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Avoiding the dreaded "processing Windows updates" message for many hours when booting PC

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Mortimer, May 28, 2010.

  1. Mortimer

    Mortimer Flightless Bird

    Of the various Windows 7 PCs that I've set up for customers, I've heard of
    two which have got stuck in the "processing Windows updates" phase when the
    PC is booting up - though this is only two of probably about twenty that
    I've set up without any problem.

    The problem is that once the PC has got into this state, it stays there,
    with the disk light flashing away, for many hours - one of my customers said
    that it stayed like that for about 12 hours before finally booting to the
    desktop and working perfectly ever since. There is no way (as far as I know)
    to break out of the update process or to prevent it happening on the next
    boot, and there's always the risk of corrupting the disk if you turn the
    power off.

    Does anyone have any hints and tips on how to avoid the PC getting into this
    state? Is it best to download updates manually, maybe chooing to do just a
    few at a time, rebooting and then doing a few more, rather than letting the
    automatic Windows Update process run when it has been scheduled?

    Is there any advantage in having the PC connected by Ethernet rather than
    wireless while it is going through the critical first round of Windows
    updates to take it from the factory state to the current list of Windows
    updates?

    Am I right that the updates are downloaded over the network connection while
    that PC is still booted up, and that any work done as the PC shuts down and
    as it next starts up is simply installing those downloaded updates without
    using any network connection?
     
  2. Bogey Man

    Bogey Man Flightless Bird

    Something similar happened to an XP machine that I had when I got impatient
    with an update that was installing upon shut down. I pressed the power
    button. The next boots took forever. I had to uninstall the last update and
    then go back to the update site and re-install it. It worked fine after
    that.

    "Mortimer" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:ha-dnQPlP6U6DGLWnZ2dnUVZ8gydnZ2d@brightview.co.uk...
    > Of the various Windows 7 PCs that I've set up for customers, I've heard of
    > two which have got stuck in the "processing Windows updates" phase when
    > the PC is booting up - though this is only two of probably about twenty
    > that I've set up without any problem.
    >
    > The problem is that once the PC has got into this state, it stays there,
    > with the disk light flashing away, for many hours - one of my customers
    > said that it stayed like that for about 12 hours before finally booting to
    > the desktop and working perfectly ever since. There is no way (as far as I
    > know) to break out of the update process or to prevent it happening on the
    > next boot, and there's always the risk of corrupting the disk if you turn
    > the power off.
    >
    > Does anyone have any hints and tips on how to avoid the PC getting into
    > this state? Is it best to download updates manually, maybe chooing to do
    > just a few at a time, rebooting and then doing a few more, rather than
    > letting the automatic Windows Update process run when it has been
    > scheduled?
    >
    > Is there any advantage in having the PC connected by Ethernet rather than
    > wireless while it is going through the critical first round of Windows
    > updates to take it from the factory state to the current list of Windows
    > updates?
    >
    > Am I right that the updates are downloaded over the network connection
    > while that PC is still booted up, and that any work done as the PC shuts
    > down and as it next starts up is simply installing those downloaded
    > updates without using any network connection?
     
  3. Boscoe

    Boscoe Flightless Bird

    Re: Avoiding the dreaded "processing Windows updates" message formany hours when booting PC

    On 28/05/2010 10:49 AM, Mortimer wrote:
    > Of the various Windows 7 PCs that I've set up for customers, I've heard
    > of two which have got stuck in the "processing Windows updates" phase
    > when the PC is booting up - though this is only two of probably about
    > twenty that I've set up without any problem.
    >
    > The problem is that once the PC has got into this state, it stays there,
    > with the disk light flashing away, for many hours - one of my customers
    > said that it stayed like that for about 12 hours before finally booting
    > to the desktop and working perfectly ever since. There is no way (as far
    > as I know) to break out of the update process or to prevent it happening
    > on the next boot, and there's always the risk of corrupting the disk if
    > you turn the power off.
    >
    > Does anyone have any hints and tips on how to avoid the PC getting into
    > this state? Is it best to download updates manually, maybe chooing to do
    > just a few at a time, rebooting and then doing a few more, rather than
    > letting the automatic Windows Update process run when it has been
    > scheduled?
    >
    > Is there any advantage in having the PC connected by Ethernet rather
    > than wireless while it is going through the critical first round of
    > Windows updates to take it from the factory state to the current list of
    > Windows updates?
    >
    > Am I right that the updates are downloaded over the network connection
    > while that PC is still booted up, and that any work done as the PC shuts
    > down and as it next starts up is simply installing those downloaded
    > updates without using any network connection?


