Home Computer Help & Tech Support Topics

This material is archived primarily from Email tips distributed to my own home computer friends here in Ocala, dated 2015-2017. Updates to this material are scheduled for CY 2018.

Computer Help and Tutoring
for Seniors in S.W. Ocala, FL

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Windows 7 and Windows 8 Updates and Scheduling

Windows 7 and 8 Update Schedule Changes

What happened to my Windows 7 / 8 Updates?

Amid all the hullabaloo about what a pain in the neck Windows 10 updates could be at times, this Windows 7 and 8 story seems to have gotten muffled and ignored.

As reported by Martin Brinkman last October 10 at http://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/10/say-good-bye-to-individual-patches-on-windows-7-and-8/ , Microsoft has changed how it delivers patches and updates to devices running Windows 7 and 8.

If you check your Windows 7 or 8 list of installed updates, you'll probably see a big gap spanning from last September or October to date.

Most updates (if any) will be for Windows Explorer, perhaps the .Net framework or other items reflecting particular Microsoft code you have running other than the basic operating system. (You may find non-critical updates too related to interactions with particular resources, named for Intel, Logitech, Skype, or other hardware and software providers.)

What used to be listed as individual updates, in great number, will probably appear as single monthly-or-so listings named, for example,

"[Month] [Year] Security Monthly Quality Rollup ..."

and "Update for Windows 7 for x64-based Systems"

Microsoft announced in August that the company would be moving toward all-in-one (cumulative) Windows updates.

Brinkman followed up with a piece on slow or delayed updates. In some cases, an older Windows version may have missed one or two downloads he identifies. See the article at http://www.ghacks.net/2016/11/02/checking-for-updates-slow-on-windows-7-here-is-the-fix/ for the following instructions, which hyperlink the relevant downloads to install:

1. Download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of KB3172605 to your Windows 7 machine, and install it.

2. If you get a "not applicable to your computer" error, download and install KB3020369 instead: 32-bit version, 64-bit version.

Installing the appropriate download from these links may clear the way for missing updates since last fall.

Most Windows 7 computers will show a high concentration of updates in September or October 2016, but after that only one-or-a-few updates identified as "Important" from November forward.

Aside from missing a patch or two as discussed in Brinkman's second article, other factors may impact the downloading and installation of updates. I've found discussions pointing the finger at AV software apps as varied as AVG, Kaspersky and Norton interfering with the updating process, especially on the firewall side. Switching your AV app may facilitate at least downloading updates.

I'll interject my own preference for using Windows' built-in anti-virus and anti-malware apps here in lieu of other commercially available packages. I simply base that on adapting to practices of several computer club members who I mimic when in comes to best practices. I just don't run into problems fighting my own security software when I use the code Microsoft provides to protect its own OS.

In summary, Windows 7 and 8 updates are being batched into just a couple of update packages per month. If they're not showing up at all in searching for updates, you may need to go back and install a missing one or two downloads from last summer, such as those identified above.

If your downloads are extremely slow, your anti-virus software or some other app on your computer may be impeding that process, or your computer itself may be operating with less chip speed or memory than optimal. However, if you have a good backup and not too much software to reinstall, doing a restore or even a factory reset may clear the way for the system to start updating from a clean slate.

If you want to get more familiar with issues and discussions surround this problem, the following search string https://www.google.com/#q=Windows+7+updates+don't+even+show+up+since+September+2016&spf=1 will give you a start on relevant search results.

One of the articles in that list paints a real-world picture of difficulties that some Windows 7 users may have been encountering related to updating. See https://www.thurrott.com/windows/67305/convenience-rollup-makes-big-difference-windows-7-updating-still-broken . I find the usefulness of the article to be limited, but it is an interesting chronicle of one person's tedious experience dealing with update snags.