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Message 45785 - Posted: 18 Dec 2016 | 16:05:54 UTC
Last modified: 18 Dec 2016 | 16:07:14 UTC

Here are some hard-earned tips that I use when doing a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit. They will probably work for the 32-bit version as well. The basic problem is that after installation, the Microsoft updates don't work after a point. You can spend hours waiting as it "checks for updates", and you don't get anything. MS probably worked overtime to get into that state, and it is up to us to undo it.

However, I suspect that they depend on your starting point. I start with the "Windows 7 Professional Upgrade" disk, which needs a valid license from a previous version of Windows (Vista or XP). And this disk does NOT have SP1 installed. These tips MIGHT work for the OEM version of windows with SP1 installed, but maybe not. This is all Microsoft black magic we are dealing with.

I don't have links for these, so you will have to search for them. I just keep copies for subsequent installations.


    First: After installing Win7, allow Microsoft Update to install Service Pack 1 (not via a previously downloaded file). That will allow installation of remaining needed drivers, etc.

    BUT: Thereafter, automatic updates will not function (long "Checking for Updates").

    So: Install the April 2015 servicing stack update for Windows 7
    (Windows6.1-KB3020369-x64)
    => Reboot
    Then: install Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 (SP2)
    (windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x64_2dafb1d203c8964239af3048b5dd4b1264cd93b9)
    => Reboot

    Finally: to get the updates working again,
    install Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu (July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1)
    (But note that if it won't install, then install KB3020369 first)

    And note that the August 2016 update rollup does not fix the update problem; only the July rollup does.
    => Reboot

    Thereafter, it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to check for the updates, depending on the speed of your connection.

    Useful reference:
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_programs/windows-7-stuck-checking-for-updates/3831ed28-bd33-4a69-9806-a900e3bb1299?auth=1)

    There are a lot of other references, depending on where you get stuck, but this technique works for me. However, if updates still do not work, you can run the "Windows Update Fix" (WindowsUpdateDiagnostic), which will find and fix a couple of errors. But the errors may be harmless, and it hasn't really fixed anything for me yet.

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Message 45788 - Posted: 18 Dec 2016 | 20:32:25 UTC

Microsoft's own solution to "Remove software related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer":
https://support dot microsoft dot com/en-us/kb/3184143

Here is the one I used:
https://www dot grc dot com/never10 dot htm?1
This is reversible when you decide to accept Win 10.
Deletes 6.3 gigs of Win 10 upgrade files.
Win 7 updates proceed normally and no nagging or other reference to Win 10 appears. Win 7 will be supported until Jan. 14, 2020 (Security updates only)

Microsoft downloads 6.3 gigs of Win 10 files and stores them in a hidden directory until you accept their offer. (Hence the long time). They changed the update process.


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Message 45789 - Posted: 18 Dec 2016 | 20:37:40 UTC - in response to Message 45788.
Last modified: 18 Dec 2016 | 20:59:59 UTC

I expect that is a different problem. During the long update checks, I looked at network activity in Resource Monitor, and didn't see much happening. And we are now past the free update period. But it is worth a try.

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Message 45790 - Posted: 19 Dec 2016 | 3:59:49 UTC - in response to Message 45789.
Last modified: 19 Dec 2016 | 4:15:18 UTC

Good point. I ran never10 on 20th April on an existing system. No problems since.

Please checkout command line options.
Program will delete any Win 10 files and change system values.
Never10 can get latest Windows Update Agent unless already present. Also See Microsoft "How to update the Windows Update Agent to the latest version" https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/949104 " for further info).
Programs to run: Install Win 7, Old Update Agent, Later Update Agent (not sure if both are required but I think so), Never10.
(Never10 checks and reports current status before you take actions, can be run at any time then removed from system). Only 4 actions available 1. Remove Win 10 files 2. Disable Win 10 upgrade 3. Enable Win 10 Upgrade. 4.Exit)
My understanding is that the roll-up update will not allow choice of updates. Must be a nightmare updating updates when different people choose which updates they want. All updates will then be fairly lengthy going back to first update.

