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Kudos4 Stats

Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

The Microsoft TechNet just posted an article titled Simplifying updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 about a new rollup for Win 7 SP1 that includes all updates as of April 2016, as well as an upcoming change that will see all non-security updates for Win 7 SP1 and Win 8.1 combined into a single monthly update.  Kudos to Vista1972, who posted that link in the VistaForums thread windows update just seems to hang while checking.

If Win 7 or Vista users are seeing the "Checking for updates..." phase of their Patch Tuesday updates run for long periods (sometimes for several hours) before it reports that updates are available for download, Woody Leonhard's InfoWorld article Windows 7 update scans taking forever? KB 3153199 may solve the problem has a workaround that apparently works for many Vista users as well.  This workaround requires users to pre-install a Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32k.sys) update (e.g., KB3145739 in Apr 2016; KB3153199 in May 2016) each month from the Microsoft Download Center to "trick" Windows Update into running Patch Tuesday updates faster, but it's only a temporary workaround and the problem will likely return the following month and require a new Win32k.sys update. The webpage Search for Windows Updates takes forever? - A possible solution has links to any missing Win32k.sys updates that must be installed before running Windows Update.  From the author of that webpage:

"This HowTo is valid for Win7 SP1 and Vista SP2, which have been newly installed or haven't been updated for some time. It should also help on systems that were up-to-date last month - just install the missing updates from the list below in this case...

....The term 'solution' might be a little bit exaggerated, since the following HowTo only tries to make sure that the Update Agent doesn't need to check all updates, so the check for new updates is done faster. Futhermore, it's only a temporary solution; most likely the issue will appear again with the next Patchday."
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM

Replies

Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Thanks Imacri

I'd just come across that information but been offline a few days.

Since then I've heard from one of my more skilled colleagues over on CompuServe that he's run this:

On the VM, I went from starting Setup to a fully updated W7 in around 90-120 minutes using the rollup. Three passes on Windows Update to bring things current - the first took 35 min or so to find updates, the other's were quite rapid...

Any ideas on slipstreaming it into the WIN 7 SP1 ISO version? 

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

huwyngr:

Any ideas on slipstreaming it into the WIN 7 SP1 ISO version? 

Hi huwyngr:

I've been affected by the "Checking for updates..." hang on my Vista machine since Aug 2015 so the upcoming change to combine non-security updates for Win 7 SP1 into a single monthly update might be a significant development for Win 7 SP1 users who also suffer from these slow Patch Tuesday updates.  I don't have a Win 7 computer at home so I'm not the best person to ask about slipstreaming the OS image (which isn't the topic of this thread), but the Microsoft TechNet article Simplifying updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 does state the following:

"And since this update can be injected into Windows 7 SP1 media, it’s fully supported to mount a Windows 7 SP1 image (WIM file), then inject this update into it.  See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744559(v=ws.10).aspx for the details of how to do this...

...To apply this update, you must install the April 2015 servicing stack update for Windows 7 (KB3020369).  You can read more about the Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 here."

I also noticed that Woody Leonhard posted about this "Convenience rollup" in his InfoWorld Woody on Windows column at New Windows 7 and 8.1 patches usher in the future of rollup updating and is also asking for early tester feedback on his AskWoody.com site at Testing Windows 7 SP2.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

FWIW, May Patch Tuesday was the first time I could download and install Windows 7 updates without spending hours.  Until April to download and install updates which where listed in Control Panel ˃Windows Update used to take hours so that I used to do it overnight and find it in the morning waiting for a system restart to complete the installation.

I did the same with May updates but could notice they (updates)  were downloaded and installed without that usual delay so that I could restart and then switch off my system without waiting for the morning! Hopefully next Patch Tuesdays will go equally smoothly..... 

Windows 7 HP SP1 32-bit | Chrome 65.0.3325.146 | NS 22.12.1.15
Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Rainbow_2:

I did the same with May updates but could notice they (updates)  were downloaded and installed without that usual delay so that I could restart and then switch off my system without waiting for the morning! Hopefully next Patch Tuesdays will go equally smoothly..... 

Hi Rainbow_2:

Thanks for the feedback.  I wasn't so lucky with my 32-bit Vista machine. "Checking for updates..." ran for 5 hours during my April 2016 Patch Tuesday updates before it reported that 11 updates were available for download, and my May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates were almost as bad -  "Checking for updates... " was stuck for 4 hours before finding 16 available updates.

If you have a problem with your June 2016 updates just wait for a few days after the Patch Tuesday updates are posted to the MS servers on 14-Jun-2016 and then check Dalai's webpage Search for Windows Updates takes forever? - A possible solution to see if a new Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32k.sys) update is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center.  I haven't had a chance to try this workaround yet but quite a few Win 7 SP1 and Vista SP2 users are now reporting that pre-installing these Win32k.sys updates each month  (e.g., KB3145739 in April 2016; KB3153199 in May 2016) reduced the "Checking for updates..." phase of their Patch Tuesday updates from hours to minutes.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM

Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Imacri

 ask about slipstreaming the OS image (which isn't the topic of this thread),

True but it's relevant.

