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Can't update Windows 7 installs

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Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
I've installed Windows 7 on two PC's now and can't get either of them to install (or find) updates.

Fresh installs on both, both of them sit on the update page and say "Searching for Updates", endlessly.

Left one of them up and running for five days, and it never completed the search.

They worked fine, right up until I updated the MS Updater, immediately after installing Service Pack 1. That seems to break it (as far as I can tell), but you can't even search for updates without installing that. So I don't know what I am supposed to do.

Tried installing the May, June, and July rollup updates manually, and all of those failed as well. Just sat there endlessly searching for new updates, and never finding them.

These are fresh installs, so it should be finding 200+ updates total, and at least 150+ in the first round of updates.

Is anyone else experiencing this issue, or one like it?
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I've had cases where they feel like they take forever, maybe hours, but it does work in the end. Sometimes I might get bored and reboot and retry after some time that may or may not help. It does seem to vary with the CPU power and disk speed of the device. 5 days seems excessive. There was a recent convenience rollup so maybe that is worth a try? Note there are some pre-requisites to install before that.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3125574
 

Culbrelai

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2012
Had the same problem on my new Windows 7 installation, it took manually installing various standalone updates and things to finally get it to work and it found 250+ updates lol, It's kind of disgusting how Microsoft is making you go through hoops to get updates for older OS's.
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Here's the article related to the previously posted patch...

http://www.infoworld.com/article/30...aces-it-with-kb-3172605-and-3172614.html#jump

This has been an issue for the past couple years. M$ knows about it, and apparently it has something to do with how the list of updates is handled on the PC and relayed / synchronized against the master updates list. This is why SVCHost loooks stuck doing work - it's actually doing work, but sometimes seemingly (or actually) never finishes.

The theory around the office is they won't actually fix it because they're trying to drive people into Windows upgrades. The shadiness of how they tried to force Windows 10 on everyone almost supports that conspiracy theory.
 

gunnar_winther

New Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Location
Spain
To do this, follow these steps:
Determine the Microsoft Knowledge Base article number of the failed update. To do this, do one of the following: View the error code message.
View the error code message.
View the update history on the Windows Update website or on the Microsoft Update website. To do this, follow these steps:
Go to the following Microsoft Update website:
http://update.microsoft.com
Under Options, click Review your update history.
In the Update column, determine the Microsoft Knowledge Base article number of the failed update.
Go to the following Windows Download website:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/default.aspx
In the Search box on the Downloads webpage, type the article number that you located in step 1, and then click Go.
Note Do not include the letters "kb" when you type the article number. For example, type "kb123456" as 123456.
Browse through the list of returned content to locate the Knowledge Base article that has a link to the download.
Note You may be prompted to validate Windows. If you are prompted, follow the instructions to validate Windows, and then continue to download the update.
Click Download, and then click Save when you are prompted to save the download. Save the download to your desktop.
After the download is finished, click Open to install the update.
Note The update installation may fail if the update is incorrect for your version of Windows.
Method 3: Restart your computer, and then try to install the updates again

Exit all programs that are running, restart your computer, and then try to install the updates again.

Note Restarting the computer will make sure that all previous installations have finished, and that no remaining processes require a system restart before they can finish.
Method 4: Run the System Update Readiness tool (CheckSur.exe)

Download and run the System Update Readiness tool. This tool runs a one-time scan for inconsistencies that may prevent future servicing operations. For more information about how to download and run the CheckSur.exe tool, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Fix Windows corruption errors by using the DISM or System Update Readiness tool (https://support.microsoft.com/kb/947821)
Try to install updates again.

Note After you run the tool, the CheckSur.log file is saved in the following location:
%systemroot%\logs\cbs
Method 5: Run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe)

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
At the command prompt, type sfc /scannow, and then press Enter.
After the scan is finished, try to install updates again.
Method 6: Reset the content of the Catroot2 folder

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
Type the following commands, and press Enter after each command:
net stop cryptsvc
md %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old
xcopy %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old /s
Delete all contents of the catroot2 folder, but do not delete the catroot2 folder.
Type the following command, and then press Enter:
net start cryptsvc
Exit the Command Prompt window.
Method 7: Delete any incorrect registry values

Delete any incorrect values that may exist in the registry. To do this, follow these steps:
Click Start, and then type regedit in the Start Search box.
In the Programs list, click regedit.exe.
Locate and then select the following registry subkey:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\COMPONENTS
Right-click COMPONENTS.
Click Export.
In the File Name box, type COMPONENTS.
In the Save in box, click Desktop, click Save, and then save the file to your desktop.
In the details pane, right-click PendingXmlIdentifier, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
In the details pane, right-click NextQueueEntryIndex, and then click Delete. If this value does not exist, go to the next step.
In the details pane, right-click AdvancedInstallersNeedResolving, and then click Delete. If the value does not exist, go to the next step.
Restart the computer.
Try to install the updates again.
Method 8: Register the Windows Update files

