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Old 01-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
RalphTheCow
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Default How is your luck with Windows Updates?

Vista has always driven me bonkers with failed updates.

So what has your experience been?

Am I banging my head against a wall trying to get Vista to update? I am sick of googling and trying the cryptic things that various Microsoft MVPs have suggested all over the web.

Seriously, it is as comical as the old Mac commercials with all the things they suggest, except that they are serious!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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Vista was never a good OS... I've never had problems updating any of my PC's with Win7. Make sure you don't have any viruses/adware since that can cause wonky problems with updates.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
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Vista was particularly bad for losing track of registered files necessary for Windows Update to function correctly. This little app; Fix WU Utility, was developed by Ramesh Kumar for The Windows Club. This utility will re-register a total of 114 .dll, .ocx, and .ax files which are required for the proper functioning of Windows Update. You could also do this manually using the MS regsvr32 tool, but Ramesh's nice little frontend takes care of it all in a couple of minutes.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:34 PM   #4
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+1 for Vista just being a dog, i ran it for a short time and then reverted back to XP until 7 came out. I see 7 as pretty much Vista without the bugs and poor performance
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
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I've got a Dell/Vista box that is rock solid. It runs Folding@Home or BOINC at high CPU and GPU loads all day 24/7 and it never messes up unless there is a power issue.

Windows Updates tie up the network and have messed up several of my systems so once I get em running good, I leave them alone.

Stupid Windows Updates! Turn em off!!
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:17 PM   #6
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I currently have three machines - 1 XP, 1 Win7 and 1 Win8. Have in the past had Vista as well. In all these systems, I have always used automatic Win updates and never have had a problem. They are usually released, BTW, the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakedude View Post
Windows Updates tie up the network and have messed up several of my systems so once I get em running good, I leave them alone.

Stupid Windows Updates! Turn em off!!
What? No, No, No! Thats terrible advice, especially for anyone using their computer for everyday things like browsing the internet. I seriously hope you're joking, thats some major security issues you're opening yourself up to

As for the OP, the only times i've ever had errors in Windows Update have been when malware has intentionally damaged it on someones PC, or when it tries to install an update dependent on another update at the same time as its dependency (usually on a brand new, never updated install). Those typically go through just fine after I restart to install the dependency and then re-run Windows Update. Occasionally i've run into situations where it's not properly detecting new updates, but those have by and large been network issues where a hardware firewall or improperly configured WSUS server were actively fudging up the pipes.

That being said, Windows Update error codes are some of the most godawful useless error codes in the history of everything.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #8
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Have solved most by:

- From admin command prompt, run chkdsk /r on the boot/system drive.

- Perform Disk Cleanup for all users (and include system files) to get rid of stuff like crash dump files, old temp files, and that. Also use the advanced tab and delete previous system restore points.

- Run System Update Readiness Tool (not for XP)

- From admin command prompt, run sfc /scannow

That has done it in most cases. In a few stubborn ones, I had to deselect all the recommended (optional) updates and put them off until last. Also, deselect any graphics driver updates listed as important, you can save that until later along with the optional updates. Then I broke-up the important updates into groups of about 20, installing them from oldest to newest, or at least by the KB# of the update.

e.g. I would select the KB94### updates, then KB95### updates, then KB96### updates, so on and so forth, to a maximum of 20. Then install those using the 'shutdown' option. Wait for the computer to shutdown after installing those, boot it back up. Check to see if updates were successful. Any that failed, I would deselect the next time and put it off for last. Then I would select 20 more, starting from the oldest to latest, using the KB# as a guide. Rinse and repeat until they are all installed.

- Run the System Update Readiness Tool (yes, again)

I've had a couple systems that needed repair or new installation of Windows because something was so borked, nothing I tried would solve the Windows Update problem, but those have been a real exception.

Last edited by tcsenter; 01-26-2013 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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What? No, No, No! Thats terrible advice, especially for anyone using their computer for everyday things like browsing the internet. I seriously hope you're joking, thats some major security issues you're opening yourself up to
Yes, Yes, Yes!

I am so not kidding. All that update crap is just that, crap. It ties up your connection and sometimes it renders your computer completely inoperable.

The cure is worse than the disease!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lakedude View Post
Yes, Yes, Yes!

I am so not kidding. All that update crap is just that, crap. It ties up your connection and sometimes it renders your computer completely inoperable.

The cure is worse than the disease!
Wow, can't say I completely agree with this... while I can attest to it tying up connections through downloading updates, it does fix security flaws within the OS that can otherwise be compromised.

To each their own though!
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:47 PM   #11
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The math on this is pretty simple.

Number of systems I've had since WinXP that had a virus or malware that rendered the system in-op or noticeably impaired system function = zero, none, zilch, nil.

