On some Windows 7 (SP1) computers, Windows Update becomes super slow even the computer is reasonably fast. There's one solution that seemed to have worked well for me (after trying a few other suggested solutions).
Sometimes the Windows Update feature basically hung and you could be staring the "Checking for updates..." screen for days without it finishing - if you let it run that long! Based on my research online, it seems to be a peculiar bug that has root in both the service itself as well as Windows kernel itself. It surfaced a couple times in the past without Microsoft explaining too much about it. This is an article about the latest round (since May 2016).
What solved it for me was KB3172605
. There are two things you may also need to keep in mind.
- It needs KB3020369, so install that first if you don't have it on the system. Installed updates can be found in the "View update history" link from the Windows Update screen.
- The stand-alone installer may not work at all if you simple run them, basically suffering from the same "Checking for updates" bug. To get out of that catch-22, stop Windows Updates service first before running the installers.
Once I installed the hotfix (I already had the prerequisite) and restarted the computer, Windows Updates returned results in a very speedy 8 minutes. It's truly day and night! For about 3 months I couldn't get any updates, so it's a huge relief to be back in the good.