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
At the command prompt, type the following command:
REGSVR32 WUPS2.DLL /S
REGSVR32 WUPS.DLL /S
REGSVR32 WUAUENG.DLL /S
REGSVR32 WUAPI.DLL /S
REGSVR32 WUCLTUX.DLL /S
REGSVR32 WUWEBV.DLL /S
REGSVR32 JSCRIPT.DLL /S
REGSVR32 MSXML3.DLL /S
Try to install updates again.
Method 9: Make sure that your antivirus application does not scan certain files

Make sure that your antivirus application does not scan the files in the %windir% \SoftwareDistribution directory on any computer on which Windows Update Agent is installed.

For computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008, do not scan the following files and folders.

Note These files are not at risk of infection. If you scan these files, serious performance problems may occur because some files may be locked. If a specific set of files is identified by name, exclude only those files instead of the whole folder. Sometimes, the whole folder must be excluded. Do not exclude any of these items based on the file name extension. For example, do not exclude all files that have a .dit extension. Microsoft has no control over other files that may use the same extensions as these files.
Files that are related to Microsoft Windows Update or to Automatic Update
The Windows Update database file or the Automatic Update database file

Note This file (Datastore.edb) is located in the following directory:
%windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore
The transaction log files

Note These files are located in the following folder:
%windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore\Logs
Exclude the following files:
Edb*.log

Note The wildcard character indicates that there may be several files.
Res1.log
Res2.log
Edb.chk
Tmp.edb
Method 10: Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
Run the following commands, and press Enter after each command:
Net stop wuauserv
cd %systemroot%
Ren SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
Net start wuauserv
Try to install updates again.
Important The following issues occur when you use this method:
Updates that are currently downloaded but that have not yet been installed have to be downloaded again by using Windows Update or Microsoft Update.
When you delete the Software Distribution folder, your download history is removed.
If you currently receive updates from Microsoft Update and from Windows Update, you will have to reselect this option from the Windows Update website.
Note If the issue is resolved and you can successfully download and install updates, you can safely delete the SoftwareDistribution.old folder to recover disk space.
Method 11: Clear the BITS queue of any current jobs

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
At the command prompt, type the following commands, and press Enter after each command:

Net stop bits
Net stop wuauserv
Ipconfig /flushdns
cd \documents and settings\all users\application data\microsoft\network\downloader
Del qmgr0.dat
Del qmgr1.dat
Net start bits
Net start wuauserv
Note After you complete these steps, the BITS queue is cleared.
Try to install updates again.
Method 12: Rename Pending.xml

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
At the command prompt, type the following command:
takeown /f C:\Windows\winsxs\pending.xml
Rename the c:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml path by using the following command:
Ren c:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml pending.old
Method 13: Run Chkdsk on the Windows partition

To do this, follow these steps:
Open an administrative Command Prompt window.
At the command prompt, type the following command:
Chkdsk volume: /f /r
 
OP
Tech Tweaker

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
I didn't actually encounter this problem until after the Windows 10 upgrade period ended.

I had installed a copy of Windows 7 on another computer a couple of weeks before it ended and everything went fine with updates and program installations. Just recently it's like someone flicked a switch or changed a feature and now updating no longer works on anything that's post-SP1 for Windows 7, at least if it's before a certain update/upgrade point. My main Win 7 PC is working just fine and is able to receive updates, but when installing new loads on PC's it doesn't work properly on any of them so far.

I've actually installed 7 on many computers over the years, and never had this happen. Also installed 8 and 8.1 on a few computers, never with any problems as far as updating is concerned.
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
It doesn't seem to be (as much of) an issue with Windows 8. We've been having problems with all new Dell computers since late 2014, including fresh installs. It's rare we get one to cooperate and get its initial updates list within an hour or two, most take many hours (if they ever actualy generate a list).

It could be specific to the Dell installs that come preloaded, or the fact we reload Windows with the Dell DVD. We've gotten to the point we have a couple base images of an updated Win7 install from our more commonly sold models.
 
OP
Tech Tweaker

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Try installing kb3172605

Kept giving me a weird error message saying something like it wasn't compatible with my hardware/software/PC in general.

Here's a batch file I've used to fully reset windows updates. You'll need to reconfigure and run windows updates manually after. [extract, right-click the batch file and run as admin]

Thanks, downloaded it and tried it. Didn't seem to help unfortunately.

