• Win7 updates take hours – or days? Try this combination to fix it

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    As reported here by EP, with ch100 and Noel Carboni. InfoWorld Woody on Windows
    [See the full post at: Win7 updates take hours – or days? Try this combination to fix it]

    Viewing 119 reply threads
    • #44151


      KB 3138612 was released on 3/8/16 and KB 3145739 was released on 4/12/16.

      Can they be installed together, at the same time, or should the March 8th, KB 3138612 be installed first followed by the April 12th KB 3145739?


    • #44152

      The fact that there appears to be a fix for this problem is fine, but begs the bigger question: Why (once again) do Microsoft customers have to go above and beyond to fix a problem that MS caused? What about the consumer who is not computer knowledgeable and has no idea about any of this? (like my aunts). What is this “fix” doesn’t work? I think M$ is asking alot (too much) of its customers. Customers pay to be served, not work unpaid for the company!

    • #44153

      Also, wasn’t KB3138612 a patch we were told to avoid?

    • #44154

      I just completed one test of this combo in a Win7 VM. KB3138612 was already installed so I manually downloaded and installed KB3145739. After a reboot the WU/MU can completed in about 20 minutes, a vast improvement to the 6 hour performance. Tests are in progress on other systems. It makes me wonder if the version of the Vista version of this patch will alleviate the long wait times that Vista also experiences.

      It is more than a little ironic that the fix requires one of the April updates to be installed even though MS Defcon level is 2.

    • #44155

      Tried installing both those updates (kb3138612 was hidden previously) and it did make the subsequent update search to around 10 minutes from 30 odd minutes previously.

      Would you recommend installing kb3138615 (its counterpart) on Win 8.1 machines as well? It is currently hidden due to suspicion as Win 10 update?

    • #44156

      I have both KB3138612 and KB3145739 installed on my three Apple computers (via Bootcamp, running Win7 SP1). On the 64 bit system, last Tuesday’s updates installed within twenty minutes, but on my two 32 bit systems, it was the same long “Checking for Updates” process I’ve seen before – eventually taking over two hours to finish checking while all the time occupying 50% of my processing power (on my admittedly older Core2Duo machines).

      I suppose the definition of “long time” varies from person to person, and perhaps I should be grateful that it only took two hours and not two days – but still, tying up 50% of my processor means that the machines are essentially unusable for that time.

    • #44157

      I haven’t seen the huge delays in Win 8.1 check for updates that I’ve seen with Win7… but your mileage may vary!

    • #44158

      Yep, and it’s ironic that those who ignored the MS-DEFCON rating will take 4 or 6 or 8 hours to get the April patches installed. The only solution I’ve found is to manually install these two patches, and then search for updates.

      I haven’t had any indication that Vista runs faster…

    • #44159

      Yes it was. It updates the kernel – which is both (a) the reason I recommended avoiding it and (b) apparently the reason why it speeds up the scan for patches.

      Bah. Humbug.

    • #44160

      I haven’t tested any time dependency. I do know that on my test machines, the earlier patch came earlier and the later patch came later – KB 3138612 before KB 3145739 – and that combination worked.

    • #44161

      I don’t have KB3138612 installed, but KB3145739 and the Troubleshooter did the trick for me. Still took a couple of hours to get 3145739 installed through WU, but after that, things worked.

      Installing 3138612 right now…

    • #44162


      I’m sorry, I didn’t quite understand your answer.
      Are you saying you installed both KB 3138612 and KB 3145739 at the same time?

    • #44163

      And the result: no real change–checks in a few minutes. Win 7 SP1 X64 Home Premium.

    • #44164

      Vista’s version of WU/MU continues to disappoint with svchost spiking coupled with excessive memory consumption after KB3145739 was installed.

      Oh well, it was worth a shot.

    • #44165

      NO woody! KB3138612 updates the WU client app to version 7.6.7601.19161. KB3145739 updates the WIN32K.SYS kernel driver file. We need to get the facts straight.

      These are the following combination of patches I’ve tested that worked and they involve KB3145739:

      KB3102810 + KB3145739

      KB3138612 + KB3145739

      Any Windows Update agent/client patch from KB3102810 to KB3138612 installed along with KB3145739 did the trick. These fixes should work continue to work BUT the REAL test is what happens on the next patch Tuesday May 10. Check back on the afternoon of 5/10/2016 and do a Windows Update scan by then to see if the problem is gone then.

    • #44166

      Sorry. Vista users are out of luck. I did a recent test on Vista SP2, manually installed the Vista edition of KB3145739 and did a WU scan; STILL long wait times and checking for updates seemed almost forever. AND Microsoft did NOT offer new WU client patches for Vista (which is also key part in fixing the problem) since KB2887535. Last WU agent/client app for Vista SP2 is v7.6.7600.256 which was released in June 2012.

      In short, KB3145739 made a BIG difference on Win7 SP1 but not under Vista SP2.

    • #44167

      Beware: I don’t think we can even say for certain whether ANY fix exists, because:

      We don’t know what triggers the slowdown, and just seeing that there’s an update to the Defender database or whatever is not a sufficient test.

