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  • Windows 7 “SP2” convenience update rollup under examination

    Home » Forums » AskWoody blog » Windows 7 “SP2” convenience update rollup under examination


    As most of you know, I’ve had no end of frustration with KB 3125574, the Windows 7 “Service Pack 2” that Microsoft calls a “convenience update rollup.
    [See the full post at: Windows 7 “SP2” convenience update rollup under examination]

    Viewing 52 reply threads
    • #41377

      Thanks woody 🙂

      we hope msft listens

    • #41378

      Have not installed “SP2” onto my Windows 7 Home Premium as of yet. Am still receiving Windows 7 updates, individually, as usual. Depending on the number of update, it usually takes an average of 5 to 8 minutes download and 10 to 12 minutes to install and bring computer back to operating mode. So far no problems, hope Microsoft has forgotten about my computer. I originally downloaded GWX Control Panel and let it run continuously. It is a small but powerful software, takes up very little room on PC and does not interfere with operations at all.

    • #41379

      Let me get more details here and I’ll roll it all into an InfoWorld post.

      Microsoft will see it. No idea if they’ll listen…

    • #41380

      Thanks from me,also

    • #41381

      With all the people working for Microsoft I don’t understand why they couldn’t have got one guy to incorporate the updates into Windows 7 to create a new install disk. Think of all the frustration that could have been avoided. Instead they will twist your arm until you install Windows 10. Linux has set me free.

    • #41382

      I think I’ll stay with my current solution which is to update Autopatcher once a month(to get the KB’s from MS), then use that to keep my machines up to date. Seems to still be a very workable, quick and safe/secure way of keeping the OS current. Plus GWX Control Panel to fend off the Win10 Devil haha.

      When I read the original KB notes on this “pseudo-SP2” pack, I thought to myself “sheesh… this is one hell of a convoluted way to update an offline box; too many prerequisites, too many caveats, too much missing”. Since I knew that you (Woody) and others would put this thing thru its paces and write of the experience, I figured I’d wait for the conclusion before using SP2. Wise move!

      Thank you for your work, Woody, ch100, Noel C and all of you.

    • #41383

      Also, I need to emphasize that SP2 is NOT intended for people who’ve been keeping their Win7 systems up to date. It’s only really useful, I think, for people who are building new systems, or those who haven’t applied updates for many, many months.

      • #115754

        l wanted to use this as a fix with many w7 errors that lve been having, like DirectX failing to install, some flash features that doesnt work anymore and also w7 updates that lm having install errors… Will this help me or do l have to reinstall windows 7, also going to W10 would be an option

        • #115804

          how is directx failing to install? there should be a DirectX.log file stored in the Windows folder. Open that file and show me the errors.

          Otherwise, do a repair installation (aka. in-place upgrade) of Windows 7. If all else fails, clean install Windows 7. Installing KB3125574 to resolve your problems won’t likely help.

    • #41384

      There’s a reason – and it isn’t technical. If Microsoft released a Service Pack 2 for Win7 – which is sorely needed – custom would dictate that MS extend the supported life of the product. No way that’ll happen with the rush to Win10. thus, we got an update rollup that, while not a full SP2, at least blunts some of the problems.

    • #41385

      Hi, Komm! That answers one of my questions – you’re a person, not a place or a company. 🙂

    • #41386

      Woody, you should be heavily subsidised by Microsoft. After all, you’re doing the work they should be doing themselves.

    • #41387

      HA! Thanks, but I would never take their money. Part of the “fiercely independent” commitment.

      I did take money from Microsoft once, about 20 years ago – a speaker’s fee (and transportation and lodging) to speak at a couple of early Tech Ed conferences (1993?), and the Developer’s Tools Conference before that. It didn’t feel right.

    • #41388

      Woody, you make a very good couple of points regarding Windows 7 and why an “Official Service Pack 2” will never be released by Microsoft. First, if such an SP2 was released, “custom would dictate that MS extend the supported life of the product.” Secondly, Microsoft wants to make the maintenance and upkeep of Windows 7 computers as difficult and time consuming as possible, to spur users to upgrade to Windows 7. Even Woody’s friend, Ed Bott, agrees with that assessment. Microsoft does NOT want Windows 7 to be a repeat of Windows XP – an operating system in widespread use for well over 10 years.

