EDIT: OOPS! We must have been posting at the same time... Yes, IE11 will help. I'm not sure .NET 4.6.1 makes a difference, but it won't hurt. The critical patch to fix WU client is 3172605.
If this is a fresh install of Windows 7, a manual install of the following three patches ought to get Windows Update client fixed, so that you can install the rest of the critical and important patches:
This procedure has worked well for me on 2 Win7 boxes, and it has helped quite a few folks here at bleeping and elsewhere.
(For an existing Windows 7 setup, you can skip 3125574)
Let's try this:
- IF NOT ALREADY DONE: Download and save, but do not run yet, the standalone installers for KB3020369, KB3125574 and KB3172605 for your architecture (32-bit or 64-bit).
- Disconnect from the internet.
- Disable the Windows Update service in both the applet itself ("never check for updates") AND from services.msc (right click on it and then change it to "manual" and STOP the service, then click "OK").
- Run 3125574 and reboot.
- Run 3020369 and reboot.
- Run 3172605 and reboot.
- Go into services.msc and change WU back to "Automatic-delayed start" and start the service.
- Reconnect to internet.
- Change WU to "notify me, but let me choose".
- Run a manual check for updates.
WU should be working properly now. If you are faced with a large load of available patches, do them in small bunches, starting with CRITICAL and IMPORTANT security updates.
Be very patient, reboot when prompted and do not use the computer for other tasks while updating.
The concept is that you are going to install them from the standalone installers that you have downloaded locally to your computer, NOT via Windows Update.
So, if Windows Update is partially or fully enabled when you try this, you will probably get stuck "checking for updates".
WU must be disabled first.
If that process does not work and/or you get error messages with a specific error code, then you probably have a different problem.
Please post back and let us know how it goes, so that we can all learn.
Edited by MoxieMomma, 23 December 2016 - 08:20 PM.