Windows Update failed, now stuck.

PLEASE IGNORE: Initially posted in the wrong area; plenty of other posts already on this issue so I'll just watch them. Thanks all.



Hi. I'm running WinVista/64-bit with all the service packs. It's never given me a problem until just now.

Yesterday I got the little update icon in my notification area, so when I had a free moment I checked what was being offered and elected to install nearly all 10 or so of them. I let the process disappear into the background and went along working.

Later I noticed that the icon hadn't budged or changed, so I clicked on it, only to find that 0MB out of the 100+MB had been downloaded. I let it sit there for the rest of the day, but nothing ever happened. So I aborted the update, figuring I'd try it the next day.

Today the icon was still in the tray, and I clicked on it to let it start the download process again. It just sits there, but nothing is being downloaded. I went into Task Manager and stopped the update utility, but within 20 seconds or so, it restarted automatically, still looking as if it wants to do an update, but nothing is being downloaded. I should say, however, that updates to Microsoft Security Essentials are evidently coming in properly; there's one for yesterday and for today, but maybe that's a separate process. The list of 10 or so updates that Vista indicated yesterday should be installed is nowhere to be found.

So what does one do in this instance? Is there a way to stop this service, maybe even purge it of whatever it thinks it wants to do, and then do a manual update restart? Thanks.
 
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townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
This has happened to me on 7. The only thing I know to do is wait. I think that there is a queue on the server side with a higher priority given to 10 and 8 or maybe even just 10. I really don't think that they care about anything else. :mad:
 

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Thanks, townsbg

On a recommendation I read (here, I think), I went in and changed my Updates preference to 'Never do Updates,' or whatever it's called. Then I went to Task Manager, stopped the Updates utility, and closed the Updates window... that was still cranking away doing nothing.

After that I went back through the Control Panel and re-selected "Let me decide which updates to download and install." The update utility did NOT automatically restart, and I'm hoping that, maybe next time MS sends out a list of new KBs, everything will work normally. We'll see, and I will report back here.

I'm certainly willing to wait my turn in the queue, but eight hours? Something else must be amiss.
 

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townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
I am having problems as well so you are certainly not alone.
 

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Then we will remain Brothers in Misery until a working solution is found.
 

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Vistaar

Vista Guru
I'm running WinVista/64-bit with all the service packs. It's never given me a problem until just now...0MB out of the 100+MB had been downloaded. I let it sit there for the rest of the day, but nothing ever happened...updates to Microsoft Security Essentials are evidently coming in properly; there's one for yesterday and for today...
Welcome back electrojim! It's hard to believe that you never noticed any problem with Windows Update until this Wednesday. Checking for updates has been very slow for about as long as you have been absent from the forum (see http://www.vistax64.com/windows-updates/303992-windows-update-just-seems-hang-while-checking.html). I suppose you might not have noticed if you always let Windows check for updates automatically, although CPU usage of 50% should've had your cooling fans whirring. Extreme slowness of the downloading phase appears to be a new symptom that is now being widely reported.

Ar you using Microsoft Security Essentials 4.9.218.0 or the previous 4.8.204.0? (This question might not be as off-topic as it sounds: One thing you and townsbg have in common is that you are both using MSE, and so is at least one other forum member who has reported slow downloading of updates on 64-bit Vista. You can find out by opening MSE, clicking the down-arrow next to Help, and selecting About.)
 
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  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
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Hi, Vistaar,

My MSE says it's Version 4.9.218.0; that 218, not 208.

And, yes, I've been away for a while because, until a couple of days ago, I had NO issues with my Vista OS. In fact, I do get the occasional update from MS, which I elect, by default, to examine first and download/install manually. And what seems to fly in the face of other complaints is that the download and installation is as quick as I've ever seen it... until a couple of days ago. I was surprised, myself, that others had encountered this as much as a year or so ago.

Well, here's some additional information. Upon opening MSE to check the version, I noticed that the latest definitions date back to July 12, when all my troubles began. So I hit the manual Update button in MSE and, instantly, the little Windows Update icon popped into the Notification Area. So it looked like MSE was going to update, and the green band of hope got about halfway down the track, then froze. After about half an hour with no further action, I clicked Cancel update, which immediately grayed-out, but it didn't stop trying... the green band continued to sit there,
breathing.' After a while I got a window that said MSE was unable to update, and please check your connection and try again. I did, and the same thing is happening right now.

