I'm getting tired of constantly downloading and installing hotfixes for Windows XP—particularly because I must install them on multiple machines. Is there some way to simplify the installation?

The easiest way is to use a batch file that processes the updates line by line. The key is to script each process to be unattended and not to require a reboot.

First, create a share on a server that everyone can access. You can easily accomplish this task by opening a command line on a server and typing

mkdir <drive>\hotfix

Give all users access to this folder, and copy all necessary hotfixes to it. Then, on each machine that needs to be updated, run the following batch file:

@echo off
setlocal
set PATHTOFIXES=<drive<i>></i>:\hotfix
%PATHTOFIXES%\<WindowsXPhotfix1.exe> /Z /Q
%PATHTOFIXES%\<WindowsXPhotfix2.exe> /Z /Q

In this batch file, drive:\hotfix is the path to the shared folder containing the hotfixes and WindowsXPhotfix1.exe and WindowsXPhotfix2.exe are the names of the first and second hotfix files that you want to apply (add additional lines to install additional hotfix files). The /Z switch causes the system to skip the reboot, and the /Q switch causes the hotfixes to be installed in quiet mode (i.e., without requiring user input).

If you want, you can remove the /Z switch from the last line; doing so will cause the machine to reboot. If you do so, just make certain that all applications and open documents are closed before running the script.