Recently I have been unable to download or install Windows Updates on my Windows 7 Professional SP-1 32-bit machine. Windows Update says it is "Searching for Updates", and that continues for twenty minutes, or until I close the window. I tried various solutions which were suggested in a previous EE question thread, but there was no resolution -- please see http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28791282/Windows-Update-just-checks-perpetually.html#a41147926
These included sfc /scannow; deleting contents of subfolders in the Windows>SoftwareDistributi
on folder; running the Windows Update Diagnostic Utility; and installing a Microsoft fixit -- the System Update Readiness Tool. I also restored a saved disk image from a time when Windows Update worked correctly, all to no avail. I used the Windows 7 SP-1 installation DVD to perform a repair upgrade, with no resolution.
Since then, I installed a fresh (not upgrade) Windows 7 32-bit system on the same desktop, and Windows Update still never stops searching for updates. I also have a 64-bit Windows 7 partition on that machine, and Windows Update has stopped working on that system as well, with the same perpetual checking behavior.
These observations lead me to suspect a hardware issue. I can't understand how a hardware issue could selectively impair just Windows Update, with no other gross symptoms. But I can't logically explain why Windows Update just keeps searching -- even if I restore a saved disc image from a time when there was no issue, and even on a fresh Windows 7 installation