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Windows 7 - SP1 - Updates Take Forever

Posted on 2016-10-03
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Last Modified: 2016-10-07
Here are the notes I took:

If it is a new install you first need to download the latest Windows Update Agent: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/949104 then reboot

after it reboots download and run the update patch here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810

Reboot again and the updates should work. It still might take a while. From the original installs there are upwards of 200 updates
just in the first pass. Be patient and let it run.

Well. This is X64. I installed the Windows Update Agent. Downloaded the patch to fix the high CPU usage and it did not help. Windows Update is taking up a constant 25% CPU usage and 1.5GB (yes GB). What did I miss?
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Question by:LockDown32
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John Hurst earned 168 total points
ID: 41826468
So the first two patches above were done and you restarted. Good.

Try the following (work in many cases).

Go to Windows Updates, set to Never, shut down, start up, set Windows Updates to Automatic. They will start running. Leave as long as it takes including overnight tonight. It should update if you allow it to run for a lengthy period.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 166 total points
ID: 41826921
Just let it run. Those values you get are no problem. Of course also make sure you have SP1 installed (although I don't think you could install the agent or the patch on pre-SP1 Windows 7).
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by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
ID: 41827493
it still can take more than an hour for the updates to start downloading
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41827824
Geesh. Comcast 105/20. 12 hours later and no sign of updates. They sure killed off Windows 7 quick.....
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41827852
If you did all you said and all I asked, try the following two things.

1. Open an admin command prompt, run SFC /SCANNOW, allow to complete, restart and test.

Then, if this does not work, run Windows 7 Repair Install from the Windows 7 DVD or a working recovery partition. Here is a Seven Forums tutorial to assist.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41827867
There is nothing to this. My instructions were perfect. No need to run a repair install. It was a fresh install. Straight from a Dell Windows 7 X64 SP1 DVD to a brand new Optiplex 3040. You don't think M$ might have something to do with it do you?
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41827871
Things go wrong during install, so that is why I suggested a repair install.

We can reinstall Windows 7 on Lenovo machines, and we do not use Dell.

Can you get the Dell Recovery media and install from the OEM Recovery Media?  That may help.
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by:nobus
ID: 41828213
it starts stinking on the MS side of w7...
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by:rindi
ID: 41829799
Just yesterday evening I installed Windows 7 to a PC, and after installing the agent and patch, it only searched for about an hour for the updates. The download of them took another hour, and the installation itself took about 3, which isn't bad. I can't see anything wrong with the m$ side.

Today I installed Windows 10 build 1607 on the same PC, and after that ran the Windows 10 Updates. Just downloading the updates that came after the anniversary build took about the same overall time which the Windows 7 updates took last night.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41829813
That isn't bad. I believe I have the same results with 32-bit. From what I can tell it appears to be 64-bit Windows 7 that has the problem. Have you tried a 64-bit Windows 7?

Windows 10 is fine and updates immediately....
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by:John Hurst
ID: 41829815
Thanks for the update. I can get Windows 7 Pro 64-bit to update, but I have not recently tried a bare metal fresh install. I have not had a need to do this.
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by:rindi
ID: 41829891
It was the 64 bit version.
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by:nobus
ID: 41830067
apparently, some systems do it better than others  -but why?
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41830077
That is what I am beginning to wonder. The problems I have seem to always be the Dell OEM 64-bit Windows 7. It has been running Windows Update for 24 hours on a Comcast 105/20 and still has not found updates.....
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by:nobus
ID: 41830092
if a car needs 3 hours to get a fill - the world would be too small for all complaints
but MS gets away with it because everybody says "well probably it is normal"
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by:rindi
ID: 41830112
It can be hardware dependent. The installation I did yesterday was on a Core2Quad (q9550). It will probably take longer on slower CPU's. But I've also done it on Core2Duo CPU's previously and it didn't take significantly longer. While on an atom n280 (single core, 32 bit with hyperthreading) it did take pretty long, but that was a long time ago and I don't remember whether I already installed the agent and patch on that one.

I doubt it has anything to do with whether it is Dell OEM or not, but can't tell as I don't have OEM. But maybe you have some Dell Software installed that could be causing troubles.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41830190
Dell does actually modify the Windows Installation media. This is a brand new i5-6500 with an SSD so I don't think it is a CPU/Speed issue. Lord knows what else they changed. I have done a ground zero install (X64 SP1)  several times in the last couple months and the initial update just doesn't work.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41830562
This is Dell.... I got a new one in the door today. Pre-loaded with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit so I didn't have to do a ground zero install. This one is from the factory. I installed the latest Windows Update Agent and the "supposed" high CPU patch then rebooted.

Running Windows Update the CPU is a constant 25%. That is enough to put the computer down.... and it isn't a problem?
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by:rindi
ID: 41830568
The 25% is no problem at all.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41830579
You say that but at a constant 25% CPU usage the computer is for all practical purposed dead. Why is that not a problem?
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by:rindi
ID: 41830617
Why should the PC be dead at just 25% CPU load? That is almost running idle. At 100% or close to that it gets dead. Besides, During an installation when running updates, you probably wouldn't be using the PC anyway, as it isn't ready yet for normal work.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41830643
What? Never.... you start pulling a constant 15% and it is desegregated. When did a constant 25% become acceptable? A computer that is pretty much idle will run close to 0%. An occasional 2-5% but then right back to pretty much 0. We are talking computers right? My Windows 10 shows 2%. That is idle. A constant 25% is death.....
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by:rindi
ID: 41832002
What does it matter? This is a temporary situation while searching for or installing updates just after the system has been installed freshly. You don't use the PC at this stage productively yet. It could use all the CPU and RAM while it is doing that for all that it is worth. Also, when doing normal updates after that stage, it shouldn't matter either, as you would generally do that during off hours and not while you are using the PC. Why not use the CPU power your PC has? 25% also doesn't really stop you working unless you really do some really CPU intensive work.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41832037
What you neglected to mention and would have clarified your comment about a constant 25% not being an issue is that KB3102810 was designed to help fix problems when the CPU is running 75% to 100%. That 25% is not an issue when addressing Windows Update and the high utilization caused by Windows Updates.

