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Windows Updates??

Posted on 2001-07-26
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I was just wodering if anyone has been experiencing problems today with Windows Updates?

I don't know if it is our network or Microsoft.
This is what I've been running into.
We can go all the way through the Windows updates. But when it begins the download process we see no files being downloaded. It just stays at 0KB/xxxxKB (the bar doesn't move). This happens on every machine we try, no matter the OS.
This has been happening for about the past week or so. Yesterday and the day before the site was working fine though. It's odd for like the whole day this happens, then all of the sudden it starts working again.
I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced the same problem. Otherwise I've got to figure out what the cause is. (most likely something on our network since it happens to all pcs)

Let me know if you need clarification.
Thanks
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Question by:Ajnin
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by:slink9
ID: 6322272
I just downloaded a small file perfectly (10:37 am Eastern Standard Time).  It could be your network or it could be a router (or group of routers) between you and the MS site.
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by:Ajnin
ID: 6322395
I was afraid of that.
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by:slink9
ID: 6322605
If location makes a difference, I am about 50 miles East of Raleigh, NC.
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by:melchioe
ID: 6322611
We're behind a firewall here, and it is working fine (has been every day for weeks, we're in the middle of some updates).  I'd bet that if you haven't changed anything on your network, there's a good chance it's at your ISP or further upstream.

The other possibility is that there is some machine on your network that's only on or active at certain times, keeping you from getting the files.  I have seen this with a malfunctioning Xerox Docucenter, and also with some HP printers.  I've also seen broadcast storms from a misbehaving PC produce similar symptoms.
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melchioe earned 100 total points
ID: 6322620
And I'm in Milwaukee WI.

Can you sniff the network at problem times?  Looking for broadcast storms might be fruitful, and if you can mirror your full uplink port, peeking into that traffic could be helpful.

The other thing I wanted to point out is that when we were being smurfed a while back we had very similar symptoms as well.  

Can you download other files at good speed, or is it just MS update?
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by:Ajnin
ID: 6322828
We're located Corpus Christi,TX

I'm not quite sure what you mean by smurfed. (hacked?)

We have a sniffer just no one here knows how to use the darn thing. Man I love this place. (yes that's sarcasum)

We are behind a firewall. We're on a T1 line that is provided by our local junior college. The DNS server (provided by the college) is outside the firewall. So the problem could be at the college too. I'll see if we can check on that.

And yes we can download from other sites. I wouldn't call it a good speed though. Around 6 to 10K depending on the site. Before business hours though download speeds are up to 60K and higher. It has always been this way though. And I've experienced this problem during non business hours.
For a workaround I'm downloading the critical/security updates from Microsoft's download site (not the windows updates site but the download site). But this is tedius as I have to download each one individually then install each one on the workstation the workstation.

We have quite a few HP printers (500+).

Our WAN manager says there's nothing he can do if it works sometimes. (He's suppose to be the one that uses the sniffer software). I'll give him melchioe information on the broadcast storms and see what he says.

Man I hope it's the location but I'm getting doubtful.

Hope this makes sense
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:wwhitehouse
ID: 6324003
Presuming your firewall isn't blocking the protocals....For a test, most firewalls can to an unblocked NAT to a specific IP.  Have your firewall guy arrange this to a specific computer in your network and see if it fixes the situation.

FYI
 I have found similiar intermittent updates from microsoft.  When the US backbone is busy (9:00am EST - 6:00pm PST),  the file updating goes to hell and finally I would give up.  I can successfully do the updates in the wee hours of the morning successfully.  The problem gets worse if you have more than 30 hops to microsoft.  My first location has approx 10 hops (use tracert.exe to verify) and success if very high at low usage periods.  Another site has 20 hops typical and the success rate is much lower.

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by:Ajnin
ID: 6324178
I'm rejecting this for right now mainly because it is common for experts to propose comments instead of answers unless your 110% (higher according to some experts) sure it will solve the problem.
I'm not saying your incorrect I just want other experts input.

Actually I'd like to see if someone in my region is experiencing the same problems.

We don't block any specific IP adresses.
I did run tracert after my last post and found it was 15 hops away. There was something I thought that was odd though. Only one of our routers and microsofts site replied back. The other 13 had request timed out. I even increased the timeout setting with the same result.