    • #41389

      If you want to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt, you could say that they’re too busy working on Win10 to devote many resources to Win7. But then I’d counter my own argument by asking how many billions they made from Win7….

    • #41390

      Looks like whoever created this update doesn’t know what they are doing. Why doesn’t this update just install all the updates it includes rather than trying slip their components in without windows knowing about it?

      Looks like some of these updates half supersede this rollup.

      This rollup must have been written by the same intern who wrote the supersedence code the ties up the CPU for hours with busy waiting for windows update on Windows 7.

    • #41391

      Excellent find Woody.
      This is a common occurrence when updated components are installed before the baseline ones and while it should work in theory, due to the complexities involved, sometimes Microsoft misses real issues when they set their supersedence configuration in the updates metadata. This is commonly an issue when someone installs an older operating system and tries to catch up later with recent patches installed before the superseded updates. In general Windows Update should catch up, but as we see, it is sometimes not the case.
      This is the reason why in previous posts I always recommended installing manually KB2533552 before KB3020369. Each of them are Servicing Stack updates and in theory according to metadata, the later one should supersede the previous one, at least for the 64-bit versions of Windows 7. Windows Update instead identifies the missing KB2533552 as Service Pack 1.

    • #41392


      “Those of you who are knee-deep in “SP2” – could you take a look and tell me what you think? I’m going to try to put together a simple how-to for InfoWorld — one that any Win7 user can follow.”

      I have rebuilt my main system downgrading Windows 10 to Windows 7 Ultimate due to too much time spent fixing all the time issues with the Windows (modern, universal) Apps which keep crashing randomly and are being fixed behind the scenes (by Microsoft based on telemetry results?) and crash again and the cycle keeps repeating. I am not annoyed by the telemetry and “spying” issues as much as I am completely put off by a non-functional system still in beta by the look of it.
      I will keep a test Insider system though.

      Saying that, my rebuilt Windows 7 system did not include the Convenience Rollup known as “SP2”, as I preferred to install the regular Windows Updates.

      It starts with a baseline Windows 7 with SP1 integrated.
      First thing after is installing KB2533552.
      After that installing all the updates named “Update” – there are about 69 of them, but the number varies.

      I exclude on purpose only KB2952664, KB3123862 and KB3021917, KB3035883. Those updates will never get installed, everything else will. There is also KB971033 which I don’t install but I think is not harmful.

      KB3020369 should be installed by itself to avoid errors, otherwise it will install anyway. It can be installed immediately after KB2533552, but I installed it later.

      After having all the updates named “Update” installed, I installed all “Security” updates. At this stage, IE 8 CU security updates should be avoided as I installed IE11 later in the process. Also for efficiency, .NET Framework updates should be installed last.

      Next I installed IE11, after that .NET Framework 4.6.1 and completing all other updates except for those 4 mentioned above which are Windows 10 related and the activation update which I am neutral about it.

      At the end of the process, only the following updates are not installed.


      They are not hidden.

      I don’t have any issues with slow updating and other issues experienced by different posters here, but at the same time I am not overly concerned with telemetry issues. I disable CEIP and Error Reporting, but I am not going the extra mile for doing anything in addition to the GUI settings.

      • #115766

        @ch100, I have Windows 7 SP 1  x 64 with 6GB Ram, 1TB HHD,  it is fast and has never slowed down.  All are Oct 2009, and I installed net 4.6.2 in late January 2017.  I got updates for net 4.5.1 every day or so until April 15th this year. Now I get only net updates for  4.6.2. Is there a significance to this, due to the age of my software and system..?

        • #115773

          Do you realise that you replied to my post which was made 1 year ago?
          I moved on since then and almost completely lost interest in Windows 7, except for the hobby thing which is the rollup concept.
          It was a mistake that I rolled back Windows 10 to Windows 7 due to the influence of some excessively cautious posters on this forum sometime early 2016 if I remember well.
          Unless you have a computing hobby and are interested in researching without a final purpose, consider moving on to Windows 10 Pro or higher.

    • #41393

      The issues that you mentioned in your post might be the real reasons why this update did not make it on Windows Update. It is like a useful patch, but with conditions and when it is in the right hands, while at the same time it is not recommended for everyone.

