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  • The last word on the Win7 Update scan speedup problem

    Posted on January 8th, 2017 at 07:58 woody 180 comments

    I just got a scathing email from SC:

    I just had a fresh installation of a Win7 w SP1 directly downloaded from MSDN. As many people have been complaining, Windows Update did not work – stuck forever. So I googled around, and read a lot of junk articles, speculating this, speculating that, and of course, yours were among those.

    Then I hit this Dell’s official article:


    In a few minutes, problem became perfectly solved. The root cause was simple, for some stupid reason Microsoft put an old version of Windows Updates Agent into SP1, and it does not work with the current Windows Updates Server. If you get a newer (not sure if it is the latest) WUA, which has been available since at least 3/2016 (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3138612), then the problem will be perfectly solved.

    What a joke. Don’t waste people’s life by taking about things that you don’t really know. It is a crime

    With that, uh, prodding, I decided to bring together everything I know about speeding up Win7 update scans, and post them here in one place. When the Lounge starts (hopefully very soon) I’ll turn this into an AKB article.

    Dell recommends installing KB 3138612 (March 2016) to bring wuaueng.dll up to 7.6.7601.19161. That’s the patch that worked for SC.

    I recommend installing KB 3172605 (July 2016) to bring wuaueng.dll up to 7.6.7601.23453. That seems to work for almost everybody. (It’s also Microsoft’s recommended approach.)

    For those who don’t see their scans speed up, there’s an additional procedure from Canadian Tech that manually resets Windows Update.

    Has anybody ever figured out, for sure, in what circumstances one of those approaches works, while the others do not?

    NOTE: I haven’t heard of any driver conflicts with 3172605 lately. Wonder if those finally got fixed…

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    180 Responses to “The last word on the Win7 Update scan speedup problem”

    1. __philippe says:

      CanadianTech “additional procedure” to reset Windows Update worked like a charm on 8-Jan-2016.

      After executing the Command prompt (as Administrator) reset steps detailed in CanadianTech procedure, it took exactly 15 minutes for Windows update to complete successfully.

      Thanks to CT for “The Solution” to the never-ending Win7 Update saga…;-)


      • __philippe says:

        (Date typo above should read 8-Jan-2017, of course).

        BTW, executing further Win Update check a day later
        now completes in a most reasonable 6 minutes.


    2. messager7777777 says:

      Excerpts from(a complaint against M$ dated 17 July 2016) …….
      “Just recently we upgraded to SSD’s for our Workstations and did a reinstall of Windows 7 Ultimate BECAUSE We do NOT want nor are we ready for Windows 10 – and unfortunately the “Update” process is oddly way beyond the norm here and taking way too long. We are on day 2 of waiting for “Updates” and have left our Workstation computer running and recording the process for verification of this unusually lengthy Update of Windows 7 Ultimate and Professional on two PC’s on different networks. Again, this is just wrong!

      As for our internet and network – we have done tests to make sure and re-did the
      process to make sure it was not our network, or our PC Workstations, or SSD’s.
      Also, our internet connection speeds are 7 to 15 Ping, 214 Mbps, and 21.16 Upload
      so clearly our network speed and connection is NOT the problem.

      In the past several years we have done Windows 7 Ultimate re-installations and
      never experienced anything like this. The normal Update time frame it takes for
      Windows 7 Ultimate in our experience, has been several hours to max 7-10 hours.
      And although this is an unusually long time for simple updates to process, it has
      never taken over 1 day. But now it seems that time frame has been extended by more
      than 2 days and counting, as I write this email post. The size of the updates is also very small considering it’s a few hundred MB to just over 1Gb.

      Clearly, Microsoft has done nothing to address these issues – especially for loyal
      paying customers that use Windows 7 Ultimate or other paid versions of Windows 7.
      We have done tests on both Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate and the same unusually long
      time of over 2 days is now happening, in two different PC Workstations – one of which
      is 3 months old. Clearly, this is NOT right!”