Number of systems that get bogged down due to updates = all

Number of systems that have gone in-op due to updates = 3

The last time was the last straw! Load the system, it works. Install updates, it doesn't work. Re-load system, works. Update, broke. Re-re-load and disable updates, works fine, last a long time.

Last edited by lakedude; 01-26-2013 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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BTW good for all you people who have had no trouble with updates. You all got lucky or I've been unlucky. From the title of this thread it is clear I'm not the only one who has been unlucky...
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:55 PM   #13
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Agreed, the math in your world is correct. But the reality of it is if you take into consideration the world and everyone who does updates versus everyone with those updates having a hosed system would speak otherwise.

Sorry to say, the only common denominator to the issues with your Windows Updates is you. If what you say is totally true, every Tom, Dick, and Harry would have issues (including myself, and every other poster here who is telling the OP to do what you aren't doing).

The fact of the matter is you do an install, and you are probably running unprotected and contracting some sort of malware/virus before doing the updates. OR, your initial install disc/burned disc has something on it that's compromising your system.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:04 AM   #14
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...The fact of the matter is you do an install, and you are probably running unprotected and contracting some sort of malware/virus before doing the updates. OR, your initial install disc/burned disc has something on it that's compromising your system.
Wow, you are making quite a few assumptions about things you clearly know nothing about.

Please tell me how my machine could possibly "contract some sort of malware or virus" when the only thing loaded is the factory install disk and the computer has never been on a network or the internet? I could run "unprotected" all day long and if the system never sees network it is never going to get infected.

Last edited by lakedude; 01-26-2013 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:10 AM   #15
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Wow, you are making quite a few assumptions about things you clearly know nothing about.
I'm not the one with issues running updates on a Microsoft product, am I? I clearly know what causes updates not to work, which you (ahem) clearly cannot do, then go and suggest turning the service completely off.

Tell me now who doesn't know what they're doing?
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Please tell me how my machine could possibly "contract some sort of malware or virus" when the only thing loaded is the factory install disk and the computer has never been on a network? I could run "unprotected" all day long if the system never sees network how is it going to get infected?
You are correct, if it is not physically connected to anything within your network, it should not get a virus/malware. And you stated yourself that you have no problems with your PC/PCs until you do an update... I would assume you connect to the internet/microsoft to get these updates, no?

Because of this, then I'll go to my previous statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoove910 View Post
Sorry to say, the only common denominator to the issues with your Windows Updates is you.
Just so you know, I'm not trying to demean you at all, but common sense would side with what I'm trying to say. What you do with your machines is your business, but it doesn't mean it's right... and telling people to shut off their automatic updates probably isn't an ethical thing to do either. No offense intended.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:44 AM   #18
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Tell me now who doesn't know what they're doing?
I've not said or even implied that you don't know what you are doing.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:07 AM   #19
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What I did say was that you made assumptions that in the case of my old Dell laptop are incorrect. Procedure:

1) Install new HD

2) Install OS from factory optical disk

3) Install drivers from factory disk

4) Apply WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU.exe to update to SP3 because AVG anti-virus requires SP3. Update downloaded from another computer (don't remember which one). I'm paranoid about having computers on a network until they get firewall and anti-virus installed, Windows Updates, not so much...

5) Computer does not work (don't remember the exact details).

6) Start again at step two but pay moar attention to what is going on. Make sure to monkey around with system before applying SP3. Note system works fine until SP3 is applied. GoTo step 7 if second time through list.

7) Get GF new laptop but not because of the updates. Turns out she can not make use of the modem because she does not have a land line...

8) Develop a sensitive ear for others with update issues.

9) Laptop works perfect with the old HD or with the new HD minus SP3. If you would like to help it would be cool to figure out what the issue is.

Last edited by lakedude; 01-26-2013 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:17 AM   #20
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There were issues with SP3, and some apparently incorrectly-built recovery images on some branded OEM systems.

Google "intelppm.sys AMD SP3"

Edit: Try booting into Recovery Console on that HDD, and typing "NET STOP INTELPPM". it might be "DISABLE" rather than "STOP".
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphTheCow View Post
Vista has always driven me bonkers with failed updates.

So what has your experience been?

Am I banging my head against a wall trying to get Vista to update? I am sick of googling and trying the cryptic things that various Microsoft MVPs have suggested all over the web.

Seriously, it is as comical as the old Mac commercials with all the things they suggest, except that they are serious!
I haven't seen more problems with Vista updates than other versions of Windows (except for 8, but I'll give that a bit more time before I cast serious judgement on it), but what have you tried so far? The error codes for =>Vista update installs are helpful to look up as well.

