I've just reformatted my computer and I was running Windows Update, but after installing the updates and restarting, I have more updates again, and even after those updates, I have more updates yet again..

I was wondering shouldn't there be like a way for us to apply the "final update", let the computer run and install all the updates (instead of update restart update restart update restart..)

Windows Vista Home Premium (currently SP1)

  • Just a suggestion; you might consider creating an image of your system after you install all the updates. If you need to reinstall again you can use the image which will have most updates on it. Then you will only need to install updates which came available after you created your image. – CharlieRB Oct 12 '11 at 15:54

Some updates can only be detected if previous updates have been installed. For example, you will only receive updates for IE9 after you have installed IE9 and rebooted.

There are custom built system images that incorporate all the updates, but they're not for the general public. If you work for a company that is big enough, it is possible they run their own windows update service (WSUS) which can speed up the delivery. However, you'll still have to reboot that many times.

Another way to speed this up is to set Windows Update to automatically install all updates and set a script to run wuauclt /detectnow after system boot. Then leave the computer on for a couple of nights and you should have all the updates.

  • Heys cool, could you elaborate on the last paragraph. The only settings I could find for Windows Update is this: screenshoot.me/Bt0ghX – Pacerier Oct 12 '11 at 15:51
  • 1) Change that to "Install updates automatically". This will allow the system to automatically reboot itself to apply updates. 2) Add a schedule task that runs the command wuauclt /detectnow after system start. This will force Windows Update to check for new updates. – billc.cn Oct 12 '11 at 16:03
  • Remember to undo these once the updates are all installed though. Otherwise you'll be forced to click those annoying "system needs to reboot to apply an update" dialogue. – billc.cn Oct 12 '11 at 16:52
  • Btw is it true that I can manually run wuauclt /detectnow as well? (instead of putting it as a schedule task) – Pacerier Oct 12 '11 at 18:44
  • Sure. (But I am not sure if you need Administrator access or not.) – billc.cn Oct 12 '11 at 21:40

You can download the latest service pack from Microsoft. That doesn't fully stop the process of multiple update cycles, but it can save you a few cycles.


Get the latest service pack, and shut down the Windows update service. Most of the issues resolved (or attempts to resolve them) are related to holes in Windows security which isn't that important if you use an anti-virus program.

No one should just grab all the available updates anyway. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. Any updates that you install that don't relate to a particular issue you're having trouble with may in fact screw up something that you weren't having a problem with before the unnecessary update.

When the next service pack comes out, install it if you wish after looking over what changes are involved. You'll also have full access to your network performance with auto-update turned off since Windows allocates about 20% to the background update traffic.

  • 1
    Too much dogmatic anti-MS bashing. – Bigbio2002 Oct 14 '11 at 17:44

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