Yesterday I realised that Windows Update wasn't working on my Windows 7 (32-bit) laptop.

It sometimes found updates but then when I selected them and tried to download them it just hung on 0 kb and 0%.

I uninstalled SP1 and Windows Update worked fine. Then , when reinstalled SP1 Windows Update stopped working - it just hangs while it says its looking for updates.

I have used two tools to try to fix it - Windows Update Diagnostic and Microsoft FixIt 50202. Neither have worked...

I've dealt with lots of servers and clients that had problems with Windows Update.

Make sure your running the newest version of Windows Update Agent (this has solved many problems for me). The newest version can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/949104 Find your OS, download the package and install it. Then reboot.

If that doesn't resolve it, try this:

  1. Stop the Windows Update service
  2. Delete contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder
  3. Start the Service
  4. Try Installing updates.

In some rare cases it's even harder to resolve the issue. I'd recommend you try running the following lines in Command Prompt as Admin (To open Command Prompt as Administrator, search for CMD > Right-click > Run as Administrator)

net stop cryptsvc
md %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old
xcopy %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 %systemroot%\system32\catroot2.old /s
  • Why those last few lines? You have him copy a folder to a backup. It looks as if something needs to be done with the original folder now.... – Jan Doggen Sep 2 '16 at 19:48
  • It creates a new folder called catroot2.old, then copies the content from the original catroot2 folder to catroot2.old folder in order to completely empty the content in the folder, which will be recreated later in a healthy state. – EntMobSec Sep 6 '16 at 11:58

I've found this command from an administrative command prompt can do wonders for windows updates when they fail to start.

fsutil resource setautoreset true c:\

  • 1
    This only corrects it if the Windows file system transaction log has become corrupted, which was a real problem in Vista, never have seen this issue in W7 or above. – Moab Jul 17 '15 at 16:19

Open Windows Update settings and uncheck the two options:

Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates.
Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows.

Then manually check for updates. It should work after disabling both options.

I had the same problem for two weeks. Then I came across this page Windows 7 SP1 Windows Update stuck checking for updates

It fixed my issue completely. Thanks to you guys on this site.

  • When you find find that another thread answers a question, suggest it as a duplicate when you build a little more rep. I went ahead and did that. Thanks for pointing this out. – fixer1234 Apr 20 '16 at 19:28
  • Please don't add "thanks" as answers. Invest some time in the site and you will gain sufficient privileges to upvote answers you like, which is the Super User way of saying thank you. – DavidPostill Apr 21 '16 at 9:31

SOLUTION: Install this https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3125574 including prerequisites: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3020369

  • link-only answers are not helpful. The information you linked to could easily be quoted and referenced. – Ramhound Jun 28 '16 at 23:12

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