A recent community-based project has made headlines by providing access to the long-lost Windows Update pages, allowing users of classic Windows versions to update their operating systems. The Windows Update Restored site has brought hope to those nostalgic users still running Windows 95, NT 4.0, 98, Me, 2000, and XP. Although Microsoft does not officially back the project, it offers a functional solution for updating these vintage operating systems. However, users are cautioned to proceed at their own risk, as the site and its associated update pages are intended for archival purposes only.
Updating Windows 95: A Blast from the Past
A video demo walkthrough showcases the simplicity and speed of updating Windows 95 using the Windows Update Restored v3.1 site. Launching Internet Explorer (versions 5 and 5.5 are supported) allows users to easily navigate the site and click on the ‘Product Updates’ button. After acknowledging a ‘Security Warning,’ users are presented with a list of checkboxes indicating the available updates for their system. Surprisingly, these updates’ download sizes are significantly smaller than modern standards. Critical updates package: 3.1 MB, security update: 124 KB, and DirectX 8a: 11.2 MB. The updating process may require multiple visits to the update page and PC restarts.
Support for Other Classic Versions
In addition to Windows 95, the Windows Update Restored v3.1 site supports Windows NT4 and Windows 98 (including SE). The video demonstrates the ability to update Windows NT4 to Service Pack 6a and Windows 98 SE with critical and optional packages. While critical updates for these operating systems are currently available, some optional updates may not be linked at the time of writing. For instance, DirectX 8.1 cannot be downloaded and installed in Windows 95, even if selected on the update page.
Future Roadmap and Limitations
The Windows Update Restored team is actively working on expanding its services. Although no specific timeline has been provided, they aim to introduce support for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and even Windows Vista and newer versions. However, users must exercise patience or follow the project’s updates on the MSFN Forum to stay informed about the availability of these update pages. Windows Me and Windows 2000 are currently not covered, but the team hints at a forthcoming launch targeting support for these operating systems.
While Windows Update Restored offers an intriguing solution for updating legacy Windows versions, the project team emphasizes that it is not an officially endorsed method for maintaining older systems. We echo their sentiment and encourage users to consider more secure modern operating systems like Windows 10 and 11 and the latest versions of Linux for their browsing, connected tasks, gaming, and productivity needs.
In conclusion, the Windows Update Restored project has breathed new life into classic Windows versions by resurrecting the long-lost Windows Update pages. Users of Windows 95, NT 4.0, and 98 (including SE) can now easily update their operating systems through the Windows Update Restored v3.1 site. With the promise of future expansions and support for additional operating systems, this project serves as a fascinating endeavor for those with a penchant for nostalgia. However, it’s essential to recognize that modern, secure operating systems are the recommended choice for the majority of users in today’s digital landscape.