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Windows 7: Clean install of Windows 7 x86 on Asus laptop hangs on Windows Update

13 Sep 2015   #1
Ascaris

Windows 7 x64
 
 
Clean install of Windows 7 x86 on Asus laptop hangs on Windows Update

I've been attempting to get Windows 7 up and running on my Asus F8Sp-X1 laptop for a couple of days now. It came with Vista, which only lasted as long as it took to take the disk image with True Image, after which XP was installed. It's been that way ever since, and it runs perfectly... but everyone knows the limits of XP now since the security updates have stopped.

Since I have an unused product key for 7, I thought that would be a better choice than the Vista the laptop came with. I've never used Vista, but it is widely held that 7 is leaner and faster, and on a 3gb laptop, that seems the better choice.

The DVD that corresponds with the product key I have is of the 64-bit edition (OEM), so I plugged that product key into the MS web site and downloaded the 32 bit Win 7 SP1 DVD ISO, then created the disc.

I had already restored the original Vista setup from the image I made all those years ago, and had allowed it to update up to SP2. I started the CD and selected an in-place upgrade, which (though painfully slow) worked without any errors.

After fooling around with the fingerprint sensor for a while (finally I did get it working), I went to Windows Update to download all of the fixes that came after SP1. It never finished searching for updates... just goes on and on, with no errors and no results.

I went to the MS support site and tried the fix it tool. It claimed to have fixed things, but the problem persisted. I did a lot of reading... I tried the WURT, but it just got stuck on "searching for installed updates" forever (I took a nap and let it go; it was still doing it when I got up). I downloaded a few updates manually and tried to install them, and it did the same thing as the WURT tool.

I went back to the MS site, and tried all of the things they suggested. I tried setting updates to "off", rebooting, set to "always," rebooting; that did nothing. I tried stopping the four services listed (BITS, windows updates, cryptography, and one that is not on my PC), renaming the data stores, reregistering a ton of .DLLs, and restarting... no change.

I tried exporting the BITS and Windows Update registry data on my desktop and importing that. No change. I then tried setting the IE security to its lowest setting for the trusted zone, where I added the three Windows Update URLs... again, just endless searching for updates.

Frustrated, I imaged the faulty install and tried the nuclear option: Format the HDD and reinstall clean.

I formatted the HDD (in an external enclosure attached to my desktop), then put the HDD back into the laptop and booted it from the Win 7 CD I had burned. It ran fine, installing Win 7 with no errors listed. When I went to Windows Update, it immediately said it had to update the updater first; I allowed this. It then began to search for updates and... never finished. I let it go a very long time, but it never did anything. No errors, no results.

Still just the same as before.

I tried most of the above stuff yet again, and it was all the same. Nothing helped. So I tried a "repair" install, which is really an in place upgrade with itself. After that was finally done... STILL THE SAME!

Did another SFC /scannow, and it found no integrity errors. I scanned the laptop HDD with scandisk; no issues found, and SMART data indicate no issues.

This laptop can browse the internet just fine. Other than not being able to update, Win 7 runs really well on it... but not being able to get updates puts me pretty much where I was with XP, so that's no good at all. I even tried connecting the laptop to the router with an ethernet cable instead of wirelessly... still no change.

On the same network, my other PC (the desktop, which I am using to write this) is able to contact MS and download updates without a problem. There is no reason to believe that there is some issue with my ISP, router, or anything like that. I just checked it now to make sure... it works.

Here is the requested log file CBS.log... any and all help appreciated!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
13 Sep 2015   #2
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

Some machines appear to be having problems with one of the recent Windows Update agent updates - and taking anything up to 20 hours to complete a manual scan for updates.

Just leave it running and it should eventually catch up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2015   #3
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi and welcome to SevenForums,
Seems the best upgrade to a laptop or even a desktop is installing on a ssd not a hdd

So now you're running 32 bit ? which with 3gb of ram would be best.

Yes plenty of delays in searching for updates for sure
Every since 10 was released
http://www.sevenforums.com/general-d...ows-7-8-a.html
Some of the last replies should show updated lists.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

13 Sep 2015   #4
Ascaris

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I got excited earlier after I tried to start the readiness tool and it actually installed (instead of getting stuck on "looking for updates on this computer"), but it's no better than it was.

I decided to stop worrying about the updates for a bit, and go about the usual housekeeping after a new install... installing the Asus utilities for things like the wireless button, the drivers that Windows could not update, software, et cetera.

