In the past few months I faced a serious issue with brand new installation of Windows 7.
From a previously perfectly-working installation image, I kept ending up with a seemingly broken installation in the sense that Windows Update apparently wasn’t working properly.
WU appeared to be continuously looking for updates never stopping and starting the actual downloading and installation. Even after leaving it work for hours at a time, it was impossibile to obtain or install any update.
As you can image, it is a serious issue in a constantly changing IT landscape and with threats increasing day by day having a Windows installation stuck at SP1 level updates.
I looked on several discussion boards trying to find a solution for this issue but it appeared to be impossibile as the only widely mentioned solution was the Windows Update Troubleshooter that unfortunately didn’t solve the issue at all.
Finally, a few days ago, I stumbled on the real solution of the trouble in the form of a post on SuperUser where the issue is explained and a solution is proposed.
The explanation of the problem is that the Update Catalog grew so big that the number of updates released from the SP1 to 2016 is simply huge and it took Windows Updates several hours and a lot of system resources to enumerate all of them and show them to the user. Even in a typical 4- or 8-hours work session there is simply not enough time to do all of the above.
The easy solution for this is download a pre-packed sets of updates locally, so the delta Windows Update has to deal with is much smaller and manageable in reasonable time.
The above mentioned post explain it all, here’s the quick version:
- Download the KB3020369 (April 2015 servicing stack update)
- Stop Windows Update service
- Install the KB3020369 you just downloaded
- Download KB3172605 (July 2016 update rollup) check that WU service is still stopped, or stop it if it’s running
- Install the KB3172605
- Finally download the KB3125574 (Convenience rollup update)
- Again, stop WU
- Install the KB3125574
After one or more of this steps you might be required to restart your machine. It is important that, before start the installations, you stop Windows Update service.
At the end of the installations, you’all have a Windows installation updated to the patches released up to April 2016.
Most important, now Windows Update will be back working as intended in a reasonable fast way.