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  • In praise of Windows Update Minitool

    Posted on January 1st, 2017 at 08:19 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    When the Lounge “appendage” finally comes onstream (in a week or two), we’ll have a forum devoted to Windows utilities. I’ve been watching for comments about various utilities, and this just dropped into my inbox, from dwh:

    Hi Woody,

    Just want to say that Windows Update MiniTool is working well to give me control of Windows Update on Windows 10.  It got mention on AskWoody in the comments for:

    Still no answer to the source of Win7 slow scanning

    mostly by ch100.  I had my Windows 10 Pro system set up to get control of Automatic Updates per your venerable:

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3053701/microsoft-windows/block-windows-10-forced-updates-without-breaking-your-machine-part-2.html

    and using WUShowHide to manually query about once a day, mostly just hiding new updates, to be later unhidden on your MS-DEFCON indication, then using the standard “Check for updates” button to download and install. (BTW, my Ethernet connection is not an issue in all this.)

    I’ve mostly just shifted to manually launching WUMT in that same context which is a much less arcane way than the former.

    My preference is to be notified that new updates are available, and act on them when I think it’s a good time.  See what’s there and likely hide them, but for some, I may want to go ahead.  Then or later, when I think it’s a good time (I’m using the computer but not intensely, there’s plenty of time
    time for downloading, and I’m in the mood), unhide what I have, and download.

    Potentially later, usually when getting closer to shutting down, install the downloaded updates.  If a restart is needed, my normal shutdown will do the prep and when I subsequently bring the system up (the next day), things will finish on the way up.

    Windows Update has never in my experience allowed download and update to be done separately, but it looks like WUMT should be able to even do that.

    When I tried “Download Only, no install,” followed by “Install Updates,” that seemed to redownload, and I’m not clear in my understanding it seems.

    I haven’t tried “Notification mode” yet, but I intend to get around to it.

    The only quirk so far was using it to install the Anniversary Update.  WUMT applied the update then offered a pop-up that restart was needed to which I said to go ahead with restart.  It just restarted back to 1511, but using Windows’ normal power controls at that point went forward fine.

    I don’t have Windows 10 Home with this, but it looks like WUMT should allow all the same controls, despite the lack of the Local Group Policy Editor.

    Anyway, if you haven’t played around with this, I think it’s worth looking at

    CAUTION: I looked at WUMT several month ago, and decided not to recommend it. The problem isn’t with the tool itself, which appears to work well, and has garnered praise from many corners. The problem is with its pedigree. The developer(s) isn’t/aren’t identified, except by their My Digital Life forum handles @stupid_user and @shewolf. There’s no web site for the product, and no way to contact the developer(s) directly. As best I can tell, apparently, the developers are in Russia, and their primary support contact, Mr. X, is in Mexico.

    As I mentioned back in August, I got in touch with @shewolf who was pleasant and knowledgeable, but I didn’t get any details about WUMT’s source – who built it, who maintains it, how to get in touch should things go wrong, other than posting to Mr. X on MDL.

    All of those were – and are – big red flags for me. I have no evidence of aberrant behavior, but I just don’t trust the product well enough to recommend, or use, it.

  • Is Office Update broken?

    Posted on June 11th, 2016 at 18:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Another investigative note from ch100:

    While doing research using the Windows Update MiniTool, I found few interesting results.

    This tool is free and does not require an installer, being fully portable.

    It appears to be a wrapper on top of Microsoft and/or Windows Update, uses the same databases, while providing more information than the Microsoft’s native tool.
    It can even scan the WSUS database, if selected.

    First run against Microsoft Update, out of the box settings, never completing (few hours, after which I stopped it).

    Windows Update minitool

    The WindowsUpdate.log shows

    2016-06-12          07:45:18:698       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:698       140        1710       Agent    Update {16C5A20C-D16E-4DAA-8F80-3BDEBF21C790}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:698       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:698       140        1710       Agent    Update {AC00B614-10F0-442C-9EFD-D4470795869A}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {7FF19D18-BB37-4ABD-812D-71B5342C93C2}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {04C1E818-87D9-4619-B550-B09A6CE9A242}.200 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {7E94A429-9D5B-4859-8261-05D2448B2E27}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {ED40C741-DBD4-4110-94B9-BC143CCF1097}.200 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {BA1F3C4F-4488-412A-8444-A40F89B86095}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {D5623D50-08F4-48B5-AB80-56D703052083}.200 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {2341B05A-52A4-4CCC-8492-A2F69D5F152E}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {53CEFC99-5393-462C-99F3-DAC697654926}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {9783A6B9-AC8B-4857-9FC1-6FCE24F7CB2F}.201 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {333B09CF-719C-41C6-BA84-1436D9F093F2}.200 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {381952E2-CC60-4C88-ACC2-3E062B4DD5A7}.200 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Bundle contains no deployed children and thus is invalid.
    2016-06-12          07:45:18:714       140        1710       Agent    Update {093D54FD-35CD-4271-A51B-5AB0EB47BA96}.202 is not a valid bundle. Not returning it.

    After that, I managed to complete the scan repeatedly by checking the box “Include superseded”.

    However, the same entries remained in the log.
    I did a lookup of those Updates in Microsoft Catalog and all of the problematic GUIDs point to Office 2013 Updates which my WSUS shows as “installed” but they are not found under Programs and Features.

    Something is broken with Office 2013 Update.

    The problem Office Updates as they have been identified in Microsoft Catalog are:

    KB3114947
    KB3039779
    KB3101506
    KB3114505
    KB3114489
    KB3114820
    KB3115016
    KB3055006
    KB3114351
    KB2975808
    KB3114829
    KB3114358
    KB3114506
    KB3114944

    Maybe I should say that this installation of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with Office 2013 is relatively new (few weeks old only), fully patched except for few Windows 10 Upgrade patches and I ran Disk Cleanup on it.

    Is Disk Cleanup to blame for this situation or it can be easily reproduced on other installations?