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windows update just seems to hang while checking.

#1
hi people,

I have been having a strange issue for the past couple of days with windows update.

as microsoft updates are scheduled for release on the second tuesday of each month, i tried checking for updates on tuesday night after recieving an email from us-cert advising that they had been released.

upon checking, the application just seemed to stop and continue to show the "checking for updates" screen with no error messages or anything.

so i restarted the system and tried again with the same results.

I tried a couple of things to try and resolve the issue, such as net stop/start wuauserv, checked bits was running, ran an sfc and chkdsk just for the sake of it, used the fixit exe from microsoft, and even restarted my network connection. all of the above didnt have any effect on the issue.

I then made a back up of my files etc. and restored my system with a full back up from about 12 months ago. upon completion, i logged in and tried windows update and again the same issue, (despite being about 12 months behind on updates.

after digging out my OEM discs, i restored my system completely to factory, and started all over again, and this is where it gets interesting. from the point of complete factory settings, i could download and install updates, then i installed sp1, followed by more updates, and then got sp2, and since sp2 was installed, windows update is now behaving the same was as before, just showing the checking for updates screen.

so again, i have ran sfc, net stop/start wuauserv, and checked bits and still cant get any further with this issue despite a full clean install.

also, i forgot to mention i have tried running wuauclt /detectnow and this also fails. i also checked net webhttp proxy and it shows direct access.

if anyone has any ideas, i would definately appreciate it.

thanks in advance :)
 

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System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
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Vistaar

Vista Guru
Posts
535
#2
Was "Windows Update Agent 7.6.7600.256" successfully installed? This should've been offered by Windows Update soon after SP1 was installed.
 

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System One

  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion Elite m9150f
    CPU
    Intel Q6600
    Memory
    3 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
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#3
yea i got 256 installed. still unable to get a single update after installing sp2 however. just cant seem to figure this issue out.
 

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System One

  • Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire M5630
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    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
    Motherboard
    Acer
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    4GB DDR2
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GeForce 8400GS

Vistaar

Vista Guru
Posts
535
#4
Hmmm, sp2 has been around since 2009 and isn't known for breaking Windows Update. One common issue with factory restores is that sp1 doesn't install correctly even though Windows Update shows "Successful." Does System properties actually show sp2, or any service pack at all for that matter?

If you are forced to restore again, there is a Vista ISO download thread in the General Discussion forum that might save you some trouble.

[Edit] If you are still following this, my advice would be to reinstall the most up-to-date image you have because the problem apparently had nothing to do with your installation.
 

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System One

  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
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    HP Pavilion Elite m9150f
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    Intel Q6600
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    3 GB
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    NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Posts
21
#5
Don't know if I should start my own thread, but I'm having exactly the same problem, except I can't remember where my OEM discs are, so have not restored the system.

I've tried just about everything else.
 

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Vistaar

Vista Guru
Posts
535
#6
Autobahn, since you say you have "exactly the same problem" I assume you haven't been able to install the August security patches yet. Please open Windows Update, click "View update history" and tell me if Security Update for Windows Vista (KB3079904) was successfully installed. In my case it was installed on July 20, about a week after the usual July security patches.
 

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System One

  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
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    HP Pavilion Elite m9150f
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    Intel Q6600
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    3 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Posts
21
#7
Yes, I have KB3079904. It was installed on 29 July 2015.

I did not have any discs with my Dell laptop so can I create a ISO disc as you mention above to be able to do a factory restore?

This Vista laptop is a spare laptop which my sister uses when she comes over, or her children will use it, so it doesn't get much use.

Apart from this issue with 'updates' it is still working perfectly.

But I would be worried if I can't install any more updates due to security issues so I really want to try and sort this problem out.

Thanks
 

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Posts
21
#8
I'm using my main laptop (which has Windows 8.1) to be on these forums and I had left the Vista Dell laptop connected to the internet.

Just had a look at it and a bubble had popped up saying I had 18 important updates!

Don't know why it suddenly started working, because all day yesterday nothing happened.

Hopefully when the next updates are released I won't have any problems.

If you need me to check for certain updates I have installed so that you can work out your problem just let me know and I will have a look for you.
 
