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Win 7 Desktop - no updates at all


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#1 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 05:24 PM

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/KyxzTqqj63VdA6hmm8YhGB5

 

This desktop belongs to a friend of mine and has had an ongoing problem with updates apparently since it was first set up - in 2010 ! 

 

Since I was under the impression that it had received some updates my first action was to go to Windows update and look at the history. Control panel would not let me open the updates panel even if any other of several Control panel areas opened immediately I clicked on them. The spinning and non-responsive circle had to be terminated in task manager.

 

I then ran Malwarebytes on it and this quarantined 71 PUPs. Following a re-boot I was able to get into Windows updates in Control panel and this was blank, no entries whatsoever, even though Updates are set to download and install automatically. Since he seldom turns off this computer it is not for lack of opportunity for doing the install at 0300. This lack of updates is also reflected in the Speccy report, above.

 

Although 'retired' he still has some accountancy clients and requires the computer for this work and his data - or his clients' data - is important to him. Next I tried to clone his hard drive, using Reflect v7 free, and this got to the 11% mark when the clone failed with an error message -

 

'File corruption found, run Chkdsk on drive C:'

 

Next came a very tedious period running Chkdsk /r on the drive which did fix a number of problems. After this I ran Reflect again and this time the clone succeeded so at least his data is safe.

 

Because of the time I was obliged to leave it at that.

 

As I said, updates are set to install automatically, the update service appear to be running, but the OS fails to show that any updates have been installed at all.

 

Anybody got any ideas that might fix this problem and save me a lot of time sitting watching screens do not very much at all ?  I would much prefer to bring this computer home with me where at least I could be doing something productive while it runs, for example, chkdsk but short of a total failure this is not practical from his point of view.

 

Chris Cosgrove



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#2 OldPhil

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 05:37 PM

Does he the disks to be able to do a repair, you should be able to do the repair without jeopardizing his data.  If you have a repair disk you can try that.


Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#3 hamluis

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 06:15 PM

My thoughts:

 

  a.  Nullify the possible threat of malware by having said person open a topic in AII.  There is no definitive malware-killer and Malwarebytes should never be treated as such, IMO.  There is a reason that folks in both AII and MRL...use several different tools...in their efforts to determine/neutralize.

 

  b.  I would check the functional status of the hard drive.

 

  c.  My expereince with cloning (not extensive but enough to make certain assertions) is that cloning a drive with possible problems...may result in an apparent good copy...but that appearance may be false until proven by actually attempting to read/use said clone drive.  My experience is that problems on a hard drive...may travel to the clone drive.

 

  d.  Windows Update can be reset, https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/91738-windows-update-reset.html .

 

Louis



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:22 PM

I have taken the points made above on board.

 

I now have other malware tools readily to hand, which I will try the next time I get together with his computer. There may be problems with his hard drive, that can be checked but my first intention was to protect his data, I had not expected to be asked to do a chkdsk which, being a fairly old and not rocket fast computer took much longer than I expected. And for virtually all of this time I was twiddling my thumbs.

 

I agree with the point made about cloning a computer with problems - you also clone the problems, but I have his data safe !  I have just arranged to get his computer off him for Wednesday so I will get the chance to get into it in peace and quiet. And if I want to have a cigarette while I ponder the problems of life, well, I will just have a cigarette !  that tutorial looks interesting and very possibly relevant.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 06:16 PM

If the OS has not been updated in ages then Windows will not get updates unless the following updates are manually installed in order.

 

Servicing Stack

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3177467/servicing-stack-update-for-windows-7-sp1-and-windows-server-2008-r2-sp

 

July 2016 rollup

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3172605/july-2016-update-rollup-for-windows-7-sp1-and-windows-server-2008-r2-s



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 06:57 PM

I'll bear that in mind John, thanks.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 Willy22

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 07:24 PM

- SPECCY gives a "Warning" for the HD. Run GSmartcontrol and tell us how many pink lines show. I assume that - at least - one RED line shows up. That would signal that the drive is (in the 1st stages of) failing.



#8 VolumeZ

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 08:33 PM

Updates are set to download and install automatically.

 

 

This may be part of the problem. The "automatic" setting causes code 80248015 to persist.

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/667313/windows-updater-service-not-working/#entry4420566



#9 joseibarra

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:40 AM

Your Speccy version is not current so you may want to publish a new snapshot with a current Speccy and things might look different.

 

The most important values in that part of the report are 05, C4 (usually missing), C5, and C6 and the 05 shows some reallocted sectors which SMART could view as undependable hence the warning status.

