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Windows 7, New Installation, Windows Updates fix (applies to windows 2008 Server R2 too)

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New Windows 7 Installations take days for Windows-Updates to show up and install. This can easily be fixed. I have finally decided to write an article because this seems to get asked several times a day lately.

This Article and the Links apply to Windows 2008 R2 server too.
You have just reinstalled Windows 7 on a PC. Now Windows Updates seems to be looking for updates and can't find any with no end.

What you first need to do is make sure Service-Pack 1 is installed. If not, download and install it:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5842


Method 1, which I have found works well:

Once the Service-Pack is installed and you have rebooted the System, you will need to download and install the newer Windows Update Agent:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/949104

You don't have to reboot after it has finished, you can rather directly download and install the following KB:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810

Now reboot.

(Make sure you install the Agent before the other KB, or it will take longer).

Now you can go to Windows Updates, and it will take a relatively short time, not days as before.

Method 2, but I have found this doesn't work as well:

Microsoft has recently released a "Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 and 2008r2 SP1". This convenience rollup includes most of the Windows updates that have been published since SP1 and the date the rollup was released. My experience with this though hasn't been too positive. I have tried it several times and most of those tries the installation failed, and Windows would return to the way it was before trying to install it. The other times when the installation didn't fail, it showed the same problems as on an newly installed system, where it would sit for hours at "Checking for updates..." without any progress at all, so in the end there was no time saved. But for if someone wants to try it, here are the instructions:

As before, the Service-Pack is an essential requirement. Then you will need to install KB3020369. In the Link below, use "Method 2: Microsoft Download Center", and make sure you get the correct version of the KB that fits your installed OS version:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3020369

After that, get and run the convenience rollup. You will have to use the Internet explorer for that, if it doesn't work in any other browser, then visit the "Microsoft Update Catalog" website to download it, as mentioned in the following link:

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

But again be warned, this 2nd KB has never really worked for me and hasn't saved me any time.
1
Comment
Author:rindi
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27 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:J
I tried that and it did now work, I have now left to run over night, but have no idea if anything is actually happening, or if I will return 8 hours later to no change.
0
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Kyle Santos
Hi J,

You should ask a question related to this article.  At the end of the article, click Ask a Question and the author will be notified of your question.

eg
Screenshot_2.png
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
Are you sure you are at SP1 level? That is an absolute requirement. after that, what did you do? Did you use method 1 or 2?
0
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Expert Comment

by:Member_2_7968270
Dear Rindi,

I am at SP1 i have checked it...
0
 
LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
Yes, but did you then install the new update agent, then the other kb, reboot, and then searched for updates?
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Expert Comment

by:Member_2_7968270
Yes sir i have installed the new agent update and done software updates from the Control panel.
The laptop is having the latest software updates available. Still i am not able to install the same.
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
You say you have the latest software updates available. That means it is working. Just select those updates and allow them to download and install. Remember, this will take several hours,as there is over 1GB to download and there are lots of updates to install.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:gromack
How long should 'searching for updates on this computer' run after applying fix in https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810 ?
For close to a year, I've had success by running KB 3138612 & then the SUR tool, but last two times this hasn't worked...
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
Don't forget the update agent, it has more influence than the KB.

I can't give a definite time frame. It is different depending on the hardware. I've seen it finish the search from anything between 10 Minutes and 2 Hours (this mainly on old, slow hardware or VM's).
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Expert Comment

by:gromack
Yes, did the update agent first.
Coming up on an hour, but will wait it out.
Running on a new install of Win7 Pro, SP1 on an Optiplex 7010, i5-3750 with 8GB of RAM.
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Expert Comment

by:gromack
Jesus Christ!
8 friggin' hours later & it's still 'searching for updates on this computer'...

WTF?!?!?!?
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
I have heard of some problems with Dell PC's and their OEM installation images. Did you install the OS from a normal Installation DVD, or did you use Dell Recovery media? I think the recovery media must have something Dell specific pre-installed which is causing this, as I have only heard about this happening then. I would uninstall everything that doesn't belong to m$ Windows.
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Expert Comment

by:gromack
Finally got it. I had been using a fix found on the page in link below;

http://superuser.com/questions/951960/windows-7-sp1-windows-update-stuck-checking-for-updates

Originally using the method laid out in the response that starts
'This issue has come and gone over the years with different fixes along the way, so here is my updated guide to this issue as of this date January 5th, 2016.'
While this one had worked just fine on numerous computers over the last year, I went to the one above it & that one finally worked for me!
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Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
Rindi,

Reinstalling a Dell Optiplex 990.  The reinstall disk from Dell is W7 SP1.  

After trying several other methods to try to get past "Checking for Updates" which I have let run for 48 hrs with no result... I then reformatted and reinstalled again... then tried the Method 1 you outlined above. The update agent 949104 installed quickly. The KB 3102810, however, immediately began "Searching for updates on this computer", is that what is supposed to happen?

