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xper

Windows 10 - Deeper Impressions

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Kill it, then set it to disabled. Whenever you decide to visit Win Update (usually after the patch tuesday) you may then start it manually, just before doing so. And it'll return to disabled after a reboot. You've got no reason to keep it active all the time, now, do you?

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Wuauserv is the Windows Update service itself.  One has to wonder, why do you still have it enabled?

On Win 7 (and older?) the Windows Update service is still known to go into a loooong bout of CPU usage whenever Microsoft releases new updates.  Every month people claim there are things that will fix it, but it's just a matter of Windows Update completing more quickly when the updates have all gone in.  See also:

https://www.askwoody.com/2016/when-does-the-win7-scan-for-updates-head-south/

-Noel

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@dencorso and @NoelC,

I've been following the recommendations by Susan Bradley and Woody Leonhard, in conjunction with dencorso's thread ;) , to decide what to allow onto my Vista and 7 systems. And now today my main Win7 system, too, is having a long wait for its updates. I had anticipated ceasing Vista updates as of next April, but I wasn't expecting to put a stop to Windows 7 updates so soon. :)

This is the first time (IIRC) that I've experienced those interminable waits for updates to download, and it's happened in the same week and on both of my main work machines. <_<

--JorgeA

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I'm not saying you should stop updating. You can activate the service manually before updating, but keep it disabled most of the time.

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I may be a little more apt than most to say "just stop updating" as a response to all the Microsoft BS and FUD, because in my situation I have online security covered a whole bunch of ways - and I know that not everyone else does.  Woody's recommendations to keep up with security updates may well be the right ones for general use, where you might be visiting web pages or running online applications that seek to infect you.

At this point *I* personally have not updated my Win 7 machine, which performs primarily as a server, since May.  I don't web surf on that machine nor run much interactive software, and even if I did it's protected in a number of ways.  It's stable - it just runs and runs without fault between reboots initiated by installs or whatever (38 days at the moment) - so I'm not working around any bugs I'd like to see fixed.

In short, I'm not inclined to break what works very, very well.

I've updated my Win 8.1 workstation, which I use interactively all the time, more recently, though not in the past few months.  It too is stable as a rock, and I do actually surf some with it, so even with all the extra online security layers on task I've been thinking about bring it up to date.  I haven't seen any update speed issues with Win 8.1 so far, so I presume that if I were to choose to enable and run Windows Update it would deliver Microsoft's latest in just a few minutes.  In fact, I've actually tested a Win 8.1 virtual machine with this month's updates and found it to be stable and no more apt to spill the beans online than before.

All that being said, right now if you want to keep your older Windows system up to date, I suggest - as dencorso has stated above - disabling the Windows Update service in between the times you choose to update your system, then (assuming Windows 7 or earlier) being prepared to have it loop hard for up to a whole day or longer to get the list of available updates.  For example, start the service and initiate the check on Friday evening then look for results some time on the weekend.  Yes, it really is taking some systems that long!  And make sure the system's cooling is up to par - the CPU will get hot.

Microsoft is clearly making it painful to get to the completion of Windows Update.  It's simply no longer in their interest to keep your older Windows computing experience pleasant and easy to manage, so I don't anticipate changes for the better any time soon. 

And if you feel the urge to follow them down their current rabbit hole just to keep "up to date" for "security reasons", just remember who put in those security problems in the first place, and imagine there's no reason to think they're not putting in just as many new ones now...

There's a sentiment that "all updates are perfect" - i.e., that they only solve problems and you want  them.  We've been strongly conditioned over decades to think this way. 

Thing is, Microsoft is the company that programmed-in all those problems in the first place, yet here we are after applying Windows 7 updates for some 7 years somehow we still DESPERATELY NEED the month's patches.  Don't assume that patches somehow get a magic pass that allows them to only be perfect.  There's no guarantee they're not breaking two things for every one they fix.  In fact, today's Microsoft is all about shipping whatever the programmers come up to customers in just a few days!!  And nothing says that even if patches work right they will keep your performance up.

