Karl`s PC Help Forums

Windows upsdates problem
scholar - 21-1-2017 at 15:25

I went into my study to do some things on my Acer computer with Windows 8.1, and it is displaying a green screen with the message

Quote:
Keep your PC on until this is done.
Installing update 216 of 227...


I am posting this from the older WinXP machine. I don't know how long these updates have been installing themselves, and I don't know when (or even if) the process will release its hold on the machine any time soon. In the minutes since I have been in the room, the 216 number hasn't changed, so I don't know if the process is progressing, or stalled. The hard drive indicator late is flickering, so I have the impression of some activity.

Is this cause for alarm? Will the machine be released to my use soon? How long do updates take?

I don't know if I really needed any updates, or if MS does unnecessary tinkering. (For example, if they find that their system has a problem with certain 3rd-party software, would they distribute an improvement to everyone, whether the particular computer had that software or not?)

What would happen if I interrupt the process so that I could use the compute? [E.g. interrupt the power and reboot] Would MS grab my computer again?


JackInCT - 21-1-2017 at 16:48

This is FYI ONLY: I don't have Win 8, so I won't attempt to answer any of your questions since assuming what was "true" in previous Win OSs may be different (and thus erroneous for your situation).

But to expedite matters re what's going on, you could do this re informing other posters with MORE precise detailed information:

(1) If you hit the PrtScn/SysRq key (at the top of the keyboard, far right side), you should get a screen capture IMAGE of all of whatever is on the screen of your monitor (but your mileage may vary) [IF that doesn't happen, that in and of itself is worth a topic],

(2) The screen capture image file will need some sort of a relevant file name, with a file format extension suitable for an image file, and typically jpg is among your choices in the Save File diaglog window. And of course you will need to remember where in Explorer you saved that file to--so pick an easy to recall location,

(3) Transfer the image file to a flash drive, and move the drive over to whatever computer you're using to logon to this forum,

(4) I presume that you know that image files on this forum are limited to 200 kb file size, and it should come as no surprise that your screen capture file is much bigger than that. So you will have to open it up in a graphic program and reduce the file size--if you've never done that before, or if you don't have a graphic editing program to begin with, (1) there're plenty of freeware, basic graphic editing programs to download, (2) reducing an image file size is an important skill to learn if you don't know how, i. e., as one for instance WHY-- if you send image files as file attachments to email messages, reducing the file size comes in real handy for both the sender and the recipient; some recipient's email clients limit the file size that they can download/open (called a 'max cap' file size limitation [which includes ALL the files that are attached to that particular emailmessage]--not something the folks generally pay much attn to until something goes wrong and they can't figure out what it is); that kind of stuff is on your email provider site somewhere.

(5) Then post, via the Browser window, that screen capture to a new reply. Yes a screen capture pix is woth a thousand words.

Good luck


scholar - 21-1-2017 at 22:08

The windows updates finished, and I am now able to use the computer again.

I was alarmed because it never happened to me before, and the great number of updates had me wondering if the computer would be busy for hours.

Should I make some change in settings, to keep updates from coming automatically?

I am inclined to think that, if everything is working OK, I might be better off not getting all the updates.


scholar - 21-1-2017 at 22:12

Jack, I reported every word on the display screen when I came into the room. After a while, it did start reporting an increasing percentage of the update complete, which did give me reason to hope that real progress was being made.

I'm going to copy your screen image instructions into a document for later use, where there may be various things on the screen that could help in diagnosing troubles.
thankingyou


JackInCT - 22-1-2017 at 00:30

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
Jack, I reported every word on the display screen when I came into the room. After a while, it did start reporting an increasing percentage of the update complete, which did give me reason to hope that real progress was being made.

I'm going to copy your screen image instructions into a document for later use, where there may be various things on the screen that could help in diagnosing troubles.
thankingyou


Laughing, re Ye Olde Tunnel Vision--no one should ever be surprised when they see something in a capture screen that they've never noticed. I would imagine that possibility increase as the screen size of the monitor increases. AND there are sometimes things "going on" in system tray that also escape attn to include the possibility that icon symbols have symbols superimposed on them that are NOT noticed but possibly are indicative of the problem. That often happens to me when my ISP modem goes down, and I'm not on line, and out of the corner of my eye.....