Anyway here's the answer:

You can refer to this "How to Geek" article for one solution:

The Last Windows 7 ISO You’ll Ever Need: How to Slipstream the Convenience Rollup 

thanks to one of the users on CompuServe. 

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

lmacri:
If you have a problem with your June 2016 updates just wait for a few days after the Patch Tuesday updates are posted to the MS servers on 14-Jun-2016 and then check Dalai's webpage Search for Windows Updates takes forever? - A possible solution to see if a new Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32k.sys) update is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center.  I haven't had a chance to try this workaround yet but quite a few Win 7 SP1 and Vista SP2 users are now reporting that pre-installing these Win32k.sys updates each month  (e.g., KB3145739 in April 2016; KB3153199 in May 2016) reduced the "Checking for updates..." phase of their Patch Tuesday updates from hours to minutes.

Thanks, lmacri, and yes I usually wait a few days before downloading/installing the Windows 7 updates.

As to KB3145739 I have it installed on April 18 and KB3153199 is one of those offered in May and which I installed on May 14, when, as said in my post above, for the very first time after many months the updates were downloaded and installed without taking that long time they used to. 

Windows 7 HP SP1 32-bit | Chrome 65.0.3325.146 | NS 22.12.1.15
Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Rainbow_2:

...I usually wait a few days before downloading/installing the Windows 7 updates.

As to KB3145739 I have it installed on April 18 and KB3153199 is one of those offered in May and which I installed on May 14, when, as said in my post above, for the very first time after many months the updates were downloaded and installed without taking that long time they used to. 

Hi Rainbow_2:

According to Woody Leonhard's article Windows 7 update scans taking forever? KB 3153199 may solve the problem, simply installing KB3145739 in April 2016 wasn't the ultimate solution for many Win 7 and Vista users and the slow updates returned when they tried to download their May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.  Users who didn't want to watch "Checking for updates..." run for several hours pre-installed the Win32k.sys security update KB3153199 (MS16-062; posted 10-May-2016) from the Microsoft Download Center and then ran a Windows Update to download the remaining May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.

I always wait a few days (or even weeks) before I run a Windows Update to install the Patch Tuesday updates on my Vista machine and it doesn't help.  My "Checking for updates..." phase always hangs for hours if there are a large number of updates available for download, but it runs normally once those updates are installed - until the next batch of Patch Tuesday updates is released. For some reason pre-installing just one of the monthly Patch Tuesday updates as suggested in my original post seems to trick the Windows Update Agent (WUA) into checking for the remaining available updates faster, and at this stage of my testing I'm not absolutely certain that the one update you pre-install even has to be a Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32k.sys) update.

Just FYI, I posted comments today in post # 162 of the VistaForums thread windows update just seems to hang while checking about a similar problem that Win XP users experienced three years ago after Win 8.1 was released.  In that case, Microsoft fixed the problem by expiring some of the outdated updates in the supersedence chain for programs like the IE browser so that the Windows Update Agent could quickly determine which patches need to be applied and which older updates had been superseded and could be ignored.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM

Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

lmacri:

According to Woody Leonhard's article Windows 7 update scans taking forever? KB 3153199 may solve the problem (link is external), simply installing KB3145739 in April 2016 wasn't the ultimate solution for many Win 7 and Vista users and the slow updates returned when they tried to download their May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.  Users who didn't want to watch "Checking for updates..." run for several hours pre-installed the Win32k.sys security update KB3153199 (MS16-062; posted 10-May-2016) from the Microsoft Download Center and then ran a Windows Update to download the remaining May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.

Thanks Imacri, but that was not my case. As mentioned in my previous posts, installing KB3145739 in April 2016 did instead apparently fix it.  With May updates I didn’t pre-install KB3153199, I just installed it together with the other offered updates. 
Fingers crossed for next Patch Tuesdays!
Cheers!
 

Windows 7 HP SP1 32-bit | Chrome 65.0.3325.146 | NS 22.12.1.15
Kudos2 Stats

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Further to my original post of 20-May-2016, I can now confirm that the workaround posted on Dalai's webpage Search for Windows Updates takes forever? - A possible solution at http://wu.krelay.de/en/ solved my long "Checking for updates..." hang.

I pre-installed the Win32K.sys update KB3161664 (MS16-073: Description of the security update for kernel mode drivers: June 14, 2016) before running a manual Windows update to install my June 2016 Patch Tuesday updates today, and "Checking for updates..." ran to completion in 20 min (compared with 5 - 6 hours for my Apr 2016 and May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates).  The entire Windows Update session, including download and installation of 10 important updates and the monthly Malicious Software Removal Tool scan, finished in about 40 min.

Further details and a screenshot of my CPU consumption were posted today in my thread August 2015 Windows Update Requires One Hour to Run to Completion in the MS Answers forum.  Other users like Vista1972 have posted in the VistaForums thread windows update just seems to hang while checking that pre-installing KB3161664 this month solved their "Checking for updates..." hang on both Win 7 SP1 and Vista SP2 machines.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM * NIS v21.7.0.11

Kudos2 Stats

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Some users are having difficulty following the how-to on Dalai's webpage at http://wu.krelay.de/en/ so I posted step-by-step instructions on 16-Jun-2016 in m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum.

