WindizUpdate is a pretty cool site. A NZ company called 62NDS Solutions has created a site that allows people who are running Microsoft Windows software that is no longer supported by the official Microsoft update website.
So if you hate IE and run Firefox, or Mozilla or Netscape or Opera, you can still get your system scanned for updates, and easily install them. If you run an older, officially unsupported version of Windows like 95, or soon 98, ME, or even windows 2000, you might not be able to use the Microsoft site. Another reason to use this site might be if your software doesn’t stand up to WGA checks.
Another cool alternative to redownloading everything from microsoft every time you install or reinstall windows on a PC is autopatcher.
From the autopatcher website:
AutoPatcher is a comprehensive collection of patches, addons and registry tweaks that give you peace of mind in the knowledge that your Windows system is up to date, even before you connect it to the Internet. It’s designed to quickly patch a system with the most current updates and tweaks available, and requires no user interaction once you have selected what to install.
The full April 2006 version for Windows XP is 226MB – but there is also 150MB lite version, and monthly updates are minimal (for broadband users at least). I can see a relatively smooth reinstall process – a slipstreamed WinXP SP2 disk and a CD-R (or USB stick) with the Full version of Autopatcher on it.
A similar GPL option is Daisy, but I haven’t tried it yet.