      I have had one system exhibit the problem even after installing the mentioned updates. I have also heard from some folks who don’t have those installed that their Windows Update checks proceeded quickly.

      I think we really will have to wait until the NEXT big batch of updates is released in order to see if the problem has been eliminated.


    • #44168

      I wasn’t offered a Vista equivalent of KB3138612; but it has been my experience over the past few months that after individually installing any kernel patch, update check times return to normal.

    • #44169

      It was?

      So it’s safe to install KB3138612 ?


    • #44170

      I think the facts in the article are straight, aren’t they?

      Yep, you’re right. So far this is a one-off fix. Only Microsoft knows if the fix will continue to work. Still, for those who are going to look for Win7 updates, this’ll add hours to their lifespans.

    • #44171

      I installed the first one first, and the second one second – KB3138612 and then KB3145739

    • #44172

      As Larry David would say, “pretty good, pretty, pretty good.” Relatively speaking, the WU scans on my system weren’t that terrible, maybe 20-30 minutes. I installed the 2 updates, and the WU scan took 5 minutes to complete, listing 22 important updates and 1 optional update.

    • #44173

      MS Update claims that 3138612 is not relevant to my W7 machine!

      Meanwhile I have one W7 machine that is absolutely fine, and a second which takes several hours to look for updates. Neither have 3138612 installed.

    • #44174

      Amen Deborah! I mean I know a good knowledge about computers and networks and basic stuff growing up and what I learned in college. BUT WHEN A PROBLEM IS CAUSED BY Microsoft-I have to research and apply the solution.

      Microsoft shouldn’t make users be techies-WE ARE USERS, WE DESERVE OUR MACHINES TO WORK WITH THE GOOD UPDATES than getting crappy ones because microsoft and their tech team lack the time to beta test each update to ensure their safe and secure for us users.


    • #44175

      All the WU-updates since April ’15 are just for upgrading 7/8.1 to 10.
      As there is no upgrade for Vista, it doesn’t get the WU-Updates.
      And it being less than a year away from end of Support probably doesn’t help either.

    • #44176

      I had one computer (32-bit Win7 w/ 2GB RAM) that had not been on since last month. KB3138612 (WU Client update) had been hidden in March. I checked to verify the last search for updates was in March then disabled the WiFi so it had no Internet connection.

      I downloaded KB3138612 and 3145739 standalone installers and installed them in that order on the computer. With the first, the installer did “searching for updates on this computer” for two minutes. For the latter it searched for 13 minutes. (See my comments 4/16 at 10:16am under thread “Possible fix for abysmally slow Windows 7 update scans” for KB3145739 alone without 3138612).

      After rebooting, I turned the WiFi back on and did the Check for updates. It took 5 minutes. Much improvement!!

      Did the searching that was done by the stand alone installer in both cases speed things up? Or was it the installation of the two updates? I’m going to wait till next month before I wholesale unhide KB3138612 on my other computers. And maybe try on the test machine.

    • #44177

      Fix worked great on my 3 laptops.

      1x Win8.1OEM-Intel corei3 4gb ram, New.

      8615 was installed 2 Mar 16
      5739 installed today.

      Moderate speed increase, but now takes less than 5 minutes for scan.

      1x Win7SP1OEM-AMD Turion64 4gb ram,7yrs Old.

      8612 installed ??(earlier)
      5739 installed two days ago.

      Scan reduced from 100-130 minutes to under 5 minutes.

      1x Win7SP1 (new Win7SP1 install 30 days ago-OEM5739 OS was XP) AMD Turion 64×2 3gb ram, 10 yrs Old.

      8612 installed 30 days ago.
      5739 just installed.

      Scan reduced from DAYS to under 10 minutes.

      BTW: Woody, whaddya think about the WinXP POS Ready 2009 hack.

      Thank you Woody and all the very knowledgeable and helpful posters.


    • #44178

      I know at least one person who’s active here, who uses WinXP POS Ready 2009. I’ll defer to him…

    • #44179

      Correction of typo previous post.

      “1x Win7SP1 (new Win7SP1 install 30 days ago-OEM OS was XP) AMD Turion 64×2 3gb ram, 10 yrs Old.”

      fat finger failure


    • #44180

      Given the tradeoffs, yeah, I’d say it’s OK. I haven’t heard of any problems with 3138612 as yet.

    • #44182

      Not I, that’s for sure.

    • #44183

      I’ve been using it on two XP Virtual Machines I need to keep going because of a legacy Access application (written for Access 97, running on Access 2000) for a long time. No trouble with monthly updates – even for IE8. If you NEED XP, it works.

    • #44184

      This is Microsoft’s new “user as a service” philosophy. The user providing the service of fixing their multitude of screwups.

    • #44185

      How do I install the update? I already have Kb3138612. I went to Microsoft site and downloaded Kb3145739 to my desktop. Then I double-clicked it. Now there is a dialog box that says “searching for updates on this computer.” Is that how the patch gets installed?

    • #44186

      Woody: It sounds as if I should attempt to install these 2 updates in the same manner as you did. I have KB3138612 still “hidden”, as it was originally “optional”. I do have KB3145739 on the list for Win 7 updates for April now, and “pending” because of the DEFCON 2.