    • #41394

      This is a point I really think you need to keep emphasising in every article you write on the subject of rollover updates, as it’s clear from these comments that there are still people who believe they should be applying a rollover update to a system that is already up-to-date – and doing so could obviously cause stability issues as well as installing individual updates they’ve previously decided not to install when first offered them separately. Such rollover updates are clearly intended only for those doing a fresh installation of the OS and aren’t even offered through the normal updates procedure.

    • #41395

      I’m doing a system restore on an older Win7 (pre SP1) netbook. There’s been two service packs and about a bajillion patches issued since the restore image was created and I want to make sure I get all the important stuff without the fluff, here’s what I believe I need to do…

      1) Restore Win7 base
      2) Install SP1 (KB976932)
      3) Manually install KB2670838 and KB2483177
      4) Install “SP2”, KB3125574
      5) Run AU and install security updates only.

      Am I missing anything? Any other prerequisites to the “SP2”?

    • #41396

      If I read the article correctly, you should also install KB 2603229, 2919469 and 2970228 first. Those aren’t horribly important patches, but if you’re going through all the effort, you might as well get it right.

      After you install, DougCuk recommends that you install 3138612, 3145739 and 3153199 before you try running Windows Update. Of course, you should also turn off Automatic Updates and make sure “Give me Recommended updates…” is unchecked.

      Are there any other suggestions, folks?

    • #41397

      Absolutely correct.

    • #41398

      I think the first question you should ask is if System Restore can go back in time to such an early version of your system and if the result is reliable. Unless I didn’t understand correctly and you actually use a different restore procedure.

    • #41399

      One of the main benefits of Autopatcher, besides keeping my everyday box updated, is to use it as an **offline update source** when I build new boxes or rebuild existing ones, after first installing Win7-SP1. The whole AP + patches are on a server share and I copy it over to the box and let it do its thing. Once its done, I can safely give the new box access to the internet.

      I should have been more specific as to the ways AP can be used…

    • #41400

      I was about to tell Doc that “AU” in #5 on his list should NEVER be set to “Automatic” but to check and let me choose instead, and that the “give me recommended” option be unchecked too… but when I refreshed the page you’d already tackled that Woody.

      One more thing tho… unless you’re following CH100’s strategy in post #9 to the letter you need to download & run the GWX Control Panel after EVERY round of updates Doc!

    • #41401

      Good point.

    • #41402

      I probably should have used “WU” instead of “AU”… I haven’t had mine set to “Automatic” since the Vista & early Win7 days. Been relying on Woody’s MS-DEFCON for many a year.

    • #41403

      I’ve never had System Restore actually fix anything. Ever. No, this is a factory reset on a 6 year old Win7 netbook. PITA, but this one’s been having major issues lately. It was either factory reset or full-blown nuke & pave. Decided to try the factory route first.

    • #41404

      Windows 7 will probably exceed XP in terms of people still using it when we’re all supposed to be off of it. When XP’s extended support ended, there was a “good” version of Windows for people to adopt, in the form of 7. In 2020, there won’t be.

    • #41405

      I think most/all of us believe that a true official Windows 7 Service Pack 2 (SP2) would solve the Windows Update problems – or at least make things simpler and easier. As for “If Microsoft released a Service Pack 2 for Win7, custom would dictate that MS extend the supported life of the product”, custom did not seem to matter to Microsoft when clicking the “X” to cancel out of the Win10 upgrade screen became “sure – go ahead and upgrade me to Win10”. Clearly custom is far from absolute.

    • #41406

      Point well taken.

    • #41407

      A true Service Pack 2 would take out many of the different issues users are facing with Windows Updates. Instead, Microsoft has made it quite a … mess.

    • #41408

      On 2016-06-02 we posted our comment on the Microsoft blog.
      The following days it had status “Your comment is awaiting moderation”.
      Yesterday they removed it.

