How to know whether a fix can be applied to Vista or Server 2008

Hi Everyone,


Since several comments is left to ask how to know whether a fix can be applied to Windows Vista or Server 2008, a blog is post here to help finding identify information about that. 

For Windows XP Professional x64 XP or Windows Server 2003, whether a fix can be applied into it is judged from the name of the fix. But it’s not so obvious for Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008. The information to judge it is including in a .txt file expending from the .msu files of this fix.  Following is the steps to get this information.

For example, hotfix 955991 is downloaded.  Suppose that the Windows6.0-KB 955991-x86.msu file is put under folder C:\ 955991. Firstly type the following command at a command prompt to expand the .msu file to a temporary folder:

     expand -f:* "C:\ 955991\Windows6.0-KB 955991-x86.msu" %TEMP%

Then you can get following contents from file TEMP:

·         Windows Update metadata

                This metadata describes each update package that the .msu file contains.

·         One or more .cab files
Each .cab file represents one update.

·         An .xml file
This .xmL file describes the .msu update package.

·         A properties file
This file contains string properties we use to identify
whether this fix can be applied to Vista or Server 2008.

Open the properties file under the TEMP folder - Windows6.0-KB955991-x86-pkgProperties.txt. There is a string property named ApplicabilityInfo. This property tells that which windows 6.0 systems the hotfix can be applied to. As to hotfix 955991, it can be applied to both Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008.


ApplicabilityInfo="Windows Vista SP1; Windows Server 2008;" /*This property tells to which systems hotfix 955991 can be applied to.*/

Applies to="Windows 6.0"

Build Date="2008/08/01"

Company="Microsoft Corporation"

File Version="1"

Installation Type="FULL"

Installer Engine="Component Based Servicing - WUSA.exe"

Installer Version=""

KB Article Number="955991"


Package Type="Hotfix"

Processor Architecture="x86"

Product Name="Windows 6.0"


In summary, determine whether a package can be applied to Vista or Windows Server 2008, the guidance would simply be:

      ·         Firstly, type the following command at a command prompt to expand the .msu file to a temporary folder:

            expand -f:* "…\Windows6.0-KBnnnnnn-x86.msu" %TEMP%

·         Open the file “Windows6.0-KBnnnnnn-x86-pkgProperties.txt” under TEMP directory and refer to the ApplicabilityInfo value in this file.



Content Team   


Comments (8)

  1. anony.muos says:

    Wow so so convenient, quick and intuitive. Why because MS made the decision to name all updates "Windows6.0-KBxxx….". Can’t this be changed beginning with Vista SP2?

  2. anony.muos says:

    Forgot to add: It’s one of the many many reasons the OS isn’t being well received.

  3. Healthborn says:

    As they share same parts of kernel code, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 often share the same fixes. That’s also why they are both defined as Windows 6.0 products. But they have different applications, which mean not all the windows 6.0 fixes can generally be applied to both of them.  

  4. André says:

    What about fixes without that line? The IE8 doesn’t have this line but installs fine on Vista/Server 2008.

    And how can we force the wusa or pkgmgr to only install the Sp1 files on a Vista Sp1/Server 2008 which can’t uninstall the Sp1 (integrated Sp1 ISOs), so the RTM updates (16xxx, 20xxx) are useless?

  5. Healthborn says:

    The IE fix is a little different from the platform fix. Therefore, IE fix depends on the individual fix information.

    For the second concern, I think the wusa or pkgmgr will only install the SP1 file on a Vista SP1/Sever 2008 box (but it is not confirmed). 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    183 Microsoft Team blogs searched, 87 blogs have new articles in the past 7 days. 205 new articles found

  7. André says:

    No, the WUSA also install the RTM updates on Sp1/Server 2008, which makes sense if you can uninstall Sp1. Because the Servicing Stack will use the newer 20xxx or 16xxx files if you uninstall the Sp1. This is a great feature. But if you use the SP1 integrated Images this is bad and costs a lot of HDD Space and makes the WinSxS folder grow.

  8. Subbu says:

    How to find when a hotfix was applied on windows?

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