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What is going on with Windows Update?

  Housten 12:38 21 Jul 2015

Good Morning, Gentlemen,

To be honest I am not sure if I am asking for help or warning you!

Having checked the history of Windows updates I had one failed update on 7th January this year. Every update from then until 10th July was successful, then chaos. I was switching off my desktop [ on the 10th of this month ] when it said the usual installing message and not to switch off. I then had to wait whilst the install went on and it then said to shut down. Now for reasons unknown my re-start stopped re-starting some months ago, so what I do is when the computer shuts down, I switch off, wait 30 seconds and boot up. Normally everything then sails through just as a re-boot does.

I have another post here about the starter file for Windows 2010 Excel and Word. I have Windows 7 64Bit Home Premium and thought I had downloaded and tried to install the 64Bit version. But it was not working the way I was told it should, and I have been hoping someone would tell me why, but I now think I know. As I said above the install started on its own accord, and this annoyed me but other problems intervened and, stupidly, I hadn’t checked the settings for updates.

When switching off yesterday afternoon it told me it was installing 21 updates!! When it said shutting down it switched off the machine, which is what happened on the 10th and I had to go through several re-starts – including using my original DVD of Windows 7 – to get the machine working. So when this happened last night I left it and tried again this morning. It went OK to start with but when it got to starting Windows it just shut down. I did my usual re-boot procedure and it went to suggesting a repair. I clicked on that and it then said to do a ‘Restore’, which I said yes to and it then started normally!! I looked in the rules regarding updates and it said to check for updates and automatically download and install them. This is something that I would never do, so how it got changed I do not know! I have now got it set to download and install updates when I ask – but I will be checking this on a weekly basis!!

On looking at Windows Update this morning it said there were 8 important and 3 optional updates. The three optional updates were for an nVidia update and Skype – which I do not want – and a security update. The 8 important updates were for the Starter 2010 update which I got yesterday, but they were all for the 32Bit version. Thinking that the only way to get rid of them was to installation proceed I said to install. The usual re-boot was required and so I re-started Windows. It got as far as saying Starting Windows when it just shut down. I rebooted and whilst slower it went straight through. I have just checked Windows Update again and it states there are 25 important updates ( 7 for 32Bit and 17 for 64Bit, and 1 for Office 2007 Security update for Office Compatibility pack Service Pack 3!! I do not have anything from Office 2007!! ). There are 3 optional updates ( Skype, nVidia and a security update for 64Bit ) and I would like to know if I uninstall this Windows starter file will the 32Bit updates go away. Also I would be exceedingly pleased if someone could tell me what on earth is going on with Microsoft.

Many thanks for reading this long rant and even more for any replies, which will be very gratefully received.

  Housten 15:26 25 Jul 2015

Good Afternoon, rdave13,

Many thanks for your reply. No the desktop I am using is - or at least is housed in - a "Zalman" but why the comment about 'Dell'. The reason I am asking because my wife's laptop is a Dell Inspiron 1525!!

Having run Belarc I have the following at the top. In the middle and right at the top there are 'Virus Protection' and 'Security Updates' both of which have a tick and 'Up to date' alongside them. On the left is 'Security Benchmark Score' which states it is '1.25 out of 10'!! I can understand that this is not good but have you any ideas on what I have to do to improve this?

Many thanks to any and all people who - very - kindly reply to such a thick and stupid idiot that I am.

  matt2000 16:22 25 Jul 2015

Good afternoon Housten, If prompted by Belarc to update you should do so, which will allow the software to gather the most up to date information about the system. When the issue is resolved I advise you uninstall the advisor software to save disk space.

If you save the Belarc pages I specified before as an XPS files and put these on Dropbox or a similar service I can see the installed software, as some programs are known to cause problems with Windows Update. In response to the low security score this is just an advisory thing, but if I can see the page Belarc opened when it finished I can tell you how to improve it (but the score does suggest an Antivirus issue, when you link the XPS file I can check the specific AV and version - as my suspicion is the Windows Installer service screwing up on updating software wrongly. I need the data to see exactly which hardware drivers, software and hotfixes are installed as Windows might be trying to install older updates on top of new ones.

(with regards to the office 2007 compatibility pack you have installed this allows software such as Open Office and MS Office 2003 to use documents created in Office 2007/10/13/16, you can delete this if you use Microsoft Office 2010.)

  Housten 11:00 26 Jul 2015

Good Morning, rdave13 and matt 2000,

This should be a quick thank you but it will not be that.