One way or the other Windows Updates is broken. Three threads on it have opened up just in the last 3 days. Here is my observation about KB3102810:

The problem is that KB3102810 doesn't do anything. You try and install it and a window pops up "Windows Update Standalone Installer" "Searching for updates on this computer" and just like the Windows Update issue we are trying to correct it sits there and doesn't do anything but search for days. I thought it was a patch, a fix, but all it does is search the computer for updates. You can't reboot after installing KB3102810 because nothing installs.

   The same holds true for the Windows 7 Update Rollup. "Searching for updates on this computer" and two days later it is still search. You would sure think the Update Rollup would install (LOL) updates but no. You would think KB3102810 would install a patch but no. Both just sit there searching the computer for updates.

   I can see why Windows Updates never works. KB3102810 and the Windows Update Rollup don't work. So has anyone actually has KB3102810 do anything?
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by:rindi
ID: 41832100
I never looked at the CPU usage. But I have noticed that with the patch installed the search for updates went a lot faster than with it not installed. My main issue that gets fixed with the agent and patch is the time used. I don't really care about the CPU usage... (also the patch does reduce the CPU usage from a near 100% to something around 25%).

I agree that the rollup usually doesn't work. I tried it several times, and it either failed completely, then reverted back to a "Pre-rollup" state, or the few times it didn't fail, and it had installed many updates after SP1, you still need to install the updates between the rollup and now, which takes as long as when you don't install the the rollup or the agent and patch. But the Agent and patch has never failed me yet.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41832152
I agree. The CPU usage wouldn't bother me if the Windows Updates actually worked but I have let it go 72 hours and it never comes back. Never. I can't stress the problem with KB3102810 or the Windows Rollup enough. I think people are missing this. Attached is a screen shot of what I get when I install KB3102810. It never installs... never does anything....

It might be faster with the patch installed. I wouldn't know. I can't get the patch installed......
Capture.PNG
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by:rindi
ID: 41832219
Always install the agent before the patch, it reduces the time it takes to install a lot. I'd nevertheless check the Dell utilities your DELL OEM install includes, and maybe remove them before you start. Or try installing SP1 again, if that works.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41832239
It was done that way. Agent first, reboot, KB3102810 and the screen shot show the result of KB3102810. The Dell Media is SP1. So... I have yet to hear how KB3102810 is supposed to install. what is is "supposed" to do? I would assume NOT search forever but since I can't get it to work I have no idea what it is supposed to do......
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by:rindi
ID: 41832263
Have you tried re-installing SP1 over the top (not sure if it works, but I think it is worth a try), and also to remove all Dell Specific software before installing the agent and patch?
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41832288
I would be willing to try a bunch of things but until I can know for sure how KB3102810 is supposed to install it would be moot. Since no one has contradicted my screen shot nor told me what is supposed to happen I can only assume that what I am seeing is normal. That it is supposed to sit there forever and do nothing.
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by:rindi
ID: 41832387
On my systems it just installs pretty fast (I haven't timed it, but I think it normally takes less than a minute). It then asks for a reboot, and I do that.

I usually also have my systems pretty basic, just the OS which I install from an iso which I modified using nliteos, so that the same iso works for all Windows 7 versions from home basic to Ultimate, x32 and x64, SP1 integrated, many Windows settings adapted, Some Windows updates also already integrated. I also install Panda Free Antivirus. There is nothing else installed when I add the agent and the kb. This has always worked fine. So the only reason I can think of why you are having issues is because you either have too much DELL specific software installed that could be interfering, or something with SP1 isn't working properly.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41832651
Interesting. I have never had KB3102810 install. Just hangs searching. My Dells are just the basic too. The first thing I do is get rid of their bloatware. Windows, Java and Flash. That's it. No Dell specific software. At least I have a starting point now that I know what KB3102810 should do (and doesn't). Going to be interesting......
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by:rindi
ID: 41832661
It does take much longer to install if you don't install the agent before that. Then it can take up to 1 or more hours. Maybe the agent installation wasn't successful? Although even then it would eventually install, and not take 1 day or more.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41832700
The Agent is the only thing I am sure that did install. Next, Next, Next, done. Th KB3102810 is the problem child. It goes in to the above " "Searching for updates on this computer" and two days later it is still searching. I think if I can find out why KB3102810 doesn't install I might be getting closer.
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by:nobus
ID: 41833064
here the download link for it (64bit) :  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49540
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41833487
I don't need a link to KB3102810. The problems is installing it (see the screen shot above). I looked at this computer this morning and finally, after 24 hours of running, KB3102810 it installed. Then when I went to shut down it started to install 97 other updates.

I don't know if anyone actually watches it install but the first thing it does is search the computer for updates (once again see screen shot),  almost like checking to see if it isn't already installed, and then it installs. The problem is that the searching takes days just like the original Windows Update problem.
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by:LockDown32
ID: 41833495
Now a footnote.... I gave up on waiting for these Windows Updates on a computer I needed to install. I delivered the computer Monday and just for grins started the Windows Update. It is a Terminal Server so I stayed logged in and left. I would check on it remotely on occasion. Today, 4 days after starting Windows Update, 244 updates were ready to install. It ran for 4 days!
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by:nobus
ID: 41833781
good info  - i wonder if anybody outside the pc world finds such delays "workeable" in his field
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