I’m leaving this here so I can find it again easily.

We had a problem updating the Visual Studio 2019 Build Tools on a server, after updating an already existing offline layout.

I won’t go into that here, because it’s covered extensively on Microsoft’s Documentation website.

The installation kept failing, even when using --noweb. It turns out that when your server is completely cut off from the internet, as was the case here, you also need to pass --noUpdateInstaller.

This is because (so it would seem) that even though --noweb correctly tells the installer to use the offline cache, it doesn’t prevent the installer from trying to update itself, which will obviously fail in a totally disconnected environment.