I've tried the downloads early in the morning (7:00AM Eastern) with no luck. Except for yesterday and the day before.

I don't know if this means anything but once the downloads start to work they'll work for the rest of the day (or atleast up to 6:00 pm Central) with no problems.

I would really like to blame it on something else and not our network but I need to be for sure.
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by:melchioe
ID: 6324237
was the traceroute that had timeouts when the updates work or not?  It'd be interesting to compare traceroutes when it is working and not.  


Maybe someone along the way is playing with a firewall.
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by:melchioe
ID: 6326518
Something you said reminded me of an issue I had once where a connection along the way had one side set to hal-duplex and the other set to full duplex.  It worked out to be a machine acting as a packet filter in the line of a backbone uplink, and once we settled that down, it worked fine.  The symptoms were extremely slow download speed, timeouts on connection sensitive sites (like MS update).  We typically got 10Kbps on Internet downloads while behind the bottleneck, and 1Mbps on the other side.  It would phase in from time to time, and especially when the box would be rebooted.  I'd start making sure all connection points in your bacbone are set to the same duplex settings.  Even if the WAN guy says they are, that doesn't mean they are - I've been caught too many times in the trap of my assumptions.  Can't hurt to check...
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by:Otta
ID: 6327050
> We are behind a firewall. We're on a T1 line that is provided by our local junior college.

Check the log-files on the firewall.
Did it "block" anything at the same date/time that you tried to download ?
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by:melchioe
ID: 6334040
A smurf attack is a flood of ping responses - read more at http://iroi.seu.edu.cn/books/whatis/denialof.htm
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by:Ajnin
ID: 6341067
OK just letting you all know what's up.

Well it started working yesterday afternoon and is still working now. The tracert still pulls the same info though  (when I ran it before, was when it wasn't working).

The WAN people are not cooperating to well but I finally got someone to try the sniffer out. They need to make a change on a switch first they said (so probably next week). As far as checking the backbone their neglectant to do this. I'm still working on it.

Anyone know of any places in Tesas looking for a tech :)

Oh well I'll let you all know the status here in a couple of days.
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by:slink9
ID: 6341495
Anybody know of a place in NC looking for a guru?  I have been looking for a job for about seven months with no real bites.  I interviewed at UNC-CH but didn't want to drive 150 miles per day.  Now I hear that NC laid off 278 people.  I am glad that didn't work out.
I still have a job, but I am extremely unhappy at it and don't know how long the business will be around.
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by:Ajnin
ID: 6349935
Well I think we got it. It's not fixed but I beleive we have the cause.
It stopped working again yesterday so I called our WAN guy. Well he blew me so I kept bugging him. Finally he gave me the number to the Administrator of our local colleges network. This guy was real helpful. When he checked the traffic he so that it was HEAVILY-HEAVILY conjested (over 300 packets, 1150 collisions, etc.). So he checked his side of the network and there was very little traffic on it so he checked our side. He found that our network was causing this congestion. I'll have to wait to see how the traffic is when we're able to download to confirm this.
So we believe the problem is not due to one machine but to a number of machines streaming in audio and video (we have caught user doing this when it wasn't needed for the job), also possibly using file sharing software. We want to setup stricter policies and deny users from doing this, but that is easier said than done, politics what can I say.

melchioe mentioned a misbehaving PC. It's actually the users though.
wwhitehouse mention a busy backbone. The thing is it's our backbone and not the US backbone.

Open for comments.
Thanks again
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by:Ajnin
ID: 6367819
Ok we have confirmed this to be the problem. It seems when we get to over 300 packets coming in & out then this is when we run into the problem. If there is under 300 packets coming in & out then the problem does not exist.

Now who should get the points? (melchioe or wwhitehouse)
Are should I split them?
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by:Otta
ID: 6368369
> Should I split them?

If you want to "split", contact E-E's Customer Service:
 cs@experts-exchange.com
and tell them how many points are to go to which expert.
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by:Ajnin
ID: 6373917
I'm going to go ahead and award melchioe the 100 points since his comments were the most useful and I'll go ahead and post another question for wwhitehouse worth 50 points since his comment was pretty close.

I couldn't see splitting to 75 and 25. Just didn't seem right.

Thanks again
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