Vista Windows update hangs with "checking for updates"

Last month Vista Windows Updates started to hang with "checking for updates". 

I have: 1. Tried all fixes that I could find.
            2. Reloaded Vista with SP1 from a recovery partition.
            3. Update worked until SP2; SP2 downloaded and installed OK.

            4. Next, Update said I needed latest update agent(7.6.7600.256). It downloaded and installed  OK. At that point the Windows Update fails.
             5. If I uninstall SP2, but leave the update agent, it works. When I reinstall SP2, it fails.

             6. I installed a completely different image of Vista - this one had SP2 embedded in it. This version fails the same way.

             7. I have run SFC, CHKDSK, system diags, updated all my drivers, refreshed BIOS, and replaced the memory. As far as I can tell this is the only thing that does not work on my PC.

    Does anyone have any ideas.? -- Thanks!


Question Info

Last updated April 6, 2019 Views 5,074 Applies to:

Hi Ichabod22:

Thanks for feedback, and glad it worked.  I haven't had a chance to try this workaround yet - my "Checking for updates..." phase ran for 4 hours during my May 2016 Patch Tuesday update before it found 16 available updates - but quite a few Win 7 SP1 and Vista SP2 users are now reporting that pre-installing these Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32k.sys) updates each month  (e.g., KB3145739 in April 2016; KB3153199 in May 2016) reduced their Patch Tuesday updates from hours to minutes.

I doubt this will be a permanent solution so be sure to check Dalai's webpage Search for Windows Updates takes forever? - A possible solution next month to see if a new Win32k.sys update is available for download from the Microsoft Download Center before your run your June 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.

Woody Leonhard has posted a series of articles about this temporary workaround in his Woody on Windows blog, including Windows 7 update scans taking forever? KB 3153199 may solve the problem, so kudos to Woody, Dalai, and others for sharing this potential solution.

32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v46.0.1 * IE9 * NIS v21.7.0.11
HP Pavilion dv6835ca, Intel Core2Duo T5550 @ 1.83 GHz, 3 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS

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