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  • The Windows Update servers are having hiccups

    Home Forums AskWoody blog The Windows Update servers are having hiccups

    This topic contains 62 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by

     Zaphyrus 5 days, 20 hours ago.

    • Author
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    • #318686 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Bogdan Popa at Softpedia has the skinny. It looks like many DNS servers are mis-routing Windows Update connections. At this point, it looks like the p
      [See the full post at: The Windows Update servers are having hiccups]

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #318709 Reply

      Microfix
      AskWoody MVP

      no problems using quad9 DNS.
      Why would home-users want to check for updates whilst we are at MS-DEFCON 2?

      | W10 Pro x64 1803 | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7/ XP Pro x64 O/L
        Can't see the wood for the trees? Look again!
      • #318743 Reply

        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        Not everyone who visits this site determines their update position by what the MS-Defcon ratings say.

         

        --Joe

        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #318750 Reply

          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          Not everyone is a ‘seeker’ and there is always Susan Bradley’s Master Patch List and the newsletter giving advice regarding patching.  Each to their own 🙂

          | W10 Pro x64 1803 | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7/ XP Pro x64 O/L
            Can't see the wood for the trees? Look again!
          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #318771 Reply

            admin
            Da Boss

            Yep. I figure it’s important to have an overall red light/green light system for folks who aren’t comfortable with the details, per MS-DEFCON, and an in-depth review of the patches, per Patch Watch.

            Right now I’m doing a poor job of displaying that at the top of the site. When we get the whale swallowed, a re-design is next on the list.

            3 users thanked author for this post.
            • #319050 Reply

              GoneToPlaid
              AskWoody Plus

              You have more than enough other stuff on your plate which you and the team are working on. I say “let it ride” until the forum merger issues are resolved.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #318789 Reply

        browni
        AskWoody MVP

        MS-DEFCON doesn’t really matter for Windows Insiders 🙂

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by
           browni.
    • #318714 Reply

      jabeattyauditor
      AskWoody Lounger

      This couldn’t be the result of DNS Flag Day and the associated removal of non-compliant DNS info, could it?

      Of course not.  🙂

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #318733 Reply

      Michael432
      AskWoody_MVP

      There is no need to guess about DNS. This page

      https://routersecurity.org/testdns.php

      links to a dozen different services that report on your current DNS servers. These services should work whether your DNS servers were assigned by the router, your computer or a VPN.

      If you have this Windows Update problem, please check your DNS before and after rebooting your router, or, before and after configuring DNS on your computer.

      Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #318741 Reply

        b
        AskWoody Plus

        How does that help if DNS is working but can’t connect to Windows Update?

        Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Sucker More intrepid Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker "Saluted blockhead" (Group ASAP)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #318742 Reply

          jabeattyauditor
          AskWoody Lounger

          Even better, how does one connect to those sites to test one’s DNS if it’s not working?

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          b
          • #318749 Reply

            warrenrumak
            AskWoody Plus

            Use another network, e.g. cell phone data.

            • #318754 Reply

              Michael432
              AskWoody_MVP

              Connecting to a VPN should also change your DNS servers while you are connected.

              Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

        • #318751 Reply

          Michael432
          AskWoody_MVP

          The idea is to narrow down or pinpoint known bad DNS servers. And, to insure when you change DNS on your computer that it really kicks in as the router may over-ride the DNS setting in your computer.

          Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #318818 Reply

            b
            AskWoody Plus

            My DNS (Comcast) was “good” on your 13 testers, but I couldn’t reach Windows Update for more than 12 hours (except via VPN).

            Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Sucker More intrepid Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker "Saluted blockhead" (Group ASAP)

            1 user thanked author for this post.
            • #318821 Reply

              Michael432
              AskWoody_MVP

              Mis-understanding. These dozen services do not test if a DNS server is good or bad, they simply test what your current DNS server(s) are. If the problem is indeed with some DNS servers, knowing good ones and bad ones is helpful to everyone.

              Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

            • #318831 Reply

              b
              AskWoody Plus

              So how do we pinpoint a “bad” one, which you said was the idea?

              Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Sucker More intrepid Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker "Saluted blockhead" (Group ASAP)

    • #318752 Reply

      NetDef
      AskWoody_MVP

      Comcasts primary is showing issues (75.75.75.75) with several major targets.  Many timeouts.

      Cloudflare 1.1.1.1 seems fine, as does Googles 8.8.8.8/8.8.4.4 . . .

      Open DNS seems fine this morning.

      CenturyLinks primary for my clients Colorado area seems fine.

      Also of note is that GoDaddy’s DNS nameserver (for their domain reg customers) is doing great this morning, while WorldNIC’s is timing out an abnormal number of tests.

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #318759 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      I only experienced problems with Windows Update not working on Tuesday January 29 between late morning around 10am and early afternoon like 2pm. Late afternoon or early evening around 5pm on that same day 1/29, Windows Update started working again.

      So far no problems encountered with Windows Update today January 31.

      The internet provider my family currently has is Spectrum, as in Spectrum cable internet.

    • #318760 Reply

      PKCano
      Da Boss

      I updated 12 VM, (XP, Win7, Win8.1, Win10 1803 1809 and Insidee Fast) between Tues and Wed. No problems here.

    • #318776 Reply

      anonymous

      Interesting we had an issue accessing Office 365 (Through Web and Outlook) last night for about 30 minutes because of the DNS.

    • #318806 Reply

      GoneToPlaid
      AskWoody Plus

      Yesterday I read online that this issue is causing problems with everything MS such as linkedin, Skype, et cetera.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #318814 Reply

      admin
      Da Boss

      I just updated the main post here with detailed instructions for changing DNS servers. It ain’t as easy as it used to be!

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #318860 Reply

      gborn
      AskWoody_MVP

      I don’t think that’s a DNS issue – especially not with Comcast. I read that at Bleeping Computer and Softpedia – but I’m here in Germany – and switching the DSN-Server to Cloudflare or Google doesn’t help.

      Just sum it up within my German blog post Microsoft Windows Update-Service global gestört? (31.1.2018) – English article will be follow (and will be cross linked within the articles header). Article is here

      Fear, we have to wait, until MS fixed their Update service issues. But maybe I’m wrong – don’t beat the bearer of the message 😉

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by
         gborn.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #318866 Reply

      joep517
      AskWoody MVP

      I just updated the main post to correct the Google alternate DNS server IP address and the Open DNS alternate server address.

      --Joe

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by
         joep517.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #318867 Reply

      ch100
      AskWoody_MVP

      Woody, please be aware that there is an error in the main article.
      Google DNS secondary is 8.8.4.4.
      https://developers.google.com/speed/public-dns/
      Also people, do not forget about IPv6 which is the preferred protocol out of the box.
      I personally use native IPv6 (in addition to falling back on IPv4 for sites not supporting IPv6) and is running very well.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #318877 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      This is a new one for me. I have Windows 7. How does one choose the server with Windows 7?

      Woody’s explanation is for Windows 10. Thanks.

    • #318878 Reply

      gborn
      AskWoody_MVP

      do not forget about IPv6 which is the preferred protocol out of the box. 

      I’ve deactivated IPv6 for that purpose and tried distinct DNS servers without success. I guess, it depends on the zone your machine is and which update server from the MS content delivery network is scheduled to deliver data – but maybe I’m wrong.

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by
         gborn.
    • #318880 Reply

      John
      AskWoody Lounger

      I know that Comcast DNS servers were giving fits with Windows Updates last couple days. Finally switched to Open DNS servers and got them working again, also was affecting Defender updates as well.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #318907 Reply

      Tex265
      AskWoody Plus

      So far no problem with AT&T internet cable connection.

      Apparently no posting problem either.

      Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 and Windows 7 Pro x64
      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by
         Tex265.
    • #318919 Reply

      Michael432
      AskWoody_MVP

      FYI. There are four ways to get new DNS servers

      1. Connect to a VPN
      2. Modify your computer (as Woody shows above for Win10)
      3. Modify your router
      4. If you computer does Wifi, connect to a different Wifi network. If you have access to a phone that can create a hotspot (many can) then connect the computer to the WiFi hotspot created by the phone. Or, coffee shop. That said, a phone hotspot is not the best option for HUGE downloads.

      Also, verify that the change worked by checking a couple of the services listed here

      https://www.routersecurity.org/testdns.php

      to see what your DNS servers are before and after.

      Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #318941 Reply

      Mr. Natural
      AskWoody Plus

      I don’t see how it can be a DNS issue when the only thing affected is Windows Update. Sounds like a routing issue.

      Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

    • #318953 Reply

      NetDef
      AskWoody_MVP

      I don’t have a reliable method to view global DNS history, but just stumbled on something.

      Had a trouble machine with the above mentioned WU issue.

      Did NOT change DNS settings.

      Did run this command (elevated) in a CMD window:  ipconfig /flushDNS

      WU began working normally immediately.

       

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #318983 Reply

        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        Could be the fix if it is a dns issue.

        Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

    • #318963 Reply

      anonymous

      FWIW

      I began getting the error message several days on 2 windows 10 computers, about how they could not connect to windows update, after doing a routine disk clean on each of them using the windows 10 disc cleaning tool. I thought the tool must have done some damage that gave rise to the error.

      After reading Woody’s post and the above comments as an amateur techie I did nothing but reboot my router. A couple of hours later there was no more windows update error message on either computer and one had downloaded and installed the January malicious software removal tool as well. It already had the other January updates but had missed that one up till now (for 1803, not 1809).

    • #319009 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      The quickest way to change to a different DNS than that used your ISP would be to connect through a VPN, as most operate their own DNS servers.

      But as an alternate to my ISP based DNS, I have had good luck with Google DNS and OpenDNS. However, I will give the edge to Google DNS, as there have been one or two sites that I had difficulty connecting to while using OpenDNS. Speed wise, they are about the same.

    • #319020 Reply

      Susan Bradley
      AskWoody MVP

      IMHO it’s easiest to do it up at the router.

      Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #319039 Reply

      Rick Corbett
      AskWoody_MVP

      IMHO it’s easiest to do it up at the router.

      It is… except for all those with ISP-supplied routers that the provider has locked down to force use of its own DNS services (and sell your browsing data). 🙁

      This is the case with Virgin Media this side of the pond. It relies on its customers not knowing how to change DNS settings on the router’s client devices.

      Note: Comcast has apparently now sorted the routing issue to Windows Update in the last few hours and, again apparently, is laying the blame on January’s KB4476976 Cumulative Update (according to a post on TenForums).

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #319052 Reply

        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        Good point.

        Does anyone knows how much Google DNS or OpenDNS are any better at not infringing on your privacy?

         

        • #319079 Reply

          JohnW
          AskWoody Plus

          My bet is that an independent DNS service has collectively got less info on you than your ISP does. Your ISP probably has your credit history, including your SSN, your billing account info, where you live, and possibly more.  Data mining free for all!

          All an independent DNS service can collect about you is your source and destination IP address, and the data related to your DNS lookup.  Not much to sell there, IMHO.

    • #319053 Reply

      GoneToPlaid
      AskWoody Plus

      I am on Spectrum (TWC). I haven’t been having any issues with Windows Update. Perhaps because I have DHCP for IPv6 disabled in my home router?

    • #319061 Reply

      Rick Corbett
      AskWoody_MVP

      Does anyone knows how much Google DNS or OpenDNS are any better at not infringing on your privacy?

      I guess you mean Cisco’s free OpenDNS [208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220] but there’s also the free OpenDNS FamilyShield [208.67.222.123, 208.67.220.123] and OpenDNS Home which is also free but you have to sign up for. They all come under Cisco’s umbrella and, unfortunately, its stance on privacy is open to discussion.

      For example, on the OpenDNS FAQ page is this statement:

      5 Do you share any information? What is your privacy policy?

      We take our users’ privacy is very seriously. No information will be shared with outside parties. You can read more about our privacy policy at http://www.opendns.com/privacy-policy/.

      Sounds good, doesn’t it – clear and unequivocable, right? Now follow the link and you’ll find this:

      Uses of Your Personal Information

      We may use your personal information for the purposes of operating our business, delivering, improving, and customizing our websites and Solutions, sending marketing and other communications related to our business, and for other legitimate purposes permitted by applicable law.

      There’s a lot more (including about sharing with Cisco’s un-named ‘partners’) but, all of a sudden, it’s now not so clear what’s a ‘partner’ vs an outside party… or another ‘legitimate purpose’.

      Cloudflare DNS [1.1.1.1, 1.0.0.1] has an even clearer privacy policy IMO:

      We keep your personal information personal and private. We will not sell, rent, share, or otherwise disclose your personal information to anyone except as necessary to provide our services or as otherwise described in this Policy without first providing you with notice and the opportunity to consent.

      Gooogle DNS [8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4]… well, Google makes its money from harvesting and selling data so…

      For interest, have a look at this article from The Register about Cloudflare’s DNS service with a few comparisons to Google’s.

      Finally, what’s the use of changing DNS if you end up with s-l-o-w resolution. Have a look at Steve Gibson’s free, portable DNS Benchmark to help you decide. 🙂

      (Note that these are all for IPv4. For all I know Windows Update may use IPv6 for its DNS queries.)

      Hope this helps…

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #319081 Reply

        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        Thanks for the great info.

        • #319533 Reply

          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Plus One for Cloudflare DNS. Still, my Comcast ISP supplied Router does not allow the change. So I set up Linux and Windows to use Cloudflare, knowing the router still uses the Comcast DNS.

          -- rc primak

      • #319477 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Plus

        I would avoid ever “signing up” for a 3rd party DNS service. There are free ones that you can just plug in the DNS server IP address and use the service anonymously.

        Why give them your personal info so that they can easily match up your name and the DNS lookups that you perform?

        Otherwise, unless you are using a static IP that is registered to you, an anonymous DNS service wouldn’t have much to go on as far as collecting data about you, other than the domain name you entered in the URL bar in your browser.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #319495 Reply

          b
          AskWoody Plus

          The only one mentioned which required signing up offers customizable web content filtering (keeps parents in control of what websites children visit at home), which is probably not possible without an account.

          Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Sucker More intrepid Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker "Saluted blockhead" (Group ASAP)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #319537 Reply

            JohnW
            AskWoody Plus

            Yes, I had OpenDNS in mind when I made that statement, but I didn’t wish to exclude the possibility that there may be other providers not mentioned here that might request an account sign-up.

            Note: you can use OpenDNS servers without signing up. You just don’t get the filtering features that way. Fine by me. Just plug the OpenDNS server IP addresses into your network config and off you go!

            The same concept applies in a broader sense any time you give out any personally identifiable information. It can, and probably will, be used to legally data mine information about you.

    • #319394 Reply

      Rick Corbett
      AskWoody_MVP

      An easy way to change to either Google’s or OpenDNS’s DNS servers is to use Tweaking.com‘s Change DNS Servers.

      tweaking_dns_changer

      1. Choose your network adapter (ethernet or wifi) from the dropdown (a).
      2. Select your preferred DNS server provider from the 2 on offer (b).
      3. Click the Enable Static DNS button to make the change (c).
      4. Click on the OK button which appears to dismiss the dialog.
      That’s it…

      (I watched using the Registry Editor and the change is effected immediately without any need to reboot, even though the settings are buried deep within the ‘machine’ hive.)