      I am assuming that it’s safe to install both of these as it may provide a resolution to the “slow, slow, and slower” updates problem??

      With DEFCON 2 on everything at the present time, I just wanted to verify that it’s okay to try to proceed. Your guidance is very much appreciated. Thank you once again!

    • #44187

      The Redmond demi-gods toying with us poor mortals?

    • #44188

      Now it says the update doesn’t apply to my computer. So I bit the bullet and went to Windows Update. The kb3145739 is right there in the list. Now I am trying to install it through Windows Update. We will see…

    • #44189

      Yep, it’s OK to proceed.

    • #44190

      It should just install – and it’ll appear in the list of installed updates, in Windows Update.

    • #44191

      Worked for me. Dropped the searching for update time from well over an hour to a few minutes.

    • #44192

      I already had Kb3138612 installed but not Kb3145739.
      Went to Microsoft site and clicked to run Kb3145739. Got a dialog box that said “searching for updates on this computer.” After waiting for that for a little while I cancelled.
      Checked WU and found Kb3145739 sitting there waiting to be installed. Unchecked everything else and ran WU. The download and update took around an hour.
      Did the restart and ran check for updates. Vast improvement – from what was an hour or more to just a couple minutes to find 13 important and 3 optional.

      Thanx Woody

    • #44193

      In regards the speeding up of MS WIN updates, both sets of [2] updates mentioned have been mentioned [in the past] in Windows secrets at the time they each came out individually [by Susan Bradley] and I had already applied both at that time. TODAY’s new WS articles mention that the April windows updates include KB 3145739 which is a graphics update. I’m not sure that installing it makes any difference , but I understood that the article seems to say that this months win updates can have slower speed issues if that update isn’t installed BEFORE the other April updates. At any rate, I did a disk image restore, back to a few days before I applied the April updates and reinstalled including doing KB 3145739 by itself first on my WIN7 Pro,64 bit machines and reinstalled all of the updates [except optionals and ones Susan had indicated we should still wait on]. I guess I will also have to wait till next month to know for sure, but I didn’t see any difference in my update speeds either way. They still take what seems a fairly long time to search and download, but I certainly have not experienced more than 1 to 2 hours max but never overnight or days.

    • #44194

      Just install them in sequence and reboot if asked. Install the March 2016 patch first and if asking for reboot, proceed. After that install the April 2016 Patch again following the prompts.
      Otherwise and this not mentioned in Woody’s post, the patches are available on Windows Update and can be installed from there by selecting only those (and any others that have been already cleared before).

    • #44195

      Deborah, if you install ALL Microsoft updates and you do not have any other issue with your PC, Windows Update should works smoothly.
      The problem appears to be that there is no resilience built into the system of updating when end-users wish to selectively apply patches, which is legitimate and should be fully supported. In such situations, workarounds like the one mentioned by Woody can be beneficial.

    • #44196

      Only for a while I think, until all potential issues if any are resolved. This is because this patch is in the category of those with higher risk to create some problems (not for everyone, but certain configurations). It was not intended to be avoided forever. Woody can confirm if my understanding is correct.

    • #44197

      EP, I think you provided the full solution to slow Windows updates in another thread. This is to install ALL available patches to date. Everything else is a workaround trying to avoid too many superseded patches which are to be considered in the svchost.exe calculations.
      There are are good reasons (privacy/telemetry, Windows 10 advertising and forced updating) why many users avoid installing certain patches and this is what causes slow experience.
      Delaying the current month’s patches which is OK does not count for this discussion, this is about many months old patches and in addition hiding withdrawn patches may cause additional problems and the list can continue.
      The root cause is as it was identified by other poster or posters the poor software design of svchost.exe but this is not something that we can resolve.

    • #44198

      I am so disappointed! There is a fix here finally, but it seems as if I can’t use it!

      I too have suffered full nights with partial days of waiting for downloads without letting my computer sleep. Now, I am positive running the computer all those nights for updates, is what just killed my fan on my Win 7. MS is going to get us coming and going.

      I have to decide if I should try to get it fixed and fight with MS more and waste more valuable time to use an OS I really liked,and was not as invasive as Win 10, or limp along with a cheap something to get my files in order and make the switch to MAC.

      I will go MAC eventually. MS decided that for me as it continued with trying to shove Win 10 down my throat.

    • #44199

      Well, it just gets murkier and murkier!!! I downloaded and installed the KB3138612 after having a long wait. It did a restart and then when I attempted to do the KB3145739 it wouldn’t download and install (AS USUAL).

      It’s back to its normal “slow, slow, slow, and slower”. So I’ll just persevere until it’s finally done. If it appears that it’s not functional, I just cancel and go back later to see if it’s ready to do its job or not.

      It won’t even DL & install the definition update. I’ve had this problem previously, just like everyone else. I think my mistake this time was not selecting BOTH of these updates at the same time.

      If anything changes I’ll report back.

    • #44200

      FINALLY!!! I gave it one more “try” and it came up as showing a “restore point” so I knew
      it was going to function. It was done in a matter of a few minutes. This was the last one of the two updates (KB3145739).