They could do many things in the name of "security", not all necessarily good, yet somehow virtually everyone would say without thinking that "more security is better".  There's too much unsaid there, and details matter!

If you choose to keep an older Windows system, don't expect "business as usual".  Be prepared to take more responsibility for your system maintenance and security, and be prepared to learn to manage it differently (more carefully, better).

-Noel

Edited by NoelC
  • Upvote 1

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Windows Update MiniTool completely exposes what Microsoft tries to hide from its users: the insanely bloated update size of Windows 10 updates. This is just after a clean install of Windows 10 Anniversary Update and a subsequent "cumulative" patch in August. Every month you are going to be bombarded with huge updates that your internet connection may not be able to handle, and even if your connection can handle it, your SSD will be worn out by repeated writes of 430 MB of nothingness :lol: - 430 MB of more broken things to fix past broken things. Small, individual updates for Windows 8.1 used to be in kilobytes and collectively, 50 MB or less. Starting October, these Windows Update Abuse Services with Insanely Bloated Updates are coming to attack your 7 or 8.1 PC. <_< On Windows 10 they are worse because you are doing something that is important to you and the wretched OS starts eating bandwidth and then CPU cycles and sometimes restarts on its own - all unacceptable things. Even the Quiet Hours period is restricted to 11 hours intentionally. Outside of that period, it will restart on its own unless you take exceptional measures to block permissions to the Scheduled Task it creates to reboot.

MiniTool.jpg

Edited by xpclient
  • Upvote 3

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10 hours ago, dencorso said:

I'm not saying you should stop updating. You can activate the service manually before updating, but keep it disabled most of the time.

It may come to that yet, if it starts eating up CPU cycles on its own initiative.

So far, the only times I've had WU slow down a computer were when I started the action to "check for updates" or to "download updates." Fortunately, WU hasn't yet taken over my CPU on its own, without my telling it to do something. Have other people reported WU occupying big chunks of the CPU unprompted by user action?

On my PC farm, except for the Vista tower I mentioned above, the long waits for updates to get listed or to download are (so far) an annoyance rather than a material drag on performance,  Although now I'm up to three PCs experiencing these delays.

--JorgeA

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6 hours ago, NoelC said:

At this point *I* personally have not updated my Win 7 machine, which performs primarily as a server, since May.  I don't web surf on that machine nor run much interactive software, and even if I did it's protected in a number of ways.  It's stable - it just runs and runs without fault between reboots initiated by installs or whatever (38 days at the moment) - so I'm not working around any bugs I'd like to see fixed.

In short, I'm not inclined to break what works very, very well.

I will say that we do have a Windows 7 machine that's been set to Never Check for Updates since 2014. It's our Windows Media Center PC. Every month there would be some update or other that wreaked havoc on WMC. It only goes on the Web once in a blue moon to stream a show. I keep the AV and Flash up to date on it, nothing else.

6 hours ago, NoelC said:

All that being said, right now if you want to keep your older Windows system up to date, I suggest - as dencorso has stated above - disabling the Windows Update service in between the times you choose to update your system, then (assuming Windows 7 or earlier) being prepared to have it loop hard for up to a whole day or longer to get the list of available updates.  For example, start the service and initiate the check on Friday evening then look for results some time on the weekend.  Yes, it really is taking some systems that long!  And make sure the system's cooling is up to par - the CPU will get hot.

What would be the reason for disabling the WU service? (This ties in to my question to dencorso in the post above, so either of you is welcome to jump in. ;) ) As long as the search for updates isn't impacting the PC's performance, how about leaving it set to "check for updates but let me choose" whether to download them?

6 hours ago, NoelC said:

Microsoft is clearly making it painful to get to the completion of Windows Update.  It's simply no longer in their interest to keep your older Windows computing experience pleasant and easy to manage, so I don't anticipate changes for the better any time soon. 

For sure, that's the impression I get. Everything's working smoothly and then, in the span of a week, three machines here start taking forever to find or take Windows Updates. Makes you wonder what they're up to in Redmond.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA
clarity

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To me it's all about trust.  As in, "I don't ... Microsoft". 

