Fix for Windows 7 Hanging on "Checking for Updates"

by Daniel Convissor at 2017-01-03 09:30:00

My computer has been running a Linux-based OS for several years now. Updating the OS & software generally takes about a minute. Unfortunately, I have some software that only run on Windows. So I use Windows 7 via VirtualBox for that stuff. The main reason I say "unfortunately" is updating Windows 7 is such a freaking hastle. It takes a long time to run and multiple reboots are commonly necessary to get all of the everything installed.

This annoyance came to a head the other day. I hadn't used the VM since May, so logged into my admin account and started Windows Update. The "Checking for updates" process ran, and ran, and ran. I let it keep going, out of curiosity. But after 5 freakin' hours, I figured I should kill the process before some cat in the neighborhood got killed by my curiosity.

A bit of web searching brought up a message board thread page from June 2016. The folks there mentioned some KB articles/downloads that solved the situation for them at the time. But I already had those updates installed. Then I noticed the thread had several more pages. Jumping to the latest post in the thread indicated KB 3172605: July 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 did the trick.

Sidebar Gripe: The kids at Microsoft have drank the "Look, Ma! No HTML!" Flavor Aid. Their KB pages use JavaScript to render main content. I've been meaning to write a blog post about this long increasing trend, so all I'll say about that here is "Stop It!"

Anyway, I downloded that rollup, stopped the Windows Update service (just in case) and double clicked on the package. It ran quickly and I rebooted.

Then using Windows Update went okay. Found about 40 updates relatively quickly, though 30 minutes had passed by the time the reboot came around.

Once up and running, starting Windows Update revealed 1 more important update awaits. I decided to check for updates again, which found another 3 important updates. Ten more minutes and I'm rebooting.

Again, the obligitory update check. Nope, not done yet. KB3177467 wants to be installed. Sigh. Install that, reboot, check for updates. Voila!

Who'da thunk this whole mishegas could have started 7 hours ago.

Tags: windows

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