      A huge relief!!! 🙂

    • #44201

      Already had the latest windows update client, installed the other (KB3145739) and took time at 100% (on one core) from 2 hours (+/- 10 seconds) to ~0 seconds (total check time ~4 minutes).

      What I wonder is if installing the latest windows update client (KB3138612), and this other crazy update (KB3145739, an update to window / 2d graphic rendering) as the first updates on a clean install would do any good for the speed of the process?

      Does KB3145739 close down a long string of supersedence, or is it just this month’s only (100% cpu) troublemaker? (with more “install these new updates first” before you check for updates each and every month)

      Something is wrong with microsoft supersedence calculations when it is faster to read online what updates microsoft released this month (for 7x64_SP1 for example), download them all by hand, installed them all by hand (even if you don’t actually need one, the update will determine that it is not needed) rebooting between each, and still beat the windows update client.

      I think microsoft is doing extra calculations client side (as of May2015) to calculate a diff (currently installed files VS latest update) so when if finally finishes the calc it can download 3.5MB less from microsoft’s servers. (saving microsoft some money, and you time….if you are on dialup, with a bad phone line connecting at 21Kbps)

      Not installed (hidden):

      Does KB3148198 (superseding KB3139929) have adware too?

    • #44202

      I seem to be opposite of everyone else and had KB3145739 already installed and but not KB3138612. So I installed the KB3138612 update.
      It took about 5 mins to download and install but it still took a long time to restart my computer. It said “configuring Windows…Don’t turn off your computer” for an hour before restarting. I have done the Fixit program twice and it says “not fixed” and has a red X after problems installing recent after the trouble shooting is complete. But if I click on view detailed information it says it is fixed and has a green check mark after it. So which is it….is it fixed or not? I operate with Windows 7 home premium 64 bit with the updates set to search but let me install. I am so confused!

    • #44203

      Eric, have you tried installing every patch released for Vista until March 2016, leaving out Optional patches if you wish and see if you have the same slow experience?
      I think most of us here cannot be very helpful with testing as very few still use Vista.

    • #44204

      There is a specific patch for WU which I think was released in October 2015 which dramatically reduces the memory consumption for the svchost.exe process associated with WU. That patch may have been intended as a helper for the upgrade to Windows 10, however it greatly assists those with less than optimal RAM, which I estimate to be about 6 GB (64-bit OS) for most purposes.

    • #44205

      KB3138612 which is Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: March 2016 is not offered if the April 2016 version which supersedes the March version is installed on the computer.

    • #44206

      You blame Microsoft/Windows for a bad cooling fan?

    • #44207

      If you check for new updates and it takes less than 10 or 20 minutes, you’re fine.

    • #44208

      They don’t have adware. Microsoft built the ability to show ads on new pages into the security patch. I have never seen the ability in action. My guess is that Microsoft saw the rightfully indignant reaction, and passed on plans to implement the ad.

    • #44209

      Taking 1 hour to restart after installing updates is caused by a process which is in the state of “stopping” for a very long time instead of being stopped as soon as it receives the signal to do so. That process is named TrustedInstaller.exe and this is an old problem which nobody seems to understand why it happens randomly. It can be killed remotely from another machine in the same network with taskkill.exe but in general is better to be left alone. This is one of the reasons why it is sometimes recommended to perform Windows Update over night. This issue has no relation to what we are trying to solve here and Woody has already answered.

    • #44210

      Are there still business applications running on Windows XP and not running on Windows 7 after so many years?

    • #44211

      Some people seem to be having trouble manually downloading the patches and are seeing ‘Searching for updates on this computer’ forever. If that’s the case, you need to stop WU first: Press the Windows key + R then in the Run box, type ‘services.msc’ (without the quotes) and click OK, now in the Services window, look for ‘Windows Update’ click on it once, then at the top of the pane on the left, click ‘Stop the service.’ You can now close Services and try the download again – which should only take a few minutes. Win Updates will probably restart automatically afterwards, but if not, just go back into Services, click ‘Windows Update’ then ‘Start the service’ at top left.

    • #44212


      It’s not a “bad cooling fan”…it’s a faulty update check process that causes some people’s machines to check for updates for hours and even days at a time. And MSFT’s poorly conceived and implemented update process causes fans to run during the entire check for updates. And, eventually, fans burn out when forced to cool a machine for hours and days at a time.

      If it wasn’t for the mistrust MSFT has created, users would not be wary of certain patches. And if users weren’t wary of certain patches, they would install all monthly patches. And if all monthly patches were able to be installed, there would be no misconfigured systems looking for updates hours and days on end.

    • #44213

      WOW! Check for Updates is really fast now. Thanks.

    • #44214


      I just wanted to let you know, in case you had not seen it, that the other day on askwoody.com when you asked if anyone had a way to get back the “show updates for Microsoft products the way I see Windows updates” (or however that sentence is worded), besides running the script that you do now (since Microsoft has now eliminated the other ways they used to give customers to do that),
      I responded to your question describing an easy way (not involving the registry or anything complicated) that I discovered last year to do that.
      (I think that I wrote my reply a couple of days after you had left your post, so in case you didn’t see my reply then, I thought I’d drop you a note when I saw your username come up again on an askwoody.com discussion.)