    • #41409

      This comment has two parts. Part 1 is a discussion of using KUC to integrate KB3125774 = “SP2” into a Win7 O/S installation. Part 2 provides some background on how I got to the stage where Part 1 starts.
      Part 1. I installed a fresh copy of Win7 Pro genuine validated in a VM and also in a bare metal partition (dual boot; the VM runs under Vmware Player in Linux Debian). I then installed all the Windows updates the normal WU way (without GWX and telemetry). (See Part 2 below on how difficult this is.) Then I saw the info from Komm about “SP2” that you, Woody, linked to and it occurred to me that I should run Komm’s Update Checker. I get the impression that the people behind KUC are serious professionals. I followed through on running KUC against the fully updated Win 7 Pro (genuine, validated) both on the virtual machine and on the bare metal installation on the same computer.
      From my observation the authors of KUC take the approach that on a fully updated Win7 installation they are going to remove many but not all of the updates and then install a number of new updates they prefer, some of them from the LDR branch, and once all of those updates are done then they’re going to install “SP2” on top of the O/S as it stands after the removals and subsequent KUC updates
      To do a full Windows update on a fresh copy of Win7 and then to run KUC (they removed up to 190 updates, and the DISM took up to 10 GB RAM and a lot of time to do its job) is a VERY long-winded operation but the end result seems to be what MS used to do with their service packs and updates: i.e. the computer runs tightly (VM & bare metal); updates take 2 minutes. I’m pleased with the result. Indeed I wonder why doing a full long-winded update and then doing KUC is not the preferred way to go.
      However, afterwards I did run GWX Monitor and Spybot’s anti-telemetry program, also removing some entries from the Task Scheduler that were suspect.
      As a footnote in both the VM case and the bare metal the installer got hung up on installing KB2907020 and the only solution was to restart the VM or bare metal O/S in the middle of the DISM run without canceling it. Dangerous approach.
      As another footnote, KUC does install KB2952664, the GWX update.
      I then tried running KUC against a fresh copy of the Win7 VM without the Windows updates but KUC wants .NET 4 installed. The .NET 4 stand-alone installer got hung up in an interminable svchost run (even though Windows updates were turned off) and I gave up. Since the KUC people’s own example starts with a fully updated O/S, I figured that what I had done was as good as it was going to get and I didn’t proceed.
      What I infer from the above is that the oddities that you, Woody, encountered in running KB3125774 = “SP2” against a clean machine arise from the fact that there are many prerequisites for “SP2” that have to be installed before you run “SP2”—not just the one or two that other posters have mentioned. In this regard it would be good if you could enter into a public dialogue with the authors of KUC (there appear to be more than one) about how they’re approaching the matter and why.
      Part 2. Here’s some background on how I got to stage where this comment starts:
      I had just finished installing and with great grief updating a genuine Win 7 Pro virtual machine running in Debian under the latest VMWare Player. Part of the grief is that the VMWare Player seems a bit unstable in this configuration and occasionally my virtual (guest) and my real machine (host) freeze. However, it is clear that you can’t do a fresh install of Win 7 in this configuration, just select the 225 updates that Windows Updates lists, press ‘go’ and go for a coffee. It doesn’t work that way.
      So I had to update in batches of 25, at most 50. And wait two hours each time for Windows Update to start downloading—that’s after waiting many, many hours for the original update list. So having wasted my time for days doing this Lo, KB3125774 = “SP2” shows up. I try to run this SP2 against the just-installed and updated Win7 virtual machine. KB3125774 = “SP2” fails. It goes close to completion and then backs out, no explanation of what’s wrong other than a failure message.
      I tried it again on the fully updated Win7 image after running the KB947821 system preparation update. That took a while to run but afterwards there was no improvement in the ability of “SP2” to run to completion.
      So there’s much more than meets the eye with this “SP2”.
      I created a fresh copy of Win 7 Pro genuine validated without the Windows updates. Against this copy KB3125774 = “SP2” gave the message “This update is not applicable to your computer.”
      I figured that since if the O/S was fully updated “SP2” became (by experiment) applicable, the thing to do was to update in pieces until KB3125774 = “SP2” became applicable. Against the fresh copy it took hours to get the list of updates. After selecting a total of about 10 updates, some security, some updates, some optional, it took several hours to get the updates done. The “SP2” still was not applicable, so I did this a second time, this time about 25 updates. At the end of it, KB3125774 = “SP2” still wasn’t applicable. But I tried to install standalone KB3136017 and KB3020369. They installed and after that I could install the KB3125774 = “SP2”. It took a while. (On a completely fresh copy of the O/S KB3136017 and KB3020369 too were not applicable).
      I then ran Windows Update and after some hours, it gave me a list of 55 recommended updates and 10 optional. Essentially “SP2” seems to install the security updates but does not touch things related to the .NET family (both installs and security updates), neither the non-security updates. So I selected all the remaining updates (including optional) except GWX and telemetry and updated. It took hours for this to go through.
      After that I had some updates to do and I seem to have a selectively up-to-date machine. There’s no indication of a GWX presence.
      I do use both GWX Monitor and Spybot’s anti-telemetry program.
      At best KB3125774 = “SP2” is a convenience that removes some of the pain of installing a new Win7 system and bringing it up to date. It is definitely not a comprehensive service pack that will bring your system completely up to date the way that say SP3 brought your XP SP2 system up to date. As for the May optional update roll up, clearly once you get into roll-ups of things that include GWX10 and related telemetry, you’ve lost control of your machine. (As we see in Part 1, KUC’s authors seem to make use of it as part of a comprehensive update strategy, one that seems well worth serious discussion.)