It's been a while since I did a rebuild. Not looking forward to another!
An up to date image should help.

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Message 45799 - Posted: 21 Dec 2016 | 4:24:10 UTC
Last modified: 21 Dec 2016 | 5:09:34 UTC

1. I did the rebuild Win 7 Professional Sp1 on Asus X54C laptop spare disk, from backup disks created as part of original install procedure.

2. Then: Follow these instructions:
http://www.howtogeek.com/255435/how-to-update-windows-7-all-at-once-with-microsofts-convenience-rollup/

(The links are working. After you check prerequisites there is one update 9 meg followed by one 477 meg both downloaded from Microsoft. All but some unnecessary updates to end of mainstream support period)

3. Run never10. Shows no win10 files but says Win10 Upgrade is enabled. Click on Disable. Even if MS loads win10 files no update will take place until you Enable with never10.

4. Internet Explorer 11 must be separately downloaded and installed. I use IE only to download Firefox and/or Chromium browsers and install Ublock Origin in both. UBO Has saved me over 1 million adverts downloading so far.

5. Recommend: Setup and use A: a standard User account, B: Microsoft Security Essentials and C: OpenDNS (install their DNS server addresses in my router to process all IP addresses sent from my network)

6. Two hotfix files have since been auto downloaded and installed using latest Updater.

P.S. Ignore Scientific Publications icon. Possible mistaken identity.

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Message 45858 - Posted: 23 Dec 2016 | 12:11:28 UTC

Further:
There were not enough updates.
1. Downloaded and installed Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu. 85 updates! 800+ megs..
2. 3 further updates automatically downloaded and installed.

Big thank you Jim1348!!!

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Message 45872 - Posted: 23 Dec 2016 | 17:55:25 UTC - in response to Message 45785.

Here are some hard-earned tips that I use when doing a clean install of Windows 7 64-bit. They will probably work for the 32-bit version as well. The basic problem is that after installation, the Microsoft updates don't work after a point. You can spend hours waiting as it "checks for updates", and you don't get anything. MS probably worked overtime to get into that state, and it is up to us to undo it.

However, I suspect that they depend on your starting point. I start with the "Windows 7 Professional Upgrade" disk, which needs a valid license from a previous version of Windows (Vista or XP). And this disk does NOT have SP1 installed. These tips MIGHT work for the OEM version of windows with SP1 installed, but maybe not. This is all Microsoft black magic we are dealing with.

I don't have links for these, so you will have to search for them. I just keep copies for subsequent installations.

    First: After installing Win7, allow Microsoft Update to install Service Pack 1 (not via a previously downloaded file). That will allow installation of remaining needed drivers, etc.

    BUT: Thereafter, automatic updates will not function (long "Checking for Updates").

    So: Install the April 2015 servicing stack update for Windows 7
    (Windows6.1-KB3020369-x64)
    => Reboot
    Then: install Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 (SP2)
    (windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x64_2dafb1d203c8964239af3048b5dd4b1264cd93b9)
    => Reboot

    Finally: to get the updates working again,
    install Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu (July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1)
    (But note that if it won't install, then install KB3020369 first)

    And note that the August 2016 update rollup does not fix the update problem; only the July rollup does.
    => Reboot

    Thereafter, it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to check for the updates, depending on the speed of your connection.

    Useful reference:
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_programs/windows-7-stuck-checking-for-updates/3831ed28-bd33-4a69-9806-a900e3bb1299?auth=1)

    There are a lot of other references, depending on where you get stuck, but this technique works for me. However, if updates still do not work, you can run the "Windows Update Fix" (WindowsUpdateDiagnostic), which will find and fix a couple of errors. But the errors may be harmless, and it hasn't really fixed anything for me yet.


