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Windows Update does not work


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#1 Dexterous

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Posted 18 January 2016 - 07:47 PM

I've got an old Sony Vaio laptop with Vista Home Premium 32-bit operating system. I had not been using it much through December and was lazy in updating it. On Jan 10, I downloaded and installed several updates and then some more on Jan 12. Some of the updates available failed. I restarted the laptop to finish installation of those that were successful. After that, however, Windows Update just hangs during the "check for updates" stage. I installed another couple of updates manually from the Windows support website but found that some with the .msi extention (Microsoft standalone installer) does not work either.

On the Installed Updates page of the Control Panel, it states that service pack 3 was installed but on the System and Maintenance page, it still says I'm at Service Pack 2.

I tried MicrosoftFixit50202.msi and MicrosoftFixit.wu.run.exe from Microsoft support website to repair Windows Update. Both reported that the problem was not fixed. This also had the effect of erasing my update history so that I cannot view which updates are still required.

I've run full system scans with Norton Internet Security, Mbam and Superantispyware. All were clear, although Superantispyware did detect and remove 163 tracking cookies that the other two did not report. Also, Mbam took about twice as long as usual to run the full scan.
I've also run Windows Checkdisk for disk errors and bad sectors but it reported that there were no errors.

I tried to use system restore to go back to the time before the problem developed on jan 12. This did not fix the problem either. I have since tried three times to undo the system restore but the undo restore does not complete successfully. After all these restore attempts, earlier restore points are no longer listed. I assume they were overwritten. It seems I am stuck at the point in time after Jan 10 updates and before the Jan 12 updates.

I really do not know where to go from here and am a little worried that I picked up a virus during the time I didn't update. Any help would be appreciated.

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#2 lmacri

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 11:27 PM

After that, however, Windows Update just hangs during the "check for updates" stage. I installed another couple of updates manually from the Windows support website but found that some with the .msi extention (Microsoft standalone installer) does not work either.

 

Hi Dexterous:

 

Many Vista users, including myself, have seen Windows Update appear to hang at the "Checking for updates..." phase for the past few months - see my post in ScousaJAY's thread windows update just seems to hang while checking in the VistaForums for one example.  The problem seems to be more prevalent on machines with limited amounts of RAM and/or slow CPUs and the only solution I know of at the moment is to simply wait for 40 to 50 min to allow "Checking for updates..." to run to completion and present a list of available updates.

 

I've got an old Sony Vaio laptop with Vista Home Premium 32-bit operating system....On the Installed Updates page of the Control Panel, it states that service pack 3 was installed but on the System and Maintenance page, it still says I'm at Service Pack 2.

 

There is a Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Win XP, but Service Pack 2 (SP2) is the latest available service pack for for 32-bit Vista.  Could you please confirm that you are seeing a Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Vista in your Control Panel | Programs and Features?  It's possible that some of the updates you manually downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center are not applicable for your Vista OS.

 

I've run full system scans with Norton Internet Security, Mbam and Superantispyware.

I tried to use system restore to go back to the time before the problem developed on jan 12. This did not fix the problem either. I have since tried three times to undo the system restore but the undo restore does not complete successfully.

 

Did you temporarily disable Norton Product Tamper Protection (NPTP) before attempting your System Restore? From the NIS 2014 support article Message: "Restoration Incomplete" or "System Restore did not complete successfully..." when I run Windows System Restore with a Norton product installed:

 

"This problem can happen due to a security feature in your Norton product that prevents outside programs from making changes to the Norton product. This security feature can prevent Windows System Restore from changing Norton files, which results in the "Restoration Incomplete" message.

 

To fix this problem, temporarily turn off the Norton Product Tamper Protection before you run Windows System Restore."

 

I assume that you would also have to temporarily disable Norton Product Tamper Protection (found at Settings | General | Product Security | Norton Product Tamper Protection on my NIS v21 product) before trying to Undo a System Restore.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v43.0.4 * NIS (2014) v21.7.0.11 * MBAM Premium v2.2.0
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550@1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Edited by lmacri, 21 January 2016 - 11:38 PM.


