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  1. #1
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    Windows update check/download sometimes takes hours - why?

    For a couple of years, I have been using Windows 7 Pro on a pair of Dell Inspiron 7520 laptops.

    I have Windows update set to check for updates automatically, which it does regularly, but if I do a manual check, usually it happens fast, like everything else.

    However, occasionally, it just sits on "Checking for updates" for ages, apparently doing nothing, and this has happened several times over the past couple of days .

    According to some online sources, this can sometimes take several hours, so today I let it keep going (with nothing else running), and after 3 hours (!), it finally responded with a handful of new updates.

    Why would checking for updates sometimes happen immediately but other times take several hours? (It would not be due to my Internet connection, which is fast and stable.)

  2. #2
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    It might be due to Microsoft's internet connection, which is overloaded and a target for script kiddies.
    It also might be Windows being slow - we've had plenty of reports of checks in W7 taking forever.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    @ Murgatroyd

    You might find "Another Slow Updates Fix for Windows 7" helpful: http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...-for-Windows-7
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  4. #4
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    FWIW, I've just done a Win 7 system rebuild, starting with a pre-SP1 installation. I immediately disabled Windows Update. Having done that, the first update to install was SP1 (KB976932), followed by .Net 4.6 (KB3151800), then IE11 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/down...7-details.aspx) and Windows Update updates KB3020369 & KB3172605. After re-booting, Windows Update was enabled and, after an hour or so returned a list of ~170 updates. The KB updates mentioned above (& below) are all available via the Windows Update Catalog at http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Home.aspx. After installing all the listed updates, I installed the Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 (KB3125574).

    Do note that, if you're not on-line when installing IE11, you'll need to ensure the following updates are installed beforehand: KB2533623, KB2639308, KB2670838, KB2729094, KB2731771, KB2786081, KB2834140, KB2882822 & KB2888049. If you're online, the IE11 installer downloads them, if needed.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murgatroyd View Post
    However, occasionally, it just sits on "Checking for updates" for ages, apparently doing nothing, and this has happened several times over the past couple of days .
    It's an ongoing problem...
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/showthread.php/177015-Can-t-seem-to-d-l-updates?
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  6. #6
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    Joe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    The link from there to http://www.tweaking.com/forums/index....html#msg34782 implies that the Convenience rollup update (KB3125574) is needed to cure the Windows Update problem; it isn't. I've recently rebuilt a Win 7 system from scratch and did not need that update to cure the Windows Update problem (though I did install it after the other updates had been installed). Furthermore, the KB3125574 update won't install if the updates included in KB3020369 have not been installed beforehand. In my case, I didn't need to install the KB3020369 update because everything in it had already been installed by Windows Update before installing the KB3125574 update.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  8. #8
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    I've seen a good many reports that all the so-called solutions tend to work for a while but then the problem recurs, typically the next month. It's definitely an issue at Microsoft's end and for me it also affects the MSE updating and scanning schedules, they work fine immediately after installing the monthly Windows updates (which I don't do as soon as they are offered), and then everything slows down as the month progresses. It's also noticeable that the CPU usage when idle is typically around 25% until the updates are installed and then it runs at or close to 0% when idle. I have a manual fix for MSE which I use when the search for new definition updates gets stuck, but not for the Windows updates generally. Some months there's a specific update that's supposed to fix it but it doesn't last.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tandor View Post
    I've seen a good many reports that all the so-called solutions tend to work for a while but then the problem recurs, typically the next month.
    there are 'so-called solutions' and real solutions. You need to exercise some discernment.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  10. #10
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    I've tried several of these fixes on different machines and they only seem to work for one month. I gave up fixes and check for updates at bedtime and look in the morning.
    Joe

  11. #11
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macropod View Post
    there are 'so-called solutions' and real solutions. You need to exercise some discernment.
    The current CanadianTech solution is a recent solution, only made possible by the publishing of KB3172605 in July, the Dalai/krelay (linked from the Tweaking.com page) worked fine for many until after that date. The current spate of WU issues dates back to August 2015, I was hit by it from November 2015 onwards.

  12. #12
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    I had KB3172605 among this month's updates as well.

    I did a check for updates on one Win 7 machine and within a short while it gave me 12 to download which went smoothly.

    When I switched my other Win 7 on, Norton was well out of date so I had to bring that up date and then I got the auto notification that 11 were waiting to download, which also went smoothly.

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