Windows Update - long time to check for updates

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by roger_m, Sep 2, 2015.

  1. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Kerodo For me, it took seemingly forver to initially search for updates. But, after installing all selected updates, then rebooting and installing any remaining improtant updates, then rebootin and repeating the process until there were no more important updates shown, the second time I checked for updates (when WU showed no more important updates), it didn't take long at all.
     
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yes, that's what I found so incredible today, that the 2nd update check looked like it would take 2 hours again! Last time I restored a 3 month old image of 7, the initial update check took about 1 hr 15 mins. Then, after that, every other check was fast and quick, like normal. This time today from SP1 ISO though, was more than I could handle. If I try it again, I'll have to just plan on it taking 2 days I guess.

    I took a look at the process monitor during the update checking and saw periodic disk I/O, along with an almost constant svchost.exe cpu usage of 50-55%. This seemed weird and abnormal since it went on for ages. Then, I started wondering if Win Updates would eat my cpu at 50% for hours every day when it checked for updates automatically. So I'm not sure what to make of it all, but something seems wrong. Why would svchost sit there at 50% for a long time (doing what?)?

    I first saw this taking extra time with updates routine quite some time ago, but it started out as just an extra 5 minutes or so, and then slowly over a year's time, it has grown worse and worse. I thought I might be running out of RAM or something, but in task manager it showed only 32% of RAM was used, so that wasn't the problem. To be honest, I can't explain it, but it seems to be happening to a lot of people.

    Thanks for the input, though. For now I am using other things, but if I do try again, I'll be sure and save up a lot of good old patience.... :)
     
  3. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I installed updates in batches and for me it was slow (cca half an hour) when I was installing old updates. So first three - four updates were slow after that (when old updates got installed) the speed was back to normal. And for me slow part was only when checking for updates and then (sometimes even longer) starting to download. After download started it was quickly downloaded and installed.
     
  4. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yeah, I don't know what to make of it. It has to be something on MS's end, because all I'm going here is booting off the Win 7 SP1 DVD, and installing. Nothing here has changed at all for years, and yet something in the process is getting progressively worse. If I hadn't seen all the others with the same issue (Googling), then I'd think it was my machine. But I'm not the only one, obviously, since this thread is here too. I'm running Debian now till I can convince myself that I want or need Win again...:)
     
  5. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    For 2 days I tried updating Windows... multiple installs... no dice. In the past it used to take around 4-5 minutes to find +210 updates, but this time I waited for 2 hours and yet nothing. Looking at C:/Windows/WindowsUpdate I see a ton of errors about not being able to get some files from the update server.

    My connection was fine, everything was fine. My DVD is an official copy, so is my product Key. I even connected directly to the internet (without a router) and it didn't work. I though this problem was caused by EMET, but it's not, at least not for me.
    I honestly don't know what happened to Microsoft. This made me completely give up on using Windows; if the system isn't up-to-date I'm not using it. Period.
     
  6. JRViejo

    JRViejo Super Moderator

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  7. davews

    davews Registered Member

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    My laptop sits there 'checking for updates' and I was hoping this update would solve it. Just installed it from a manual download - guess what, it still sits 'checking for updates' with one of the svchost processes taking 50% processor load.
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    That's normal bahaviour. Windows is starting to install updates even before it finishes checking for updates. I don't know exactly why it does that, but I happened to me recently.
     
  9. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

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    Use WSUS Offline Updater for the initial update. Windows Update is pretty much broken when dealing with large numbers of updates on WIn7. I'm guessing there's an O(n^2) algorithm in there somewhere.

    Edit: http://download.wsusoffline.net/

    ^^^ Always use the latest version. Note, it also has a shell script that runs on Linux, provided you have a few dependencies installed.
     
  10. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Gullible Jones I would hardly say it is broken as such. It can take a ridiculously long time to check for updates on a clean install of Windows 7, but if you just let Windows Update stay running, it will eventually find updates.
     
  11. davews

    davews Registered Member

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    But in my case it was a fully updated installation with just the September and October updates to be checked for. An hour to check for 15 updates is not right.
     
  12. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    This seems to be a common situation nowadays with Win Updates and Win 7. I had an image that I restored that was just missing 2 months worth of updates, and the first update check it did took 2 hours and 15 minutes. After that, on a monthly basis, it was fine... I'm not sure exactly what is causing this, but I know it's been going on with many people for a long time now.
     
  13. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    On a laptop with a clean install of Vista SP2, it took about 2 and a half hours to finish checking for updates. It found 200 updates, totalling about 800 megs in size. I tried to install all the reccomended updates, but after a few hours, Windows Update was still stuck on 0%. Windows Update was using 50% CPU time, so it was seemingly doing something, but I rebooted to try again due to the lack of progress. There had been no updates installed in the background wile it was checking for updates.

    When I restarted Windows, it started automatically downloading updates. When I ran Windows Update and tried to install all the updates again, once again the progress got stuck on 0%. So, I rebooted again, have not launched Windows Update and am letting Windows download and install whatever updates it decides to.

    Maybe if I'd let the computer sit for a few more hours the first time, Windows Update would have downloaded all of the selected updates. It's just rather frustrating seeing Windows Update sit on 0% for a few hours.