    • #44215

      Thank you Louis.

      Maybe in the far future cooling fan might have stopped. The excessive hours of a computer running for well over a year due to MS’s slow update process had to have negatively affected or shortened the time or life of the fan. Normally, one uses a computer and it either sleeps when you pause, or hibernates or is turned off for the hours not using it.

      Preventing it from sleeping for sometimes up to 16 hours, and usually for 8-10 hours of constant on time and the fan running had to have affected the life of the fan. Max, even tires on a car wear out with excessive driving–if a car isn’t driven, tire wear due to driving doesn’t affect the depth of the tread. Anything mechanical will stop working with use over time. Excessive use can increase the rate of decline. It is a fact of physics.

    • #44216

      Yep that happened to me-course it took 8 minutes the other day and on sunday took 12 minutes to check for any other updates. 🙂

      Still I am thankful I found this site and my computer’s windows update is normal. Also it takes 3-4 minutes to check for updates. 🙂 I hope this continues for the next patch and future ones-taking 8-12 minutes for patches. 🙂 Last time it took 35-50 minutes, but this miracle fix made my windows update faster.

    • #44217

      Karen; re; fixit report

      Same for me I had one not fixed on the normal report but all fixed on the detailed report. Updates running good now.

    • #44218

      Did someone post a link to KB315739 update? I can’t find it.


    • #44219

      My laptop is W7 32 bit Home Premium SP1 with free Avast. Everything is up-to-date thru March. When I tried to download the W7 patches for April, WU basically stopped working – it just endlessly searches for updates, like everyone describes.

      I already had KB3138612, so I went to Microsoft’s link with Internet Explorer and manually downloaded/saved KB3145739. But when I tried to run it, the Windows Update Standalone Installer just kept searching and searching for updates on my computer. After about 45 minutes I got tired and closed it.

      Scribe says,
      “Some people seem to be having trouble manually downloading the patches and are seeing ‘Searching for updates on this computer’ forever. If that’s the case, you need to stop WU first: Press the Windows key + R then in the Run box, type ‘services.msc’ (without the quotes) and click OK, now in the Services window, look for ‘Windows Update’ click on it once, then at the top of the pane on the left, click ‘Stop the service.’ You can now close Services and try the download again – which should only take a few minutes.

      I followed Scribe’s instructions, but no luck – it is still endlessly “searching for updates on this computer”. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • #44220


      Wow…I installed KB3138612 and then KB3145739 in that order, booted up this morning, and did not hear my fan go on for an extended period (which usually lets me know we’re beginning an auto update marathon check).

      Long story short, after a couple of minutes I decide to do a manual check to see if the 2 new patches make a difference. Lo and behold, after opening Control Panel, I see last update check was immediately today, after boot up. The fan never went on, the check up must have lasted about a minute.

      Pretty remarkable. And I did need both patches to get here. Just installing KB 3138612, the new version of WU, wasn’t enough.

    • #44221

      @EP @ ch100 @ Noel Carboni,

      Much thanks to you guys for figuring this problem out. Well done.

    • #44222

      I’m merely the scribe. And the publicist. 🙂

    • #44223

      Short version: A miraculous fix.

      Full version: Last night it took more six hours for WU to complete its “Check for updates” (on my 10 year-old Dell laptop, dual core, 32-bit Windows 7). I had previously installed KB3138612, without seeing any improvement. The new list of available updates included KB3145739, which I installed (despite Woody’s current Defcon 2 advisory). After rebooting, I ran WU’s “Check for updates” again; this time it took 3 minutes. If this result holds up, it will save many, many hours of WU checking.

    • #44224

      I just hope it doesn’t get clobbered similarly next month.

    • #44225


      After you closed the Windows Update Installer, have you since rebooted and looked in Control Panel -> Windows Update to see if KB3145739 is there?

      I recall someone commenting here that they had the same experience with the Installer, closed it down and after a reboot found 5739 in their list of updates…

      Run it again for some indeterminate amount of time, maybe 60 minutes?, if it doesn’t succeed, reboot and see if you were able to catch it. Best I can offer.

      The other alternative is to bite the bullet, run the regular check for updates with WU service back ON, and let it run overnight to see if it will then download all the current patches-updates.

    • #44226

      This is it, I AM DONE! I tried to download KB3138612 & KB3145739 and they will not download!! My computer is still burning itself up looking for updates for hours. I am tired of being my own unpaid Microsoft software tech, so I AM DONE! I will be performing no future updates on my laptop and will just keep going with it, as is, until it dies. I use my Chromebook for the majority of my internet work (I am using it now), and only use the Win7 for office applications and Calibre; I don’t even boot it up every day. Goodbye M$! when my laptop dies, I’m going to BestBuy and get on a payment plan for a Mac.

      Thanks, Woody, for all your help in the past. You have no idea how much your work and input have helped me and others like me, but I wash my hands of it all!

    • #44227

      Hi Woody,

      I have Win 7 Ultimate, 64 bit. I have had search, and download times of 4.5 Hrs.

      I installed KB3138612, KB3145739, Windows 7 updates.
      I restored KB3138612 which I had previously hidden. KB3145739 was a current update from 4/12/16.

