite a lot of deployment sorts).
- Deployment Supervisor: Software program that sees to the replace set up and integration. A default supervisor comes with Home windows Replace providers; different managers include the deployment atmosphere for individuals who use WSUS, Intune, Autopilot, and so forth.
- Installer: Updates typically are available packaged type, put in via a via a package deal supervisor. (Winget is a built-in PowerShell package deal supervisor for Home windows 10 and 11.) Microsoft’s UUP structure diagram makes particular reference to element based mostly servicing (CBS) for updates. CBS gives sturdy, safe set up for Home windows 10 and 11 (way back to Vista, truly). It makes use of the Trusted Installer to deal with packages and updates, and writes the CBS.log file typically used to troubleshoot updates and upgrades. Upgrades (characteristic updates that additionally are available mountable ISO information from Microsoft) work via a separate improve engine included inside setup.exe (or inside the runtime for standalone installers like these on bootable media).
Suffice it to say that updates basically, and upgrades specifically, contain downloading quite a few parts. As soon as native, parts are transformed into particular codecs that put all items that the replace or improve wants collectively. This consists of particular person parts, actions, conditional processing for errors or delays, and extra.
To indicate and clarify extra about UUP’s workings and capabilities, we’ll study a pattern script from the UUP Dump web site, which makes use of UUP to construct practically each Home windows ISO Microsoft has ever outlined for Home windows 10 and 11. (An ISO is a disk picture for a set of information that matches what can be written when creating an optical disc, sector-by-sector. Although optical discs are passe, this format is broadly used to retailer picture information of all types, together with Home windows photos.)
Introducing UUP Dump
The tagline for this web site reads “Obtain UUP information from Home windows Replace servers with ease.” And that’s precisely what it does (and the way it works) to allow customers to create ISO information for Home windows 11 (Canary, Dev, Beta, and Insider Preview channels and manufacturing releases for 22H2 and 21H2), Home windows 10 (22H2, 21H2, and 1809), and Home windows Server (21H2 and 22H2).
UUP Dump maintains scripts to obtain and construct custom-made and slipstreamed Home windows photos for all Home windows updates and upgrades, utilizing solely Microsoft servers and scripting instructions gleaned from the Home windows Replace service. It’s an extremely helpful device for IT admins who work with Home windows picture creation and customization, significantly for automated deployment in massive to enterprise-scale companies.
The positioning’s dwelling web page gives hyperlinks to the releases proven in Determine 2.
On the backside of the determine, you see numerous not too long ago launched updates for (high to backside): Home windows Server 2019, Home windows 10 20H2, and Home windows 11 22H2.
When you click on on the x64 button to the suitable of “Newest Public Launch construct,” you’ll get the Home windows 11 selections proven in Determine 3.
The highest merchandise is Home windows 11 22H2 Construct 22621.1185 — it’s what you get in the event you obtain Home windows 11 22H2 from Microsoft’s Home windows 11 obtain web page. The underside merchandise is the newest model of Home windows 11 22H2, or Construct 22621.1413. When you set up the latter, you’ll have to use the KB4023057 replace to catch as much as the previous.
For the needs of a less complicated illustration, let’s click on on the decrease merchandise. This opens a sequence of home windows wherein one picks the language (English), the version (Home windows Professional solely: single checkbox), after which a obtain choice (we’ll instruct the script generator to obtain and convert the UUP file set to an ISO, as proven in Determine 4).
Whenever you click on the button to create a obtain package deal, this builds and sends a ZIP file to your PC. It’s named:
Cautious inspection reveals this to be a self-documenting identify with the construct quantity (main and minor: 22621.1413), structure (amd64), language (en-us: US English), Home windows model (Skilled), a novel identifier, and convert to ISO (convert). In brief, the identify of the ZIP file tells you what’s inside and what the script file will do with its contents.
Run the script to construct the ISO, utilizing UUP
One of the best ways to make use of the ZIP file is to unzip it right into a listing of its personal. I normally identify that listing to match the construct quantity, so let’s name it 22621.1413. Determine 5 depicts the contents of the ZIP file in such a listing on my M: drive. A quick, solid-state drive like this one is very really useful for operating the script that downloads the information and builds the ISOs: there’s lots of knowledge concerned (greater than 11GB upon completion), and lots of processing, too. A sooner drive will make a distinction!
The underside file is highlighted as a result of it’s the Home windows batch file (.cmd) that performs the required actions in an administrative command immediate session. Whenever you open such a window, change the main focus to the drive and listing the place you’ve stashed the unzipped information, and you may run that script.
Determine 6 reveals these particulars. I launched an administrative Terminal session, opened a command immediate tab, and switched to the M: drive after which the 22621.1413 folder. Then I lower and pasted the listing outcomes to name the command script.
This fires off a prolonged sequence of actions that entails a whole lot of information, that are checked, downloaded, and validated to maneuver the UUPs to the consumer PC. When this course of is full (a program named Aria2 supplied from UUP Dump does all of the heavy lifting), the display screen will flip blue. The downloads are finished, and the ISO conversion course of is now underway. The downloads themselves eat round 6GB of disk house. At its peak (simply earlier than non permanent information are deleted routinely), over 12GB of disk house is consumed. As soon as the ISO is constructed, the ultimate measurement of that listing is 11.2GB.
I gained’t take you thru what this script does step-by-step. There’s an ElevenForum tutorial that does this in some element: courtesy of Kari the Finn, my former companion at Win10.Guru, it’s known as UUP Dump – Obtain Home windows Insider ISO and works for all Home windows 10 and 11 ISOs. The tutorial walks via all phases of the script and explains the information that get downloaded in addition to the assorted packages and picture information that get created and modified as UUP Dump builds an ISO file. Please be aware: it takes a while for this script to run to completion (my most up-to-date run-through took 99 minutes).
Determine 7 reveals the ensuing information in the identical listing depicted in Determine 5. The top outcome seems within the type of an ISO file named:
You should use this ISO file to put in or restore Home windows 11 from a operating Home windows set up. (You should mount it as a digital optical drive first.) Or you need to use it to construct bootable media from which you’ll set up Home windows 11 instantly. What’s helpful about UUP Dump is that you need to use it to create an ISO for any particular model of Home windows 10 or 11 on demand. It’s an incredible device for admins, fans, and Home windows professionals. To see all UUPs that the script downloaded, study the contents of the UUPs listing proven above (90 gadgets in all, 5.44GB).
Enduring advantages of UUP
Microsoft continues to enhance UUP and develop its attain. On Valentine’s Day 2023, Microsoft introduced it was including .NET Framework updates to the panoply of replace sorts that UUP can deal with in Home windows 11 22H2. One huge benefit for this switchover might be no extra reboots required as .NET Framework updates get utilized. (This doesn’t apply to Home windows 10, alas.)
UUP is the inspiration upon which Microsoft’s present and deliberate Home windows replace dealing with rests. It gives a protected, compact solution to get updates and upgrades the place they should go, securely and robustly. Not coincidentally, UUP Dump additionally gives one of the simplest ways to use UUP’s strengths. When you’re within the platform, you must discover this web site extremely helpful as nicely.
This text was initially printed in March 2017 and up to date in March 2023.
Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.