    • #41410


    • #41411

      I’m glad that you like my program.

      Unfortunately you have to install .net 4.6.1 to your system first to use the program. This is related to some commands i have to use that are not available in .net35. To make this easier i have include the web-installer in the zip file, so there is no reason to use windows update to bring .net up to date.

      The rule what updates are offered is simple(not the realization in KUC) for each component bring it up do date, and take care of the order the updates have to be installed.
      Remove all updates, that are superseded and not needed to satisfy WU.
      KB2907020 are you sure about this hotfix? Never had problems with this one. It would be nice if you can reproduce the behavior.
      KB2952664 is not a GWX update, as you pointed out in the 2. part it’s a telemetry update.
      I think i will make an extra option for this one.
      If you have more question send me an e-mail.

    • #41412

      Just some basic remarks right now; later an email.

      1. What is the best update strategy? To start from a fresh copy of Win7 with no updates, use your web-installer to install .NET and then just follow your program? Or to update fully and have KUC roll back what it doesn’t like? Is the end result the same so that there would be no point to my starting all over again?

      2. If I do some things out of sequence will KUC compensate or are some things fatal? In my particular case I didn’t check the use of LDR branch in the beginning, did it later; the program then removed 7 things and installed their LDR equivalent it would appear. I later added Win help.

      3. I checked media but it never ‘took’. It always ended up unchecked.

      4. KB2907020. Yes, unfortunately this happened on both the VM and on the bare metal. On the bare metal I tried various things, like ctl + c, remove old program etc. It could never get past this update. It goes to 100 % and sits there. I finally remembered that on the VM I had got past this by just hard rebooting. Evidently since it got to 100% it could install (unless of course the particular update is indeed damaged). More in an email.

      5. As for KB2952664, it’s the infamous one that sets up the telemetry ostensibly for GWX. But I sometimes get details wrong.

    • #41413

      I say with what I’ve seen of this update it is never suitable for any purpose in its current form.

    • #41414

      Hello Komm,
      I’m an engineer on the team and we are looking into the issues you posted. Thank you for the detailed analysis.

      I’m not sure what the moderation rules are (might be auto-removal if not moderated in a certain time). I’ll check on that too.


    • #41415

      Thanks, Mike.

    • #41416

      I am confused about this roll-up package. I install all patches released via Windows Update (except for a few that I have hidden). Is this roll-up

      A) a collection of all patches that have been released via WU, or

      B) a collection of all Windows 7 patches, including those that were never released via WU?

      It is not clear from any documentation, and on other fora some persons have replied “A)”, while others have replied “B)”. There are problems that I probably have experienced on my Windows 7 Professional 32-bit system that MS has fixed but has not released a patch via WU. That is why I would be interested in installing all these non-WU-released patches.


    • #41417

      If you’re regularly installing patches for Win7 – say, in the past year or so, you don’t need the rollup.

    • #41418

      First thanks for taking notice.

      Meanwhile we have made 3 Updates to the report. (Marked yellow)

      If you have any questions, comments or answers, please send me an e-mail.

