Windows Update Downloading Updates 0%

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium on a Dell Studio XPS16 laptop; also have MS Office 2007 Enterprise; note that the laptop came with Windows Vista 64-bit and I did the Dell Windows 7 64-bit upgrade using disks provided by Dell.  I assume these are OEM OSes and I do not know if I have Repair Installation capability.  I guess if I don't have that utility I'm going to have to buy the OS again in a retail version, eh?

Everything's been flawless 'til now.

Windows Update seems to have stopped working correctly on ~4/16/2010 after simultaneous (according to time stamp) installation of KB979309 and KB978601 both of which show successful installation.

Windows Update now detects correctly that KB979863 and KB981332 remain to be installed.  Download had hung at 0% for 36 hours for these two programs when I decided to try stopping Windows Update using admin privs and copied "windows/software distribution/downloads" to downloads.old and then deleted the contents of the original "download" folder.  While doing this set of tasks, Services went into a "Stopping" state for Windows Update when requested, but never "Stopped" completely.  No errors were encountered in copying the "downloads" folder to a new folder and then deleting contents of the original.  I then rebooted.  This seems similar to nice instructions in another thread.

Windows Update is now back to running Automatic (Delayed) in Services, but the process is now stuck at 5% for the two updates remaining to be installed.  I have also manually downloaded both files and attempted to use the stand alone installer but I encounter a "Searching for Installed Updates......" error that never seems to find what it's looking for.

I have also tried Restoring to a point prior to any of this nonsense and, although it appears that Restore is copying the critical files according to screen prompts, the result is that Restore fails despite having tried a few different Restore Points.

Any help with explicit instructions such as those typically provided by PA Bear would be greatly appreciated.  I encountered a Vista 32-bit error very similar to this that resulted in wholesale data loss as I didn't have Repair Installation on that OEM system either.  Sure hope I can avoid that in this case.

Thanks to all who can help.



Question Info

Last updated July 22, 2018 Views 18,012 Applies to:

Commentary: I've been running MSE since the first beta and I've installed it on many of my clients' computers since it was released last September. As part of the installation process, MSE presents you with a prompt (warning) to uninstall your current anti-virus application or security suite before you install MSE.

With all due respect, I understand your current frustration but since you apparently ignored (or paid no attention to) this prompt, you must assume at least some of the responsibility here. With McAfee Security Center and MSE both installed, there's a very good chance that neither of them were working properly.

My recommendation (since you asked): MS Support may have other ideas (and you're certainly welcome to pursue them, if & when you hear from Support again) but here's how I would resolve your problem:

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 7. IMHO, a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of Win7: See "Using the Custom installation option and formatting the hard disk" 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

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-trial and download/run the appropriate removal tool before installing any updates and before installing your new anti-virus application (e.g., MSE).

     Norton Removal Tool

     McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool

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.

You can also contact Dell Support for assistance with the clean install. And you'll find both Dell and peer-to-peer support in the appropriate Dell Community Forum: 

Good luck!

~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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