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Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

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Routefinder
Grafter
Posts: 382
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

Hi All

 

I run W7 Pro 64 bit and overall have been very happy with it.  But the Windows Update has been flakey over time and since the last update in August I have been unable to do any updates as the WUP process fails to even find any updates!

 

I have tried all the MS recommended methods and even the supposed "roll up" files method fails, so something is SNAFU somewhere.

 

Now, I have come across a method using WSUS offline here http://download.wsusoffline.net/ this is AFAIK a third party program that will initially access the MS servers to download all possible updates (by KB number etc) and create an offline package to then do a full updates check and installation of those required.

The reviews of this WSUS program all (in the main?) seem positive and without any identifiable risks.................but what if any experience do you guys & gals here at the PN Community have of this method and is it worth a punt?  And if I hit a hurdle following its use what if any are the rollback and/or restore methodsHuh

 

Currently my system is stable and with no obvious signs of security being at risk but the longer I go without the MS security updates there is a greater exposure to "risk".

 

Many thanks in advance for any insights and advice Smiley

48 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,852
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

I strongly recommend you do a Google search for KB3172605, download a copy, disconnect your computer from the internet, restart it then install this update from Microsoft.  I did this yesterday on a computer that had not managed any updates since August (but appeared to be using 50% of the CPU capacity trying to find them).  After I finished the install, restarted the computer and reconnected to the internet the updates came in rapidly.  But it is important that you don't try to run the installer whilst you have an internet connection.

NorthPole
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

WSUS should work fine; but you might want to take a look here first (the page is updated each month to take account of new update releases). I have found this method has so far solved my own update issues with Windows 7.

Community Veteran
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Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?


NorthPole wrote:

... take a look here first ...


Very interesting link; @NorthPole.  Basically the same advice as mine, but presented in much greater depth.

Routefinder
Grafter
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

Hi Reed

Been busy so apologies for the delay in replying.

 

Your insight is very much what I thought I had done and failed but cannot recall whether I disconnected the network?  

The stack update was also recommended elsewhere, the time I thought I had followed the instructions properly but is both cases the April 2015 stack update and the roll up update KB you mentioned failed to install because "they were not applicable to this computer"....Huh

See next reply to NorthPole.... Smiley

Routefinder
Grafter
Posts: 382
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

Hi NorthPole

 

Your linky is interesting in that as mentioned above to Reed, I thought from another such recommendation I had done that!

 

But your link throes new light on the newer version of the Stack Upate which have now downloaded Smiley

 

I will try the solution again of:-

Disconnect the network, reboot, install newest stack update........and on the surmise that does install, then install the latest rollup (NB your linked page says the rollup update will not install without the updated stack update so fingers crossed Smiley

Having said that, the stack and the rollup updates failure was why I posted about my problem ~ :scratches head:

 

I will post back in due course with the outcome.

Routefinder
Grafter
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

An update now!

1) The above mentioned September 2016 stake update as a standalone installer worked OK very quickly unlike the April 2015 one that had previously failed.

All well and good I thought

2) However the the KB3172605 rollup update just hung with the "Windows Update Standalone Installer" hung in 'searching for updates on this computer after an hour I gave and the "cancel" button did not do its job so did a forced restart.  Also reconnecting my network cable.

 

3) Of note ~ in Windows Update there had been a change:-
Though the Update History is there AOK, there is no longer the (list) of "Installed Updates", now why is that?

Now I have just done some digging:-

This page https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3172605 has header paragraph pointing out that the rollup had been reissued to reflect tweaks in September but no indication  of a link to anything new.............so the supposition is that the same file is the one to use if downloading after September 2016.

I have found this is bad surmise because here is the page for a W7 September roll here https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3185278 as you can see it has another/different KB number!  MS do like to complicate things Wink

So looks like my best bet is to download that most recent RollUp Update and try againHuh

Routefinder
Grafter
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

And also found this page https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/22801/windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2-update-history

Where October rollups (note the plural) are listed with what they include!

Routefinder
Grafter
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

Well! I did run the aforemetioned KB3185278 September rollup and left "searching for updates on this computer" for nigh on 4 hours.

As per the previous KB3172605 I had to force a restart.

So does look like my only option is to try the WSUS Offline program?  But will that overcome the WUP standalone installer issus these recent attempts have revealed?

 

Routefinder
Grafter
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

FWIW I am downloading the Oct 2016 rollup KB3185330

 

Incidently, the above is 119MB size and the previous was 60MB and prior to that 29MB !

Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

In my (recent) experience, if Windows Update hangs then WSUS Offline will also hang.

If a standalone update hangs 'searching for updates on this computer' the problem is sometimes solved by installing it when your computer does not have an internet connection.  Restart the computer first.

If the update I recommended failed to install it's possibly either because you are missing some prerequisite or you have the x86 (32 bit) version when you need the x64 (64 bit version) or vice versa.  

 

Browni
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Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

I did a clean install of Windows 7 in a VM and had it fully up to date in a couple of hours using WSUS Offline.

Documented here.

I must have been really bad in a previous life as this was my 3rd ISP in a row that used lithium.
Now you're stuck with me because my new ISP doesn't run a forum Cheesy
Routefinder
Grafter
Posts: 382
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

Hi Reed

Thanks for the added insight.

All the downloads I have done are x64, my system is W7 Pro 64bit.

As per your recommendations I disconnected the network cable and rebooted........then I ran that September 2016 rollup and let it run for nearly 4 hours.

In regard to the pre-requisite question, the only(?) one to run the rollup that is stated on the sites linked to is the Service Stack one.

 

So, looks like I am a little snookered short of a complete reinstall (overlay installHuh) of W7 or going for an upgrade install of W10?

 

PS FWIW ~ I am running the WSUS generator now and will give it a go.....perhaps if there are any pre-requisites that were updates they might be installed in date order, meaning WSUS can complete the job that WUP has fallen over on! Huh

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,852
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

My current understanding is that Windows Update is broken and will not run properly unless you have certain prerequisite updates installed.  A computer that has been reset to factory state is therefore unable to ever update itself.  Even a Windows 7 computer that missed-out on an update issued in July 2016 finds itself in the same situation.  A computer that cannot update properly tends to consume an entire processor core trying so you will see 100/x percent CPU use (where x is the number of processor cores) by process svchost starting from a few minutes after the computer is started.

WSUS Offline invokes the same Windows Update service (wuauserv) and is liable to run into the same problem.  Therefore the first thing WSUS Offline tries to do (after updating Internet Explorer as necessary) is the install the prerequisite updates.  So it is vital that you use an up-to-date copy of WSUS Offline or it is liable to fail.  Even an up-to-date copy of WSUS Offline does not work for Vista but you probably stand a better chance with Windows 7.  If WSUS Offluine manages to install the necessary prerequisite updates then you don't need it any more because Windows Update will then function correctly.  Had you been able to do a standalone install of the particular update I recommended then you would not have needed WSUS Offline.  But that failed so it's probably your best hope now.       

Routefinder
Grafter
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Windows 7 update failing, is WSUS offline a good route to take?

Hi

I am using WSUS v10.8 so afaik that is the most current generator version Smiley

 

I was going to watch one of the WSUS site linked videos but for fear of stating the obvious, it is called offline for a reason....................once ready do I disconnect the network and as per your advice above reboot then run the WSUS "updateinstaller" ?