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Akka

New Member
Posts
3
#9
It took me quite a few google searches before I stumbled upon this forum / topic.

But this weekend I installed Vista Business SP2 32 bit (Microsoft Dreamspark Student License) and now I experience similar problems like in het first post.

So I started with a clean install with a SP2 ISO, and upon checking for updates the application just shows the "checking for updates..." screen with no error messages. (Left it running for over an hour.)

so i restarted the system and tried again with the same results.

I tried a couple of things to try and resolve the issue, such as net stop/start wuauserv, checked bits was running, ran an sfc and chkdsk just for the sake of it, used the fixit exe from microsoft, and even restarted my network connection. all of the above didnt have any effect on the issue.
My first Google searches led me to try the same things as described in the quote. I even did a clean install a second time to try different LAN drivers, but with the same result.

When I checked yesterday the problem was still the same. What could this be?
 
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Vistaar

Vista Guru
Posts
535
#10
Well it could simply be a matter of busy servers. I can understand why some wouldn't want Windows to install updates automatically, but you might want to try my preferred setting: "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them." My monthly security patches were installed August 12. I have a hunch that manual installation of KB3079904 (out-of-cycle security update released about a month ago) might be helpful in some cases. Here's a 32-bit link (no 64-bit users have complained yet): https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48173
 

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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

lmacri

Vista Pro
Posts
229
#11
upon checking, the application just seemed to stop and continue to show the "checking for updates" screen with no error messages or anything.
I had the same problem with the August 2015 Patch Tuesday updates on my 32-bit Vista machine. I ran Windows Update several times after 11-Aug-2015 but it never proceeded past "Checking for updates...", even if I let it run for over an hour.

I was finally able to complete an update on 16-Aug-2015, but I had to wait 35 min before "Checking for updates..." finally reported that 17 important updates and one optional update for Silverlight were available for download. KB3079904 was successfully installed on my system on 20-Jul-2015 so I don't think this KB is related to the failed Patch Tuesday updates.

I suspect that Microsoft is throttling bandwidth for users running Windows Update on Vista machines and giving Win 10 users preference to the update servers - see my post in the Microsoft Answers forum titled August 2015 Windows Update for Vista Requires One Hour to Run to Completion.
------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 40.0.2 * NIS 2014 v. 21.7.0.11
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
 

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System One

  • Operating System
    32-bit Vista SP2 Home Premium
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    HP Pavilion dv6835ca
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    Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz
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    Quanta 30D2 (U2E1)
    Memory
    3 GB RAM
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    NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
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Vistaar

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535
#12
I wonder what Imacri had to say? I recognize that screen name from Apple Support (a lost cause for Vista). Apparently the post was deleted.

[Edit] Oh there you are, welcome to the forums Imacri. You must have been working on post 2 while I was trying to look at your deleted post 1 last night, or something equally confusing. Yes I think there have been issues at the server end. I feel badly for original poster ScousaJAY, who jumped out of the proverbial frying pan into the fire - couldn't have picked a worse time to attempt a factory restore. I don't claim to know which Microsoft servers are responsible for what, but the Windows 10 upgrade offer has presumably generated immense server traffic. Another issue I've been preoccupied with lately is the Media Center program guide changeover from Zap2It to Rovi, which has caused great frustration for Windows 7 and 8 users and seems to have left Vista users completely out in the cold (unless they have the forbidden TV Pack - see my post in the Software forum). I'm convinced that the main obstacle to getting guide data has also been server traffic - although Media Center users have nevertheless posted multi-step "fixes" in an incredibly lengthy thread at the Green Button forum. When they finally download TV setup data, they of course attribute their success to the fixes they employed - never "I finally got to the head of the line at the server."
 
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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

Akka

New Member
Posts
3
#13
I think Imacri could be right, or Microsoft is throttling bandwidth or they are having problems with their servers.
Yesterday I downloaded a 64 bit Vista Business SP2 ISO to see if running 64 bit would solve the update problem. But after 1 hour of "checking for updates" still nothing. But because server problems were mentioned I just let the computer run overnight. And in the morning there were a bunch of updates waiting to be installed. But when I started the updates it still took a couple of hours before anything started downloading and in the end it took 6 hours to complete the first big update run.

