Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours

My PC is quite old and I have tried the microsoft fix it tool. The fix it tool never works. 

I have been trying to check for new updates from since yesterday (Tuesday 14th June) in the afternoon. It is now Wednesday morning (12 hours approx) and it is still checking. There is no error code, it is just checking for the updates.

I have no technical skills so please do not ask me any technical questions. I would just like a solution to this problem.

Thank you.

It is August now and my pc has been searching for updates for 1 week now. This is ridiculous

Answer
Answer

My PC is quite old and I have tried the microsoft fix it tool. The fix it tool never works. 

I have been trying to check for new updates from since yesterday (Tuesday 14th June) in the afternoon. It is now Wednesday morning (12 hours approx) and it is still checking. There is no error code, it is just checking for the updates.

Hi m#l:

Many Vista SP2 users are currently affected by a problem where Windows Update hangs at the initial "Checking for updates..." phase and is unable install available updates - usually without throwing an error message.  Some users find that Windows Update will eventually run to completion if they let it run for several hours (or even days), but IT expert Dalai has a posted list of "speed up" patches (a small number of security updates for the Win32K.sys kernel mode driver, graphics components, and IE9) on his web site at http://wu.krelay.de/en/ that will fix these "Checking for updates..." hangs.  If you'd like to try Dalai's workaround, I'd suggest the following:


REVISED for the JUNE 2017 Patch Tuesday (valid as of June 2020):

****IMPORTANTExtended support for Vista SP2 ended on 11-Apr-2017 and there will be no further security updates released for Vista SP2 and IE9 via Windows Update after this date. Please see the Microsoft support article Windows Vista Support Has Ended for more information.****

  1. Disable automatic Windows Updates [Windows Update | Change settings | Important updates | Never check for updates (not recommended)] and re-boot to terminate any Windows Update sessions currently running in the background on your system.
  2. The following four security updates must be pre-installed on your system to speed up Windows Update: KB3205638 (rel. 13-Dec-2016); KB4012583 (rel. 14-Mar-2017); KB4015380 (rel. 11-Apr-2017); KB4019204 (rel. 09-May-2017).  If IE9 is installed then KB4018271 (the 09-May-2017 cumulative security update for IE9) should also be pre-installed.   See Note 5 below if an MS Office product is installed since Office-related products can also cause these "Checking for updates..." hangs.
  3. Search your installed updates at Control Panel | Programs and Features | View Installed Updates to see if any of these speed up patches are already installed your system. When searching, enter the full KB number in the search box (e.g., "KB3205638" and not a partial string like "3205638").
  4. Download the standalone update packages (.msu files) for any missing speed up patches from the Microsoft Update Catalog and save them to your Windows desktop - see Note 1 for download links.   Use the Vista x86 installer if you have a 32-bit OS; use the Vista x64 installer if you have a 64-bit OS.  See Note 2 if you have problems downloading the .msu installers.
  5. Double-click to run each .msu standalone installer on your desktop.  Re-boot once after all .msu installers have run to completion unless the installation wizard for one of the installers specifically requests a re-boot to finish the installation.  See Notes 3 and 4 if you have problems running the .msu installers.
  6. Once all missing speed up patches are pre-installed, run a manual Windows Update [Windows Update | Check for updates] to install your remaining updates.  It might take a few re-boots and manual Windows Updates to get everything patched, depending on how many months or years your Vista SP2 OS is out of date. See Note 5 if Windows Update continues to hang at "Checking for updates...".

****IMPORTANT EDIT as of June 2017:  Microsoft released five out-of-band emergency security updates for Vista SP2 in June 2017 to patch vulnerabilities for the NSA-leaked exploits EnglishmanDentist, EsteemAudit and ExplodingCan.  These important security updates were posted on the Microsoft Update Catalog but will not be delivered via Windows Update.  Once Windows Update has successfully installed all available Vista SP2 updates as of April 2017 (STEP # 6 above) see the thread More Shadow Brokers Exploits Patched June 2017 for Win XP and Vista for instructions on how to install any of these emergency security updates still missing from your system.****

****IMPORTANT EDIT as of April 2020:  Since late March 2020 multiple users performing a clean reinstall of their Vista SP2 OS have reported that Windows Update can throw an error 800B0109 ("A certificate chain processed, but terminated in a root certificate which is not trusted by the trust provider") while trying to install KB4014984 (Security and Quality Rollup for NET. Framework 2.0, 3.0, 4.5.2, 4.6 on Windows Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2: April 11, 2017) in Step # 6 of the above instructions. Preliminary reports suggest that this error is triggered when newer MS .NET Frameworks v4.5.x or v4.6.x are installed as optional updates.

To fix this error, download the MicrosoftRootCertificateAuthority2011.cer file from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=747875&clcid=0x409 and save it to the root C:\ directory of your computer (e.g., so the location is C:\MicrosoftRootCertificateAuthority2011.cer), open an elevated command prompt with Administrator rights, and enter the command certutil -addstore "Root" "C:\MicrosoftRootCertificateAuthority2011.cer" to apply the required trust certificate. If you save the MicrosoftRootCertificateAuthority2011.cer file to another location you must edit the path to the file in that command. For more information see the MS support article Known Issue for Security Update 3136000 for the .NET Framework 4.6.1/4.6 and Security Update 3135996 for the .NET Framework 4.5.2 in Windows Vista SP2....  Kudos to greenhillmaniac for posting the fix for these Windows Update 800B0109 errors in his 06-Apr-2020 post in the MSFN thread Certificate Trust Provider Error Installing Updates.****
______________________

Note 1:  Download 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) .msu installers from the Microsoft Update Catalog at the following links:

REQUIRED:

     KB3205638:  http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB3205638 Vista

     KB4012583:  http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4012583 Vista
     KB4015380:  http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4015380 Vista

     KB4019204:  http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4019204 Vista

OPTIONAL (if Internet Explorer 9 is installed):
    KB4018271:  http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4018271 Internet Explorer 9 Vista

OPTIONAL (if MS Office 2007, MS Office 2010 or the MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3 is installed):

     See Note 5 below.

Note 2:  If you have problems downloading the .msu installers using Internet Explorer 9 (e.g., you never see a pop-up to Run/Save the file) then try an alternate browser like Firefox ESR v52.9.0 (the legacy extended support release for Win XP and Vista , last updated 26-Jun-2018).  You can also download the .msu installers to a USB thumb drive from a computer with a Win 7 SP1 or higher OS and copy the .msu installers to your Vista desktop.

Note 3:  If you try to install a speed up patch that is already installed on your computer, download an installer that does not match the bit architecture of your OS (e.g., you try to run a 64-bit .msu installer on a 32-bit Vista machine), or try to install a speed up patch that has been superseded (replaced) by a newer update you will see a "The update is not applicable to your computer" error - see the MS support article Windows Update Troubleshooting for other common causes of this error.

Note 4:  The standalone update packages (.msu files) will get stuck at "Checking for updates..." if there is a Windows Update session already running in the background on your computer.  Most users find that disabling automatic Windows Updates and re-booting is sufficient (STEP # 1), but if your .msu installer still gets stuck you can temporarily disconnect from the internet or stop your Windows Update service (wuauserv) at Control Panel | System and Maintenance | Administrative Tools | Services while running these installers.  Unlike Windows Update, these standalone update packages (.msu files) are associated with the Windows Update Standalone Installer (C:\Windows\System32\wusa.exe) and can be installed on computers without an internet connection.

Note 5:  Some users have reported that MS Office 2007, MS Office 2010 and/or the MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3 (an add-on that allows older MS Office products like MS Office 2000/2003/2007 to work with files with newer Open XML formats like .docx, .xlsx, etc.) can also trigger these "Checking for updates..." hangs. If you have updates pending for these Office products and pre-installing the Vista SP2 and IE9 "speed up" patches listed above in STEP # 2 doesn't fix your Windows Update hangs then links for additional "speed up" patches (.exe self-extracting installers) for MS Office 2007 and the MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3 are posted below.  If you have MS Office 2010 please post in this thread and request download links for the latest recommended "speed up" patches since this product will not reach its end of extended support until October 2020 and "speed up" patches will change monthly after every Patch Tuesday.

     KB4018355: if Word 2007 installed (rel. Apr 2018)

     KB4018353: if Excel 2007 installed (rel. Apr 2018)
     KB4018354: if MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3 installed (wordconv; rel. Apr 2018)

     KB4461607: if MS Office Compatibility Pack SP3 installed (xlconv; rel. Feb 2019)
  

If you follow the instructions in this post and Windows Update continues to hang at "Checking for updates..." for more than 30 min after all required "speed up" patches are installed then I would suggest you try using Torsten Wittrock's WSUS Offline Update tool.  This tool can be used to download and install important security updates for Windows and other Microsoft products like MS Office.  Be sure to download ESR v9.2.4 (the legacy extended support release for Win XP and Vista, released 23-Mar-2018) since ESR v9.2.4 will install the out-of-band June 2017 security updates described in More Shadow Brokers Exploits Patched June 2017 for Win XP and Vista that were not delivered via Windows Update to Vista SP2 computers.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * FF ESR v52.9.0 * Malwarebytes Premium v3.5.1 * MS Office 2003 Pro SP3
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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Last updated July 12, 2020 Views 258,491 Applies to: