Anyone building legacy hardware is familiar with the issue: Install Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista or Windows 2000 and all the updates to patch it (best as one can) don’t download as Microsoft disabled the Windows Update for those operating systems.
Adam Demasi has solved this issue by creating Legacy Update.
Since Windows XP was discontinued in 2014, followed by Windows 7 in 2020, Microsoft’s support for their earlier OSes has significantly dwindled. As XP and earlier don’t officially support modern security improvements, such as the SHA256 hash algorithm required by modern SSL and Authenticode certificates as of 2019, much of the internet has become inaccessible to these devices. Adding insult to injury, Microsoft actively removed many downloads for XP and earlier versions in 2020. In effect, working with these OSes is now incredibly difficult.
To address this, Legacy Update hosts a patched instance of the Windows Update website. This works because the original Windows Update website simply accesses an ActiveX control that connects to the Windows Update service running on your computer.
Note: The existence of this project shouldn’t be taken as an endorsement to continue using unsupported OSes. You should stick to a supported OS such as Windows 10 or 11 (or, try Linux?!). However, this service exists anyway in recognition that using these OSes is sometimes necessary to run legacy hardware/software, or just interesting to play around with.