At some point, I decided to give the readiness tool another shot, and it went right from "preparing installation" to the "are you sure you want to install this update?" prompt. Maybe I should have said NO and seen if updating worked just then, but instead, I hit YES, and it said (after a long while) that it installed successfully.

Still no updating, though... and now anything that uses the WUSA once again gives that "searching for updates on this computer" message. I let it sit for a long time; no change. I let it sit for hours and hours checking for updates... nothing.

This is really weird. Vista updated just fine, and 7 does on my other pc on the same home network, but 7 just will not do it on this one. I haven't gotten the update process to work even once, even on my clean install. I wonder if there is some sort of BIOS incompatibility with 7 or something... although a search of "Asus F8SP windows 7" didn't return any people complaining of any issues. (Fwiw, there was never any firmware update for the F8SP; the initial release is also the final one).

I don't have to activate Windows for it to work, do I? It's an OEM key, and I would rather not bind it to this PC if there is a chance the updating won't work even after I activate it.

I will keep letting it sit and see if it works, but I am not hopeful. I got all of the features that are supposed to be there (that I would not have uninstalled if it came that way) working. (I like this laptop a lot, but seriously, Asus, you have buttons for bloatware like "Instant fun" and "Splendid", but no volume buttons?)

If MS had just kept to the Service Pack model, there may have been a SP2 or 3 for Win 7 that I could manually install, and at least be mostly updated since SP1. Having to pick 150 updates out of their MS notices and download them one by one... ugh, too much.

It's interesting that people say "Ugh, I would not allow a PC with XP to connect to the internet for even ONE minute!" but Win7 with no updates since SP1 (five years ago), unless MS slipstreamed the updates (so to speak) in their ISO I downloaded is somehow my other choice... that and Vista.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Sep 2015   #5
Ascaris

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Ok, more new and weird stuff.

Edit: After considering what I wrote below (after the three hyphens on the left margin), I thought that some service must be either enabled or disabled when the update agent installer is run, and that has to be what is causing the updates (the standalone .msu updates that have been previously downloaded) to temporarily be installable.

I noticed also that right after the PC reboots, it is possible to install the updates for a short amount of time. I kept starting the install and cancelling, so that I could do it repeatedly and gauge when it stopped working. It kept working (it would tell me that the update was already installed, or else it would ask for confirmation of my intent to install) until about about 45 seconds after bootup. They would again just give me the "searching for updates on this computer" message. For some reason, the system appears to be unable to tell what updates have been installed at that point. (When things are working, the "searching for updates on this computer" message is only visible for a few seconds before it tries to do the update).

I looked in the Windows logs under setup, and I could see the aborted attempts to install. I made a mental note of the time (to the second) that the last successful install attempt was made, then looked in the system log to see what came after that.

Well, that was when the delayed start services started to come online. Surprisingly, it seems to be windows update that is stopping the windows updates from working. Before the service starts on boot, I can try to install the updates multiple times, but once the service starts, the updates do not work. If I then stop the service, I can install the update once again-- but only once, because the system starts the service on the install attempt, and because the startup type is auto (delayed), it remains running-- which we already know prevents the updates from running.

Placing the service in manual mode works for installing the .msu updates. The service is called when the update is initiated, and it works; when the install or attempted install ends, the service is terminated, and so it can enter the running state once again when the next attempt is made. That is exactly how it behaves for the first 45 or so seconds following bootup, which leads me to believe that
the service is essentially in manual mode before its delayed start.

What this means in terms of getting the updater to work, I do not know... but if there is an issue with the system being able to detect which updates have already been done, that would certainly explain why the process of finding updates never completes.

Any thoughts on how to address this, anyone?

--- Previous version of this message below for reference


If I run the installer for the Windows Update Agent 7.6-x86, then try to install an update (using WUSA), it works. No other time, though, and only one update per Agent install. I must have done that before, which was why I got the WURT to work that one time. It does not allow the windows update process to work normally, though; running Windows Update "absorbs" the one free install effect of the Agent.

So the sequence would be...
-attempt to install (say) KB3087039. It gets stuck on "searching for updates on this computer."
-Run the installer for Update agent 7.6 (even though it is already installed)
-attempt again KB3087039. Now it installs! I reboot like it wants.
-System comes up, I try to install another update... it fails.
-Run the installer for agent again.
-Now it works!


