Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
A computer that won't update is a serious problem. We'll start by investigating potential malware.
Windows 7 on one of my computers will not allow the installation of service updates or patches. I followed the Microsoft troubleshooting instructions without success. Previously, I was able to access on Microsoft's site, which would scan my system and allow me to download and install patches manually. I can no longer get to that site. I'm worried about having an unpatched system. What are my options?
In this excerpt from Answercast #43, I look at a system that stalls on updates, which is a potential sign if malware.
To be honest, I'm worried about something worse. I'm worried that you already have malware on your machine.
It is very common for some forms of malware to prevent exactly what it is you're trying to do:
They will often set things up so that you cannot get to the Windows Update site.
They will set things up so that you cannot get to your anti-virus site;
Or you cannot get your anti-malware tool updates.
All because the malware is in fact already there and doing everything it can to prevent you from fixing it or from removing it.
I have an article on "How do I remove malware if it prevents me from downloading anything?" and I'll certainly have you start with that.
The other solutions that come to mind (if this isn't malware related) are actually almost as bad.
One is: I would suggest you do what's called a Repair install.
I've got an article on the site about that as well for Windows 7.
What you end up doing is:
You end up so-called "updating" Windows in place; even though it's the same version of Windows that you already have installed.
That will often reset things within Windows that could potentially interfere with its ability to update itself.
And finally (it has to be said for completion), I have seen these situations be bad enough where really the only scenario that fixes the problem is:
But before you go down any of those paths, I strongly suggest that you start looking at malware as the potential cause. Investigate malware removal solutions starting with that article that I pointed you at.
End of Answercast #43 Back to – Audio Segment
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