    • #41419


      Is this new monthly rollup mechanism cumulative? (i.e. If I download/apply the July rollup, will it also contain the June/May/April updates or do I have to apply each monthly update in sequence?)
      I ask this because the April rollup is 490MB and the July rollup is 89MB(?).

      Not being a technical guru, please answer as simply and straightforwardly as possible.

      Please do not reply with “I don’t know, but I think…”, “Microsoft has f$#&& the updates again…”, “Linux has a much better…”


    • #41420

      If you’re talking about Windows 7, no, the updates are not cumulative.

      This week.

      Wait till October.

    • #41421

      Hi Mike

      we are happy to see that you delivered the promised fixes for some of the reported issues

      i mean the two updates KB3181988 (fixes the SFC issue) and rollup KB3185278 (fixes 3-country manifest replication issue)

      and we are hoping and looking forward to see the fixes for other issues if possible 🙂

      thank you.

    • #41422


    • #41423

      Issue 1 and Issue 3 are now solved by Microsoft with
      KB3181988 and KB3185278
      they followed our possible resolution.

      Abbodii, PointZero and Komm say: THANKS

      We updated our report.

    • #41424

      Thanks komm for the report. Does it matter if we install KB3181988 and KB3185278 after or before the rollup?

      • #115805

        KB3185278 is no longer needed. It’s superseded by KB3185330 and subsequent security monthly rollups after that.

    • #41425

      No, both orders are good

    • #41426

      Just revisited the site mentioned by Komm and it appears that now all the major issues are resolved and using KB3125574 is safe as it does not introduce bugs, at least not for 99% of the users.
      Remaining issues:
      – 2 cosmetic issues in relation to supersedence which do not affect functionality
      – ADS LDS issues, but this relates to components extremely rarely used, so I would say this is a non-issue for most users

      Ideally Microsoft should resolve at least the ADS LDS issues and push KB3125574 on Windows Update to set a new baseline.

      The cosmetic issues can be fixed on the go via update revisions which happens all the time in relation to other updates.

    • #41427

      So would you recommend using “SP2” to clean install Win7? If so, how would you do it?

    • #41428

      I am not fully recommending it yet, but this would be a working solution.
      Abbodi86 might say that I included redundant packages, but my recommendations avoids certain cosmetic and non-cosmetic issues as it was discussed many times before.
      Only Group A users should follow this.

      All below refers to 64-bit versions.
      32-bit versions should be similar, but should only installed on computers with less than 3 GB or very special configurations.

      Follow this order:

      Windows 7 SP1
      KB3172605 – use the latest version, from September 2016

      From here the following packages, less the Convenience Update KB3125574 can be installed from Windows Update, as the scanning should be fast. Still better to install manually up to and including the Convenience Pack. IE11 and associated patches are better installed from WU though.

      KB2830477 (will install behind the scenes KB2857650 – this is normal and will appear under installed updates)
      Internet Explorer 11 – install from Windows Update – no other update installed with it. Currently the June 2015 update is getting installed and also the required pre-requisites will be installed in the background. They are: KB2729094, KB2786081, KB2834140, KB2882822, KB2888049).

      And now finally:

      KB3125574 🙂

      Run Windows Update and install everything else, less the Preview patches.

      Being so experimental and interested in the Convenience Update, there is no big drama if the Preview patches get installed “by mistake” though 🙂

      Many thanks to Abbodii, PointZero, Komm from MDL and for doing the hard work in assessing the bugs in KB3125574 and making them known to Microsoft and everyone else interested.

    • #138664

      Sorry to bring up old post, but there is a new related (somehow)  issue, and hopefully we can reach out the details so it get fixed by the next month patch tuesday 🙂


      the latest Windows 7  Preview Rollup KB4041686 brings back the exact first issue discussed in ConvenienceRollupKB3125574-Issues report,  which was resolved

      KB4041686 contains new usbhub.sys.mui for usbport.inf.resources, but not for usb.inf.resources
      therefore, the SFC confliction will occur on every scan operation, as described in above report

      this will happen whether you have CR KB3125574 installed or not


      if they don’t fix this in the next Security Monthly Rollup, we will see a widespread FUD then 😀

      2 users thanked author for this post.
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