I ran Belarc and got Virus Protection and Security updates as both being up to date. I was being told that there were up dates available. I checked and there was 1 important and I optional. The important one was – I think – something around 43.5 MB and the other was about 400K. So I installed them, and it said shutting down, I then re-started it and it got to ‘Starting Windows’ and the machine then shut itself down. I re-started it and went for the repair option, which said it didn’t work did I want to ‘Restore’? I said Yes and it did; although it took two re-starts to get it working again. I then checked the history, and that said the important one had been successfully installed but the other ‘Failed’!! So I re-ran Belarc, and it told me that there were 14 security updates to be installed. I then checked Windows Update and it stated that there were 26 updates to be installed! Of the 14 updates that Belarc said needed to be installed all of them were in the 26 BUT I then checked the history and I already had them all!! I do not have a clue how Belarc can check my computer for updates and yet not find those updates have already been installed. I thought that the reason Update took so long to say how many updates there were for your computer was because it was checking which it had available against those you already had. But now I am believe it to be based on the date, which I think is what Belarc is doing as well. When the computer went for ‘Restore’ it doesn’t tell which date it is using but I do know that I had had a ‘Restore’ after the 26 were installed so I do not understand which it used. What I am going to do now is to use your advice and install them in groups of less than 10 and see what happens. I will post an update and let you know.

Many thanks for all your time and trouble.


Many thanks for your reply, but this where I really show some ignorance. When I run Belarc you say to save as an XPS file. How on earth do I do that? AND how do I get the file into Dropbox as a) I do not know or understand it and b) I do not have an account with them – if such a thing is necessary. I realise you may find that surprising but I do not have ANY dealings with any ‘social media’ as I am very suspicious and wary of all of them. Sorry about that, but that’s just me, I am afraid.

Thank you for taking the time to help me.

  matt2000 12:56 26 Jul 2015

That's fine about both an XPS and Dropbox - but I might have a solution: Click start, right click computer and select "Properties". On the window that appears it should say to next to the windows logo your version - as shown in the image you should have "Service pack 1" shown. If you do not have this than this is the issue - as the updates will need this to install. 43.5MB is worrying for an update - so maybe your PC is trying to install the service pack.

With regards to saving as an XPS you can do so by pressing the keys "CTRL and P" and the "Print" window appears. Select "Microsoft XPS Document Writer" to save the page. As an alternative to Dropbox you can use - save the XPS do you desktop and drag it into the sendspace box. Send the file to "[email protected]" from the same address. This will allow me to see the data from Belarc. I get that I wasn't clear on how to upload the XPS. Once uploaded you can close the page as I will get this in the link from the fake inbox (which will delete the data automatically after 30 days) (NOTE TO MOD: This is a mailinator e-mail, not a real address so this poses no privacy risk)

  Housten 15:34 26 Jul 2015

Good afternoon, matt2000, Sorry to be a bit late but just watched Hamilton muck up in Hungary!! And now I have to go for my bath [ I do not want to have a fight with "she who must be obeyed"!!!! ], so I will do as you ask tomorrow morning.

Many thanks for your reply and instructions.

  Housten 12:34 27 Jul 2015

Good morning, matt2000, Well I tried!! After running Belarc I did as you suggested - pressed control P - but what happened was that I only got my printer!! As this was not what you wanted I copied the whole of the Belarc data to Word file. I then went to and I haven't got a clue as to whether it has gone to you or not! What I have done is to save the file in Word and I could send it to you via email if you wanted me to do that. OR I could post it on here, but I do not know if such a thing is allowed or what the FE would think of doing such a thing. Many thanks for all your help, and I will try and do what you ask in the future.

  Housten 11:43 28 Jul 2015

Good Morning matt2000, I know I am being presumptive but I am getting to the end of my tether. I have an ISP that holds our emails on their system until I download them. All worked well until the last week in April - and I think it was an update - when they ceased being downloaded. I have had several email exchanges with our ISP but though I have got my Outlook setup exactly as they state it will still not download our emails. This has been so frustrating that it is untrue that if you have any idea about how I can correct this I would be very, very grateful. However there is - I am now hoping - another alternative. Windows 10. Will this have Outlook within it? And will it be able to connect - and, hopefully - be able to download emails into our existing emails? Any help and information will be most gratefully received as I am certain that there is a single instruction that - somehow - got changed. Whether it was myself or Microsoft - completely accidentally - who did this I do not care, it is driving me bananas and I just want to download our emails.

  lotvic 17:12 28 Jul 2015

Having looked at your profile and other threads/problems you've got, I suggest you download the free Thunderbird email program and use that to collect your emails from your ISP Plusnet mail server. It's easier, to set up and to use, than MS Office Prof Outlook 2003 (in my humble opinion).

For Mozilla Thunderbird download page click here

  matt2000 20:56 28 Jul 2015

Hi Housten, Windows 10 is highly recommended, and is released tomorrow. You can get this as a free upgrade.

With regards to Outlook no version of Windows for conventional computers has ever come with Outlook or Office. I recommend upgrading (which will fix the update issues by changing the system) and using either Thunderbird or Opera Mail. It also has a but in app but this is a basic client. Another client to use is Windows Live Mail which can be used on 7 or 10. You can also use your ISPs website service. What is your ISP, if you are a Sky customer I have had an issue just like this which happened when Sky changed to a Yahoo based service from a Google one.

A final option for you is say goodbye to your ISP e-mail server and move to Microsoft let you use your old address through their site and (cleverly) use Exchange as an option for using a desktop so Desktop outlook loves it.

If you tell me your ISP and outlook version can find the correct settings for you, as your ISP may have swapped server.

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