Jim, thanks much for this. I've waded though numerous strategies to fix updates in Win7. Always eventually got it working but it's been a PITA. Of course now MS has gone to monthly rollups, making it much more difficult to determine which patch is breaking things. I believe this is intentional, yet another dirty strategy to force people onto W10. Many people are simply disabling W7 updates which of course can cause another set of problems. Anyway, below is the latest method I've been using on new installs (by Michael Firth) (also linked below):

Fixing Windows Update - Windows 7 (Clean Install)

If you have just reinstalled Windows 7 from scratch, this process should be much simpler.

Stop the Windows Update service.
2. Set the Windows Update service startup type to Manual.

3. Install patch 3135445 and reboot if prompted.

NOTE: If you aren't required to reboot, installation of the patch above (and below) may cause the Windows Update service to start. I would recommend you stop it again after each patch is installed, otherwise you may find the subsequent patches install much more slowly.

4. Install patch 3102810 and reboot if prompted.

5. Install patch 3138612 and reboot if prompted.

6. Check for updates and watch them download (a 10-15 minute detection time is normal when you have lots of outstanding patches).

I've found that often the detection time in step 6 is MUCH longer (hours).
He also has instructions for fixing existing W7 installations. It's all described in the following post, complete with links to the needed files:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/deploying-windows-7-update-broken-heres-fix-michael-firth

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Message 45873 - Posted: 23 Dec 2016 | 18:27:22 UTC - in response to Message 45872.

Makes me and a lot of people I help glad that I use Win 7 Enterprise.

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Message 45874 - Posted: 23 Dec 2016 | 19:13:16 UTC - in response to Message 45873.

Makes me and a lot of people I help glad that I use Win 7 Enterprise.

New installs of W7 Enterprise suffer the same fate, updates don't work until hoops are jumped through. :-(

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Message 45875 - Posted: 23 Dec 2016 | 19:47:12 UTC - in response to Message 45874.

Didn't know that...if I have to do a clean install, I'll have this thread for reference and I'll let you know what happens.

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Message 45877 - Posted: 23 Dec 2016 | 20:17:04 UTC - in response to Message 45875.

Didn't know that...if I have to do a clean install, I'll have this thread for reference and I'll let you know what happens.

Sounds good. I've done 3 clean installs on W7 Enterprise recently. All 3 had the update problem and had to be fixed.

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Message 46149 - Posted: 11 Jan 2017 | 20:36:02 UTC

Patch Tuesday 10th Jan - No problems with either the original Win7 (+ never10) or the clean install on a spare drive (again with never10). Took about an hour each.
(This is my wife's laptop. I'd hate to think how long a work unit would take. I've been running Ubuntu 14.04 now 16.04 with 660Ti Gpu 24/7 since March 2015. Recently also Raspberry Pi 3 24/7 on Enigma project just for interest/learning!)

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Message 46182 - Posted: 14 Jan 2017 | 22:27:39 UTC - in response to Message 45872.
Last modified: 14 Jan 2017 | 22:56:00 UTC

Fixing Windows Update - Windows 7 (Clean Install)

If you have just reinstalled Windows 7 from scratch, this process should be much simpler.

Stop the Windows Update service.
2. Set the Windows Update service startup type to Manual.

3. Install patch 3135445 and reboot if prompted.

NOTE: If you aren't required to reboot, installation of the patch above (and below) may cause the Windows Update service to start. I would recommend you stop it again after each patch is installed, otherwise you may find the subsequent patches install much more slowly.

4. Install patch 3102810 and reboot if prompted.

5. Install patch 3138612 and reboot if prompted.

6. Check for updates and watch them download (a 10-15 minute detection time is normal when you have lots of outstanding patches).


Just tried going through this to fix my Win7 Update issues. I got to the part where I needed to install a few patches, but the links on the MS site don't seem to be working. However, having completed all the steps before those, Windows Update is now finding updates for me, after I re-enabled the Windows Update service (keeping it on Manual).

Thank you for this. The issues with getting updates and SVCHost running on a full core non-stop have been going on for ages.

EDIT: I actually followed the "Broken Existing Install" directions.

