Microsoft Windows Vista Update Problem: Stuck Continuously Checking for updates (Solved)

This blog post is about how to solve the Microsoft Windows Vista problem, of when Windows update is stuck continuously checking for updates. I still had this problem, even when I left a laptop on for almost twenty-four hours.

Checking for updates

Warning: You follow these instructions at your own risk! You are responsible for any issues that arise from performing actions from this blog post. This might not be the right solution for you!

Introduction

I didn’t intend to write this post, but when I decided to use my old Dell Latitude D620 laptop again running Microsoft Vista Business 32bit, I quickly ran into problems trying to update the operating system. I had last performed an update in 2013, and running Windows Update in November 2016 was a problem.

This post is for me, just as much as it is meant to help others! If for some reason I need to go through process this again, I will have instructions that will save me hours! Though with the extended end of service date looming, I will likely stop using Vista shortly.

Note: What worked for me, might not work for you. Please don’t leave comments complaining, saying the solution doesn’t work or asking for further help.

How I fixed the problem

I had already installed service pack 2 back in 2013, and then (in Nov 2016) I manually installed the following in this order:

  • Explorer 9
  • .Net Framework 4.6 (via the Standalone installer)
  • Security update KB3145739
  • Security update KB3185911
  • KB3198234
  • KB3164033
  • KB3109094
  • KB947821
  • KB2964358
  • KB3191203

Each time I installed an update, I rebooted the laptop and still had the issue.

Note: I’m not sure if I needed to ‘manually’ install the above, else could of left the ‘WSUS Offline Update’ application mentioned below to install any required updates for me.

WSUS Offline Update

I stumbled across this application and I’m grateful to find it. It’s legacy products feature enabled me to download from a Windows update server, and another application installed the updates.

Note: You might have to change selected options, to match your requirements. The instructions below are only what I did, and should only be used as a rough reference.

Warning: You use the WSUS Offline Update software at your own risk.

Here is what I did:

  1. Downloaded the zip file and extracted the files to c:\wsusoffline\
  2. Ran the UpdateGenerator application, and from the ‘Legacy products’ I selected the options as shown in the screenshot below:WSUS Offline Update Generator
  3. I created a new directory to place the downloads, and set a new download path as you can see in the screenshot above. i.e. c:\wsusofflineupdate\
  4. I selected ‘Start’ and it downloaded the files. **
  5. Afterwards I closed the application, went to the directory where the app had downloaded files (c:\wsusofflineupdate\) and ran the ‘Update Installer’. ***WSUS Offline Update Installer
  6. Once it had finished installing the batch of updates, I rebooted the computer and ran the application again two more times with further reboots. ****

* You might require different options.

** Wget kept getting stuck at 99% download, and it appears my anti-virus software was causing the issue.

*** It took just over an hour for the updates to start installing, and I’m glad I was patient and waited.

**** This will be different for some computers, based on the updates required.

When I ran ‘Windows Update’ again it worked and found ‘optional updates’ which I installed.Windows Vista Update

To show the updates that were installed by this software, you look via Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed UpdatesInstalled Updates for Vista

Conclusion

I wish I had run WSUS Offline sooner! It has helped me use Vista again on my old laptop. If you find this blog post helpful, I would appreciate a thank you in the comments.