So yeah, I think these are server side related problems.
 
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Vistaar

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535
#14
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System One

  • Operating System
    Vista Home Premium x86 SP2
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    HP Pavilion Elite m9150f
    CPU
    Intel Q6600
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    3 GB
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    NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT

Vistaar

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#15
The crisis seems to have passed, but the problem remains puzzling. In Mooly's Sysinternals thread (New to Sysinternals. Need to troubleshoot 100%CPU - Sysinternals Forums), a reply by MagicAndre1981 pointed to a June update for Windows 7 that Vista did not get (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3050265#/en-us/kb/3050265). "This issue has the greatest effect on computers that have a small amount of physical memory." Of course 32-bit systems are limited to 3 GB of RAM, but 64-bit systems can utilize much more, which might explain why those running 64-bit Vista did not report this problem. (I'm guessing that Akka didn't add more RAM after installing 64-bit Vista.)

Could it be that Windows Update was scanning our systems for the Windows 10 upgrade that we don't even qualify for? The Windows 7 update that we did not get includes means of blocking the upgrade. If this hunch is better than my last one, it appears that the problem might have been avoided with a registry entry.
 

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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
Posts
65
#16
The crisis seems to have passed, but the problem remains puzzling.
It was very puzzling indeed.

I also conclusively proved (twice and days apart) that a fresh clean install of Vista (from an original pre SP1/2 disc) would behave normally and immediately check for and report updates were available. It would also download the updates in a normal timeframe. Repeating the process but this time installing SP1 and SP2 from the standalone files and then launching an update check and the issue was back.

I wonder what will happen next month... and sadly I wonder how many users have irretrievably lost or damaged their installs trying to resolve this.
 

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Vistaar

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535
#17
Yes, that agrees with ScousaJAY's original post. Whatever Windows Update was doing on Vista systems, it only occurred if SP2 was present. Of course that should include virtually all Vista systems, since support for SP1 ended in 2011. If ScousaJAY is still following this, I would suggest using the most up-to-date image you have. It seems that there must have been some corrective action at Microsoft's end, so perhaps we don't have to worry about next month.
 

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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

townsbg

~~тσωηsвg~~
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#18
Funny but I haven't experienced any issues on my Vista virtual machine but I am a few updates behind. Is this related to any particular update?
 

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#19
No, it doesn't appear to be related to a problem update since it happens from Vista and SP2 onward. I'm just relieved that it wasn't some unresolvable issue although it would have been great to get to know exactly what the issue was.
 

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lmacri

Vista Pro
Posts
229
#20
Funny but I haven't experienced any issues on my Vista virtual machine but I am a few updates behind. Is this related to any particular update?
Hi townsbg:

I run Windows Update manually (i.e., WU is set to "Never check for updates") and the problem began for me on 12-Aug-2015 when I tried to download the Aug 2015 Patch Tuesday updates. The issue could be related to the number of updates available for download. After several failed attempts I finally got Windows Update to run to completion on 16-Aug-2015 (see image below) but Windows Update got stuck at "Checking for updates...." for about 40 min (continual high CPU activity from wuauserv service running under svchost.exe as if one core of my CPU was saturated - but no disk thrashing after the first few minutes) before it finally reported that 1 optional and 17 important updates were available for download. The entire update process, including download, install and re-boot, required about one hour.

Windows Update svchost 16 Aug 2014.png

When I ran Windows Update again on 18-Aug-2015 to check for the out-of-band critical update for IE (KB3087985) it was a still a bit sluggish but "Checking for updates.." only took about 4-5 min.
------------
32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox 40.0.2 * NIS 2014 v. 21.7.0.11
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
 

My Computer

System One

  • Operating System
    32-bit Vista SP2 Home Premium
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP Pavilion dv6835ca
    CPU
    Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz
    Motherboard
    Quanta 30D2 (U2E1)
    Memory
    3 GB RAM
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS
    Sound Card
    Realtek High Definition Audio
    Hard Drives
    250 GB SATA Western Digital Scorpio WD2500BEVS 5400 rpm
    Internet Speed
    5 MBps