Windows 7 SP1: May 2016 Update search slow, taking forever

win7[German]Last night, I was hit during Microsoft May patch day (05/190/2016) with an extraordinary long update search under Windows 7 SP 1. It seems that Microsoft has changed something in Windows update client and that security update KB3153199 should fix again a “slow Windows 7 SP1 update search”.


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Here, on my Windows 7 SP 1 productive system it took about an hour to find some updates (whilst a Windows 8.1 machine was able to detect updates within 10 minutes). I mentioned it in my German blog post Patchday: Microsoft Updates vom 10. Mai 2016 (written this night).  

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Booting my Windows 7 SP1 system this morning I was notified “all updates from 05/10.2016 are successfully installed”. Also a new update search finished within a minute and found another update for Microsoft Security Essentials.

I’ve addressed a slow update search within my German blog post Windows 7: Update findet nichts oder es dauert ewig. But it seems, that the hints mentioned within my blog posts doesn’t works anymore for Mai 2016 patch day. I decided to start my morning activities to search for Mai 2016 update issues, but don’t know, why I started my web search with update KB3153199. This Windows Kernel-Mode driver update has been successful installed last night. Searching for this update brought me some hits. The article Win7 Windows Update once again taking forever at askwoody.com confirms, that I wasn’t hit alone with this Update search issue. Here’s what another user wrote:

Sad to say this Tuesday May 10, 1pm pacific time, doing a recent Windows Update scan on a Win7 SP1 system has resulted in a seemingly long or “forever” scan.  So the KB3145739 security fix as well as the older KB3139852 fix no longer works as of 5/10/2016 (yup, I knew it – I saw it coming!)

There is a newer win32k.sys security update posted on May 10 – KB3153199 (MS16-062)

While KB3153199 only updates the win32k.sys file (and does not supersede KB3145739 but DOES supersede KB3139852), I will manually download & install the KB3153199 security fix on my Win7 machines to resolve the very long WU scan problem.

The hint to download security patch KB3153199 and install it manually should speed up Windows 7 SP 1 update search. I found also a second hint on this German site wu.krelay.de (dealing with “speeding up W7 update search), mention the new security patch KB3153199 as another recommended update to speed up Windows update search. 


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But there are two side notes. First of all, I noticed, that installing security patch KB3153199 manually on another Windows 7 SP1 machine was taking an extra ordinary long time – reporting “searching for updates on this computer”. It was running now since 20 Minutes without installing the offline update …

Within the comment section here, another user speculates, that too much traffic slows down Microsoft Update servers. But I can’t believe that, because my Windows 8.1 machine was able to find Windows updates much faster. 

Anyway, if you are facing a slow Windows 7 SP1 update search within the next few days, maybe the hints given above will be helpful.


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7 Responses to Windows 7 SP1: May 2016 Update search slow, taking forever

  1. ch100 says:

    See my reply on askwoody.com and other posts on that site.
    Installing ALL Windows Updates including recommended (Optional can be skipped, however they can be installed too for consistency) would resolve the slow update issue. It is by design and I discussed it many times in the last few weeks, based on information posted previously by Susan Bradley and also by Woody Leonhard since Windows XP. In the technical sense, the slow Windows Update scanning is due to a large number of superseded updates on Microsot’s servers and unless installing all updates close to or ideally at the top of the update tree, you will always experience slow Windows Update.

    • guenni says:

      I’ve addressed this behavior, you decribed, within a German blog post (I’ve had no time to release an English article yet). But – this doesn’t explain some things.

      I’ve addressed this behavior, you decribed, within a German blog post (I’ve had no time to release an English article yet). But – this doesn’t explain some things.

  2. Howard Chang says:

    it worked like a charm! really appreciate your tip!

  3. John says:

    During the manual installation of KB3153199 specifically and the long delay while it searches for updates, I found I could cancel the search, shut down the machine and start the KB3153199 installation manually a second time. On the 2nd attempt (after the canceled 1st and full reboot), it wasted no time searching for updates and immediately installed. After manual installation of KB3153199, I have noticed a general speedup in the Windows Update process on a few machines.

    • guenni says:

      Thx for adding your findings. I need to add also side note to the above blog post: Installing KB3153199 should be done with internet connection disabled. And the Update client should be reset before you install the update. This avoids the long search for updates during “offline” install of KB3153199 (pretty nasty that offline MS update paket). A reader of my German blog article has already noticed that.

  4. Joe says:

    Manually installing KB3153199 solved the long Windows Update scan and download problem.

  5. Salleh Keruak says:

    Well not for me, KB3153199 didnt solve my Windows 7 SP1 lagging.. Its been an hour but KB3153199 installer still struggling finding and searching its core in Microsoft update server.. hurghhh…

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