+1 tcsenter's advice. Also, in the past when I've encountered update problems, sometimes I just put on one or two at a time, perhaps the ones that sound least important.

Drown lakedude's advice in the river and move on. Windows updates fix security vulnerabilities, to say that installing them is a bad idea is like saying that the broken lock on your front door is hardly worth fixing because locks are a whole load of trouble themselves and it's easier just to walk in the house without having to trouble with an unlocking mechanism.

I've seen plenty of issues with Windows updates through my line of work, however through my line of work I see Windows updates installing successfully all the time (>95% of the time I'd say), which are correcting exploitable vulnerabilities and so are maintaining what is probably regarded generally as a reasonable level of security. Also, I would say that most of my customers haven't ever experienced a Windows update issue.

+1 VirtualLarry's comment. Many major-label OEMs are so lazy, I've actually seen every single storage device driver enabled on an XP install (ie. the service is set to boot/automatic - so every SCSI adapter that XP is aware of out of the box), despite the computers in question being the plainest, most ordinary desktop / laptop computers. I've also encountered the AMD / intelppm driver issue quite a few times, and it isn't something that ever happens on a plain install of Windows XP (ie. not with an OEM-supplied recovery disc but a proper Windows XP installation disc).

Stopping the "Windows Update" and bits services then renaming/deleting C:\WINDOWS\SOFTWAREDISTRIBUTION folder is also a tactic I sometimes employ. It is one way of essentially resetting the Windows Update system. Another is downloading the Windows Update Agent and installing it with a /wuforce argument at an admin command prompt (if you can't be bothered to do lots of regsvr32's), that is if MS is going to un-f*** the latest version of the Agent so that it can one again do a force-install because it is sometimes necessary.

Last edited by mikeymikec; 01-26-2013 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by mikeymikec View Post
I haven't seen more problems with Vista updates than other versions of Windows (except for 8, but I'll give that a bit more time before I cast serious judgement on it), but what have you tried so far? The error codes for =>Vista update installs are helpful to look up as well.
I have tried the "clean boot" solution, I tried using the standalone installer, safe mode (that advice was a real turkey since I can't even get Windows Update to run in "Safe Mode with Networking"). One at a time worked GREAT to get about 5 important updates installed that always failed as a batch. But there are two that just refuse to go, both fairly old - KB970710 and the one for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1. The standalone installer failed for the 970710 - I was hopeful because it did also generate a "hotfix" that installed without a reboot required. The advice for the .NET one says to try first uninstalling the .NET Frameworks, but I am afraid that will just makes things worse, and I have no means to backup my OS first. They system runs as well as can be expected on a 2004 computer, so drastic solutions that could easily make things worse hold little appeal. If it wasn't for my wife, I'd just install Linux which would run faster and with no problems.
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by mikeymikec View Post
Stopping the "Windows Update" and bits services then renaming/deleting CWINDOWS\SOFTWAREDISTRIBUTION folder is also a tactic I sometimes employ. It is one way of essentially resetting the Windows Update system. Another is downloading the Windows Update Agent and installing it with a /wuforce argument at an admin command prompt (if you can't be bothered to do lots of regsvr32's), that is if MS is going to un-f*** the latest version of the Agent so that it can one again do a force-install because it is sometimes necessary.
I tried a similar one, renaming the catroot2 folder, and about all that accomplished was to wipe out my update history.
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #24
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@ RalphTheCow

(latest post noted)

What are the error codes for the failed updates? Did you run the chkdsk like an earlier post suggested (and check the results in the event log)? What about the system update readiness tool? And then check its log afterwards.

Anything else in the event log, interesting errors recently?

catroot2 IIRC kills the cryptographic service data, so I tend to avoid that one unless it is necessary. SoftwareDistribution should be the one that kills the update history, but it also gets rid of any downloaded updates (in the event of a corrupted download package possibly).

Are you running Vista SP2? 32/64? (not sure if the latter question is relevant, but someone may have an idea based on it)

Any other problems with the system?

SFC /SCANNOW at an admin command prompt?

If you're unsure how to do any of these things just say.

In your shoes, once the first (non-destructive) checks have been run, such as a full chkdsk, sfc /scannow, system update readiness tool, for example, and esp. if the chkdsk doesn't turn up anything worrying I would be happy to uninstall the .net frameworks and reinstall them. In the absolute worst case scenario, do you have a Vista install disc?

Leave out my idea about reinstalling the Windows Update Agent - if it can install most updates then I doubt it is the problem.

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Old 01-26-2013, 01:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
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SoftwareDistribution should be the one that kills the update history, but it also gets rid of any downloaded updates (in the event of a corrupted download package possibly).
The 'Download' folder contains downloaded updates. The 'DataStore' folder contains the database of previously installed updates (which will kill the update history when deleted).
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