      It’s very limited in what it does… but it does that very simply, no fuss.

      Hope this helps…

       

       

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      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319403 Reply

      gborn
      AskWoody_MVP

      IMHO it’s easiest to do it up at the router.

      Tried both, local in Network settings – disabled IPv6 – and in my router. Tried ipconfig /flushDNS. Waited several hours – my W10 V1809 test machine refuses to connect to the MS Update servers.

      Weighting the error pattern, my guess is, that within the Update delivery network is something weak. Then it depends, on which update server a client will be connected, if the update service can be reached. But it’s only my guess.

      BTW: Microsoft confirmed the issue – without further details at reddit.com.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #319425 Reply

      admin
      Da Boss

      UPDATE: Looks like the problem was solved overnight.

    • #319505 Reply

      jaman57
      AskWoody Plus

      I don’t seek, but the automatic checking was down for two days; but it checked successfully for me this morning.

    • #324645 Reply

      Zaphyrus
      AskWoody Lounger

      is there a possibility that the issue persist for certain users?
      At random intervals, WU cannot connect to the server for 1 hour.

      Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
      • This reply was modified 6 days, 19 hours ago by
         Zaphyrus.
    • #325158 Reply

      columbia2011
      AskWoody Plus

      I have seen the same issue with inaccessibility of WU servers 4 days ago till 6 hours at night (GMT+3).

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #325161 Reply

      Arvy
      AskWoody Lounger

      You’re not alone.  I also noticed a few short-duration MS server issues during the day today with both WU (AV definition updates) and the MS App Store.  Doesn’t appear to be due to DNS issues this time unless limited to Microsoft’s “third party” DNS service provider.  More like temporary “glitches” caused some stalling on the servers themselves.

      Asus ROG Maximus XI Code board; Intel i9-9900K CPU; 32 GB DDR4-3600 RAM; Nvidia GTX1080 GPU; 2x512 GB Samsung 970 Pro M.2 NVMe; 2x2 TB Samsung 860 Pro SSDs; Windows 10.1809; Linux Mint 19.1; Terabyte Backup & Recovery
      • This reply was modified 6 days, 11 hours ago by
         Arvy.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #325169 Reply

      Zaphyrus
      AskWoody Lounger

      Arvyy and Columbia, you don’t know how that relieves me, I thought I did something to WU server.

      well then, lets hope Microsoft fix that soon.  and thank you for replying.

      Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
    • #325314 Reply

      b
      AskWoody Plus

      Microsoft Says Windows Update Now Working Normally on Windows 10 (dated today)

      BUT

      Windows Update: Still can’t connect to the update service (only seven hours ago)

      Cannon fodder Chump Daft glutton Idiot Sucker More intrepid Crazy/ignorant Toxic drinker "Saluted blockhead" (Group ASAP)

    • #325387 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Plus

      Did you try again using an alternate DNS server? The trouble this time could be with the default ISP DNS, or whatever DNS you have currently configured.

      • #325756 Reply

        Zaphyrus
        AskWoody Lounger

        Already changed DNS, lets hope that was the solution, meanwhile i am monitoring WU

        Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
        • #325763 Reply

          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          If you have problems try:

          Did run this command (elevated) in a CMD window: ipconfig /flushDNS

          as per @netdef post #318953

          | W10 Pro x64 1803 | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7/ XP Pro x64 O/L
            Can't see the wood for the trees? Look again!
          • #325777 Reply

            Zaphyrus
            AskWoody Lounger

            thanks Microfix, I will do it if my laptop cannot connect.   for now everything seems ok, but only time will tell

            Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
    • #325841 Reply

      Zaphyrus
      AskWoody Lounger

      Update: I am still having Hiccups, guess I won’t  torment myself, for now I won’t touch Windows Update. and wait for Microsoft and DNS to fix it.

      Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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