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What is going on with Windows Update?


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#1 Adam Pollard

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 04:56 AM

A couple of years ago, the time it took for a fresh install of Win7 to search for its updates was about an hour, followed by a few hours of actually installing them. Now I'm finding EVERY single pc I do fresh installs on take 24+ hours at the searching for updates stage. As a PC technician, this causes frustrating delays for my customers, who I previously offered a next day service to. Now, I'm finding, through no fault of my own, that I have to keep their machines for 3-4 days to get them updated. I can't give customers unpatched Win7 machines.

 

I've tried the Window standalone updater (or servicing stack updater)  (KB3020369) - and this also takes hours to do anything. This is on a freshly installed Win 7 sp1 on a new standard magnetic hard disk.

 

I am getting so P$$%ed of with Microsoft and its obfuscation of what it's doing, no progress indicators or dialogs of what it's doing, just days of waiting, might be 1 day, or 3.

 

The only other option I can think of is to set up a WSUS or SCCM server. Any suggestions?


Edited by Adam Pollard, 07 June 2016 - 04:57 AM.


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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 05:11 AM

Hi,

 

I can tell you that WSUS doesn't solve the problem, I think its because Microsoft changed the way the updates are delivered most likely due to Windows 10 changes...

 

In the tests we did at my work the Service stack updater + the Windows Update Rollup May 2016 helps allot saving time, after this only around 20 updates are missing. Make sure that during the Windows 7 install you choose to keep Windows Update Disabled and only enable the auto update after the Rollup install.


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#3 Aura

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 05:18 AM

In the tests we did at my work the Service stack updater + the Windows Update Rollup May 2016 helps allot saving time, after this only around 20 updates are missing. Make sure that during the Windows 7 install you choose to keep Windows Update Disabled and only enable the auto update after the Rollup install.


This. Just make sure you install Internet Explorer 11 and the latest .NET Framework (4.6.1) before installing the Rollup, so it can apply the updates for these as well when you install it. That Rollup also only take a few minutes to install despite its size (around 450MB I think).

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#4 SleepyDude

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 06:11 AM

This. Just make sure you install Internet Explorer 11 and the latest .NET Framework (4.6.1) before installing the Rollup, so it can apply the updates for these as well when you install it. That Rollup also only take a few minutes to install despite its size (around 450MB I think).

 

Exactly Aura, I forgot to mention it. I also install IE 11 and skip .Net Framework because only need them on some machines.


Edited by SleepyDude, 07 June 2016 - 06:11 AM.

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#5 Adam Pollard

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:42 AM

IE11 was already installed, in fact I had to install it in order to download the "service stack updater". Without the .net framework 4.6.1, the standalone installer just sat there "search for updates" - as soon as I had installed the .net framework, the installer started immediately.  For grud's sake MS, don't your tools that require .net check for the presence of .net and prompt to download it?  A fresh install of Windows 7sp1 is hardly a rare event, and they are supposed to be supporting it until 2020.

 

Thanks for the help guys :-)



#6 Aura

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 07:46 AM

You could always create a custom image which is an updated Windows 7 SP1 with IE11, .NET 4.6.1 and the Update Roll up and use it to reinstall Windows 7. Personally, this is what I would do ;)

No problem, you're welcome!

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#7 SleepyDude

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 10:07 AM

IE11 was already installed, in fact I had to install it in order to download the "service stack updater". Without the .net framework 4.6.1, the standalone installer just sat there "search for updates" - as soon as I had installed the .net framework, the installer started immediately.

 

I can't confirm this on my side, the Service Stack updater and the Update Rollup installed just fine without .Net framework installed.

 

I think the critical part is not to enable windows update because if Windows start looking for updates the standalone installers will get stuck looking for updates.


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#8 Willy22

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 12:08 PM

- I had the same problem when I did a fresh re-install of Win 7 SP 1 early last month and thought something was wrong with my system. Only after after a few days WU was able to find all the updates. I think MS changed the priority for who receives those updates first. I assume Win 10 users are receiving their updates first before anyone else.

- Good to hear/read that the "Convenience Roll Up" works well. Downloaded the "Roll Up" & the "Service Stack Update" and put them on a USB stick (for the next fresh re-install of Win 7 SP 1).

- MS also announced that somewhere this summer they will change the WU website code. Then a user won't need IE anymore (think: ActiveX) and users can use e.g. Chrome or Firefox to download the updates.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/05/17/simplifying-updates-for-windows-7-and-8-1/



#9 Aura

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Posted 07 June 2016 - 01:09 PM

- MS also announced that somewhere this summer they will change the WU website code. Then a user won't need IE anymore (think: ActiveX) and users can use e.g. Chrome or Firefox to download the updates.
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/05/17/simplifying-updates-for-windows-7-and-8-1/


Geez, it was about time. I can guarantee you that this website will be way more used once it happens.

Edit: A small cosmetic/esthetic revamp wouldn't hurt too.

Edited by Aura, 07 June 2016 - 01:09 PM.