    In case you're wondering, I did a clean install of Vista and not, Windows 7 or 10, as this laptop has a COA for Vista, so I decided to stick with that.

    Edit: Windows Update finished downloading updates in the background, and now after logging out of Windows, it is installing 102 updates.
     
  14. emmjay

    emmjay Registered Member

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    I have not had any long wait times to receive W7 updates, but I have seen MS take a long time to update the status of my updates after I install them. That is, I do not get the 'updates have been installed on your computer' message, sometimes for an hour or so. The install list does not show them installed and the 'available' list is not changed. even if the update(s) call for a restart.

    I have read that it takes a lot more time for the WU algorithms to run on W7 systems opposed to the time it takes on a W8 and W10 system because of the sheer number of updates associated with W7. The lack of an SP2 has been blamed for this . Running a cleanup of hotfixes is recommended and some posters are suggesting users change the WU setting to 'download, do not install' , that way you can leave your system on, say overnight, and you can still control what updates to install.

    I was wondering why MS does not stagger the release of the updates, e.g. release W8 /10 on Patch Tuesday and then release W7 updates the following Tuesday.
     
  15. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I was quite impressed this morning that it took less than 90 minutes to complete the initial check for updates on a clean install of Windows 7.

    This was sill much longer than I would have liked, but was two to three times quicker than I expected it to be. As I type this, the computer is starting to download 219 updates.
     
  16. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Thanks to some discussion on another forum, I have found a great way to clean install 7 and have the initial update check take only about 13 minutes on my machine. I clean install 7, and make sure automatic updates are off. Then, before I do anything else, I download the latest Windows Update Agent and also KB3102810 and install both of those manually (offline), I do the Update Agent first, then the 810 update. After installing those 2 updates manually, I turn updates on again, set to notify but not d/l or install. Then, the first update check will only take about 10-13 minutes, some report even less time. This has worked great for me a couple of times I clean installed 7 recently. After the first round of about 162 updates, the 2nd check does take longer, but once it's caught up and current, update checks are only about 5 minutes. Oh, I also uncheck the "Recommended" box a well.

    Anyway, next time you clean install, you might try this. Worked like a charm for me.

    Here is the entire thread. I had some trouble when I first tried it, but later worked out the problems:

    https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r30535980-WIN7-MS-updates-taking-too-long
     
  17. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    When verified Kerodo's post or referenced post should be a STICKY!!!
     
  18. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Kerodo Thanks for the information, I'm sure it will come in very handy.
     
  19. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yep, I hope so. Glad to help. :)

    PS: On page 2 or 3 of the linked thread above, there are links to the latest WU Agent and also the 810 update from MS for anyone who's interested or having trouble finding them.
     
  20. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I've been having some trouble with Windows Update on a clean install of Vista with SP2. I'll details the problems I had below, but the end result was that Windows Update took over 7 hours to finish checking for updates.

    After probably about 5 hours, Windows Update was still stuck on checking for updates. Of course, I know as of late this is a slow process, but I want expecting it to be this long. There is no fix from Microsoft for the slow time and high CPU when checking for update under Vista. However, I did install the current version of Windows Update Agent. After which, I started Windows Update again, and after a few hours, it stlil found no updates.

    I thought Windows Update was not going to work, so I used WSUS Offline Update. But this would get stuck when installing the first update. Next I installed 360 Total Security, becuase it's Patch Up module finds and installs missing Windows Update, but it also got stuck when installing the first update. After that, I installed Baidu PC Faster, as it also has it's own feature to install updates, but that didn't work either, and every update would fail.

    In the end, I did another clean install of Vista. I ran Windows Update again, and left it running overnight. It took over seven hours to find updates. I'm still installing updates now, and all the updates so far, have installed without any problems. I should have just left Windows Update running initially, but in recent instances of updating clean installs of Vista, it has not taken anywhere near this long to finish checking for updates. This laptop has a fairly slow CPU which no doubt contributed to the long time it took to check for updates.
     
  21. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    I did an In-Place upgrade on a Vista laptop with serious Windows issues. After this, I ran Windows Update, and it took around 12 hours to finish checking for updates.
     
  22. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    May I ask what's your connection speed? Because I have a 10 Mbit connection (1 MB/s download, 512 KB/s upload) and it generally takes me anywhere from 6 to 12 hours to find the first updates (+300).
     
  23. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @amarildojr My download speed is around 10-12 Mbps.
     
  24. amarildojr

    amarildojr Registered Member

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    So our issue is not relate to the connection speed, I think - giving the fact that your connection is 10x faster than mine.
     
  25. BoerenkoolMetWorst

    BoerenkoolMetWorst Registered Member

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    It always takes long here as well, long for normal update check and extremely long for update check after fresh install. And no problems with connection speed, it's fiber.
    I think the time it takes has more to do with processor power, Windows Update always seem to fully use 1 CPU core during update check.
    I recently installed Vista SP1 in a VM, 1 core for the VM, it used all CPU, first update check took more than half a day. First a huge batch of updates, then some smaller ones, and then finally SP2, but that took a long time as well.
     
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