#3 Dexterous

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 03:53 AM

Hi Imacri, thanks for the reply

One thing I had not considered was a throttling issue. My Internet connection is through a WiFi Hotspot with my smartphone and from time to time my ISP does throttle me if my Data usage is high. I will try connecting to a secure high-speed WiFi in the near future and see if that makes a difference.

I had not considered disabling Norton tamper protection when performing System Restore, either. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

I can for certain say that there is no Service pack 3 installed. I took a screen capture of installed updates prior to trying to undo System Restore and turns out that was for Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack Service pack 3. Not Windows Vista Service Pack 3. My mistake.

A quick update: 2 nights ago, on Jan19, Windows Update popped up on the task bar showing new updates available. Unusual, I thought, as I was not connected to the Internet at the time. I had been connected about 20-25 minutes earlier. I selected the updates I deemed most important, Security updates for Windows and. Net framework. Total of 23 updates. I connected to the Internet and clicked download. After about 25mins and about 30% of 112MB downloaded, update stops and reports "some updates were not installed." All 23 updates failed.
Two error codes were reported.
800B0001
80072EFE

Tried downloading updates again but no luck. Just hanged again on Searching For Updates. Gave up after an hour and went to bed.

Now, though, when I check Programs and Features > Installed Updates, there is nothing listed. "No updates are installed on this computer" it says. All the previous updates installed prior to the System Restore point were listed there just two days ago. Why should they dissappear now?

Also weird: I'm seeing available security updates for Microsoft. NET Framework 4.5,4.5.1 and 4.5.2 on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 x86
Kb3037581 (published 14/04/2015)
This update should already be installed on my machine. As I kept updates up to date until nearly the end of November. This one's dated from April. I can't check if it is/was ever installed because nothing is listed in Programs and Features>Installed Updates. Could it have somehow gotten uninstalled? I have not uninstalled any updates myself.

#4 lmacri

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 02:10 PM

One thing I had not considered was a throttling issue. My Internet connection is through a WiFi Hotspot with my smartphone and from time to time my ISP does throttle me if my Data usage is high.

Hi Dexterous:

 

I'm not sure if Microsoft is deliberately throttling bandwidth on their update servers to give a higher priority to Win 10 users, but according to the post <here> by Microsoft Sysinternals forum moderator MagicAndre1981, both Vista and Win 7 users have recently experienced these slow Windows Updates .  Microsoft released a series of updates starting with KB3050265 (Windows Update Client for Windows 7) to fix this problem in Win 7, but they don't appear to be in any rush to release a similar patch for Vista users.

In future I'd suggest turning off automatic Windows Updates [Control Panel | Windows Update | Change settings | Important Updates | Never check for updates (not recommended)] and run a manual update a day or so after the Patch Tuesday updates are released on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.  I also turn on Silent Mode in Norton (right click the Norton icon in your system tray for a quick link) for one or two hours to temporarily suspend my idletime background tasks like Automatic LiveUpdates and QuickScans while my manual Windows Updates are running.  Silent Mode doesn't turn off Norton's real-time antivirus protection or Smart Firewall and ensures these background Norton tasks aren't hogging extra bandwidth.

 

I selected the updates I deemed most important, Security updates for Windows and. Net framework. Total of 23 updates. I connected to the Internet and clicked download. After about 25mins and about 30% of 112MB downloaded, update stops and reports "some updates were not installed." All 23 updates failed.  Two error codes were reported:  800B0001, 80072EFE

 

Also weird: I'm seeing available security updates for Microsoft. NET Framework 4.5,4.5.1 and 4.5.2 on Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 x86 Kb3037581 (published 14/04/2015)

I had some updates fail during my December 2015 Patch Tuesday Updates although I didn't see any error codes - just a message that "Updates were not configured correctly. Reverting changes. Please do not turn off your computer" while Windows Update was in its final configuration step during my system re-boot.  However, all failed updates installed successfully when I re-ran a manual Windows Update a few days later - see my comments in Nikilet's VistaForums thread Updates were not configured correctly.