Letting it run for now... but thought I would check if what I am seeing is "normal".



Ran that.
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
The KB will search, but it shouldn't search too long.

With Dell Recovery Media I am suspecting that other 3rd party software gets installed along with Windows. I can't verify that as I have no example to test it with myself. If it still takes a long time searching for updates even after you have applied the patches and rebooted, I suggest you check under Add/Remove Programs in the control panel, and remove everything that doesn't belong to m$ Windows, reboot, then try updating again.
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Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
This was a Windows 7 Pro... so the reinstall disk did not have all the junk that a Windows 7 Home would have.

I checked Programs and Features and found that all that was there was the NIC driver, Firefox, and under "Show all updates" - were the two KB's you referenced that I installed. After several hours with nothing happening, I checked Programs and Features - Show all updates - and nothing had changed.  

I then thought of the possibility that the update process used components of IE... which on the reinstall disk is a very old version. So I downloaded Version 11 and it installed several updates it wanted... bringing the total updates installed to 14.

Rebooted, then started the update process again... and now after 24 hrs I still show "checking for updates".

MS used to have a "Fix-It" program that I had used for a similar problem in the past that worked like a charm.  Searching for it now turns up no active links so MS must have dumped it for some reason.

Any other ideas?
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
I have only heard of problems with Dell PC's, that's why I think it must be something that comes with the recovery media of Dell. IE 11 is an update itself , so it should get installed automatically with the updates.

How have you setup your updates (automatic, etc)?

You could try disabling updates, reboot, then enabling automatic updates, reboot, then wait it out.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
Thanks for the quick reply... turned off automatic, as well as unchecking "give me recommended as well". Shut down completely... restarted... and change settings to Automatic.  Letting it run...
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Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
The morning after.... still hung on checking for updates...

For reference the new HD I am working with a hybrid drive UEFI, but I don't see how that would affect updates, when IE was already to install the updates it needed.

Ideas?
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
The disk makes no difference. If you click on Start, does the Shutdown option show an exclamation mark? If so shutdown, as then some updates may already have been downloaded and need to finish installation through a shutdown.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
Sorry for the delay... relatives invaded our home for the entire Holiday week... am just looking at the problem computer again... But actually that delay turned out OK.  After not doing anything with it for three days...

If I click Start | Shutdown there is no exclamation point.  

The screen is hung has been hung on :

Screen Title: Windows Update
Detecting Problems (I tried to run the troubleshooter native to Windows 7)
Checking for Updates Online

That was where I left it three days ago.

However, this morning I cancelled the troubleshooter... then went back to control panel | windows update... and it showed:

211 Important updates available to download.
7 optional updates.

That is the first time I saw it get that far.
So I gave it a go ahead and we will see what happens.

Makes me wonder if MS is throttling down access to its update servers to "encourage" migration to Windows 10.

Will post back with results.... suspect this will take a while even thought I have a 80 mbps download speed available...
0
 
LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
No. I've just done a Windows 7 installation to a VM today, installed the agent and patch, rebooted, set the system to get updates automatically, then was away for a about half an hour, and after I returned, it showed all the updates.
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Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
Hmmmm.  

It's been about 2 hrs since my last email and the download progress shows  0KB Total and 0% completed... but I have seen that happen before when downloads were indeed downloading. Will just wait at this point.
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LVL 88

Author Comment

by:rindi
You can look again at the shutdown from the start menu. If there is a yellow explanation mark there, it has downloaded and installed updates, and if you do shutdown, it would finish installing them.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
Nope - after 24hr plus none of the 211 updates installed.  Start button did not have an exclamation point. Rebooting showed no new updates installed.

Started update again... but progress again shows 0% and 0%. Bummer.
0
 

Expert Comment

by:Tomster2
On a sheer hunch (and desperation) I selected Show Important Updates.  I unchecked all of them... scrolled down to the bottom of the list (where the earliest updates where.  I clicked the last three which included:

Definition update for Windows Defender KB915597
Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool x64 KB 890830
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 for x64 based systems KB 976932

They installed cleanly.  I then selected the next 10, and they installed cleanly. Then clicked the balance, and they also installed cleanly.

I know... I earlier said the disk I used was a Windows 7 Pro SP 1 disk.  Double checking now, that is what it reads.
I also know that I checked Computer | Properties and it showed Windows 7 SP 1, as that was a requirement for one of the KB's you suggested.

So when is SP 1 not SP 1? I don't know, but that, or one of the other three listed above was the problem blocking the downloads.

Rindi, thank you very much for sticking with this thread. I hope the notes I added here will help others.
1
 

Expert Comment

by:Ryan Gerecke
I use WSUS offline (wsusoffline.net).  After installing the update to Windows Update that you linked first, this will download all updates and install them in a cmd window.  Working at a school, I cannot have a computer take all day just to install updates.  This has cut the time down significantly, and I can make one offline install package to deploy across many computers.
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