Newsletter Archives

  • Revisited: How to update an old copy of Win7

    Credit: David Stanley, Nanaimo, Canada

    Kevin Beaumont just tweeted:

    Barry Dorrans replied with a reference to this advice from @SwiftOnSecurity in April 2016:

    [REVISED] If updating fresh Win7, first download these, install, and reboot to make update install faster:


    What struck me is how @SwiftOnSecurity’s advice (from April 2016) differs from our AskWoody advice (Feb. 2017, as amended) from @CanadianTech at AKB 3172605, basically:

    3… download and install either one or two updates manually. In most cases only the first (KB3172605) of these is needed. If that produces a result that says the “update is not appropriate for your computer”, you need to first install the 2nd of these (KB3020369), then install the first (KB3172605).

    Can anybody out there reconcile the differences? Which method is best?

    I have a sneaky suspicion we’re going to see lots of Win7 (re-)installs this year.

  • Microsoft endorses a technique for installing Win7 from scratch

    If you’re looking at installing Win7 from scratch, you have a tough row to hoe.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows.

  • The last word on the Win7 Update scan speedup problem

    I just got a scathing email from SC:

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

    Then I hit this Dell’s official article:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Windows 7 scan speedup

    Standard disclaimer: We’re going to be discussing today’s patches, but DON’T ASSUME THAT YOU SHOULD INSTALL THEM. You have plenty of time to wait and see if they break anything.

    With that said, many of you are asking about speeding up Windows 7 update scans. Those of you in Group A will need to scan sooner or later, and anybody who needs the .NET update rollup will probably want to get it from Windows Update – thus a speedup will help.

    The only way I’ve seen to speed up Win7 scans is by installing both KB 3020369 and KB 3172605. See for details about problems with both.

    Yes, 3172605 is a rollup patch (and thus suspect) that, among other things, breaks Bluetooth on Intel machines, but Intel has a new driver.


  • MS pulls buggy KB 3161608 Windows Update speed-up patch

    Replaces it with KB 3172605, KB 3172614… and sticks it to Intel.

    If you’re struggling with slow Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Update speeds, take a look at this article. I end up recommending that you ditch Microsoft’s “solution” entirely and use the approach listed on to fix the slowdowns.

    The German solution works for Win 7 and Vista. I have no idea how to fix the problem in Win 8.1 — or if Win 8.1 people are experiencing significant slowdowns.

    But it’ll be fun to watch Microsoft and Intel getting into a real expectorating match.

    InfoWorld Woody on Windows