Windows 7 Updates Are Painfully Slow on HP Laptop

My client has a Hewlett-Packard HP G56 laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) SP2 running on a 2.20 gigahertz Intel Celeron 900 with 3 GB of RAM.

It has been acting erratically lately and given that it’s 4 years old, I figured that doing a complete factory reset would help speed it up. But so far it does not seem to have helped one bit.

Particularly troubling is that Windows Update is acting unreliably in addition to being insanely slow. I had it sitting there for over an hour “Checking for new updates” so I figured I would shut it down and then reboot. As it started shutting down it notified me to please wait as there 34 pending Windows updates to install. That’s fine, but an hour later and it is still on Update #14.

I realize that this is a 4 y/o laptop with a Celeron CPU, but it still strikes me as unreasonably slow.

Would appreciate suggestions for getting Windows Update to work more reliably & quickly. Also suggestions to possibly speed this thing up, other than the obvious things like defragging the HDD and removing unnecessary startup programs & services.

Thanks in advance.
anuneznycAsked:
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Dan CraciunIT ConsultantCommented:
Looks too slow for that configuration.

First thing: check the logs for errors, particularly disk related.
Use CrystalDiskInfo to check the health of your disk.

HTH,
Dan
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Good idea, Dan. Will follow your advice and post an update later. Thanks.
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jcimarronCommented:
anuneznyc--
Do you have the problem on other download sites?

Lots of ideas for fixing Windows Updates.

Did you check in Services that Windows Update service and Remote Procedure Call service are on?

Reset Windows Update
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/windows-update-issues/en-us

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906602

Windows Update Troubleshooter
http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9830262  or
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/971058

Fixit
http://support.microsoft.com/mats/windows_update/en-us

Reinstall Windows Update Agent (different links for different Win 7 systems (32bit and 64bit))

http://download.windowsupdate.com/WindowsUpdate/redist/standalone/7.1.6001.65/WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe

http://download.windowsupdate.com/WindowsUpdate/redist/standalone/7.1.6001.65/WindowsUpdateAgent30-x64.exe 

Run the Windows Update Readiness tool:
http://support2.microsoft.com/?kbid=947821

Scan for viruses and other malware.

Run SFC /SCANNOW from a Command Prompt

Run a System Restore to a date before the problem started.

Run a Repair Install.  A Repair Install should not affect personal data or installed programs. but it never hurts to backup first.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html 

If you have an error code
http://support2.microsoft.com/common/survey.aspx?scid=sw;en;3779&showpage=1
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
jcimarron, thanks for the suggestions. However, this a brand-new install of Windows, so I find it extremely unlikely that there would be any corrupt system files or malware. Also, no viable System restore points on a Win install that is only 6 hours old.

No specific error codes. Just general slowness & wonkiness.
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
It's possible the HD might be failing.  You can check them with the following or similar programs.

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

http://www.hdtune.com/ 

If the HD is failing you can get a 1 TB spindle drive for less than $100 or if your client doesn't need that much space and performance is more important, go with an SSD.  The prices have been coming down lately.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Installed & ran Crystal Disk and it shows the health of the HDD as Good.
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jcimarronCommented:
anuneznyc--

Even brand new systems can have/get malware/viruses.

But is the problem only when you download from Windows Update, or other sites as well?
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
jcimarron. Yes, your point is valid. But I have run MS Safety Scanner. No infections found.

Yes, only super-slow on OS updates.
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nobusCommented:
i fear your OS is corrupt, since you said you're running windows  7 SP2 - this does not even exist !

since you did a factory reset   - you disk probably is fine; but you're simply looking at a slow system imo

if you want it a lot faster -  upgrade the ram to 4 GB, and , most important, install an SSD for the OS - i did this on older systems even -  and they run like hell
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Oops, that was my mistake, Nobus. I incorrectly wrote SP2. I meant to to write SP1.

Yes, I agree that upgrading to an SSD would make a huge difference.
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nobusCommented:
no problem; but with MS - you never know ...
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
LOL. Agreed!!
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jcimarronCommented:
anuneznyc--
"But is the problem only when you download from Windows Update, or other sites as well?"
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Yes. As I wrote on earlier reply, only super-slow on OS updates.

However, now that I have gotten a good chunk of the OS updates installed, now the Update process seems to be running faster.
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nobusCommented:
a couple of reboots can change that behavior, by installing more updates
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Were all drivers correctly installed before WU started running?  If not, some of the slowness could be related to not using optimal versions.  
WU may have fixed this itself by downloading newer versions, especially if the Optional Updates were being applied, which may explain the speed increase.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
DanCh99. I restored the laptop to the factory install, which would imply all the correct drivers were installed as per the manufacturer's specifications. However, since the laptop is 4 y/o, they certainly wouldn't be the latest & greatest versions of said drivers.

So yes, as WU installed newer (and more efficient) versions, it would speed the system up. That could explain why now it seems to be running at a fairly good clip.
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nobusCommented:
>>   which would imply all the correct drivers were installed as per the manufacturer's specifications  <<  i agree -but these are the drivers available at manufacturing time - which may be more than a year gone....
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
anyway, as it's running well now, there's no other issues to solve?  Your only way to troubleshoot it further if you can be bothered would be to fit a different hard disk, and repeat the process, perhaps updating drivers first?

That CPU was first released Q1 2009, so the laptop may be older than you think:
http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/4381/IntelR-CeleronR-CPU----------900----220GHz
 - and not the fastest CPU ever.... perhaps the initial updates were particularly CPU intensive?
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nobusCommented:
i still suggest an SSD for more punch...a lot more punch
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

Not enough information to confirm an answer.
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anuneznycAuthor Commented:
Sorry, guys. Going to assign points & close this now.
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