Windows Update searches endlessly, with no results.

Whenever I start Windows Update, the search bar activates, but it searches endlessly - up to a half hour or more.  It doesn't identify any updates needed, nor say that there are no updates.  Because of this ongoing problem, I have not been able to get any updates for months. I have checked and confirmed that the Windows firewall is active, and no other firewalls are active.
Right now, I'm trying to install an OCR scanning "pen." I installed the software, but can't install the device.  It says "Error updating the driver (hid:*WINDRVR6) with the INF file."  I hope to resolve this through Windows Update. However, in fact, when I type WINDRVR6.INF in the search box on the start menu, it finds the file.

I would welcome advice both about how to get Windows Update working, and about how to get the software can "find" this missing file.


Question Info

Last updated May 23, 2018 Views 2,201 Applies to:

Support for Vista Gold (no Service Packs) ended on Tuesday, 13 April 2010. Computers still running Vista Gold "will no longer receive software updates [e.g., SP1] from Windows Update" until SP1 has been manually installed (which will require that several Prerequisite Updates be installed first). See

    • What does it mean if my version of Windows is no longer supported?

Since you "have not been able to get any updates for months," you're probably seeing the effects of a well-entrenched hijackware infection (including a W32/Alureon rootkit variant). See...

     Cleaning a Compromised System

Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of Windows.  Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of Vista: See the "If you want to reinstall Windows Vista by performing a clean installation..." section of

After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) and before using a flash drive or SDCard that isn't brand-new or hasn't been freshly formatted:

     4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online

Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029 manually:

NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trialand download/run the appropriate removal tool before installing any updates, Windows Service Packs or IE upgradesand before installing your new anti-virus application.

     Norton Removal Tool

     McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool

If you need additional assistance with the task at hand, please begin a new thread in this forum: 

If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.

~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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