• System Update Readiness Tool (KB947821) still installing after 13 hours!

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    #245034

    I have a Dell Inspiron N7110 laptop running Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit with SP1.  Up until yesterday everything seemed fine and up-to-date as far as Windows Update.   The last Check for Updates I did showed no more updates available.  Then yesterday morning I (perhaps foolishly) changed the WU setting from “Never check for updates” to “Install updates automatically”.  Right after doing that I did one more Check for Updates, and it found just 1 new update available — a Definition Update for Windows Defender (KB915597).

    Cool.  No problem I figured.  I’ll just go ahead and install it.  But instead of installing, I got an update failed error: 0x8024AFFF.  I retried the update several times with the same result.  I opened an elevated command prompt window, and did an “sfc /scannow”.  And that came back clean with no integrity violations.  So then I downloaded (from Microsoft) their System Update Readiness Tool (KB947821).  The .msu file was huge — 538 MB.  So I expected that running this might take some time.

    But I started running this msu file yesterday at 1:15 PM.  It only took 10 minutes or so for the “Installing” progress bar to get up to around 90%.  But that’s where it’s been stuck now for over 13 hours.  It’s now already 2:30 AM the next day.  And the Disk Activity LED on the system has been continually flashing rapidly the whole time.  So clearly this “Update Readiness Tool” is doing something to my system.  But what!!??

    Has anyone heard of a problem like this before with this Readiness Tool — where it needs to run for over 13 hours without finishing?  I’m planning on heading to bed soon, and just let it keep running overnight to see if it finishes by morning.  But if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions on this, I’d really appreciate your input.

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    • #245058

      I personally haven’t ever used the ‘Microsoft Readiness Tool’

      From experience on W7, if one changes the the update method settings within WU, then I would clear the c:/windows/softwaredistribution folder prior to doing so.

      The WU system needs to re-collate all the data, metadata related to the updates being installed or files within this folder. Having older files in there would confuse the WU process and probably cause the error you seen.

      How to clear the softwaredistribution folder:

      Access windows ‘run’ by pressing the windows logo key and r simultaneously
      within the run box type: Services.msc
      Once services window pops up, Stop the following services by right clicking them and click STOP
      Windows Update
      Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
      Cryptographic Services

      Then within Windows File Explorer delete all the files within the following two folders:
      C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore
      C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

      Once done, restart your computer and check WU as normal
      Note:
      This will initially take longer due to WU establishing what is installed and what is available for your system whilst collating the information in your DataStore folder.

      Subsequent WU checks will be far quicker.

      Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #245064

      Used to install the SUR tool years ago when Win7 update, on a clean install, used to take 1 1/2 days for an update seek (yes seriously) with KB3138612 (1st) and of course KB947821 (2nd) either from the Desktop or added via DISM to install images and that got the update seek time down to a more paletable 10 Mins. The SUR Tool on a good day/system would normally take approx. 15-25 mins to install from the Desktop, but certainly not 13 hours. Your call really either wait it out, reboot and remove from the Win update GUI. As its a major System “shake up” make sure you have a good recovery strategy and or Backup as an imperetive if you can reboot and remove. Sounds likely its stuck in an Install loop not always fatal but a major hassle.
      Definitely go with @microfix ‘s suggestion first its the least hassle, should it show up again maybe best to hide it.
      If you simply must have it as it sounds like your Win7 is running fine without it then try copying the KB947821 to a folder name it something like SUR or Packages, copy it to the root of a Win7 USB install/Boot Stick. Boot from it, at the first Window, hit SHIFT-F10, say your USB is D:\ and your HDD is C:\ then type D: enter then type, DISM /IMAGE:C:\ /ADD-PACKAGE /PACKAGEPATH:D:\SUR enter you’ll find its really quite quick 5-10 mins on a good machine and exit etc back to your machine boot normally. Long winded I know but if it was running fine before maybe consider hiding it for the future.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #292389

      ** UPDATE **

      First off, sorry for the delay in updating my post here.  And also thanks to Microfix and BobbyB for the advice given.  However, it looks like the issue resolved itself.  As indicated above, I let the System Update Readiness Tool (KB947821) keep running overnight to see if it would ever finish.  Well it did finally finish.   As best I can tell it wrapped up after running continuously for somewhere between 17 hours and 23 hours.  Ridiculously long!

      The worst part though is that after all that time the final result from SURT was a single small dialog box that I found on the screen in the morning with the following message:

      =====
      Some updates were not installed.  The following updates were not installed:
      Hotfix for Windows (KB947821)
      =====

      That was the sum total of the information from SURT.  No explanation as to why the update wasn’t installed.  No explanation of what the tool was off doing thrashing away on the system drive for over 17 hours.  No recommendation as to what other actions I might want to take or try.  Nothing!  How typical of Microsoft — especially lately.

      After restarting the system, I went and did a manual Check for Updates.  Since I happened to be doing this right before Patch Tuesday (on Monday, Jan. 8), I somehow got lucky (unlucky) enough to get presented with the January patches:  KB4480970, KB4481480, KB4461625, as well as the MSRT, and (yes) the Definition Update for Windows Defender again — the same Definition Update that refused to install, and started me down this path of the 17 hour failed run with SURT.

      I unchecked all 5 of the listed updates, including that Definition Update for Windows Defender.  And, after my bad (and useless) experience with SURT, I also changed the setting from “Install updates automatically” back to “Never check for updates”.  I followed that by restarting the system, then going back and doing a manual Check for Updates again.  Of the 5 updates listed previously, now there were only 4.  The one missing one was that Definition Update for Windows Defender.  That puzzled me since I never selected it for downloading and installing.

      But when I went checked the Update History.  I saw two new items there.  The earlier one was an entry for SURT — listed as “Hotfix for Windows (KB947821)”.  And it confirmed that the status of the installation was “Failed”.  But then immediately after that entry was one for the Definition Update for Windows Defender, showing a status of successfully installed.

      So bottom line:  After letting SURT run its course for over 17 hours — and failing to install — I got the Definition Update for Windows Defender to successfully install itself, even though I never selected it again to be installed.

      I’m marking my post here “Resolved”, even though I don’t have a clue as to what really happened, or why.  It just seems that Windows Update gets weirder and less reliable with each passing month.  But I guess that’s just what Microsoft expects us to roll over and accept these days.  Thank goodness for Woody and this website.

      4 users thanked author for this post.
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