Do you really trust that they won't load something onto your system even though you have it set to "check for updates but let me choose when and whether to install them"?

-Noel

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I've been proceeding based on the policy of @dencorso's thread that, since the updates listed there are to be avoided (hidden), then the rest are in some way acceptable. Otherwise the advice should simply be to reject all updates out of hand and there'd be no purpose to that thread?

But here's something that, if it bears out, will get me to disable Windows Updates immediately and permanently.

What do you think?

--JorgeA

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15 hours ago, xpclient said:

Windows Update MiniTool completely exposes what Microsoft tries to hide from its users: the insanely bloated update size of Windows 10 updates. This is just after a clean install of Windows 10 Anniversary Update and a subsequent "cumulative" patch in August. Every month you are going to be bombarded with huge updates that your internet connection may not be able to handle, and even if your connection can handle it, your SSD will be worn out by repeated writes of 430 MB of nothingness :lol: - 430 MB of more broken things to fix past broken things. Small, individual updates for Windows 8.1 used to be in kilobytes and collectively, 50 MB or less. Starting October, these Windows Update Abuse Services with Insanely Bloated Updates are coming to attack your 7 or 8.1 PC. <_< On Windows 10 they are worse because you are doing something that is important to you and the wretched OS starts eating bandwidth and then CPU cycles and sometimes restarts on its own - all unacceptable things. Even the Quiet Hours period is restricted to 11 hours intentionally. Outside of that period, it will restart on its own unless you take exceptional measures to block permissions to the Scheduled Task it creates to reboot.

MiniTool.jpg

xpclient, is it known whether this tool will work on the "rollup" patches that are slated to begin in earnest for 7 and 8.1 next month? (A possible test would be to see whether it works on the existing rollup patches that have come out in recent weeks.) That way we might be able to keep picking and choosing the updates we accept.

--JorgeA

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12 minutes ago, JorgeA said:

here's something that, if it bears out, will get me to disable Windows Updates immediately and permanently.

What do you think?

I don't think that's fundamentally new ground for them.

They're the keymasters.  They get to choose when to call software "incompatible".  They also run such things as SmartScreen and create the data that Windows Defender runs on.

What more evidence do we need than what they have already done with Classic Shell (several times)?  Sure, it was "incompatible"... Incompatible with their plan to make money from the tiles in their Start Menu!

Whenever I release new software my potential customers, in order to try it, have to push through prompts that say things like "This software could harm your computer.  Do you really want to continue?"  It's no less than monopolistic anticompetitive behavior if you ask me.  But the Justice Department is apparently all paid off.

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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1 hour ago, JorgeA said:

xpclient, is it known whether this tool will work on the "rollup" patches that are slated to begin in earnest for 7 and 8.1 next month? (A possible test would be to see whether it works on the existing rollup patches that have come out in recent weeks.) That way we might be able to keep picking and choosing the updates we accept.

--JorgeA

This tool only uses the WU API to list the updates, unlike the Bob 10 UI which hides everything. Nothing can magically convert update rollups to individual updates.

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Update rollups are no more than a bag of strung-together updates...
I bet some tool to analyse them is on the verge of appearing.
There's enough competent people around annoyed by that and...
What one can obfuscate, another can unveil, isn't it?

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Seems to me the bigger point is this:  If all the updates are delivered, as they have been, in separate, distinct small packages, they HAVE to be made to be modular by the programmers.  I.e., they're expected to stand alone so the code is written that way.

If the programmers just know that the users are just going to get the whole system they're working on, through cumulative updates, they can make changes all over the place - changes that ALL have to be there to be sensible.

Software does NOT make itself modular!

So no, there will be no "picking apart the roll-ups" after they get going with this.  The only way it can possibly work is that if you want any updates you'll need them all, so that you have exactly the same code base they're working on.

Perhaps Microsoft's programmers think that all the work to keep parts of the system modular is all wasted effort, and they'd be more productive if only they could be allowed to "have at it" and change everything at will.  All I can say is "good luck with that".

-Noel

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