You might also want to read antoniu200's December 2015 thread Windows Update stuck at Checking for Updates and can't install Updates manually in this forum, since it includes comments about .NET Framework updates.

 

Now, though, when I check Programs and Features > Installed Updates, there is nothing listed. "No updates are installed on this computer" it says. All the previous updates installed prior to the System Restore point were listed there just two days ago. Why should they dissappear now?

I don't know why Programs and Features | Installed Updates doesn't list any installed updates, but trying to perform a System Restore with Norton Product Tamper Protection still enabled can cause all sorts of anomalies.  Most antivirus programs have this same type of built-in tamper protection and Norton isn't the only AV software that can cause problems with System Restores.  Aborting in the middle of an unfinished Windows Update might have generated error messages.  Another plausible explanation is that running Microsoft FixIT 50202 reinstalled all your Windows Update components and re-created your inventory of Windows updates in a new C:\Windows\Software Distribution folder.

If you continue seeing error messages with Windows Update or Windows starts behaving erratically, I'd suggest running the built-in System File Checker (SFC) tool from an elevated command prompt (i.e.,with Administrator rights) to check the integrity of your Vista OS - see instructions in the MS support article KB929833 - Use the System File Checker tool to repair missing or corrupted system files.  The command sfc /verifyonly will diagnose the integrity of your system files but will not attempt a repair, while sfc /scannow will attempt to repair any damaged or missing system files.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v43.0.4 * NIS (2014) v21.7.0.11 * MBAM Premium v2.2.0
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550@1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Edited by lmacri, 22 January 2016 - 02:37 PM.


#5 Dexterous

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 03:32 PM

Thank you for all the advice
I ll be too busy to do much with this until after the weekend.
For now, I'll try undoing the system restore ( this time disabling Norton tamper protection) and letting Windows Update run awhile on a more reliable Internet connection.

#6 Dexterous

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 07:44 PM

A simple restart fixed the issue with Installed Updates not showing up in Programs & Features. I think it was likely just a glitch as it showed up after Explorer crashed and restarted last week.
System Restore was successful this time after disabling Norton Tamper protection. Norton showed an error, 3039,1. But Norton Autofix was successful in correcting it. Norton SONAR didn't work though until another restart. Norton doesn'treally like System Restore, I guess.
I went to my brothers house and used his high-speed internet to install updates. It still took all day, but I managed to download and install all remaining updates. Checking for Updates took about an hour and a half to complete. This time, I downloaded and installed updates in smaller batches, starting with the security patches. It took about half an hour to download each batch of six or seven updates.
But, anyway, it took a long time but it worked.
Thanks for your help and advice, Imacri. I really appreciate it.

#7 lmacri

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 10:20 PM

System Restore was successful this time after disabling Norton Tamper protection. Norton showed an error, 3039,1. But Norton Autofix was successful in correcting it. Norton SONAR didn't work though until another restart. Norton doesn't really like System Restore, I guess.

Hi Dexterous:

 

Thanks for the update, and glad to hear you're making progress with Windows Update.

 

It's not unusual for Norton to be corrupted by a System Restore - see revewd's thread Norton 360 doesn't work after system restore in the Norton forum for one example.  If Norton continues to behave erratically it might be necessary to refresh your Norton installation with the Norton Remove and Reinstall (NRnR) tool as instructed at www.norton.com/nrnr.  Note, however, that those instructions will reinstall the latest available version of your NIS product (currently v22.5.5.15), so if you prefer to use an older version of Norton just post in the Norton forum and someone there should be able to provide modified instructions.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v43.0.4 * NIS (2014) v21.7.0.11 * MBAM Premium v2.2.0
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550@1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS


Edited by lmacri, 25 January 2016 - 10:47 PM.





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