Why does my laptop keep reinstalling updates all the time?

ash October 9, 2014
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I just bought a second hand laptop (Compaq, Windows 7) and nearly every second time I shut down it says installing updates but its usually a lot like this morning its 1 of 163!! So it’s taking like 5 hrs to shut down. Why does it have so many and should I turn off automatic updates?

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  1. DalSan M
    October 9, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I agree that it is best to spend the time to update the laptop, rechecking fit updates every time you have to restart the computer until there isn't any updates listed (this means going into Windows Update and select Check for updates). On a fresh Windows 7 install, especially a pre-service pack version, would normally have many updates, including any service packs available, before the "issue" you are seeing goes away.

    As mentioned, there are several updates that require other updates to be installed before they can be installed, which is why you have to manually check for updates after updates have been installed. The last time I had to update a fresh install of Windows 7 was on 3 computers for a small business. Due to the slow Pentium 4 processors, low memory (1GB), and relatively slow internet speeds, it took three days at 4-5 hours each day to update Windows and install more updates as other software and hardware were installed. Some software requires .NET to be installed and may be included with the software installation, but then an update is necessary afterwards. Installing Microsoft Office required many updates after installation, as well.

    To lessen the amount of updates being installed, check the updates that are listed to be installed and only install important and critical updates. Most of the recommended updates are not necessary, and if you want them installed, wait for the rest of the updates to be completely finish.

  2. Jan F.
    October 9, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Unless a Windows 7 SP1 media refresh was used to install the base system 150-200 updates doesn't sound too unreasonable – I recently had a system that wasn't turned on for about 7-8 months and it had to install 109 updates, taking well over an hour.

    One thing you have to keep in mind is that not all updates can be installed in one go. At over 150 updates I would assume there are at least 4-5 updates that require to be installed "on their own" followed by a restart. That would explain why your system is 'frequently' installing updates.

    The big question to me is: Did you every let your system fully update?

    Let all 163 updates install, perform all the reboots you are asked to do in between. And when it's done do a final manual scan for updates via the Control Panel.
    All together I would say about 2-4 hours depending on your download speed.

    Before you have done that I don't see a point troubleshooting because the problem might just be impatience.

  3. ha14
    October 9, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Windows Update or Microsoft Update repeatedly offers the same update
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/910339

    How do I reset Windows Update components?
    http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/971058/en-us

    Go to Windows Update”
    Click Change settings
    Choose “Download updates but let me choose whether to install them”