Older Laptop Will Not Run Windows Updates ("Checking For Updates" hangs)

On a ten year old laptop with a 1.6 Ghz Mobile Intel processor and 1.25 GB of RAM, Windows Vista x86 (32 bit) or Windows 7 sp1 x86 (32 bit) install fine, and will also install the first Windows Update updated agent (requires a reboot).  But after that the Windows Updates just hangs on "Checking For Updates" for hours. Windows has been reinstalled from scratch several times (both Windows Vista and Windows 7 Pro sp1), and the Windows Update Mr Fix IT utility has also been run. Finally, the SoftwareDistribution folder has been deleted and allowed to recreate. But for some reason this older laptop will not run Windows Updates. It meets the minimum requirements for Windows Vista or Windows 7 (at least a 1 Ghz processor and at least 1 GB of RAM), has all of the drivers installed, and as mentioned any version of a 32 bit Windows OS will install fine.  Linux will also install and update fine on this laptop, so it does not appear to he hardware related.  Is there anything that can be modified or reconfigured that will allow Windows Updates to run and complete on this older but otherwise fine laptop  ?  TIA ...
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NerdsOfTechTechnology ScientistCommented:
Although 1GB may be "initial minimums" for both OS's mentioned, it is a fact that MORE available memory than even 1.25GB is needed for the system. Probably the 100's of MB worth of secondary updates is too much for that system to process too. Bottom line: RAM isn't sufficient. And it sounds like neither is the CPU. Minimums are initial. I would consider that config obsolete.

Save your time and money by canning that system or using it just for linux. It's not worth salvaging a system like that when for a few hundred bucks you can get a new computer with many more resources (that you could install the OS of your choice --- that is, if windows 10 isn't your cup of tea).

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How long did you wait while checking for updates? On such old hardware this can take very long (hours) until you even get a list of available updates. I suggest you wait longer. Maybe even leave the PC running overnight.
LGroup1Author Commented:
Thanks all.  I let the Windows Updates run for about two to three hours.  Although I knew the processor and RAM were a bit light on this laptop, I also thought or perhaps incorrectly assumed (or hoped) that running Windows Updates was not really processor or RAM intensive.  Is there some way to manually download and install the larger updates ?   Other than the Windows Updates hanging the laptop actually runs pretty well ...
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You can use wsusoffline, a tool to download updates and install them. It doesn't work for all though, and the installation will take time too:

NerdsOfTechTechnology ScientistCommented:
Yes you can manually download updates but it is a daunting task; unfortunately, this is practically inefficient since the computer doesn't even get to the point of listing out the updates needed.

Using an offline tool or equivalent may be the only way---yet having to do this in itself puts into question if the computer can be stable/usable even after forced update.
LGroup1Author Commented:
Update: The updates did eventually install on the older laptop, but as mentioned in the reply post above it took a very, very long time (well over six or seven hours just to get past the first 'Checking for Updates' screen or scan).   It appears that something funny is going on with the Windows Updates for Windows 7 now that they are also pushing out options to upgrade to Windows 10.  We even tried updating a clean Windows 7 install on a higher end PC and with a 10Mbs-plus Internet connection and even that took over five hours just hanging on that initial 'Checking for Updates' screen.  I have run Windows Updates on clean installs of Windows for well over ten years, and there is something funny going on now that makes the process -especially the initial 'Checking for Updates' scan - take painfully long, even with a fast Internet connection and on higher end machines.   Thanks again all for the replies,
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Windows 7

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