There are some similar threads but I am quite certain this is not quite a duplicate of any of them.
I have a machine at home with dual boot openSuse Linux and Windows 8.1. I don’t use Windows that much and auto updating was disabled so as a result my Windows instance has not received any updates since 2016/1/13. I tried to update but I’m having trouble doing so. Here is what happened in chronological order
- Attempted to update. Going to Windows Update triggered a search for updates which failed and threw an error code (which I will place here if I remember/can find it)
- Investigated this error code and found that it is possibly due to the long time that had elapsed since my last update which caused a large response for updates hence causing the process to crash (?). The solution was given to be to simply try again.
- To speed things up I tried to set up a WSUS mirror(?) from my university. I was given a pair of registries (one for automatic update and one for manual). Added automatic update registries and tried again. (I stopped wuauserv during this process then restarted it).
- Windows Update cheerfully informs me that not only am I set up for automatic updates, but that it had just that moment checked and there are none to download and install. This is egregious since I know there has been at least one update between 2016/1/13 at 4pm and 2019/9/29 at 12:55pm.
- Force it to check again. It’s taking a while so I leave my desk for a few hours and come back. The window is now showing the control panel home page. I go back to updates and it shows the same thing: Auto updates good, no updates, last checked 12:55.
- Reboot. No auto update on startup. Try again in Windows Update. Same result.
- Try the non-auto-update registry. Windows update still tells me I’m set up for auto updates by my administrator. And that it’s checked at 12:55 and there’s nothing to do. Force it to try again and no cigar.
- give up for the day
- Use a third registry from my university’s computer center which is supposed to disable the other two, and set up only the non-auto-update registry. Nope (see VI).
- use that third registry again. Go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Policies/Microsoft/Windows/WindowsUdate/AUand ensure those registries are not there. Side note: I now suspect they could still be active, but somewhere other than where I checked. I tried Windows Update one last time to the same result.
- Out of desperation ask Microsoft Support’s AI assistant. Actually get pointed to some useful threads.
- Take the recommendation to download this manual patch:
KB3102812which starts a process
wusa.exe(presumably standing for Windows Update StandAlone). This opens a window, which says that it’s starting updates or something of that nature, but then gets stuck at “searching for updates on this computer”. Cancel button does not work.
- Investigate this occurrence. I find some results, in fact on the StackExchange network (I will add a link when I find it), which say I should disable
wuauservbefore doing this. And that there is a newer wusa:
wuauservand try both. No change in behavior.
- Disable WindowsUpdate in
net stop wuauservjust to make sure, and try again. Reboot and try again. Again, in both patches, no change in behavior.
I am at a loss at this point and I’d appreciate to know what others think I should do. If it wasn’t clear from my idiocy I am not particularly familiar with Windows.
P. S. the patch seems to restart wuauserv again (although it does not appear in services.msc).
Update: I could not find a good way to integrate this new information to the existing body, so here it is in this new block of text. A few events have transpired.
Here is some (incomplete) CSV information about the update on 2016/1/13
Description, ID Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB2976978 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3109560 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3114500 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3109853 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3121461 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3121212 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3124001 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3123479 Security Update for Windows 8.1 for x64-based systems,KB3121918
I have omitted the MSOffice, etc. updates
Here is some more information:
Seems to be that the last update before 2016/1/13 was on 2015/12/9.
The most recent “cumulative update” is
There don’t seem to be any recorded updates in the update history before that.
KB2976976unlike some suspected is an update that Windows released soon after Windows 10 and kept re-releasing once every couple of months to get people who hid it to install, which does something like checks to see if you have the latter installed on your machine and also periodically sends some data to Microsoft! Yuck. This kind of tomfoolery is one of the reasons I don’t like to use Microsoft products. (Failures like the subject matter are another).
So what happened after I wrote this post is I tried to install
3138615again. It again looked like the operation was DoA. But, the devil on my shoulder suggested I let it run for a while, so I did, and left my house. Upon returning some 3-odd-hours later I saw that the install very much did complete! And not only that, it seems to have woken up the updater, since before I clicked reboot I took a look at the updater which had magically found “500M-2.2G” to download and install (despite claiming it hadn’t searched since 9/29/2019 when apparently there were none). What a great day.
But don’t think the fun is over. I have started the install process and it seems to be dead. I will observe this behavior and (if it doesn’t work) try the older
KB3102812, and update. If it does work, I will answer my own question to help any others who have this issue.
Thank you to @Ram in the question comments.