Why can't I view the content of a downloaded Windows product update package?

A. Many third-party applications (e.g., WinZip) let you open and view the contents of Windows product update packages. However, one type of update package, called an Intra-Package Deltas-aware (IPD-aware) package, compresses the files to binary deltas (i.e., the _p files that you see when you view the package in WinZip). When you execute the update package, the binary deltas recreate the files. However, when you view the update package using a third-party application, you'll see only the binary deltas.

To view the contents of the update package, you must use the -x switch to extract the files. For example, typing

WindowsXP-KB824146-x86-ENU.exe -x:d:\temp\package

at the command prompt extracts the files to the d:\temp\package folder. If you just use the -x switch without specifying a path, the system will prompt you to provide a location to which you want to extract the files.

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