View attachment 182097

Here's the article related to the previously posted patch...

http://www.infoworld.com/article/30...aces-it-with-kb-3172605-and-3172614.html#jump

This has been an issue for the past couple years. M$ knows about it, and apparently it has something to do with how the list of updates is handled on the PC and relayed / synchronized against the master updates list. This is why SVCHost loooks stuck doing work - it's actually doing work, but sometimes seemingly (or actually) never finishes.

The theory around the office is they won't actually fix it because they're trying to drive people into Windows upgrades. The shadiness of how they tried to force Windows 10 on everyone almost supports that conspiracy theory.

This method has been successful every time for me: http://wu.krelay.de/en/

See also: http://www.infoworld.com/article/31...steps-to-speed-up-windows-7-update-scans.html

Note: the files required might change once the latest MS patches due today kick in, the first page linked is likely to change once Dalai has worked through them.

After installing all of the updates listed in satrow's link and the above link from Pinky (infoworld link), one of my PC's (with a fresh install done yesterday) magically found 234 updates.

Microsoft, seriously, WTF? Why was it necessary for me to manually install all these updates before the updater started working again on it's own?

Thanks to both Pinky and satow for the help. Hope I can get this method to work on my other PC that's also hung up on this step.

This is straight up weird, it wouldn't install any of those manual updates unless I attempted to install them within the first few minutes of booting the PC up, no idea why.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I had nothing but problems with W7 update during the "free" W10 push. I ended up using a third party updater after trying at least half a dozen M$ "fixes". It wouldn't surprise me a bit if M$ broke it on purpose. I kept getting the "Just get Windows 10" advice on M$ forums. Windows (7) Update would work once, then break again, forcing me to jump through all manner of hoops to get it fixed. Then one and done. I ended up buying W10 Pro for a new build, and I hope W7 Update is fixed when I toss W10 in the trash and go back to 7. :-/ I'll be bookmarking this thread.
 

satrow

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Location
Cymru
This is straight up weird, it wouldn't install any of those manual updates unless I attempted to install them within the first few minutes of booting the PC up, no idea why.

It's been my suspicion for some time that it's the auto-updater that's doing much of the blocking, I reckon it holds WU so that no other process can access and use it - see the krelay link, the first 2 steps involve disabling stopping WU before moving on.

No, you really didn't need to use all those KBs listed, just 2-4, ime. Dalai has already listed a new patch there for this month.

That mysterious kb....605 isn't needed either.
 
OP
Tech Tweaker

Tech Tweaker

Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
It's been my suspicion for some time that it's the auto-updater that's doing much of the blocking, I reckon it holds WU so that no other process can access and use it - see the krelay link, the first 2 steps involve disabling stopping WU before moving on.

No, you really didn't need to use all those KBs listed, just 2-4, ime. Dalai has already listed a new patch there for this month.

That mysterious kb....605 isn't needed either.
Well, I tried searching for updates after each install. In my case I had to install nearly all of them (except KB3172605 and KB3138612, because I couldn't get them to install for some unknown reason) before it started working properly.
 
Last edited:

satrow

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Location
Cymru
With the top group, you'd only need all of them if you're updating a fresh install, if it's been updated to Jan/Feb, you should have several of them already installed, of the lower group only the latest should be needed, KB3138612, that essentially overwrites the other versions (though the Feb. version, KB3135445, might be enough on its own for some). Much will depend on what you've already tried/installed.
 

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I have not read this thread but if no one has posted instructions on how to download and install Windows 7 Service Pack 2, which is not called that but essentially it is Win7 SP2 released by Microsoft which includes all the updates until a few months ago, then that should be important info for this topic...
 

satrow

Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Location
Cymru
Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
We intentionally did not include any specific post-Service Pack 1 updates in convenience rollup 3125574 for which the following conditions are true:

They don’t have broad applicability.
They introduce behavior changes.
They require additional user actions, such as making registry settings.

You may download and install such fixes manually after you determine whether they apply to your deployment scenarios. Specifically, the following fixes are not included in this convenience rollup:

(Cont'd in the above article)
I haven't had the chance to use this yet as my last clean W7 install was Dec/Jan., I have seen comments by others that it doesn't fix/prevent subsequent WU issues. (It might also install unnecessary junk!)
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Las Vegas, NV
We have 50/50 success with the rollup. Sometimes it works fine first try, sometimes says it needs a prerequisite (at which time we just apply the windows update patch and run windows updates).
 

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
I have links in one of my threads but which exact SP2 download links do you use and which exact additional patch is applied (link?) if need be for the SP2 to go through?