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#10 Adam Pollard

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 01:34 AM

- I had the same problem when I did a fresh re-install of Win 7 SP 1 early last month and thought something was wrong with my system. Only after after a few days WU was able to find all the updates. I think MS changed the priority for who receives those updates first. I assume Win 10 users are receiving their updates first before anyone else.

- Good to hear/read that the "Convenience Roll Up" works well. Downloaded the "Roll Up" & the "Service Stack Update" and put them on a USB stick (for the next fresh re-install of Win 7 SP 1).

- MS also announced that somewhere this summer they will change the WU website code. Then a user won't need IE anymore (think: ActiveX) and users can use e.g. Chrome or Firefox to download the updates.

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/05/17/simplifying-updates-for-windows-7-and-8-1/

 

Yeah, the update rollup went on fine and then I turned windows update on (yesterday afternoon) and this morning it is still "checking for updates."

Maybe I'll start switching customers to Linux. If Microsoft was a supermarket, it would almost always be closed, you would never be able to find the products you wanted, you would need an arc welder to open the packaging, and of course they would have gone bust years ago. I could swear they've declared war on technicians.



#11 Willy22

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Posted 08 June 2016 - 02:26 AM

- @Adam Pollard: When did this horrible behaviour start ? Around the time that Win 10 was released ? I have seen that Win 10 users receive "Cumulative Updates" and those updates are/can be very big. That would burden the MS servers. I have downloaded a number of Win 10 ISO files and they became larger & lagrer as time went by.

- That would provide an explanation why MS wants to distribute those updates using other users' computer systems. Instead of downloading them all from the MS servers, download them from a user who already has those updates on their system. it would aleviate the burden on the MS update servers. Makes perfect sense.

- The fact that MS wants to package each month all "non security" updates into one package/update does also fit into this pattern.

- MS has reduced the amount of supported IE versions also fits in this pattern.

- When I hear of these problems then slipstreaming those updates becomes more & more attractive. But I realize that's not possible for everyone.


Edited by Willy22, 08 June 2016 - 02:27 AM.


#12 bignurse

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Posted 10 June 2016 - 11:30 AM

Since the May 2016 update my Windows 7 computers have been next to unusable with the CPU usage running at or above 75% usage constantly.  Process explorer leads me to believe that Windows update is taking most of the CPU usage. What used to take 5 minutes now takes 15 to 20 or longer. It has always taken about 30 minutes to down load the updates, 2Kb or 2Gb same amount of time.  Windows is slowly loosing me since it is becoming less and less useful for me.  Between the update problems since May with Windows 7 and the usability problems with Windows 10 (won't let me use programs like the gimp and LibreOffice) is am slowly moving to Linux. I have already switched to Chrome Book for web browsing since Windows 10 was not up to the task (very slow, inability to scroll and slow/non-responsive) and have been very happy with the changes. Last update to Windows 8.1 (before upgraded to Windows 10 took over 14 hours and last install of Windows 10 took over 9 hours (re-installs and clean installs did not help).


Edited by bignurse, 10 June 2016 - 11:32 AM.


#13 gtrejo

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 03:40 PM

I found this post on superuser.com that worked for me. http://superuser.com/a/996072

 

Microsoft released a new Windows Update Client Update to fix the slow Update searching/Installation.

Installing and searching for updates is slow and high CPU usage occurs in Windows 7
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810

Download:
32Bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=fcd6bf5d-f004-4ca3-aa7e-1de462b91dd0

64Bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=4fe566bd-31b1-4413-8c4c-412b52533669

Stop Windows Update service (this speeds up the setup of MSU updates and the useless steps from Moab are not required) and try this Windows Update Client Update and see if it speeds up the installation of Updates.

There is also a newer version from March 2016. Also stop WU service and try to install this update.

On May 17th 2016 Microsoft released a new large Update Rollup, called Convenience rollup update, for Windows 7 SP1. This rollup package includes almost all the updates that were released after the release of SP1 for Windows 7 through April 2016.

You can download the update from the Windows Update catalog (currently only usable with IE) and manually install the MSU (again, stop the Windows Update service before doing a double click on the MSU) to have a Windows 7 which is up to date. Now try to check on for new updates in Windows Update and it should be faster because have a much newer update base and Windows Update should detect the missing updates easier.

If this is still not helping to search for new updates, use WSUSOffline to get all the updates.



#14 Willy22

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Posted 13 June 2016 - 06:11 PM

I had the same problem as "gtrejo". I was forced to re-install Win 7 yesterday. WU pushed CPU through the roof. But installing KB 3102810 helped.

 

- Both CPU and memory usage were higher than normal but not to the absurd previous levels.

- After only a few minutes WU presented the list with Updates.



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 14 June 2016 - 06:33 PM

Here we go again. Same old story. svchost running at 50% on a dual core and it's the windows update service. I ran a check for Windows Updates and it's been running for about an hour with no results. Microsoft is really screwing over Windows 7 users. 






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