Author Topic: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)  (Read 31854 times)

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Offline Willy2

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Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« on: August 12, 2016, 01:40:57 AM »
(This guide will be updated/improved/modified if and when needed.)

- Since the 2nd quarter of 2016 "Windows Update" is causing problems on Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems. I.e., the search for updates takes A LOT OF time (we're talking hours and even days). Up to now Microsoft didn't provide a permanent solution for this problem. But as long as this problem persists, the text below provides a temporary work-around to "solve" this "Windows Update" problem.
- The main part of this guide is meant to solve this problem for Windows 7 systems and get Windows 7 up to date as fast as possible. But users of Vista and Windows 8 will also find here some instructions to fix the same problem.



Step 1: Confirm that a computer has this particular "Windows Update" problem.
(Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8)
===================================================================
- Open in Task Manager the "Process" tab and click on the "Show processes from all users" button to make Task Manager show all running processes. Because we want to see how "Svchost.exe" behaves.
- Open in Task Manager the "Service" tab and highlight the Service called "Wuauserv". Then right click and select "Go to Process". Task Manager re-opens the "Process" tab and highlights one "Svchost.exe" process. If the highlighted "Svchost.exe" process has consistently (not fluctuating) high CPU usage in combination with high memory usage (larger than say 150 to 200 MB) then it's indeed this one particular "Windows Update" problem. Then and only then the user can proceed with this guide.



- It's recommended to execute Steps 2 through 5 (See below) in/under the "Administrator" account whenever possible. That will increase the chances for succesfully solving this problem. To activate the administrator account, open CMD.exe with admin rights and type

    net user administrator /active:yes

and reboot Windows.

For more info:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/enable-the-hidden-administrator-account-on-windows-vista/



- If the user is performing a new re-install of Windows 7 then proceed with Step 2. Otherwise skip Steps 2, 3 & 4 and proceed with Step 5.



Step 2: When this problem happens after (re-)installing Windows 7:
===========================================================
- Install Windows 7 and one or two system drivers (like a video driver & a driver that allows the computer to make contact with the internet).
Make sure Service Pack 1 (SP1) has been installed. To find out if this Service Pack has been installed take these steps: Click on the "Start" button, "Control Panel" and "System". The info in this screen will tell the user if SP 1 has been installed or not.
- If SP 1 wasn't included in the new installation then Windows Update will offer that SP 1 (KB 976932) in the list with all the new updates. Or download SP 1 from the MS website. For more details:
   https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15090/windows-7-install-service-pack-1-sp1
- To increase confusion, Windows Update will offer this update once again. Just install that update as well.

- After installing SP 1 the problems with Windows Update begin. When the user has installed the latest Windows Update Agent (no way around that) and has put Windows Update to work then it can run for hours or even days with high CPU & high memory usage (see Step 1 above) before it finds any update. If Windows Update has run for over say 30 minutes with consistently high CPU (See Task Manager) then:
- Abort Windows Update,
- Change the Windows Update setting to "Never check for Updates" (This stops the automated search for updates),
- Reboot.

It's recommended to execute the instructions below under the "Administrator" account.
- Microsoft is aware of this particular problem and offers an update to (temporarily ??) fix this problem. Download & install KB 3102810:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3102810

- Reboot and manually put Windows Update to work. If this problem has been solved then:
1) CPU & memory usage remains much lower and
2) Windows Update will find the appropriate updates much faster.
How fast depends on multiple things: how busy are Microsoft's servers, the quality of the internet connection, etc. I had the same "Windows Update" problem and with these instructions my Win 7 system was able to find over 200 updates within say 20 to 30 minutes.

DO NOT install those updates yet. That will happen in Step 4.


- Although Step 3 is optional, I still would recommend to to execute Step 3 because it saves the user from A LOT OF of hassle.



Step 3: Install the "Convenience Roll Up" Package (KB 3125574)
(Windows 7)
===========================================
- This package isn't offered by "Windows Update". The user has to go out and manually download this package. Installing this package ensures that A LOT OF the newest individual updates will be installed in one single run after (re-)installing Windows 7 SP 1. The best time to install this package is right after installing Win 7 SP 1 WITHOUT any other updates. Then the user will get "the biggest bang for the buck".

It's recommended to execute all instructions below under the "Administrator" account.
- Make sure KB 3020369 has been installed.
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3020369

- Download and install this "Roll Up" package.
- https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3125574
- It can take up to one hour (!!!) before this update has completed all the required modifications of your system.
More detailed info can be found at:
- http://www.howtogeek.com/255435/how-to-update-windows-7-all-at-once-with-microsofts-convenience-rollup/

- When this "Roll Up" package has been installed then the user also has installed a number of socalled "telemetry" updates. There are ways to disable those telemetry features.
E.g.: http://www.askvg.com/tip-disable-telemetry-and-data-collection-on-windows-7-and-8/


Step 4: Install the remaining updates.
=======================================
- Put Windows Update manually to work to find the (remaining) updates.
- The user doesn't need to install all those updates right away. The user also can choose to wait and let Windows install those updates when the user shuts down his/her system. There's an option for that called "Update & shut down" when the user wants to shut down his/her computer. The advantage of choosing this option is that then Windows Update has all the computer resources at its disposal without the user interfering. This will sharply increase the chance of a flawless update installation procedure.


Step 5:
(Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8)
==============================
- If the user (still) has this one Windows Update problem (see Step 1) then proceed with the instructions below.
- Change the Windows Update setting to "Never check for Updates" and stop the Service called "Wuauserv".
- Find out what updates have been installed. Open CMD.exe with administrator rights and type the following 2 commands:

     md c:\test
     systeminfo > "C:\test\info-list.txt"

These commands create a new folder called "c:\test" with a text file called "info-list.txt". That text file contains - among other info - a list with all the installed Updates\Hotfixes sorted by KB number. That info is needed below.

- Visit the website: http://wu.krelay.de/en  This webpage contains info on what needs to be done to get Windows Update "moving again". The trick is to manually install the newest Windows Update Client (from the second table on this webpage) and the newest (Security) Update (from the first table on this same webpage) for your version of the Windows Operating System. Make sure those updates haven't already been installed by comparing the KB number(s) from ( http://wu.krelay.de/en/ ) with the KB numbers in the file called "info-list.txt" (see above).
- If that doesn't work then simply try if installing all the listed Updates that haven't already been installed. Start with the lowest KB number and work your way through the list with increasing higher KB numbers.

Another work-around for Windows 7 is to try if installing following 2 updates (in this order) will solve the problem:
- KB 3020369
- KB 3172605

Vista users have another possibility to solve this problem. Alongside with the new updates on each 2nd Tuesday, Microsoft also issues a socalled "Security Bulletin". This bulletin lists the updates that were issued that month. Manually downloading and manually installing those updates also are known to have solved this "Windows Update" problems (for the time being ??).


Make sure that with each Update the following is done:
- Switch to the "Administrator" account.
- Make sure the option "Never check for Update" has been selected. This will stop the automatic (!!!) update process.
- Install the appropriate Update.
- Reboot.

- Sometimes it necessary to delete the entire folder called "C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution". But do that only when the instructions mentioned in this Step 5 don't work.


Windows 8 users can try if installing the following (Security) Updates will solve the problem. Make sure that these updates are installed in this order:
- KB 3065988 (WU Client, july 2015)
- KB 3138615 (WU Client, march 2016)
- KB 3020370


If readers think that this guide can be improved or contains flaws then send me an email, a PM or add a post in this thread. I am open for such suggestions to improve this guide.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 06:43:54 PM by Willy2 »

Offline rpaz

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 01:29:26 AM »
Hi Willy2,

In my opinion before Step 2 the Service Pack 1 must be check/installed, if you try to install the KB3102810 you mention on Step 2 it will not work because it have SP1 as a prerequisite.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2016, 03:58:31 AM »
This article needs updating anyway because KB3102810 has been superseded by later Windows Update Agent KBs.

Offline Willy2

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2016, 07:27:11 AM »
- @RPaz: Good point. I modified the text accordingly.

- @Boggin: Do you think installing the latest of those updates mentioned at

http://wu.krelay.de/en/

would do the trick ? They all seem (!!!) to upgrade the Windows Update Agent/Client (i.e. "Wuaueng.dll"). I modified the text to include a reference to those "WU Agent/Client" updates as well. But we'll have to wait and see whether it works or not. And I am NOT going to test that on my win 7 system any time soon. Perhaps later, when I need to re-install Win 7.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 07:42:31 AM by Willy2 »

Offline rpaz

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2016, 07:52:39 AM »
http://wu.krelay.de/en/

would do the trick ? They all seem (!!!) to upgrade the Windows Update Agent/Client (i.e. "Wuaueng.dll"). I modified the text to include a reference to those "WU Agent/Client" updates as well. But we'll have to wait and see whether it works or not.

From my tests yes, we must install the latest Windows Update Client, the several updates released to the WU client fixed some problems and created new ones!

Offline Willy2

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2016, 08:04:07 AM »
- Updated the guide again.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2016, 04:20:13 PM »
I would expect that krelay site to updated again if/when Win 7 users continue to have problems with WUs.

August's went quite smoothly for me and it seemed strange not to see any Telemetry or Win 10 related ones after months of fighting them off.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 04:25:27 AM by Boggin »

Offline Willy2

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 07:33:18 PM »
- But those telemetry updates are included in the "Optional" updates and those were offered in late 2015 and/or early 2016.
- The Win 10 nagware disappeared after the Anniversary Update was issued. From then on one has to pay for Win 10. But when I visit support pages at the MS website then MS is still nagging me to switch to Win 10.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2016, 04:26:57 AM »
Well they will do - just because the freebie days are over, MS will still want more and more to upgrade just as they pushed Win 8.0.

Offline Willy2

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2016, 01:27:43 PM »
- @Boggin: I followed your suggestion. I now write that the user also should install the newest WU Client (for Win 7 it was released in March 2016) after installing KB 3102810.

Offline Willy2

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2016, 12:17:12 AM »
- Info I picked up on "Sysnative" suggests that this Windows Update problem is a fault/bug/issue on MS' end.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2016, 01:08:20 AM »
jl1216 has posted this fix which includes the latest KB for the update agent.

http://www.tweaking.com/forums/index.php/topic,4849.0.html

Offline rpaz

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2016, 01:30:30 AM »
jl1216 has posted this fix which includes the latest KB for the update agent.

http://www.tweaking.com/forums/index.php/topic,4849.0.html

Its the Update rollup it helps on a fresh install because there are many updates missing but there are no warranty that it gets stuck after Microsoft released a new batch of updates.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2016, 01:33:08 AM »
Yes, I know it's another case of wait and see.

Offline Willy2

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Re: Solve Windows Update problem (High CPU & memory usage)
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2016, 07:45:26 AM »
- When I type this reply the amount of "Views" is at 1088. "Not bad".

 

anything