By the way, during all of this, today, when I click on the Windows Update icon, I get the message in the update window that "Windows is up to date," yet closing that window does not put the little icon to bed, and when you hover over that icon, you see "New updates are available." All this is new to me, and makes me nervous that I can't connect for virus updates.
 

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Vistaar

Vista Guru
Sorry: I shouldn't have typed the MSE version number from memory. You are using the latest client version, and so am I. Forum member albertz is still using MSE 4.8 because he had a serious problem after installing the upgrade in February (as did several other MSE users running Vista), and he has also reported a problem downloading Windows updates on 64-bit Vista. Guru townsbg has avoided the 4.9 upgrade in order to avoid the problem reported by albertz (which clearly did not affect you or I), so he is using 4.8 on a 32-bit Vista VM. Anyway, my suspicion that MSE 4.8 might be causing your problem downloading Windows updates appears to have been unfounded.

Again, the Windows Update problem that has plagued those of us running Vista for nearly a year now is extreme slowness checking for updates - not downloading updates. At this moment, it isn't clear to me if the downloading problem is just a symptom that the same old problem is getting worse, or if it is an entirely new problem. There is at last a promising solution for the checking for updates problem, and it so happens that I tried it for the first time on Tuesday: Search for Windows Updates takes forever? - A possible solution. It greatly speeded up my check for updates from more than 5 hours on June 14 to just 18 minutes on Tuesday, and I did not notice any delay downloading updates either (not that I ever did) - however I should mention that two updates failed, which I resolved by "try, try again." If you would like to try that method, you should first make sure that none of the updates you may have elected not to install were kernel-mode driver updates. Then you should stop Windows Update again as you described in post #3, manually download the Vista x64 version of KB3168965, install it, and restart the PC. You can then set Windows Update back to your usual setting, after which it should immediately launch a check for updates. I think this would solve your problem - at least until August, when there may be another new kernel-mode driver update.
 

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    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
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Many thanks for this Vistaar. The only updates I elected not to install had to do with MS Outlook, which I don't use. All others I dutifully put through.

The link you provided might well help me, as it did you. However, I am at a bit of a disadvantage in that I am not trained in, or accustomed to, installing the odd workaround, and am a bit nervous as I have a good deal of word processing work that needs to be done quickly and can't afford to break anything. So, tell me this: on a scale of 1 to 10, what are my chances of messing something up royally by installing this KB?
 

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    Dell Inspiron 530S
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Vistaar

Vista Guru
If you're too busy to try the only known solution for recent Windows Update problems, then my only other suggestion is to set Windows Update to "never check for updates" and leave it there permanently. (MSE can update itself daily despite that setting.) The vast majority of all security updates for Windows Vista that will ever exist are already installed (support ends April 11, 2017), and Microsoft clearly does not love us anymore. But catching up with Windows updates will become even more difficult if you fall months behind.
 

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System One

  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
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    Intel Q6600
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    NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Oh, no; once I finish this nasty instruction manual that needs to be finished pronto, I will try installing that KB. One question there: when I get to the place where I download the KB, if I elect to Run, it says it will be installed with some default installer, evidently part of the download package. If instead I elect to Save the KB, will it similarly install by itself when I go back to it?
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 530S
    CPU
    Pentium dual-core E5200
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    ViewSonic VS13518
All right, fellows, I am flabbergasted. I was finishing up some writing and was then going to address this update situation. Suddenly the Windows Update icon popped into my Notification area. "Yeah, right," I said to myself and took a peek. Sure enough "Downloading updates" was cranking away. I just closed the window and went back to work.

Half an hour later, I opened the Updates window again and, very much to my surprise, twelve 'important' and an equal number of optional updates were indicated for download. Not holding any hope (after all, this is where I was three days ago), I opted-out of the ones for MS Outlook and a couple of others (including some 300MB SQL Server thing) and said, "Go ahead... just try." Then I went to eat dinner.

When I came back, maybe 45 minutes later, the icon was still in the tray, but guess what? It had that nag to restart the computer. Sure enough it had downloaded those updates and wanted to install them.

This is certainly farther than I got last time, so I played their silly game, saved and closed all the stuff I had running, and let Windows Update restart my computer. It took a good long time to shut down, with Stage 1, 2 and 3, like I've see before, but when it came back (very slowly... I guess it was still working), not only had those updates been installed, but my Microsoft Security Essentials had today's definitions installed as well. And I didn't even ask for that, and those definitions did not appear on the Windows Update list.

