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assenort

WinXP SP3 takes VERY LONG checking for updates

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Hi guys,

I have two almost identical machines running genuine Windows XP Home OEM SP3 - one is my work computer, the other is used for file storage. Internet Explorer 8 installed; POSReady hack too. Automatic update is off, I prefer to check for updates manually on weekly or by-weekly basis. Usually there is no issue with updates, except for the very annoying fact that of lately it literally takes several hours for the updates to show up (per usual, every time they are no more than a few of them - update for Internet Explorer, the OS and now and then MS Office).

I use Symantec Endpoint Protection 12 client for anti-virus and firewall - this thingy is pretty heavy, but it does not really matter if it is on or off when the update is going on.

Both machines have 2.2 MHz dual-core processor, one has 4 GB of dual-channel DDR400 memory, the other - 2 GB. In other words, hardware is not a problem for the scanning of updates to take so long.

I have been browsing this forum, as well as the Internets for solution, but could not really find anything that would help (probably my bad). So I would really appreciate it if a friendly soul guides me on a way to solve the issue. Thanks in advance!

Best :-)

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In short, XP version of Windows Update Agent is buggy, so any update that replace a big number (as far as i can see, the critical number is 29) of older updates is hard to find with it. Internet Explorer cumulative updates are an example, because they are released every month and each new cumulative update replace all its predecessors.

While the bug in WUA isn't fixed (i hope that MS fix it before XP Embedded support ends), the only workaround is to download and install troublesome updates (IE cumulative and some other) or all updates suitable for your system manually.

You can read more about the problem on the last pages of this topic.

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2 hours ago, Yellow Horror said:

XP version of Windows Update Agent is buggy, so any update that replace a big number (as far as i can see, the critical number is 29) of older updates is hard to find with it.

I don't think that's it, because, besides IE8 Cumulative Updates, any missing Office 2003 or Office 2007 Compatibility Pack updates caused the delay, and they usually replaced only one (or, at most, just a few) files at a time. The fact that they shouldn't appear anymore due to EoS does not invalidate nor cure the know symptom. Therefore, I have no choice but to respectfully disagree with your summing up.

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Hi Yellow Horror,

Thank you for responding and pointing out the culprit. I suspected that it was another manifestation of Microsoft's perpetual idiocy, forcing people to waste time on troubleshooting what should be perfectly working machines...

Anyways, I will take you advice to manually install updates for Windows and Office as they come up on Windows Update Catalog.

For the record, I installed KB4047206 and ran Microsoft Update anew - it again went into endless checking for updates. I reverted to Windows Update and ran it - took about 1 minute to find the 4 remaining updates from November 11th. My guess is that not the Windows Update Agent, but the Microsoft Update Agent is buggy... On this particular machine I use MS Office 2010, perhaps some of its past updates are bad and contribute to the protracted update checking.

Thanks again, and all the best :-)

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44 minutes ago, dencorso said:

I don't think that's it, because, besides IE8 Cumulative Updates, any missing Office 2003 or Office 2007 Compatibility Pack updates caused the delay

Not any, but only a few of these updates cause the delay if they are missing. For now, only KB4011265 and KB4011205 of the Office Compatibility Pack updates cause the delay. I double-check this on my system:

The first time i install them manually and do a search for missing updates. I found all other of the November Office Compatibility Pack updates in a few minutes.

For the second test i install all the current Office Compatibility Pack updates then remove updates one-by-one. Any of the last Office Compatibility Pack updates being removed don't cause the delay - except for KB4011265 and KB4011205.

The same behavior i notice before from the KB4011265 and KB4011205 predecessors - KB4011064 and KB3213647.

Note that KB4011265 and KB4011205 replace 30 previous updates each (and KB4011064 and KB3213647 replace 29).

If you doubt my conclusions, you may easily check:

  1. Install clean Office 2003 with SP3 on a fully updated Windows XP.
  2. Install the Office Compatibility Pack.
  3. Install the Office Compatibility Pack SP3.
  4. Install KB4011265 and KB4011205 (do not install any other updates).
  5. Search for updates.

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1 hour ago, assenort said:

For the record, I installed KB4047206 and ran Microsoft Update anew - it again went into endless checking for updates. I reverted to Windows Update and ran it - took about 1 minute to find the 4 remaining updates from November 11th. My guess is that not the Windows Update Agent, but the Microsoft Update Agent is buggy...

They both are, because they share the search routine. The difference is that WUA don't try to search Office updates while MUA do. So installing KB4047206 is enough to avoid the bug while using WUA, but more updates are troublesome for MUA. Sorry, i don't use Office 2010 so don't know which of its updates are troublesome. If you can isolate them, we may check my "updates with 29 or more replacements list are bad" theory.

UPD: i think that KB4011268 should be one of troublesome Office 2010 updates because it replace 34 of previous updates.

Edited by Yellow Horror
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Hi Yellow Horror:

Thank you again for trying to help. I downloaded KB4011268 and tried to install it - and in typical M$ idiotic style I got a vague message that it cannot install because something else is missing (what exactly is not clear, my guess is previous update).

I tried to see in Add/Remove Programs (Show Updates checked) what was the latest update for Office 2010. It seem to be from May 2016, which means that I have to seek out and download updates for the period of 1.5 years and apply them manually. I guess it beats the alternative of leaving Microsoft Update Agent to grate on my nerves for several hours while scanning for updates.

Best :-)

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Not everyone has resolved WU/MU issue with same amount of time, despite using similar unblocking procedure: i think a lot has written but there's something still missing on the table and should be further investigated about the relation beetween Posready updates and Office updates, as sometimes if you don't unblock both (IE8 cumulative+SP3comptability_pack&office2007 KB_current month related) it doesn't work individually. I underline this is only my opinion based and what has worked for me, absolutely not presuming is valid for everyone.

I used this little modified Destro steps, tailored on November '17:

1. Install clean Office with clean SP3.  

2. Run windows update and only install the office 2007 updates or do it manually if u have a list.

3.  install Fileformatconverters.exe "Office 2007 compatibility Pack"

4.  Run windows update and install the updates for just the compatibility pack.

5.  Install Office 2007 compatibility pack SP3.

6. Download KB4011205, KB4011265 for compatibility pack SP3 and KB4011199 + KB4011266 (for Excel Word 2007)

7.  Manually apply the 4 patches in step 6

8.  Windows update works now.

Until i've install the Office 2007 update-unlocks (KB4011199 and KB4011266) i can't get over svchost 50% + no updates avaible on a clean XP_SP3_Office2007+POS registry.  

Edited by Vistaboy

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KB3213644 was unnecessary to solve "endless search". You may check it by uninstalling it and do search again.

KB4011199 replace 29 previous updates, and KB4011266 replace 36, so another another confirmation of my theory. But my installation of Office 2003 SP3 + Office compatibility pack SP3 don't request these updates from MU.

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KB321644 you're right, it was a previous misprint and as i said I've spoken only for Office 07

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