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Windows 7: Another thread about Windows Update stuck at Downloading 0%

10 Apr 2016   #1
DoctorBrown

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
Another thread about Windows Update stuck at Downloading 0%

I have spent many days trying to get a handle about what is the behavior of Windows Update process when it hangs Downloading at 0%. I have looked through many of the threads on this problem to see if there is a pattern to the failures or a solution that works for many people. Even though it is stated not to try what others have done in other posts, I have done some of these. I have also gone above this and tried analyze what the system is doing when in this state. I have some results but no answers.

The issues I'm having may be unique to my setup, but I hope my results are helpful to the larger Windows community.

Based on the results of my testing, I am approaching the opinion that this problem of Windows Update hanging is percipitated by one or more of the following:
1. M$ doesn't care that update is fatally broken and won't fix it.
2. The engineers currently working on this at M$ are totally incompetent in their ability to fix it.
3. M$ is deliberately sabataging Windows 7 and Window 8.1 in order to force everybody to update to Windows 10.

Background:
The system I'm running my lastest tests on is a HP Elitebook 6930P. It is built with a Core2 Duo T9400 with 2 GB RAM. Installed is Win 7 Pro (x86). Another system that is exhibiting the problem is a Dell Optiplex 755 running a Core2Duo E8400 with 3GB RAM on Windows 7 Pro (x86). A third system I'm using is built on an Asus motherboard running a Core i5 750 CPU with 16GB Ram running Win7 Pro x64. (I know these are ancient systems.... I'm working on upgrading the i5 system now.) For some reason, the windows update is not hanging on the i5 750 system. I don't know why at this point.

What I have done to solve this:

1. I ran the SURT and SFC Scan (multiple times). The SURT did find errors and fixed most of them. (if the specific errors are needed I'll have to rerun the tests.) After the SURT is run it takes about 5 hours to complete the check for new updates.

After running the SURT, what tends to happen is the first time I try to install updates (a few), the updates install in less than 5 minutes. When I restart and try to install more updates, the Update window hangs at 0% for about 3.5 hours and then they install successfully.

2. I have manually reset the update client by using the process where you delete the files in the SoftwareDistribution folder. Again when I run Windows Update, it will take 5 hours 'Checking for updates'. Then the first time I run Windows update I can install a few updates in less than 5 minutes. The second time Windows Update will be stuck downloading at 0% and will take about 3 hours to complete the updates.

3. For the nuclear option, I completely reinstalled my HP system from a base Windows 7 CD, which didn't have SP1. After the initial install, the only software I installed was Firefox and Wireshark.

a. The initial install went normally. I was able to install all updates that were pending prior to SP1 without any lengthy delay.

b. I installed the service Pack 1 update. This update installed with no apparent issues.

c. After the install of SP1, I was prompted to install the latest Windows Update Clent. This is where all went to h---.

d. After installing the new client, the first time I installed some .NET updates I was able to install them without delay. The second time, it took 5 hours to check for updates. Then another 3 hours to install the 4.x .NET updates.

e. I then attempted some Security updates and again it took over 3 hours to install the updates.

During the next run of 10 Security Updates, I fired up Process Monitor. Here is some of what I found (there may be other relevant data I haven't found yet):

1. After filtering out all non-related processes, I find something extremely interesting. After an initial flurry of activity, the svchost.exe process and process tree gets into a loop where it is playing with itself and where the most of the activity visible is repeatedly reading one or two areas of the Registry. The following events occur for the most of the 3 hours:

Code:
"Time of Day"    "Process Name"    "PID"    "Operation"    "Path"    "Result"    "Detail"
"5:41:39.4711404 PM"    "svchost.exe"    "916"    "RegOpenKey"    "HKCU"    "SUCCESS"    "Desired Access: Query Value"
"5:41:39.4711647 PM"    "svchost.exe"    "916"    "RegOpenKey"    "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\WindowsUpdate"    "SUCCESS"    "Desired Access: Query Value"
"5:41:39.4711801 PM"    "svchost.exe"    "916"    "RegQueryValue"    "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\WindowsUpdate\DisableWindowsUpdateAccess"    "SUCCESS"    "Type: REG_DWORD     Length: 4     Data: 0"
"5:41:39.4711894 PM"    "svchost.exe"    "916"    "RegCloseKey"    "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\WindowsUpdate"    "SUCCESS"    ""
"5:41:39.4711955 PM"    "svchost.exe"    "916"    "RegCloseKey"    "HKCU"    "SUCCESS"    ""
There are some other registry, file and process events, so the process is able to do something and it will eventually finish. There is some logging and other events that occur that I'm still looking into.

2. Looking at WindowsUpdate.log for the same run, shows the following gap in the logging during the time that this looping is occurring:

-------------------
Code:
2016-04-09    16:32:12:111     916    fcc    AU    Successfully wrote event for AU health state:0
2016-04-09    16:32:12:111     916    fcc    AU      # Pending download calls = 10
2016-04-09    16:32:12:111     916    fcc    AU    <<## SUBMITTED ## AU: Download updates
2016-04-09    16:32:12:142     916    fcc    AU    Getting featured update notifications.  fIncludeDismissed = true
2016-04-09    16:32:12:142     916    fcc    AU    No featured updates available.
2016-04-09    16:32:24:013     916    f78    AU    Getting featured update notifications.  fIncludeDismissed = true
2016-04-09    16:32:24:013     916    f78    AU    No featured updates available.
2016-04-09    18:03:44:003     916    fb4    AU    AU setting next sqm report timeout to 2016-04-11 01:03:44
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {CE9E93AD-39BA-4F1B-98E9-38504B8D2E67}.100 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {AE66A9AB-7B20-49C0-BC56-B2BB241E70E4}.100 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent    Update {A52544E0-929D-4DCF-A3DA-8093EF89546C}.101 is pruned out due to potential supersedence
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {1937F4EF-9725-4B45-9679-F6D9F22B9F98}.104 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {63F591B4-81FC-4F66-B3C4-9047FF0B465A}.200 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {9D08AC85-A4A3-4DAA-A7D5-D968D0FAD7C7}.200 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {A4A3462A-AADA-49EF-AED8-EE9C955F571C}.200 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {F2390945-5480-4CD4-A10E-AF12C5CCF902}.103 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {D2CA572D-0890-4BA4-A62F-AE5EE20CA09A}.200 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {442AD0DC-AE43-4E22-A92C-113524974631}.103 to search result
2016-04-09    19:55:37:569     916    1a8    Agent      * Added update {E4E8F2AC-16F8-44CF-B8E7-D8C5DFD86A08}.103 to search result
-----------------
Note the 2 hour 23 minute gap starting at 16:32. I'm still looking for the remainder of the delay. It is during the interval starting at about 19:55 that the updates are actually installed.

This is already a very long post so I'll stop here, but I still need to gather more data. I have the following questions (There are more questions, I'm sure.):

1. Is it the older Core2Duo processors that are hitting the problem?
2. Is there something different with Win 7 Pro x64 vs x86?
3. What other differences are playing a role in the i5 system working?

I sincerely hope others out there can shed some light on what's happening and help me solve this extremely serious problem.

Best Regards,
John


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
10 Apr 2016   #2
torchwood

W7 home premium 32bit/W7HP 64bit/w10 tp insider ring
 
 

Hi John,
The simple answer is MS doesn't want users on W7 any more.
We just have to put up with this situation.
However they say, IF you you want to believe them, that they are in the process of addressing the slow D/L and install of updates for us.

we just have to live with it

note the comp you have with 2Gb ram will allways suffer, thats the min for W7.

Must admit having looked at an awfull lot of windows update logs cant remember seeing those entries

Roy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2016   #3
gwmnova

Windows 7 Home Premium, SP 1 64bit
 
 

SOLVED:

Windows 7 SP1 64

Extremely frustrated for many days trying every solution posted on the Internet. Then finally I found this comment on Softpedia's website and it absolutely works (very easy - but why should we have to do this?):

To resolve this issue: first install KB3145739 manually. Go to Microsoft website to download and then install, even if your Installed History already shows this update.
Next you should restart and finally you can check for updates in manual mode.
It takes between 5 or 10 minutes.
Comment posted by: Chooky
14 Apr 2016 13:00 CMT

Windows Update Hanging When Downloading April 12 Patches (Scroll down the Comments section until you find a posting by Chooky.)

Hopefully it will help some people avoid hours or days of frustration or drastic, complicated but unnecessary troubleshooting steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

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