      It took 5 hours to perform the update.

      Now I have search, download and update times of a few minutes.

      Thanks for the update solution, it works great!

      I am also have Win 8.1 & Win 10 for Dummies books, they are great too.


    • #44228

      Bit of a long shot, but based on my experience: If you stopped WU immediately after unsuccessfully trying to download the patch. Reboot the PC, then give it 15 mins for WU to settle itself. Now stop WU and try again – if it’s going to work, it shouldn’t take more than about 5 mins. But if it still doesn’t, I can only think it must be down to differences in installed/hidden patches.

    • #44229

      I”m a little confused. Should we run and update KB3138612 and KB3145739.
      My plan Is to run them today or tomorrow after I check back here again tonight and make sure that no one is having problems and then to wait on the rest of the updates that were issued on last “Black Tues” until we get the go ahead from you later in the month.

    • #44230

      My recommendation is that you just sit back and relax. There aren’t any immediately pressing patches. I just got confirmation that one of the Office patches is crashing systems – so hang in there. When the time comes, I’ll have Win7 users install the two key patches, then run Windows Update. That’ll save them many hours.

    • #44231

      Thanks! (Book sales is still my second-largest source of income – after InfoWorld – and it’s greatly appreciated.)

    • #44232

      I find myself using my Chromebook frequently, and recommending it to anyone who doesn’t absolutely need Windows programs. I share your frustration.

    • #44233

      Thanks a lot. I will take your advice and just sit back and wait
      Thanks again for all the help and advice you give us.

    • #44234

      This one deserves a reply from somebody, might as well be me.

      Thank you, Scribe! Clearly this is relevant info for a bunch of us.

    • #44235

      I spent some time searching and found your reply. Wow… Here is an _easy_ way to do it:

      VBS script:
      Set ServiceManager = CreateObject(“Microsoft.Update.ServiceManager”)
      ServiceManager.ClientApplicationID = “My App”
      Set NewUpdateService = ServiceManager.AddService2(“7971f918-a847-4430-9279-4a52d1efe18d”,7,””)


      I can’t believe that microsoft forgot users may need Microsoft update enabled… So if you have windows 7 or 10 (upgraded or whatever) and you have / had office 2010, you just don’t get security updates to office? Unless you go out of your way to do it? Does this even work on windows 10?

      Also, we need a forum here, comment chatting doesn’t work great. Maybe a new topic for each new item on the main page, and subforums for general discussion?

    • #44236

      Inactive adware is still adware. What I want to know is if that (currently inactive) code that supports the ad still exists in the latest (IE11) update or if it was removed.

    • #44237

      Tested this with a computer that hadn’t been updated since October. (Sandy Bridge i5 desktop)

      Check for updates after installing these (most updates from after October not installed) and rebooting again (for good measure). Check for updates ~55 minutes at 100% CPU (one core).

    • #44238

      Just for the record, an older patch KB3102810 plus KB3145739 worked for me on 2 machines, (I also have KB3139852 which was replaced by 3145739). I do not have KB3138612 or 3135445.

      Prior to this, WU had stopped its daily check for updates including Defender, and the CPU was stuck at 30-50%. I’ve since had a Defender definition update but no new patches as yet, so fingers crossed!

      Incidentally, in the last month or so, Defender has mysteriously stopped creating a restore point before installing a new definition – the settings haven’t been changed.

    • #44239

      I had that script too for a while, likely from the same Technet blog as it is identical.
      This issue started after the upgrade to IE11, as before it was working via the GUI.
      There are few alternative ways to enable the Microsoft Update using either Microsoft Office or Silverlight GUI and maybe few other Microsoft products.
      The script is good though and I certainly recommend using it as it is very reliable. The other way is to reverse engineer the changes that the script does in the registry and mirror them which I did and tried a while ago. The script has the advantage that it is provided by Microsoft and applies immediately unlike the configuration done in the registry which require service restart or computer restart.
      Certainly a bug, however I don’t see it fixed as it has been around since 2014 I think when IE11 was first released.

    • #44240

      If it helps with your ratings on InfoWorld, maybe we should try to post more often there in the Comments section. As you know, I had problems posting there, so after many failed tries you advised me that posting here on askwoody.com is very much the same thing.
      InfoWorld should do more to improve their reliability in posting comments as it is obvious that some of them eventually go through.

    • #44241

      I get a lot of complaints about comments in the InfoWorld articles. Basically, they’re saddled with a corporate system that has many foibles. InfoWorld has a lot of constraints that I don’t have – they can’t afford to vet every comment, for example – so I’m sympathetic to their plight.

      What DOES make a difference is how many people read my articles. Comments are a part of that, sure, but mostly it’s a question of letting people know about the topics being discussed and how they impact what they’re doing. It still pains me to know that millions (tens? hundreds of millions?) of people are looking at the “Get Windows 10” ad, and don’t realize they can turn it off – or the ones who get caught by bad patches, or other Microsoft mistakes.

      Getting the word out is job #1 around here….