As of June 2016 there are currently five Win32k.sys updates listed on Dalai's webpage [KB3078601 (18-Aug-2015); KB3087039 (08-Sep-2015); KB3109094 (07-Dec-2015); KB3145739 (12-Apr-2016); KB3161664 (14-Jun-2016)] that must be pre-installed before you run Windows Update if any are missing from your system.  The standalone update packages (.msu files) for any missing updates should be installed in order, from oldest (lowest KB) to newest (highest KB).  If you managed to install your May 2016 Patch Tuesday updates and "Checking for updates..." hangs for several hours without finding available updates you should only have to pre-install one update this month -  KB3161664 - to speed up Windows Update and install your remaining dozen or so June 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.

See Woody Leonhard's AskWoody.com article Win7 users: Install KB 3161664 to speed up Windows Update scans for his latest comments on these "Checking for updates..." hangs.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM * NIS v21.7.0.1

Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Thanks Imacri for the in-depth explanation.  I suffered a few days after Black Tuesday when I came home from vacation and attempted to update my Vista Laptop.  Ran for like 4 hours - "checking" and I gave up - made up my mind I was going to let it run until it did something.  The next morn it was set t "Check"  - 6 hours later I had updates - one of which was KB3161664.  Got them all installed after that and the Vista is back to checking on a daily basis when booted up and the "Check" is slower than my WIN 7 - but acceptable for the specs on the laptop.

I'm sure that info will help others!

Kudos1 Stats

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Thanks bjm

Found the optional 3161608 in my unchecked list of Optionals and applied it. Doesn't seem to have done any harm and I was not experiencing the ultra-ling delays, maybe because I was on 32 bit although I see the Download Center has a version for that.

Hugh
Kudos2 Stats

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Just a further update that the "Checking for updates..." hangs and slow Windows Updates for Win 7 SP1 were apparently solved by Microsoft in January 2017 by purging several expired (superseded) updates for this OS, although some Win 7 users with slower CPUs and limited amounts of RAM can still benefit from installing the optional KB3172605 (July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1) to patch the Win 7 Windows Update Agent to v7.6.7601.23453.  See post # 497 of ScousaJAY's thread windows update just seems to hang while checking in the VistaForums for further details.

A few Win 8.1 computers are now exhibiting these slow Windows Updates and and installing the optional KB3172614 (July 2016 update rollup for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2) to update the Win 8.1 Windows Update Agent to 7.9.9600.18340 should fix the problem - see post # 482 in that same thread.

Microsoft has not released a fix for Vista SP2 [the Windows Update Agent (wuaueng.dll) v7.6.7600.256 for Vista SP2 has not been updated since June 2012] and users should refer to the instructions on page 1 of  in m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum.  This workaround should help you keep your system patched until extended support for Vista SP2 end on 11 Apr-2017.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz * 3 GB RAM * NIS v22.9.0.71

Kudos2 Stats

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

imarci,   my friend dropped off a vista machine that hadn't updated in over a year-endless checking loop.  i followed the steps exactly installing and rebooting after each one. after the last install/reboot, i set wup back to notify and let me decide to download and install and it started checking for updates. after 1.5 hrs., it found 124 updates(over 400 mb). i installed all 124 without any problems. thank you for posting this info

Kudos0

Re: Possible Help for Slow Windows Updates (Win 7 and Vista)

Topopurim47:

my friend dropped off a vista machine that hadn't updated in over a year-endless checking loop.  i followed the steps exactly installing and rebooting after each one. after the last install/reboot, i set wup back to notify and let me decide to download and install and it started checking for updates. after 1.5 hrs., it found 124 updates(over 400 mb). i installed all 124 without any problems.

Hi Topopurim47:

Thanks for the feedback, and glad to hear you were able to get Windows Update running again on your friend's Vista SP2 machine.

All credit goes to Dalai for posting the original workaround for these slow Windows Updates at http://wu.krelay.de/en/, and to MS MVP Woody Leonhard for promoting Dalai's website in a series of articles on his Woody on Windows InfoWorld blog.  My step-by-step instructions on page 1 of m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours are based on the speed up patches recommended by Dalai and just include a few tweaks and tips I've picked up from other users since my Vista SP2 machine first started experiencing these "Checking for updates..." hangs back in August 2015.

Sadly, this "solution" is only a temporary workaround and a new speed up patch for Vista SP2 [likely a Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32K.sys) update] should be posted on Dalai's webpage on 14-Mar-2017 that will have to be pre-installed to speed up the March 2017 Patch Tuesday updates.  Once I've tested that patch on my own 32-bit Vista SP2 machine and reviewed all the supersedence chains of older speed up patches to ensure they haven't been replaced by newer updates I'll revise my step-by-step instructions on page 1of m#l's thread in the MS Answers forum.
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HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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