A fix to Windows 7(and others) not updating

dmitche3

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There are many people who can't update their laptops starting in August, 2016. I hope that this will help them. It is not simply removing the software distribution directory but using the WSUS offline Updater. http://download.wsusoffline.net/

So you Windows 7, 8 etc. will no longer update? You have searched and tried the various attempts, deleted/renaming the "Software Distribution" folder with no luck.

Here is what I did to fix it.

First off, this IS a Microsoft issue. I encounter the problem on my Toshiba Laptop. Re-installing to factory installation discs allowed me to update the updater and bang, I was
back to the Windows Search from hell, or "waiting for updates". This is very similar to how MS broke Windows XP updates except that fix was to upgrade IE manually to a newer version. :(

My approach is not new or novel. The only tool required is the Windows Update Offline Tool provided by Microsoft and easy to use.


1. Turn off windows updates. You want to go into the updates and tell it to NEVER do an update. This is to avoid the updater from starting and hanging.

2. At this point the easist, easy being defined as not having to run command prompts, or services.msc, etc is to reboot your machine.
The purpose is to assure that windows update, BITS and the WUASERv is not running. You can go into services.msc and stop the windows update, Then start a cmd prompt (run as administrator)
and do the folllowing if you didn't reboot:

net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop appidsvc
net stop cryptsvc

3. Delete or rename the "windows\software distribution" folder. So far, nothing new from other approaches to fixing the Window update hell.

4. Here is the new approach. Download the wsus offline updater.
http://download.wsusoffline.net/

This is how large corporations update their computers. This tool will allow you to download most/some updates and get you going again.

5. Unpack, change to the directory and run "UpdateGenerator". Choose what updates you want making sure that you select 64 bit or 32 bit OS for what you have. Hit the start button.

But before hitting start, make sure you are connected to the internet and have a hour or two to download all of the updates.

6. This process will only download the cab files for your pc.

This is where I have to appologize as "I forgot" which update did what. Seriously. :( But I'm sure I'm 99% accurate.

BEFORE doing the next step you will want to turn off BIOS password protection, unless you are going to sit in front of the PC while it reboots many times and entering your password. :)

UPDATE: Change to the 'client' folder to find the "updateInstaller.exe".

7. If you download the files on the PC that you wish to update, run the "UpdateInstaller'. I recommend selecting the option to auto reboot and recall and verification. These options will
verify that the downloads are valid, and the auto reboot and recall will restart the update where it left off after the reboot. How this is done is by creating a temporary Admin user which
is removed upon completion of the updates.

8. Hit the start button and expect about 3-4 hours for the Windows 7 updates from the beginning of time until November, 2016.

9. Upon completion, remember to turn on your BIOS protection and turn on Windows updates. At this point I set my updates to just do them without intervention. Whether that mattered or
not my updates started working again.

Now this will not download all updates but quite a few. I was a bit surprised to see about 70 updates still remaining after this was completed via the consumer windows update tools.


On the sad side of things while my updates are working the download for Windows Essentials stopped working again after one day. :( Yet, if I do a Windows Software update they show up, download,
and install.

Microsoft really has their heads so far up their back side that it is looping around inside into a knot.
 

dmitche3

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Thank you. While I didn't go into an in-depth, step by step I figured it would be enough to help most people, and that with Youtube and other sites they can feel at ease using just one tool provided by Microsoft and not have to fear 3rd party apps that may or may not work and/or have spyware or malware. :(
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
In most cases all this is not needed.

There are two patches (there may be updated versions of them out now) that need to be run.

www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3169798/window-update-updates-clean-install.html?siteFrom=EPR-8807#18514677

As long as you know to stop any wusa processes running and stopping the starting the Windows update service before running the patches if you get the "searching for updates" message for more than a few minutes, it works every time to get updates after the two KB patches I linked.

 

dmitche3

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dmitche3

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Possibly, But after trying those specific 'fixes' and many others and spending nearly 22 hours on the 10 or so solutions out there this is the only method that avoids using the broken pieces AND fixes the problem at the same time.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator


I've never seen those two patches fail to start Windows Update running on about 10 systems I did and from many feedbacks on the forum from others with the issue. Most issues start after a clean Windows 7 setup, then the update just sits there because it needs the updated Update to start the Update, so there is a bit of an issue there LOL

BTW, that offline patch utility is not from Microsoft, but it does work well and is useful when other issues cause Update to fail. Also good to have when there is no or limited connections to the internet as a tech, just need to download the files in advance.
 

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