    Svchost or Service Host is important and controls a lot of background
    processes, and you may have several instances of it running. They can
    cause trouble and a lot of the time it’s due to the Windows Update
    Service, which Svchost controls. I would switch Automatic Updates off
    and remember to download updates manually from time to time.
     
  4. Mortimer

    Mortimer Flightless Bird

    "Boscoe" <laughingboy47@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1jRLn.2081$8S5.1605@hurricane...
    > On 28/05/2010 10:49 AM, Mortimer wrote:
    >> Of the various Windows 7 PCs that I've set up for customers, I've heard
    >> of two which have got stuck in the "processing Windows updates" phase
    >> when the PC is booting up


    >> Does anyone have any hints and tips on how to avoid the PC getting into
    >> this state? Is it best to download updates manually, maybe chooing to do
    >> just a few at a time, rebooting and then doing a few more, rather than
    >> letting the automatic Windows Update process run when it has been
    >> scheduled?

    >
    > Svchost or Service Host is important and controls a lot of background
    > processes, and you may have several instances of it running. They can
    > cause trouble and a lot of the time it’s due to the Windows Update
    > Service, which Svchost controls. I would switch Automatic Updates off and
    > remember to download updates manually from time to time.


    OK, I'll try that for any future Windows 7 PCs I set up. Will it actually
    make a difference, though? The download of the updates (whether automated or
    done manually from time to time) seems to complete fine, and the PC shuts
    down reasonably quickly even if there are updates that install during the
    shutdown phase. It's only when the PC starts back up again that it goes into
    stupid mode.

    Still, it's worth a try.
     
  5. Mortimer

    Mortimer Flightless Bird

    "Bogey Man" <newdoverman@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    news:htoh93$j4h$1@news.eternal-september.org...
    > Something similar happened to an XP machine that I had when I got
    > impatient with an update that was installing upon shut down. I pressed the
    > power button. The next boots took forever. I had to uninstall the last
    > update and then go back to the update site and re-install it. It worked
    > fine after that.


    The problem is that you can't get at the PC to uninstall anything! Once it's
    happened, you are stuck. If you turn the power off (or press the reset
    switch) you can't even get into Safe Mode because it starts the
    "installation tasks after a reboot" phase in the same way as for normal
    startup.
     
  6. Boscoe

    Boscoe Flightless Bird

    Re: Avoiding the dreaded "processing Windows updates" message formany hours when booting PC

    On 28/05/2010 5:32 PM, Mortimer wrote:>
    >> Svchost or Service Host is important and controls a lot of background
    >> processes, and you may have several instances of it running. They can
    >> cause trouble and a lot of the time it’s due to the Windows Update
    >> Service, which Svchost controls. I would switch Automatic Updates off
    >> and remember to download updates manually from time to time.

    >
    > OK, I'll try that for any future Windows 7 PCs I set up. Will it
    > actually make a difference, though? The download of the updates (whether
    > automated or done manually from time to time) seems to complete fine,
    > and the PC shuts down reasonably quickly even if there are updates that
    > install during the shutdown phase. It's only when the PC starts back up
    > again that it goes into stupid mode.
    >
    > Still, it's worth a try.


    I had a problem with an update after I started my PC and it always runs
    one particular svchost.exe process which slowed it down to such a slow
    crawl, for the best part of two hours.

    Unfortunately I don’t think there is a cure.
     
  7. Trimble Bracegirdle

    Trimble Bracegirdle Flightless Bird

    Turn Auto-Updates to manual & leave it like that always.
    Despite Microsoft's constant Nagging we don't need the updates anyway.

    There's many that are not needed for many users ...e.g. The Language Packs.
    Windows will still work if you never ever install any update.
    (\__/)
    (='.':]
    (")_(") mouse
     
  8. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Flightless Bird

    "Mortimer" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:gtmdneWdAbulbWLWnZ2dnUVZ7vydnZ2d@brightview.co.uk...
    > "Bogey Man" <newdoverman@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    > news:htoh93$j4h$1@news.eternal-september.org...
    >> Something similar happened to an XP machine that I had when I got
    >> impatient with an update that was installing upon shut down. I pressed
    >> the power button. The next boots took forever. I had to uninstall the
    >> last update and then go back to the update site and re-install it. It
    >> worked fine after that.

    >
    > The problem is that you can't get at the PC to uninstall anything! Once
    > it's happened, you are stuck. If you turn the power off (or press the
    > reset switch) you can't even get into Safe Mode because it starts the
    > "installation tasks after a reboot" phase in the same way as for normal
    > startup.


    Is it possible that your users (like Bogey Man) pressed the power button on
    the shutdown before the PC had finished its processing thus causing the
    power on problems you are describing.
    Rhetorical question - the answer is yes, they just won't admit it to you.
     

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