How do I get rid of the non-stop updating of Windows?

How do I get rid of the non-stop updating of Windows?

Now, I get notifications about every 3 hours that I need to restart Windows for the updates to take effect. Doesn't matter how many times I restart, this notification continues to pop up all the time after I've restarted. When shutting down Windows and restarting, I get the message that Windows is configuring the updates etc. A moment 22, doesn't end.

It's Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.
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hermesalphaAsked:
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rindiCommented:
If the OS came pre-installed, there should be a recovery partition on the HD from which you should be able to do a restore to the state the PC was delivered in Check the PC's manual for details or online on the Dell site. If I'm not mistaken, to get to the recovery option you turn the PC on, then when you get the Dell Splash screen, you press F11, and that should get you to the recovery system. In some cases you also need to make sure the recovery option is enabled in the BIOS (usually something like D2D or similar).

Apart from that those PC's that come with the system pre-installed and with no separate recovery media, have utility included which allows you to create one set of recovery CD's/DVD's. That should always be one of the first things to be done after a new PC is unpacked and setup the first time. Normally there is also a reminder about that, but many people don't realize what it means and click it away, disabling further reminders. Again check your manual for details on making recovery Media, and look for a Dell utility installed on the system that would do that. It should still be possible to create those media, so unless your recovery partition is corrupt and you already made those media and lost them, or you are now unable to make them, you shouldn't have to order new media from Dell.

If you do have to order the media from Dell, it should at least not be expensive. Normally they are just a nominal value along with the shipping costs.
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rindiCommented:
Use the previous System Restore Point to go back to. Then run Windowsupdates again, but only update one after the other, so if any one of them results in the same issue again you can uninstall it and check about the cause or remedies.
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Run5kCommented:
If Rindi's good suggestion doesn't work, try the following:

1.  Open an elevated command prompt (Start -> type cmd in the search field, right-click the result and Run as administrator)
2.  Stop the Windows Update service by typing Net stop wuauserv and hit enter.
3.  Navigate to the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder and either delete the contents or rename it to SoftwareDistribution.old
4.  Restart the Windows Update service within the command prompt by typing Net start wuauserv and hit enter.
5.  Try to install the Windows updates again.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2509997
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks, I'll try your suggestions. If I use System Restore, will I loose anything on the Desktop that was saved before the restore point? Or loose installed software? If so, perhaps I should try the Command prompt solution first, what do you think?
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Run5kCommented:
Utilizing a System Restore point won't cause you to lose any personal files or folders, including the items on your desktop.  As far as installed software is concerned, that depends upon the restore point that you choose.  Anything that was installed after the effective date of the restore point that you select will be need to be installed again.

How to Do a System Restore in Windows 7
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rindiCommented:
It is quite unlikely that you have installed anything or much since the problem started, unless you have lived with that for months. Re-installing a little software shouldn't be an issue. As for data, as mentioned above, stays.

You only need a restore point of before the updates happened, which will likely be the newest one you have.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
I tried the Command prompt solution now, and then installed the updates again. At first I received the notification that the updates were installed, and I restarted the laptop. But the same thing after restarting: I get the message that "Failure configuring Windows update", "Shutting down".
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Now I tried the System restore solution, but there are only restore points 24 hours back in time, even when I mark the checkbox for showing more restore points. So there is no point in choosing any of these restore points as I have had this Windows update problem for a couple of days/a week.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
I remember now that I did an Acronis backup image earlier, and I am almost sure I did that before I had this issue with Windows Update failures. Will try to use that instead. But in that case, everything I have on the Desktop today, will that be replaced by the Desktop on the Acronis-image? So that I first need to backup the Desktop that is current today, and copy back after I have installed the Acronis-image?
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Only the Desktop and installed software and drivers that will be lost when I install the Acronis-image, nothing else to think of?
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rindiCommented:
You could use the "Windows Easy Transfer" wizard to backup your user and desktop settings, and then just restore that if your desktop is a lot different.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
It's very odd but Easy Transfer is not on my Windows 7. Is not in Accessories/System tools, and doesn't show up when I search for "easy" in Start.
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rindiCommented:
It could be that you need to add it through your control panel, Programs and Features, Turn Windows Features on or off.
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rindiCommented:
Or look for a file "migwiz.exe" (usually in C:\Windows\system32\migwiz\).
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I found the migwiz-file now. But I'm only given the option to transfer 60 GB (not possible to deselect "Other objects" which makes up almost all of these 60 GB. I can deselect pictures, Desktop etc. (but want to keep these as they don't take up much space). Only option I want to deselect is "Other objects" (which is not possible to deselect, no square for ticking off it).
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rindiCommented:
I can't replicate this. You may have to manually copy whatever you need.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
I did a recover from my Acronis-image that I created 8th August (three weeks ago). But the update issue was still present at that time, so I get the same problem now: I receive a message that the update was completed (9 important updates, which is one more than before I recovered) and need to restart to complete the update process. I do that, the laptop restarts, and starts to configure Windows according to the new updates.

And the configuring of Windows fails each time, so the changes are reverted. And then I receive the notification that 9 important updates are available. And so on.

Is there no other solution than to reinstall everything from scratch? In which case I need to contact Dell to have them deliver an installation-CD to me.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Thanks, I will see if it works to get the recovery option displayed when I boot up.

I was thinking of the nuisance with reinstalling all the software: To make it least troublesome, couldn't I use the Easy Transfer again, and save the software also? Although I need to reinstall them after I've recovered with the Dell boot-recovery, I will get them listed so it goes quick to just install from that list.

If that works, I would not loose so much time to get everything up running again: I already have transfered the settings, documents, desktop etc., and just need to do this for the software to get a current list of the software for easy and quick installation.
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rindiCommented:
I thought you had an issue with easy transfer. Chances are also that you might be transfering the problem back to the new installation that way. Apart from that it is more meant for your personal profiles, and not for installed software.

To get a list of installed software and their product keys you can use SIW:

http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/siw_portable

I would also recheck which of those apps you actually really need. Most of them can probably be replaced by the tools available via portableapps. Those apps don't really require an installation, you can carry them along with you on a USB stick and run them on any Windows PC you can use the stick on, but of course you can also store them on the PC's harddisk itself. The tools are all free, mostly OpenSource, and there are tools available that can replace most other installed software, for example you can get Open- or Libre-Office which are very good m$ Office replacements,, there is Thunderbird, the best Mail Client available, and you can enhance it's functions with addons so you get groupware functionality so it becomes an Outlook replacement. There is Gimp which is probably at least as good as Photoshop, and many more. The PortableApps tool itself manages all of those apps, you can use it to download those that are avaialble, and once included in the tool it also manages updates. I'm sure that after this you will only require very few of your currently installed programs:

http://portableapps.com/

If you are going to try restoring your easy transfer I suggest you make a system backup before that so in case it breaks something you can easily revert.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
If I use the factory reset of the OS, it will be restored to Windows 7 Home, so afterwards I would need to upgrade to the edition I currently have installed: Windows 7 Ultimate. I think I asked about how to do that earlier, will check that.

SIW Portable was really useful, thanks! Couldn't get it to work with displaying the license keys though. After I've generated a (detailed) report to HTML-format, and open that HTML, it says in that report that "Licenses. Not available for SIW Home Edition". But on their website, there is only the SIW Home Edition available for download, no option to buy any other version.
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rindiCommented:
Did you use the portableapps version of SIW which I linked to? That version does show the  keys on my system. If I click on "Licenses" in the "Software" Section it shows my installed software and their product keys.

It depends how you got your upgrade. Usually you would click on "Anytime Upgrade", buy the upgrade and then get the new key. After that all that should need to be done is to change the product key of windows, activate, and then you have ultimate. So you should mainly check the mails and invoices you got with your upgrade.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
I was just wondering, instead of first installing the Home edition, and then upgrade to Ultimate, couldn't I just go straight ahead and install my upgrade (Ultimate) first (and skip the Dell recovery procedure)? I'm downloading the upgrade edition (Ultimate) now, takes about one day because of my slow connection. Once I've downloaded it, I'm going to burn an ISO and can use it.

The SIW I downloaded and installed, and then used on my Windows 7 Ultimate was this one:

http://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/siw_portable

But after I've generated a (detailed) report to HTML-format, and opened that HTML, it said in that report that "Licenses. Not available for SIW Home Edition". Should I have downloaded from http://portableapps.com/ and used that instead?
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rindiCommented:
The Dell recovery procedure makes sue you have the proper drivers and tools installed or your system. As far as I know you would just have to then input the product key for your ultimate license and it should be OK.

You have downloaded SIW from the correct site. I have never used it's reports though, just clicked on licenses, and that shows me my keys. Maybe if you do it that way you'll see the keys. It is possible that reports are limited in the home edition.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Yes, I get the product keys displayed when viewing directly in the application, but it's not there when exporting as HTML-report. Wouldn't mind paying a little extra to get the step above home edition, but I couldn't find any option for buying anything.

Ok, so I should take the route via Home edition of Windows 7 first, then I upgrade to Ultimate edition. Will proceed like that.
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rindiCommented:
You can also get SIW from here:

http://gtopala.com

There are several non-free, newer versions there, and with those you would probably have that functionality.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the link! These versions seemed to be the latest, will try the PRO-version as soon as my download has finished tomorrow, and see if I get the product keys for installed software displayed in the HTML-exported report also.
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
The download of the ISO-image for Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit has finished now, just need to burn the ISO to a blank DVD. Wonder if I need to buy a software like this?:

http://www.petri.co.il/how_to_write_iso_files_to_cd.htm
http://www.petri.co.il/powerisolp.html

Or if there is any free utility I can use? But if I recall right, I think for these larger ISO-files there are no free utilities from what I found out earlier. Or would a free ISO-burner like this work also for an ISO-image on more than 3 GB?:

http://www.freeisoburner.com/
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Run5kCommented:
If you already have a Windows 7 machine available, you can utilize the built-in capability within the operating system to burn ISO images...

How to Burn a Disc Image from a ISO in Windows 7

If you don't have a Windows 7 machine at your disposal, you can use a reputable freeware tool.  My personal favorite is ImgBurn...

http://www.imgburn.com/
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Or could I use my Acronis True Image Home 2012? I tried "Mount an image" and chose the ISO I just downloaded, but received the message that "This is not the last volume of the backup archive".
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Run5kCommented:
I don't know for certain if Acronis True Image Home 2012 has that capability, but I doubt it.  The "image" that is referenced in the software title typically refers to a hard drive backup image, not an optical disc ISO image.  That's probably why you are seeing that error.

You should really consider using one of the two options in my previous post.  If you don't have another Windows 7 machine available, here is a good tutorial for ImgBurn:

How to Burn an ISO Image to a Disc
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hermesalphaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for quick reply Run5k! Very easy to activate the inbuilt capacity for DVD-burning, just to burn in a few minutes.
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rindiCommented:
Apart from that you could have used the burning tool you can get via PortableApps, infrarecorder. It's a very good burning utility. You could of course also use a USB stick instead of a DVD. The tool below helps to create such a stick:

http://www.datafilehost.com/download-a717212e.html
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