How bizarre is that?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Sep 2015   #6
Ascaris

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Ok... wow.

I did as suggested, and left it doing windows update before I went to bed.

I woke up, went to the pc, and I see a screen with only the mouse pointer, but no other features... just black. Sleep button has no effect, neither does three fingered salute.

I reboot. It starts to boot up, then BSOD.

BSOD again on the next boot.

Ok... power off, out comes the drive, into my external SATA via usb3. Desktop freezes once I power on the SATA caddy... but when it finally responds, it tells me the disk must be formatted to use it. I retry a couple of times... no good. Unplug that, and Windows becomes responsive again.

Since the old drive is a Seagate, I download Seatools for Windows and install that, and turn the drive back on as I run it.

The model number is detected as 000000000000000, firmware field is blank, and I can't test it. My other 2 drives (Samsung 840 Pro for boot, Toshiba DT01ACA 300 for data) both show up fine.

It's looking like the little drive, being as old as it is, has failed. I've got 29,000 power on hours with this little workhorse, nearly all of them at 45C or more in the hot laptop (it never gets below that inside there). The good news is that the drive, at 4.5 years of age, is still under warranty-- I bought it back when hard drives typically had 3-5 year warranties. I know that because I was so impressed at how the little guy had lasted this long, I called Seagate so I could get the mfr. date on it, just so I could revel in the longevity of my drive. I even gave it a great review on Bestbuy.com a couple of days ago... which I still think is a good review, as 5 years and 29k hours (3.2 years of continuous operation in the almost 5 years-- is that even possible? I used to leave the lappy on 24 hours, as it was doing sentinel duty with its caller ID modem, to keep the bill collectors looking for people I never heard of from bothering me) at 45C is pretty dang good.

If you could not already tell, I am a backup fanatic... I've backed this thing up so many times in the past couple days, lemme tell ya. I will be able to get it back to where it was yesterday pretty quick...

What does this have to do with my problem with updates? I don't know. I never had any signs of disk trouble before now-- SMART showed everything to be good (although half of catastrophic HDD failures don't show up in SMART before they happen; I've seen the Google study), and scandisk never revealed any problems all the times I ran it during this process. It always found no problems and told me the disk was ready to use. It's possible that the coming drive issues were showing themselves in such a way as to cause the update errors, but my gut tells me they're probably distinct issues.

We shall see.

So I download Seatools for DOS, which is an ISO image, and create a boot CD for the laptop, and put the drive back in there. Do the short test-- fail! with a code to give Seagate for RMA purposes. It suggests I do the long test, which I am.

I've been through this before a bunch of times... usually, when a drive gets to this stage, it's pretty much dead.

Ok, long drive completed-- lots of errors found, error code generated. I tell it to repair... let's see how this goes. 102 errors, fixed now, it says.

102 errors that were not there earlier... ya, not looking good for the thing. Gonna try to RMA it.

Fortunately, I have other drives. Slower, smaller ones. ThrashZone, yes, I agree a SSD would be better, but this is a 2008 or 2009 PC, with SATA I only, 150mb/sec max. A fast laptop hard drive is almost capable of hitting the practical ceiling on that (at least on the first part of the drive). An SSD would be slowed to barely above that. So for now, I will keep it HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Sep 2015   #7
Ascaris

Windows 7 x64
 
 

It's working now.

I am not sure what fixed it, or if Noel's solution did it. I tried just letting it go on its own (for long periods of time) a couple of times... a few times, it didn't do anything. I hadn't gone as long as 20 hours, though, so there was always that possibility that it was eventually going to work with or without any fixes on my end.

In the meantime, I found several reports that people with older Intel chipset PCs (not sure if laptop or not) were having the same issue as I was until they updated the Intel Rapid Storage driver. At that time, I had the default MS one in. I've had some issues with RST in the past (and I just removed it from my desktop), but I thought I would try it. I learned which RST driver was the newest available for my 965 chipset, and installed that.

I had also downloaded the Windows Update Downloader and had it grab a ton of the updates I need... then I wrote a batch file to use the standalone installer to install them all. It took a few hours, but it did get a lot of updates downloaded and installed.

After all that was done, I left it Windows Updating and went to bed.

In the morning, it had downloaded over 100 more updates for me. I gave it the ok to install, and it found a bunch more (as is the norm).

Thanks for the responses and putting up with my mini-novels!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Clean install of Windows 7 x86 on Asus laptop hangs on Windows Update




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