Windows 7 Rollup
Dashrender last edited by
Many of you know that Microsoft released a rollup for Windows 7 SP1.
Here is a blog post on how to get the update time down even after installing the rollup.
I ran several new tests on the installation process. What I found was that when installing the rollup to a new installation of Windows 7 w/SP1, several factors can help decrease the overall time. The WU scan after the rollup takes a long time because of sifting through layers of available packages and package dependencies, compared to what is available from WU. The WU client always performs this analysis to present the smallest list of updates. But here are some things that can improve that time:
Disable your network connection until the reboot after installing the rollup. Otherwise the WU client may try to contact WU and start the process of comparing what is in the OS now versus what is available.
It may not make that much difference, but you can set your Power Option to “High Performance”. On a VM this doesn’t make much difference because a VM gets what the host gives. But if you can control the host, and it’s Hyper-V, you can change the host Power Option also to HP and this helps keep the processors ramped up at the expense of some additional heat and power consumption.
When presented the option for Windows updates, choose the option “Ask me Later”. If we choose the option “Automatically install…” Windows will start downloading everything in the background, and appears to wait until that process is complete before presenting the list of available updates. I was seeing over 4 GB of content being downloaded to my “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution” folder on an earlier test when I simply checked the “Automatically install updates” setting.
Now, enable your network connection, open the WU client (wuapp), change the WU setting to “check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them”, and then check for updates. This is the WU check that can take a long time. In a Hyper-V VM with plenty of CPU, RAM, and SSD backing disk, I was seeing over 2 hours here before I tried the steps above. With these different settings the first WU scan after the rollup took about 1 hour.
You should get presented a list of about 55 Important and 10 Optional updates, unless you have Enterprise or Pro, in which case you may get presented a list of language packs that are as many as 45 more optional updates in addition to the 65 above. If you don’t need those, you can choose to hide those and you shouldn’t see them again and your OS won’t download and cache all those before offering you the option to choose. I don’t know if Windows deletes the cache if you deselect those, but I prefer to not download them in the first place because I am kind of a disk space hawk.
Now when selecting updates to install, do not select any update that has anything to do with IE 8, unless you are absolutely not going to install IE 11. Also, if you don’t specifically need .NET 4.6.1, de-select that. Every install of .NET takes some time, followed by a security update for the same that also takes quite a bit of time.
After selecting the packages I list above, I had 55 Important and 10 Optional updates, one of which was IE 11. I chose all those and rebooted. After that, I had a list of 30 more updates, many of which were security updates to the .NET packages I installed on the previous step. I still chose not to install .NET 4.6.1 at this time, but installed the others. The 30 updates took my VM about 12 minutes, followed by two reboots back-to-back.
After that, one more WU scan detected only one update; the .NET 4.6.1 package that I had chosen not to install previously.
I hope this information helps you and others to reduce “time to live” for a new Windows 7 installation. If you are working with an enterprise customer of nearly any size, and anticipate you might need to do this again, I would recommend using Sysprep and capture an image of what you have right here, using this as a base or “gold” image. The two tools you need; Sysprep.exe and Dism.exe are built into Windows 7. The only other thing you would need is a place to write out the .WIM file. If you have a VM, you could present a .VHD to that VM temporarily on the SCSI interface. You could also use a USB thumb-drive (USB 3.0 highly recommended). If you go down this road, grab the free Microsoft ADK and use that to customize your new image and even help build bootable media. You can get it down to where you insert your thumbdrive, walk away, and depending on the device come back in 20-30 minutes and the OS is installed, fully patched, and ready to go.
For the WU client and files being reverted to older versions, Microsoft Windows updates are not supposed to roll back versions of files that exist and are in use on the target OS. You want to check by “File Version” or “Product Version”, which is what Windows uses to determine which one to keep in the event there are more than one to choose from. Any activity in this regard will be logged in one of three logs:
You have to copy the CBS.log to another location before you can view it. That log can get quite large, so you’ll either want a fast computer or open it with something other than Notepad.exe if for example it is 250 MB. The WindowsUpdate.log tells the activity of the WU components in Windows and is good if you want to see exactly what is going on during the “checking for updates” phase.
I hope this information was helpful. Let us know if we can be of further assistance.
Robert M. Smith, Sr. PFE
Microsoft Premier Services
Dashrender last edited by
Interesting, I don't include the .Net, but I have been basically doing that myself.
Still takes an hour after the first search for updates.
momurda last edited by
Recently i reinstalled Win7 on a pc at home before this rollup was released (back in April i think i did this). From first windows update check to finished with updates was something like 15 hours. 3 hours to check for updates, a few more hours 'downloading' them, then about 10 more hours installing them. I imagine it would be faster with wsus, but still horrible.
DenisKelley last edited by
Just a note that the rollup breaks some VMware networking, specifically VMXNet3 adapters.