I'm still going to install that KB3168965 that Vistarr recommended; not tonight, but probably over the weekend. But right now it looks like I'm in business. It does make me wonder 'what gives,' and where all this will be in another couple of weeks.

Many, many thanks to everyone who offered suggestions. All I can say is 'keep the faith,' maybe your problems will fix themselves like mine did.
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 530S
    CPU
    Pentium dual-core E5200
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    Yes, it has one
    Memory
    4GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Part of motherboard
    Sound Card
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    ViewSonic VS13518

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
Vista Guru
Gold Member
Again, the Windows Update problem that has plagued those of us running Vista for nearly a year now is extreme slowness checking for updates - not downloading updates.
I had a problem with both this time but I'll grant you that I didn't properly attempt to install the kb update first. I didn't know that it would help to disconnect from the internet.
 

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System One System Two

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    Windows 7 Pro x64
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    8 gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Radeon HD 5670 512 mb ram
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 and 1440x900
    Hard Drives
    1 TB
    Other Info
    N/A
  • Operating System
    Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise
    Manufacturer/Model
    Compaq Presario SR5350F
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    Pentium 2.0 gHZ Dual core E2160
    Memory
    2 gb
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    300 GB

Vistaar

Vista Guru
...not only had those updates been installed, but my Microsoft Security Essentials had today's definitions installed as well...I'm still going to install that KB3168965 that Vistaar recommended...
That sounds good! Perhaps something was corrected at Microsoft's end that solved the downloading problem. Your MSE definition update must have been a daily automatic one.

If you view your update history, you should find that Security Update KB3168965 is one of the updates that was just successfully installed, in which case there is obviously no need to install it again. If you downloaded the installer, you can delete it. However, there might very well be another such kernel-mode driver update on August 9, in which case manually installing it before allowing your system to check for other Windows updates might allow the update process to run much more smoothly.

BTW if there are optional updates that you do not want, it is suggested that you "hide" them by right-clicking on them. (Of course it is possible to restore hidden updates.)
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Elite m9150f
    CPU
    Intel Q6600
    Memory
    3 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Yes, Vistaar! That KB3168965 was indeed installed yesterday, once everything decided to start working again. Wonder of wonders, everything is humming along happily. I will not mark this thread 'solved,' however, as a solution hasn't really been defined. I will go on record as saying that my problem seems to have 'corrected itself.'

One thing I'm wondering about, thought, with respect to the way I use my Vista computer. About a year or so ago, I changed keyboards, from an old HP one to a slick, curved Microsoft one. The old HP had a "sleep" button on it, which I used frequently, rather than shutting the system down overnight. All I did was hit the button and the system would instantly go to sleep. I say 'instantly,' because it was clearly not saving any work to the hard drive, so it wasn't going into hibernation or into the hybrid sleep mode.

The new keyboard has no sleep key. "Well," I said to myself, "I can enter the sleep mode from the meatball, so that's not a big inconvenience." But it didn't work. When I clicked 'sleep' the computer started to go to sleep, but didn't quite, and a message came up saying that my wireless printer driver was keeping me out of the sleep mode. I look for other options for getting into the 'simple snooze' mode, but just could never get there with key commands or clicking on things. It's as though the HP keyboard knew some secret back door into that sleep mode.

My Canon printer is a huge installation and I didn't want to troubleshoot all that, so I changed things around so the clicking 'sleep' actually put me in the 'hybrid sleep' mode, which must be pretty close to hibernate. It takes the better part of a minute for the system to commit this and that to memory and power-off. But waking up is quick, and any program left open opens right back up to where it was.

However, I have found over the year or so that I've been using this mode, that the computer seems to get 'buggy' over time. Simple operations slow down and, in particular, thing like the trackball scroll wheel get 'jumpy.' Doing a real restart every couple of weeks seems to clear it all up; what's more, my wife's Win7 computer seems to need this same shutdown routine every now and then as well.

So, I wonder if by not shutting down for more than a week might have something to do with the update business. Of course everytime Windows Updates does its thing and asks for a restart, I always do that, but often that's the only time the computer gets a real restart.

Funny: When I started having troubles with updates a few days ago, it was right after I spent quite a bit of time searching and reading about Linux, something I know nothing about. I was thinking that the Microsoft Police might have monitored my surfing and said, "Hey, this guy might jump ship! Let's give him some grief."
 

My Computer

System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 530S
    CPU
    Pentium dual-core E5200
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    Yes, it has one
    Memory
    4GB
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    Part of motherboard
    Sound Card
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    ViewSonic VS13518
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