    • #44242

      So, how is the number of people reading the articles on InfoWorld estimated? Based on the number of hits for your articles on the InfoWorld web site? I certainly click on the links you post here referring to the InfoWorld articles and if it helps, everyone reading this site should do the same, as the articles on InfoWorld and those here tend to complete each other in providing the full picture for the subjects which are addressed.

    • #44243

      Yep, number of hits. There may be some effort to account for the same person hitting the same article multiple times – I don’t really know. (I do that a lot.) Surprisingly, the slide shows don’t count as multiple “hits.”

    • #44244

      My primary laptop is a rather modern (3 years old) ASUS with Intel Core i5 processor and 6GB RAM, Win 7 Pro. The last check for updates (on 13.04.2016) took approximately 2 hours, the subsequent download after hiding the unnecessary updates also took more than 1 hour.
      I have also a 7 years old netbook on Intel Atom with Win 7 Home Basic. The last check for updates on this netbook was in March and it took several hours to check, download and install the updates. So, today first I manually installed KB3145739 (with the Wi-Fi connection turned off, KB3138612 was installed in March). Then I turned on the Wi-Fi connection and checked for updates. It took 5 minutes or even less to find the whole bunch of the April updates! After selecting only the important updates, the download started immediately. So, it seems that the trick indeed works even on old and slow computers.
      I hope that my experience will be useful for you. And thank you very much for your efforts, Woody!

    • #44245

      Not having certain updates triggers the high CPU problem. It just so happens the only one this month was KB3145739. Next month there will be 0-4 of them. If you are 6 months out of date just remember to install the 10-20 updates you need that are causing the slowness, then you can check what updates you need.

      This is backwards, install some of the updates you need, then you can check which updates you need.

      Why is calculating needed updates by hand faster than programmatically?

    • #44246

      Why is calculating needed updates by hand faster than programmatically?

      I think your question is rather rhetoric and not really expecting an answer, unless one of the Microsoft developers with access to the internal documentation for the svchost.exe process is monitoring this thread.

    • #44247

      After a bit of frustration, I found my mistake – I had neglected to Disable Automatic Updates.. So I did that by going to
      Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change settings > “Never check for updates” Then I rebooted, found KB3145739 in my Downloads folder, and ran it. All is working great now! Thanks for your reply.


    • #44248

      I found my mistake — not properly turning off WU. When I did that, by going to
      Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Change settings > “Never check for updates”, I was then able to successfully install KB3145739. Now my WU search, download and update times are a reasonable 10 to 15 minutes. Thanks!


    • #44249

      Thanks Scribe.


    • #44250
    • #44251

      Hi Woody,
      In your last reply to me you say that KB3138612 is “a pain in the butt”. So I hid it. I have KB3145739 installed 4/13/2016 and KB3139852 installed 3/9/2016. Like I said I have KB3138612 hidden. Now you are saying we need to install KB3138612 and KB3145739? And 739 supersedes 852? My desktop does not seem to be installing the updates slowly but my Acer netbook is updating slow and they have the same updates installed and hidden I believe.
      On your Ask Woody website you don’t have any notification email when someone post to the topic or you get an answer to a post? Am I correct?
      Thank you,

    • #44252

      I don’t have the option to enable “mail when there are posts to this topic.” Best I can do is the Recent Comments list on the right.

      I don’t recommend that anyone install anything at the moment. When the time comes, I’ll include instructions for speeding up the scan for Win7 updates, which involves KB3138612 and KB3145739. For now, just sit tight.


    • #44253

      In Windows 7, I’ve been getting “connection failed,” error messages for updates to Microsoft Security Essentials. Finally, after several tries, I uninstalled MSE and activated Defender. But that also wasn’t updating. So I tried reinstalling MSE, but got the same error message about updates.
      I just downloaded mpam-feX64.exe to do a manual update and that worked. Think I’ll have to do this all the time?

    • #44254

      I sure hope not. It should’ve resolved the problem… “should” …

    • #44255

      Morty, is the Windows Update service disabled on your computer?

    • #44256

      Hi NotReallyBob(fromanothercomputer),

      I just noticed today that you had replied to my comment here.

      You wrote:
      “I spent some time searching and found your reply. Wow… Here is an _easy_ way to do it”

      Hmm, it sounds like you don’t think my way is “easy”! Ha.
      I am chuckling — because I think your way sounds awfully complicated! Much more of a hassle than my way. (To *me*.)
      The difference is down to our technical knowledge (in other words, you have some, and I don’t)! 😉

      To another of your points:

      “Also, we need a forum here, comment chatting doesn’t work great. Maybe a new topic for each new item on the main page, and subforums for general discussion?”

      I mentioned something like this (though my suggestion was simpler – having a more powerful and useful-to-the-reader discussion-thread/commenting system, such as the one that theguardian.com uses) in a comment I made on this site a couple of months ago, but Woody responded that his blog’s publishing platform doesn’t offer anything other than the rudimentary discussion-thread/commenting system he uses now.

      Of course, having an actual forum would require a lot of work, as well as more extensive moderation, and Woody’s time-allocation and efforts are probably already ticking along at max warp speed, given all that he does, as an incredibly busy and productive “one man band”.

    • #44257

      I once thought about doing a real forum, but… it’d be expensive, and time consuming. Eileen’s Lounge (link in the upper right corner) is a great place that has all the bases covered, and a solid group of people giving out advice.