 

Having Windows Update set to automatically install updates is (arguably) not a good idea because that means that Microsoft is in charge of what gets installed on your system instead of you being in charge of what gets installed on your system.

 

When Microsoft is in charge WU will download and install several updates that are considered spyware/snooping updates on the system which will periodically transmit information about your system back to Microsoft (the ever popular KB2952664 for example).  Microsoft calls it "telemetry".  Of course that telemetry information sent from your system back to Microsoft would not include any of your personal information - or would it?  Do you trust Microsoft?   If you don't care what information Microsoft gathers about your system leave Windows Update set to auto.

 

Having WU set to auto also opens the door to allow WU to download/install hardware driver (video, audio, network, printer) updates which are usually going to be wrong and out of date so soon you might have a new topic with a subject like such as "Windows Update broke my computer".  The "best" option if you want to be in charge is to set WU to Never check for updates and do your own checking so you can install only the updates that you think are important to you and your system.

 

In Control Panel, Windows Update is the list of Installed Updates empty or is the Update History empty - or both?

 

A popular remedy for Windows Update problems is to "reset" Windows Update involving renaming the Software Distribution folders but what folks who suggest that never seem to mention is that the Windows update history (View update history) will be wiped out (and some other consequences) but the list of Installed Updates will remain intact.  So if that procedure has ever been done that could explain that observation.


Edited by joseibarra, 12 March 2018 - 12:46 AM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#10 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 05:08 PM

When I get it in my hot and sweaty hands on Wednesday the first thing I intend doing is checking the hard drive. Untiil last night I hadn't had a long hard look at the speccy report, and yes, there is a warning on the drive. But then again I was in his house not mine and I hadn't taken everything I possess with me.

 

Wednesday is one of my 'free' days so I can take as long as it needs but the advantage it that I can do something else useful while tests etc. are running.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#11 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:09 PM

I got this desktop home late Tuesday, connected it up and installed Seatools for Win. Despite the warning above it passed both the short and long generic tests. I just left it running the long test and went to bed. See - multi-tasking !

 

Starting today, I scanned it with MBAM, Emisoft and Adware cleaner which removed a fair selection of minor nasties between them and I uninstalled some minor items such as miscellaneous toolbars and then tried updates. No joy. The BITS and the update service were both running, according to 'Services' but I kept getting error messages that the update service wasn't running. And the use of a Windows repair disk and a genuine Win 7 install disk failed to repair the system

 

I tried the various fixes on the MS site but to no avail. Kind of as a last resort I tried one of the first fixes I had come across on the MS forums, run a batch file. This is something I am reluctant to do although it was fairly clear what this one would do. The file is as follows -

 

 

(1) open blank text file and copy the below

net stop wuauserv
cd %systemroot%
ren SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistributionold
net start wuauserv
net stop bits
net start bits
net stop cryptsvc
cd %systemroot%\system32
ren catroot2 catroot2old
net start cryptsvc

(2) save it as a batch file (*.bat).
(3) execute the batch file.

Courtesy of  Ashidacchi, MS Forums

 

Having run this as Administrator I went back into Control panel - Updates and Windows update started checking for missing updates. Some little time later, quite some little time later, I was informed that there were 152 updates ready to be installed !  The computer is currently installing the last batch of 25. In between whiles, I took my car for a service, and got it back, went shopping, fixed lunch, cooked tea. Amazing what else you can get done working from home !

 

Once this is finished and I have tested it I am going to put updates back to automatic. I take the point made above about losing control but I would rather updates were done than have some minor fear about telemetry. The point about drivers is valid but one I can live with. I do not think that the owner would do any updates if it was left entirely to him.

 

http://speccy.piriform.com/results/nX1Dc1Q7FHDWVA1q7pM8qcS

 

Speccy still shows a warning against the HDD but since it has passed the long test I am not going to worry too muxh about this. I will bring it to his attention, along with the fact that this computer is about 8 years old, as is the hard drive. His choice. I'm signing this one off !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#12 Willy22

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 05:59 PM

- This batch file is also incorporated in Tweaking's Windows Repair (available from this website).

- No wonder the system is "a bit slow". The system has 2 Firewalls running.



#13 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 06:11 PM

I dfon't think so, not according to Control panel. The firewall is handled by the McAfee software. It did - briefly - have two A/Vs running. The McAfee that is supplied by his ISP and the Emisoft that I installed by mistake, I only meant to install their malware scanner. Still, it did find quite a few PUPs but has since been uninstalled as have the other tools I had to install on it.

 

Chris Cosgrove






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