    3. LoneWolf says:

      My procedure is to run a scripted set of installs.

      1). Check WUAPI.DLL; I’ve found this to be a better indicator than WUAUENG.DLL for Windows Update Agent version.
      2) NET STOP WUAUSERV. This speeds up patching.
      3) Run the April 2015 Servicing Stack for Windows 7 SP1. This assumes there are no other prerequisites prior to this (most of our workstations, not an issue). This is kb3020369. It does not require a restart.
      4) NET STOP WUAUSERV. Each patch you apply restarts it, so every time, gotta do it again.
      5) Install the July 2016 Update Rollup for Windows 7, KB3172605.
      6. Restart the computer

      At this point, if things don’t work, there’s another problem. This has greatly helped my patch compliance on hundreds of computers. User SC had one slightly outlying experience from yours and unfortunately, became snotty and snobbish instead of politely contributing his/her experience. A good tech isn’t an arrogant tech, so I’d discount his experience, and back up your experience and that of others here. Haters gonna hate.

    4. zero2dash says:

      September servicing stack update + July rollup (as linked http://wu.krelay.de/en/ and referenced here by Woody) pulls Win updates in a fresh 7 VM in roughly 2 minutes, yielding 140ish updates needing to be applied.

      OP sounds like they have a case of PEBKAC.

    5. MrBrian says:

      Some of you may have missed this recent comment of mine in a different blog post:
      “This article provides more insight into the causes” – https://www.askwoody.com/2016/still-no-answer-to-the-source-of-win7-slow-scanning/comment-page-1/#comment-111949.

    6. Jonathan says:

      Does these procedure work with Vista SP2. It since July that I’ve not install any update

    7. ch100 says:

      There is no need for speed-up patches if you install all updates regularly, each month. Those affected are mostly non-regular updaters or those who build new installations.
      This is true for any operating system and in particular for those who start showing their age and have hundreds of updates available.

      • Volume Z says:

        This is a point of view that doesn’t correspond with reality.

        You cannot operate Windows Update in Windows Vista without having to apply at least one update manually per Patch Day.

        No matter how hard you try.

        • ch100 says:

          Do you have all updates applied, Important, Recommended and Optional?
          If you don’t, then you don’t have a case.

          • Volume Z says:


            you never have all updates applied. “All” is a very simple word with a very difficult meaning.

            Show me an “Installed Updates” list with ALL updates installed and I’m going to prove the issue will still take effect.

            It’s due to an incorrect perception of this issue you make this suggestion. Answer me one thing: Why am I able to make Windows Update work regularly in a fresh Vista installation by installing only four updates, if no less than EVERY UPDATE AVAILABLE is required?

            Regards, VZ

            • ch100 says:

              It is as simple as if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions, you are on your own.

              • Volume Z says:

                You’re not answering my question, and the manufacturer doesn’t request you install every update available.

                Regards, VZ

                • ch100 says:

                  One example:


                  Nathan Mercer
                  August 26, 2016 at 8:45 am

                  the rollup patch is a single patch, it installs and uninstalls as a single patch. If you donโ€™t want to apply security or monthly rollup you donโ€™t have to, but Microsoft recommends installing all recommended updates. So that includes both security updates and any non-security updates that are marked as recommended in Windows Update.

                  And if you know better, then it is not my mission to convince you and others who think the same of anything.

                  • Canadian Tech says:

                    I feel like I must reply ch100. The problem of selective updating in my case only started when Microsoft started sending all kinds of undesirable stuff in the disguise of Windows 7 updates which were in fact Windows 10 stuff. That is the first time I ever recommended selectivity. It was Microsoft dishonesty and loss of integrity that started this mess. Then they multiplied it by creating the Windows Update scourge.