LSemmens - 22-1-2017 at 05:54

A screenshot will not be of any use during an update
a)because windoze is'nt yet running and
b)you will have no means to save it until windoze is running.

Windoze updates do take a long time to install. Sometimes, as you have found, they occur at inconvenient moments. Typically they install on the next re-start, so it is worth re-starting the computer when you finish work for the night.


Katzy - 22-1-2017 at 10:37

If this persists...

Unzip this, into a new directory/folder:

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/scriptcenter/Reset-Windows-Update-Agent-d824badc/file/162417/1/ResetWUEng.zip

and double-click ResetWUEng.cmd

Or, run the batch file, in this archive:

http://media.askvg.com/downloads/2015/03/Batch_File_to_Reset_Windows_Update.zip


dr john - 14-2-2017 at 14:28

You should let windows update regularly, or you will get this situation again where a large number of updates are required.
Sometimes an update requires an earlier one to already be in place, so when the main batch is finished, and the machine restarts, it may still have a few more to do.

An individual update can sometimes be a large file and it may have to check a lot of other things are up to date before running, or have to edit a large number of parts of the system, so on antique computers, this can routinely give the impression the machine is just sitting there doing nothing while running, in your case, the 216th in the queue.

227 updates strongly suggests you haven't updated for a year or two.

Updates are designed to improve things, remove bugs and add new features. Also there are security bugs being corrected, so if you have not updated for a year or two, your machine is open to all sorts of problems.

I have a couple of spare machines in case my current one has a problem. I occasionally switch them on (not at the same time) and let them update overnight. When I am running a gliding competiton, we have a small number of computers that are only used for this task, to keep them as clean as possible, so a month before a competiton is due to start we switch them on, one by one, and let them update, then repeat this with two weeks and one week to go. This sequence helps with the updates that require a second reboot because they need earlier updates to be in place. It also prevents updates occurring at very inconvenient moments during the comp. when we really need to do something.

In your case, you should reboot any computer when you have no obvious need to use it for a few hours, say, before going to bed, and let any updates be installed. Some take place when you try to switch off, others when it re-starts. And do this every month or two. Don't do this with two or three computers, as they will all be downloading at th esame time and things will take a lot longer to complete.


JackInCT - 14-2-2017 at 17:07

Quote:
Originally posted by dr john
....An individual update can sometimes be a large file and it may have to check a lot of other things are up to date before running...


Especially Microsoft .NET Framework updates, to include additional security updates after the install, are well documented re Google type hits re an assortment of issues. If you've noticed .Net framework is NOT just one version, but multiple/SEPARATE ones from Ver 1.0 to Ver 4.*, i. e., each one has its own updates.

And then there is good olde Microsoft's Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) MONTHLY download that's IMO poorly conceived and slow to download/install. Again a Google search reveals all kinds of end users venting their spleen about it.

And


LSemmens - 14-2-2017 at 23:30

Quote:
I have a couple of spare machines in case my current one has a problem. I occasionally switch them on (not at the same time) and let them update overnight. When I am running a gliding competiton, we have a small number of computers that are only used for this task, to keep them as clean as possible, so a month before a competiton is due to start we switch them on, one by one, and let them update, then repeat this with two weeks and one week to go. This sequence helps with the updates that require a second reboot because they need earlier updates to be in place. It also prevents updates occurring at very inconvenient moments during the comp. when we really need to do something.
^^^This^^^

VERY sage advice. Recent case in point. We had no sound for our first Church service in Feb (no services at all in the main auditorium during January.) The sound tech (who should have known better) did not turn the computers on until an hour before the service. Our desk is run by computer, no sound for an hour. We had to revert to our January format for another week. (What we call "cafe church" where, instead of a formal church service, we meet in our cafeteria and have a very informal gathering.) It works well with people sitting drinking coffee whilst the more traditional parts of the service are presented.