Vista's Windows Update is very slow

Discussion in 'Performance & Tweaks' started by JBC, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. JBC

    JBC

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    I mean REAL slow! I have two computers, one with XP and the other with Vista. The same updates on the XP machine took about five minutes, on the Vista machine they took well over an hour. And I've heard that Windows 7 does the same thing as Vista here. Anybody have any suggestions to MASSIVELY speed up Windows Update with Vista?

    TIA,
    JBC
     
    JBC, Oct 12, 2010
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  2. JBC

    Ian Administrator

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    Welcome to the forums :)

    It shoudn't take that long to get updates for Vista - does it take a long time to actually download the updates from the Windows Update servers, or is it spending most of that time installing the updates?
     
    Ian, Oct 12, 2010
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  3. JBC

    WAW8

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    In my experience, Vista uses more resources than XP and this shows up most readily on underpowered Vista machines. For example, an XP box with 512MB of memory runs just fine, the same box will barely be able to keep up with Vista. It will want 1GB or more to exhibit the same level of performance.

    But, unless your Vista machine is underpowered, you should see no real difference in applying the same Windows Updates.
     
    WAW8, Oct 12, 2010
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  4. JBC

    JBC

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    I've read about this specific problem at many websites. The system running Vista has 1 gb ram.

    Yes, one would think that there would be no difference, but there is. And it's a HUGE difference. I've noticed this from the first time I updated that Vista machine.
     
    JBC, Oct 12, 2010
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  5. JBC

    JBC

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    It takes so long to do updates, that I actually have believed that the computer was locked up. There was no hard drive or cable modem activity at all. Just as I reached for the mouse to start seeing if the system was responding (and before I touched the mouse) there was a change on the screen.

    It takes a really long time to download the updates and then it takes a really long time to install them. I guess that's my answer then.
     
    JBC, Oct 12, 2010
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  6. JBC

    WAW8

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    In Vista (and now, in Win7 as well) Windows Updating generally takes three passes, as follows:
    1) Downloading and installing the update -- while still in Vista
    2) Continuing the update -- as part of Shutdown
    3) Finishing the updates -- as part of system restart.

    In pass #2, you typically see a background with some text on it indicating that updates are being applied and telling you not to turn off your machine.

    In pass #3, you typically see the same background with some text indicating that updates are being applied.

    XP seemed to be faster because it didn't give you any visual feedback for these other phases.
    Is it just the updates that are slow? Or is the machine slow in general?

    Asking because one thing that can affect the perceived performance is hard disk problems.
     
    WAW8, Oct 12, 2010
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  7. JBC

    JBC

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    I'm sorry, I just don't buy that XP "seems" faster at updating. In my experience, 5 minutes (XP) compared to over one full hour (Vista) from the start of updating to the end of the process is inarguable. And this is every single time I've updated that newer, dual core computer with Vista on it. And also, IME, when I update with XP I see indications when it's downloading the update as well as a progress meter when they're being installed.

    Note though, I update manually by actually running Windows Update from my Start Menu. I *never* allow Windows Update to run automatically on any system that I own. I do this because:

    1. I have the self discipline to check for updates on a regular basis and to keep my eye out for any mention of "emergency" updates in a tech group I frequent

    2. I run a third party, software, two-way firewall

    3. I want to screen the updates which Windows wants to apply to any system I own.

    In answer to your question though, the HP with Vista on it boots very slowly, takes five full minutes to fully boot compared to this ancient P4 1.9 ghz with 512 mb of RDRAM running XP Home SP3 which fully boots in under a minute. Shutdown is also very slow on the HP but very fast on this computer. And on this older, XP computer, I've tweaked my registry so that it wipes the swap file when I shut down the computer!

    Once the HP with Vista is fully booted and running, the performance is acceptable though, so there are no hard drive problems.
     
    JBC, Oct 13, 2010
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  8. JBC

    WAW8

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    OK, an hour do to a set of updates is most certainly unnacceptably slow. No argument there!

    And five minutes to boot (if you actually mean that, not just guessing at it) is also a very LONG time to boot.

    All I can suggest at this point is to run MSCONFIG from Start area, open the Startup tab, uncheck all the items -- and see if that helps at all. If you now boot or shutdown a LOT faster, then something in your startup set is the culprit.

    I would look for HP stuff. They are infamous with cluttering machines with their software -- most of which is not needed.
     
    WAW8, Oct 13, 2010
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  9. JBC

    JBC

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    I really mean five minutes. I never would throw out such a thing as a mere estimate. I actually timed the boot.

    However, my concern isn't the boot, it's Windows Update. I can live with a five minute boot, but I can't accept the inordinately long amount of time Windows Update takes. My guess is that this is yet another "social engineering" experiment on the part of Microsoft. Kind of like the way that they faked a 32 gb limitation if you wanted to use FAT32 in XP, which basically tricked everybody into accepting NTFS.

    In this case, maybe they're making doing Windows Update manually take a long time so that everybody will just give up and run Windows Update in the background. That way, MS can have their way with your system and install stuff without you having any control over it.. This is something which I will NEVER allow! I will go to Linux before I allow that to happen.
     
    JBC, Oct 13, 2010
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  10. JBC

    WAW8

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    I have ALL my MS Windows machine set to "notify only" in terms of Windows Update, as I agree that I will NOT allow any SW vendor to silently update my machines -- and I don't experience anywhere near the timeframes you mention. I'm even running a Tablet PC with a old, slow, Centrino processor, and it's update times are no longer than my multi-core machines at home.

    Sorry, but I don't have an explanation or solution as to why your ONE machine is taking so long to perform Updates.
     
    WAW8, Oct 13, 2010
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  11. JBC

    JBC

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    I don't even do "notify only". I actually run the shortcut with the command line:

    %SystemRoot%\system32\wupdmgr.exe

    (that's the XP command anyway, I don't know what it is for Vista.) Before I posted to this forum, I Googled for:

    vista slow windows update

    and found this:

    http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistawu/thread/24d384c0-40d7-4ed3-865e-6044f4caa90a

    Very enlightening. However, I was hoping that somebody here had found a way to correct the situation.
     
    JBC, Oct 13, 2010
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