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How to Open and Extract .MSU Windows Update Files

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Starting from Windows Vista, Microsoft is delivering Windows updates as well as Security updates,  patches and hotfixes as .MSU files.  MSU stand for Microsoft Update Standalone Package and it is nothing else than a file associated with the Windows Update Stand-alone Installer.  Usually, an .MSU file contains Windows Update metadata describing what the package contains, .cab files, an .XMl file meant to describe what the .MSU update package is about and a  property file that contains string properties that Wusa.exe uses. This guide will show you how to open, unpack and extract any .MSU file in order to use its content  as part of an update, for example, in Windows Images and DVDs.

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Search field (if you are using Windows 7) or in the Run field (if you are using Windows Vista), type: cmd
  3. Right-click the Command Prompt icon and from the menu, click “Run as Administrator…”.
  4. In the black Command Prompt window, type: expand –f:* <file.msu> <type here the folder where you want the unpacked content to be sent>
  5. Here is an example: expand –f:* Windows5.4-KB176689-x64.msu C:UpdateFolder
  6. After you have extracted and opened the package, you can install it typing the following command: pkgmgr.exe /n:C:ExtractedMsuWindows5.4-KB176689-x64.XML (make sure the package comes with the .XMl file!)