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Script reveals any patch installation issues

While you're busy with a particularly cantankerous patch installation, do you sometimes wish a genie would appear and tell you exactly where all the problems are hiding?

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This VBScript will parse the MSSECURE.xml file for every bulletin or patch that replaces files during installation. It will then dump the file information to a comma-delimited file (.CSV file) for importation into a spreadsheet.

Having access to this information can be extremely helpful when troubleshooting problems you may encounter during the installation of a patch or by verifying a patch has been installed.

All you have to do is make sure that the XML is in the same directory as the script, and then run it. It completes in about three minutes, and when it's done, the contents of the file will include the following information:

The ID (MS0x-xxx) of the bulletin that makes the file changes.

The QNumber of the bulletin that makes the file changes.

The affected product.

The following properties for each file that changed: File name, file date, file version and file size.

The script also contains code for the necessary ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) connection and record-set objects that you can use to insert this file information into a database table. All you have to do is uncomment the code and provide the server, database and table information.

However, note that the script retrieves every file for each bulletin that replaces files. You'll have to add code that checks the table for the existence of the bulletin before it's added -- unless you don't mind duplicate rows being added to the table every time it runs.

The script is available at my Web site: Serafine Software. Once there, click the "Free Downloads" link.

Mark Serafine works for a federal contract for Strategic Business Systems in Northern Virginia. Using Systems Management Server and internally developed tools, Serafine and his team oversee all patch management responsibilities at more than 200 SMS sites and for 50,000+ resources. He can be reached at

This tip originally appeared on

This was last published in August 2005

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