                    • ch100 says:

                      @CT You see, I don’t have a problem with those who have a good understanding of this subject and you know very well who they are among those who post frequently here. They are able to make a good judgement according to situation and to select which updates are good for them (and their clients if this is the case). Even if the original judgement may be erroneous, the same expert posters would be able to take corrective action if and when required, or when the previous context has changed, like the previous and hopefully the last push for GWX.
                      But there are far too many posters who try to find every reason to have their machines not working and their next reaction is to blame anyone else but themselves.

                      • Canadian Tech says:

                        I don’t believe there are many who “find every reason to have their machines not working and their next reaction is to blame anyone else but themselves”. There are a fes and I have run across them. However, the vast majority of the type of people you are referring to got themselves into a mess by messing around with things they knew little to nothing about. This happens out of foolishness, rather than intent.

                        For example, if I find Ccleaner installed on a client computer, I remove it. Ccleaner can be a very handy thing in the hands of someone who understands what they are doing. But Ccleaner exists on far to many machines. The person that does not understand well, can turn their system into jello quite quickly.

                      • messager7777777 says:

                        @ ch100 ……. U said, …”It is as simple as if you donโ€™t follow the manufacturerโ€™s instructions, you are on your own.”
                        Problem is, there r manufacturers who issue faulty components/products, eg Takata airbags, Toyota gas pedals, VW diesel engines, Reckitt Benckinser air humidifier cleaner, Chemie Grunenthal thalidomide, etc. Sometimes, the manufacturers inadvertently “instructed” their users to be killed, all in the name of profits.

                      • Volume Z says:

                        You still haven’t explained why Windows Update can be converted from dysfunctional to functional in Windows Vista by installing only four updates.

                        That’s although you claim to know the truth about this issue in any operating system.

                        Regards, VZ

    8. vwneio says:

      i use WSUS offline, ***** the malware updates, disable em.

    9. Albin says:

      My experience (two machines) last July confirmed the suspicion that MS sabotaged Win Update for a year on W7 at least on W10 eligible machines, but it returned to speed immediately with disappearance of the unused W10 nag icon. I cherrypicked KBs to avoid autoupgrades and telemetry but did nothing special to return to normal W7 Update connection and speed last Summer.

    10. AJ North says:

      Regarding the loss of Bluetooth with Windows 7 after installing KB3172605 (or KB3161608):

      The procedure outlined by Intel at https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/network-and-i-o/wireless-networking/000022410.html has successfully restored Bluetooth functionality on every affected machine that I’ve used it on.

      • woody says:

        I’m beginning to wonder if my admonishment about driver problems with 3172605 is just ancient history.

        If so, man, that makes the speedup patching sooooooo much easier.

      • AJ North says:

        Hello C.T.,

        If I’m reading the post that you linked to correctly, then it appears that TerrySnyderMS did not uninstall KB3172605 and/or KB3161608 before attempting to install the updated driver, which is curious, as the second sentence in the article’s title is, “Please uninstall KB3172605 and/or KB3161608 before installing this driver.”

        Which is precisely what Intel instructs in their support article, “Troubleshoot Issue with Intelยฎ Bluetooth and Microsoft Windows 7* Updates,” (linked in my post, above). Again, this Intel procedure has worked in every Windows 7 machine I have used it on for which Bluetooth had been disabled by the MS update(s).

    11. iladelf says:

      So, to clarify things a bit, Woody, is the article you wrote in early November of last year still valid? Every time I’ve performed this on Win 7 computers, it’s fixed the slow update issue (YMMV).


    12. Canadian Tech says:

      The guy most capable of answering this is Volume Z. I hope he will.

    13. Volume Z says:

      Breaking News. Microsoft has fixed the issue. The pressing need for Update Client version 7.6.7601.23453 is gone. Announces Karthikeyan Kesavan:

      “This has been fixed and it should take less than 30 minutes now.”


      Regards, VZ

    14. Volume Z says:

      The fun starts if you actually go to support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3138612 and attempt to download the standalone installer. Microsoft broke the links. ๐Ÿ˜€

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