During my usual monthly analysis I realized that
the changes to the Windows Updates MS announced a couple of months ago
are not so simple that it would be enough
to just install the monthly update. It would require a whole new investigation of the problem again - which is just too
much effort for me. If anybody has (more) insights, don't hesitate to drop me a note (see Contact section at the end
of the page).
It looks like we can't get around July 2016 Rollup (KB3172605) anymore. But be warned: This particular update might
break the system's Bluetooth stack if you have Intel Bluetooth hardware. Maybe the BT stack always breaks when the update
is installed, maybe it does only in some cases - I don't know. And I can't make any tests because I don't have any
Intel BT hardware. Users of such hardware can try the
updated BT driver Intel published
some time ago; there are
that it may fix the issues. Furthermore, there's a
support article from Intel
that was updated recently.
Due to the changes in October 2016 I'm going to list the monthly updates for Win7 instead, so you can decide if
you want to install the Security Only update or the full Monthly Rollup.
For the sake of completeness here's the page from September
(including the usual links
to previous months).
Valid as of
Oct 2016 (2016-10-11)
Until MS breaks something again
Note: The above dates only refer to the "speedup" update, the "magic" patch, not the whole page!
This HowTo is valid for Win7 SP1, which have been newly installed or haven't been updated for
some time. It should also help on systems that were up-to-date last month.
These instructions were only tested on Win7 SP1. Due to the changes to the Windows Updates I can't make any more
statements about Vista SP2; I just don't have the time to include Vista in my tests, even less since Vista will be
out of support in April 2017.
Solution to the issue
The term "solution" might be a little bit exaggerated, since the following HowTo only tries to make sure that the
Update Agent doesn't need to check all updates, so the check for new updates is done faster.
Install the following updates BEFORE
letting Windows search for updates, to avoid this very search taking "forever".
It's sufficient to install one of
the Servicing Stack Updates. The current version is highlighted in bold.
One of the Servicing Stack Updates is required
before July 2016 Rollup can be installed!
Maybe you wonder why July 2016 Rollup. The answer is simple: This particular update contains a more recent
(as far as I know the latest) version of the Update Agent. With this update the time needed to search for new updates is
reasonable, almost regardless of the updates installed on the system; the search times vary, of course, but not
as ridiculously much as without July 2016 Rollup.
Since there is neither a Servicing Stack Update nor a Rollup for Windows Vista, the differences between Win7 and Vista are going to
increase, starting in October 2016. So I can't make any more recommendations for this OS. Nonetheless I'll list those updates
for Vista that will most likely speed up the search, limited to new updates (you can find the old ones on the pages of previous months).
Vista users may try the following updates:
If none of them helps to speed up the search, you might find some "speedup" update in the
Security Bulletin Summaries
for the current month; so far it's often been an update for the Windows Kernel (win32k.sys).
Steps to take after Windows installation
- Disable Automatic Updates:
Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change settings > "Never check for updates"
- (Optional) Stop "Windows Update" service: Open Windows Task Manager > Tab "Services" > Right-click on "wuauserv" > Stop service
- Download the updates mentioned above and install them via WUSA on a CMD shell (as Administrator):
Tip: Use the TAB key to let the system complete the directory and file names, to avoid typing errors.
start /wait "" "%SystemRoot%\system32\wusa.exe" "C:\full\path\to\Update.msu" /quiet /norestart
- Important: Since WUSA won't output any errors when using above command, even if an update can't be installed at all
(e.g. because of wrong architecture), it's recommended to check whether the updates have been installed correctly:
Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Installed Updates
If there's missing at least one of the updates that were just installed, try to install it again by double-clicking
it to find out why it wasn't installed.
- Reboot the system.
- Now let Windows search for updates, which should be finished in less than 15 minutes.
- Re-enable automatic updates as needed (see step to disable them, but select one of the options to check for updates automatically now),
and install the remaining updates as usual.
To ease the pain of installing multiple systems you can use e.g. this script
which is updated regularly.
Put the script and all updates in the same directory - a USB flash drive or network share may be a good place. The script determines the Windows version
(Vista or Win7), its architecture (32 or 64 bit) and so on. It makes use of the command given above. Just double-click the script - after you've disabled
automatic updates (see above) - and it installs all required updates automatically, including the latest Windows Update Agent (if present).
Reboot the system after the script is finished, and you're done. Re-enable automatic updates as needed.
If you intend to install Windows Updates on a whole network of systems, it's probably better to use some dedicated solution for this, e.g.
WSUS Offline Update
, which already installs the prerequisites in current releases.
If you are curious why the search for updates takes such a long time, check out the background information
Thanks to T. Wittrock, author of WSUS Offline Update
, Denniss and the community.
You can reach me via the following forums: