An independent project, Windows Update Restored, created for fans of retro computers, aims to make it easier to update older versions of Windows, including 95, 98 and NT 4.0. The site provides access to long-lost Windows Update pages that work with older versions of Windows and allow updating the OS.
Ultimately, the project team hopes to help those who install and upgrade Windows 95, NT 4.0, 98, Me, 2000, and XP systems these days. The fact is that older versions of Windows primarily relied on the work of the Windows Update web application, and not on the built-in update tools, as is the case now. And around mid-2011, Microsoft shut down the version of the site that could scan and update Windows 95 and 98.
Basically, the Windows Update Restored site is a slightly modified version of the original Microsoft site, that is, a clone of the Windows Update v3.1 (1997) site that covers Windows 95, NT 4.0, and Windows 98 (and SE). The site does not use SSL or TLS, so older versions of Internet Explorer can still access it.
Let me remind you, by the way, that the media wrote that the Windows XP source code was leaked to the network, and we reported that Windows XP activation was recently hacked, and also that Microsoft support sometimes uses cracks to hack Windows on a client’s machine if there are problems activating a genuine copy of the operating system.
You will need at least Internet Explorer 5 to access the updates. Because this browser can no longer be downloaded directly from Microsoft, the Windows Update Restored site offers download links for IE5 and IE5.5 in all supported languages.
The people behind this project warn visitors that Windows Update Restored is not an official project and is not supported by Microsoft, nor are the update pages to which the resource links. The developers write that you can use all this only at your own peril and risk, and also emphasize that the update pages are “for archival purposes only.”
It should also be noted that a working version of Windows Update does not make older operating systems safe and usable on the modern Internet. Let me remind you that updates for Windows 95 were discontinued in 2001, and Windows 98 and ME stopped receiving updates in 2006.
However, the following video clearly demonstrates that the site really works and allows upgrading older OS. The video begins with the Windows 95 update (the critical update package for this OS was only 3.1 MB, the security update was only 124 KB, and the largest download was DirectX 8a, recommended but optional, 11.2 MB in size), and continues with the update Windows NT4 up to Service Pack 6a and Windows 98 SE which receives many important and optional service packs.
In the compatibility table below, the authors of the project have collected the addresses of the sites (left column) that Internet Explorer must point to on the respective operating systems in order to access the cloned Windows Update Restored pages. For example, Windows 95, NT 4.0, and Windows 98 (and SE) can be updated at v3.windowsupdaterestored.com.
The Windows Update pages for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and newer are still under development. Their release dates are being revealed, but you can follow this thread on the MSFN forums for updates. Windows Me and Windows 2000 are also not yet supported, but the video mentions the launch of support for these operating systems in the “near future”.
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