Windows Tips

Windows 7 Update issues

Symptoms:

    1. Windows update error messages
    2. Windows update hangs or freezes
    3. Abnormally high CPU usage from svchost.exe

Solutions:

  1. Check your computers date, a date to far in the past or future will prevent updates form running.
  2. Turn off all sleep settings in Power Options. Windows update needs to be connected to the internet to work. Most computers disconnect from the internet while in sleep mode. Personally, I turn all sleep options off and leave them off.
  3. There are two main types of Windows 7 installations: 32 bit or 64 bit.  You need to know what is installed in your computer.  Click the Start globe, type system in the box. Choose System information in the list.  The techie shorthand for 32 bit is x86 and for 64 bit is x64.
  4. Start Windows Update and change the Setting to Never check for updates.  Close the Windows Update window.  I recommend you return the setting to what ever you used before this operation, after you complete Windows Update. IF you do leave the setting at NEVER, Windows Update will no longer be automatic. Restart your computer. Run all updates as Administrator.
  5. The process starts by ensuring that there is nothing running that will prevent the update from working properly.  Click on the Start globe and type services into the text box.  Click on Services in the list that pops up.  In the window that then pops up (its alphabetic), find Windows Update.  Right-click on it (left-click if your mouse is set for left-handers) and choose Stop.

 

For fresh installs of Win 7 with Service Pack 1

  1. You are now going to download and install either one or two updates manually.  In most cases only the first (KB3172605) of these is needed.  If that produces a result that says the update is not appropriate for you computer, you need to first install the 2nd of these (KB3020369), then install the first (KB3172605).  Choose the one that is for your machine — 32 bit (X86) or 64 bit (X64).
    Servicing stack update KB3172605 for 32 bit or 64 bit systems
    Servicing stack update KB3020369 for 32 bit or 64 bit systems
  2. Install the Convenience rollup update KB3125574 for 32 bit or 64 bit systems. These are about 500 MB each, but will save you hours (or days) of installing individual updates.
  3. Install the update rollup KB3161608 for 32 bit or 64 bit versions.

For older installs of Win 7 with update problems

  1. Follow steps 1 & 3 above. This will update your update engine to the most recent fix.
  2. Install the latest Windows update agent, WindowsUpdateAgent-7.6-x86.exe for 32 bit systems or WindowsUpdateAgent-7.6-x64.exe for 64 bit systems. Microsoft changed their update engine in 2014 and the Windows update agent provided in the Windows 7 installation disk does not work with the newer update engine. Install this on all new Windows 7 installs before running Windows update.
  3. Again, set updates to “Never check for updates” then shut down the computer. After restarting, change updates to “Install updates automatically” this will reset the update procedure.

Still having problems?

  1. Install the Windows update fix, Windows6.1-KB3065987-v2-x86.msu for 32 bit systems or Windows6.1-KB3065987-v2-x64.msu for 64 bit systems.
  2. Again, set updates to “Never check for updates” then shut down the computer. After restarting, change updates to “Install updates automatically” this will reset the update procedure.

Not fixed yet?

  1. Install the Windows update fix, Windows6.1-KB3102810-x86.msu for 32 bit systems or Windows6.1-KB3102810-x64.msu for 64 bit systems.
  2. Again, set updates to “Never check for updates” then shut down the computer. After restarting, change updates to “Install updates automatically” this will reset the update procedure.

Still not fixed? Don’t give up

  1. Install the Windows update Diagnostic tool, WindowsUpdateDiagnostic.diagcab for all 32 or 64 bit systems.
  2. Again, set updates to “Never check for updates” then shut down the computer. After restarting, change updates to “Install updates automatically” this will reset the update procedure.

Last chance to fix this sucker

  1. Reset Windows update, Reset_Windows_Update_Full.bat for all 32 or 64 bit systems.
  2. Again, set updates to “Never check for updates” then shut down the computer. After restarting, change updates to “Install updates automatically” this will reset the update procedure.

I hope this has helped fix your Windows 7 update problems.

Built in Windows utilities:
System Information
Detailed hardware and software information
To run it, press Start –> Run –> and type in msinfo32.exeMSCONFIG
Shows you programs that run at startup and allows you to disable/enable them.
To run it, press Start –> Run –> and type in MSCONFIGDEFRAG in Safe Mode because all but the most critical aspects of your O/S are disabled in this mode allowing greater allocation of CPU power to perform the defrag. Also defragging in normal mode will not optimize certain files that are protected by Windows from being altered or moved.
An outstanding registry hack to avoid homepage hijacking in IE:
The bad news is that windows has a built in bit that allows outsiders (any site) to read, write, and edit (in other words, to “hack”) your Windows registry. This can cause many problems for you, such as making your browser behave strangely, causing programs to hang up or not function, and launching programs you don’t want to run. The Windows program that allows the hacking is called REGWIZC.DLL (registry wizard control module).The good news is that you can disable it so that it does not allow scripts on web sites you visit to hack your registry. Here is how to disable it:

  1. Click on – taskbar/start menu/run
  2. Copy and paste the following line into the run field: regsvr32.exe -u c:\windows\system32\regwizc.dll
  3. Click OK. You should get a popup message confirming the successful disabling of regwizc.dll.

It is also possible to re-enable regwizc.dll, if you should later decide to allow outsiders to get into your registry. I can’t think of any reason why you should, but this is how to do it:

  1. Click on – taskbar/start menu/run
  2. Copy and paste the following line into the run field: regsvr32.exe -c c:\windows\system32\regwizc.dll
  3. Click OK. You should get a popup message confirming the successful enabling of regwizc.dll
DLL Unloader
When you close a door, the door is closed. Makes sense. But when you close a program in Windows some of its DLLs love to stick around. Some components just never know when to leave, eh? Kick ’em out of memory immediately if you have better things to do with the space. This tweak should benefit those of you who run different programs on a daily basis. Fire up REGEDIT.EXE and navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Explorer” – create a new String Value in the right pane and name it: “AlwaysUnloadDll” (sans quotes). Give this new string a value of 1, close the Registry Editor, and reboot Windows. This will eliminate DLL caching; programs won’t re-launch as quickly as before, but it’ll bring closure to every close. Perfect for low memory systems or programming environments.
Fix MBR on hard drive
So how can you repair your damaged MBR? Here are the steps to follow:

  1. First, restart your computer with the Windows setup disk in the CD drive. If you don’t have your original disk, borrow one or download a ISO image from a torrent site.
  2. When prompted, boot from the CD drive by pressing any key. If Windows loads automatically, you will first have to enter the BIOS setup and change the order of the boot devices to start with the CD drive.
  3. Once the setup loads, you will see the option to press R to repair a Windows installation.
  4. Once the Recovery Console loads up, you will have to type in a number that corresponds to your Windows installation. This is normally just 1. Press Enter and then type in the Administrator password.
  5. Now at the prompt, type in fixmbr. Your damaged MBR will now be replaced with a new master boot record and your computer should now be able to boot properly. Note that you may also want to run the fixboot command to repair the boot sector with a new one.

 

Also, make sure you only use these commands on a system with one operating system installed. If you have more than one operating system installed, fixmbr and fixboot could mess up everything.

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