    • #44258

      Just be advised that Apple is doing a lot of the same crap Microsoft does (bundling spyware with updates, ignoring user privacy settings, sending telemetry to various cloud servers even when cloud services are disabled, etc.) And just like Windows, the spying gets worse with every update.

      While I still have to use Mac & Windows at work, I have been using Ubuntu, PC-BSD and ghostBSD everywhere else, and will never go back to a proprietary OS. So long as your hardware is on the compatibility list, these are great alternatives. Now I spend my time getting real work done instead of fixing endless Windows problems. Gimp is a suitable replacement for Photoshop and there are plenty of compatible free alternatives to Microsoft Office.

    • #44259

      Thanks Woody for this great information. I can’t even count the number of people I know who have this problem. But there are even more serious issues with Windows Update:

      With my Firewall Control enabled and locked down with custom settings, I see the Windows Update client constantly trying to open connections to different servers on port 137 (FILE & SCREEN SHARING) throughout the update process. When I manually block these activities through the firewall alert dialog, the update proceeds normally. (In other words, Microsoft is apparently using port 137 connections for spying & tracking purposes.) And all of the updates are done over an insecure, unencrypted port 80 channel – making them subject to tampering.

      Windows is monstrously insecure by design and this is DELIBERATE, folks. Why do you think it lacks a decent application firewall – and the task manager lacks a traffic monitor feature like Process Hacker? Move along, nothing to see here, ha ha !

    • #44260

      “Now I spend my time getting real work done instead of fixing endless Windows problems.”
      This is the ideal, unfortunately there is a steep learning curve when starting with any Linux distribution and it is not all black and white as some would claim.
      I believe that for the common non-technical user the Apple products provide the best balance overall.
      Unfortunately many of us are stuck with Windows for different reasons and have to accept the trade-offs that come with using Windows.

    • #44261

      I just had to “thank-you” Woody for what you found and shared to solve this problem. I was unable to get Windows 7 update to even work again after accepting and then declining the Windows 10 Upgrade back in July 2015. After many hours of research and trying many things, I finally got rid of the “Are you ready to install Windows 10” ground-hog day nightmare.

      Then I faced incredibly long installation times for the (92) outstanding Windows 7 “important updates”. I was seeing on average 3hrs to process an update whether it was 1 or 10 updates. Your solution was the ticket and now I can install Win7 updates in less than 2 minutes (like it used to be before Win 10’s Upgrade debacle). Many thanks to you!

    • #44262

      Here it goes, I decided today to do a fresh install of my windows 7 ultimate OEM. Had the slow update problem recently, but it wasn’t really an inconvenience since I was fairly up to date with my updated. Now, fresh install, Windows update takes forever and ever, tried the combination of those 2 updates installed manually and it’s been stuck on searching for updates for over 20 minutes now. Just before I tried this fix I also tried using cc cleaner and deleting the chache but nothing seems to work for me at the moment. What in the actual f$&# ?!

    • #44263

      I recently did the same thing, and was surprised to find that manually installing the IE patch took more than an hour. Once it went in, though, everything was much faster.

    • #44264

      Adrian, try not to install all updates at once if you are behind 100+ patches. Start with Updates as this category include all functional fixes. I would go for all Recommended too, but this is an option for the user to decide, I won’t insist. Install groups of 20-30 at a time until all Updates are installed. Continue with Security in the same way, while leaving IE and its patches last.
      If the original image comes with SP1 included, install KB2533552 manually first patch before installing anything else. In this way you avoid being offered “Service Pack 1” which is just a fancy name for the missing KB2533552 in this case.
      The machine needs to have min 2 CPUs and ideally 6GB RAM, but 4 GB will do the job, although a bit slower. Talking about 64-bit only. 32-bit machines cannot use more that 3 GB RAM due to artificial blocks built into the system licensing files for Windows 7.
      With less that 2 Intel CPU cores you can expect very long delays.
      This is all. At the end of the process with all updates installed, Optional updates can be left out for a later decision, it should not take more than 5 minutes to scan WU, normally less, for a machine with the minimum specs as above.
      Otherwise something else may not be right.

    • #44265

      It’s only disabled for regular Windows updates, as per DEFCON recommendations. I’ve always gotten MSE updates until the last month.

    • #44266

      Hi, I have downloaded KB3145739 to install. However the windows update standalone installer is taking forever to install it.

      Any suggestions?

    • #44267
    • #44268

      MSE doesn’t seem automatically update anymore. I keep having to go to https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/971606, download the update and manually install it. I also find that I have to go to Task Manager to exit from MSE before updating it. There doesn’t seem to be any other way to exit from or temporarily disable MSE.
      Curiouser and curiouser.

    • #44269

      Thanks Woody,
      I have downloaded that. But it is still a long time to install it with windows update standalone installer.


    • #44270

      Help just arrived. See InfoWorld in a few minutes.

    • #44271

      The updates KB3138612 and KB 3145739 are ment for x64 versions of Windows.These updates will not be installed on a x32 version. Most users have a x32 version. Pity on us! Maybe someone has a solution for the x32 users.

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