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Message 46186 - Posted: 15 Jan 2017 | 2:00:04 UTC - in response to Message 46182.

Fixing Windows Update - Windows 7 (Clean Install)

If you have just reinstalled Windows 7 from scratch, this process should be much simpler.

Stop the Windows Update service.
2. Set the Windows Update service startup type to Manual.

3. Install patch 3135445 and reboot if prompted.

NOTE: If you aren't required to reboot, installation of the patch above (and below) may cause the Windows Update service to start. I would recommend you stop it again after each patch is installed, otherwise you may find the subsequent patches install much more slowly.

4. Install patch 3102810 and reboot if prompted.

5. Install patch 3138612 and reboot if prompted.

6. Check for updates and watch them download (a 10-15 minute detection time is normal when you have lots of outstanding patches).


Just tried going through this to fix my Win7 Update issues. I got to the part where I needed to install a few patches, but the links on the MS site don't seem to be working. However, having completed all the steps before those, Windows Update is now finding updates for me, after I re-enabled the Windows Update service (keeping it on Manual).

Thank you for this. The issues with getting updates and SVCHost running on a full core non-stop have been going on for ages.

EDIT: I actually followed the "Broken Existing Install" directions.

You're very welcome. This has been working on all my new installs. MS is such a PITA. Luckily, somebody usually finds a solution and shares it.

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Message 46413 - Posted: 31 Jan 2017 | 12:25:43 UTC

I had 4 machines refusing to get updates. After I downloaded the msu files (stand alone installer) for each of the 3 kb's it got them all going again. 3 were W7 Pro and the 4th was a W7 Home Premium. The Microsoft fixit of course didn't fix anything.

Thanks for the details.
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Message 46414 - Posted: 31 Jan 2017 | 19:13:03 UTC - in response to Message 46413.

The Microsoft fixit of course didn't fix anything.
no surprise to read this.
Over the past years, I had several problem cases where Microsoft's recommendation was to run the Fixit. In none of them, anything was fixed.
This Fixit obviously is a joke :-)

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Message 46415 - Posted: 31 Jan 2017 | 21:17:20 UTC - in response to Message 46414.
Last modified: 31 Jan 2017 | 21:18:17 UTC

The Microsoft fixit of course didn't fix anything.
no surprise to read this.
Over the past years, I had several problem cases where Microsoft's recommendation was to run the Fixit. In none of them, anything was fixed.
This Fixit obviously is a joke :-)
I had mixed experiences with fixit, there are some issues of Windows update which could be easily fixed by this tool.
Since Windows 7 entered the extended support period on January 13, 2015 (more than two years ago), thus the fixit tool is not updated anymore.
"Extended support period" means that there are only security updates (patches) released for the given product, until the end of this -last- support period (which is January 14, 2020 for Windows 7 SP1). See this link.
To reinstall Windows 7, I use regularly updated Windows 7 SP1 installation media, too bad that it's made by enthusiasts, not by Microsoft. With these updated installation media these Windows update problems do not appear.
The other tool I use is the WSUS Offline Update (it is also made by an enthusiast), which could make a DVD / USB drive containing all the latest updates for the selected products, and a script which installs all these updates. I did not use it lately (since there are cumulative updates released for Windows 7 instead of many linked updates), but this tool can save a lot of frustration caused by a fresh install from an old media.
After you've finished your fresh install (drivers, apps, activation), it is highly recommended to make a full system backup to an external HDD. Alternatively advanced users can make an image file (install.wim) from their systems by rebooting from the source media after installation, pressing SHIFT+F10 to have a command line, then use the imagex.exe/imagex64.exe tool (it should be put to a pendrive previously from the Windows Automated Installation Kit), and then they can have a personalized Windows installation media for the given system.
If you do a lot of re-installation, it is recommended to put every personal data to a different partition/physical drive than on which the system is installed.

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Message boards : Number crunching : Tips for installing Windows 7 (to allow MS software updates)