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Fix Slow Updates/High CPU Usages - Windows 7

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This is something I have been testing in VM's and with the assistance of a few colleagues, but this has solved the following on clean installs and even some dirty installs:


-Checking for updates never finishes

-High CPU usage while Checking for Updates

-Windows Update freezes or locks up the system for periods of time

-Searching for updates can takes hours



Step 1: Install KB3172605 by downloading the .MSU, expanding the .MSU into a folder, and use DISM to apply the CAB file. In order to do this, enter the following commands in an admin command prompt. Please take note, if your system is 32-bit you would instead use Windows6.1-KB3172605-x86.msu


mkdir update
expand -f:* Windows6.1-KB3172605-x64.msu .\update
dism /online /add-package /packagepath:update\


Reboot your system and try running Windows Updates, sometimes this is all it takes. On a few of my test VMs, I found this one did the trick, on a few others it did not.


If you receive an error stating the manifest file contains a syntax error (0x800736B5) perform the following:

The issue is caused by the Version key under Component Based Servicing in the registry. It is out of date and DISM does not know how to process one of the commands inside the update.  The easiest way to fix this, is to download and install the Windows 7 Roll-up Prerequisite. In order to do this, download the Prerequisite file and perform the following commands from an admin command prompt:


mkdir prereq
expand -f:* Windows6.1-KB3020369-x64.msu .\prereq
dism /online /add-package /packagepath:prereq\

if your system is 32-bit you would instead use Windows6.1-KB3020369-x86.msu


Restart the machine and you should be able to install KB3172605 at this point, without any errors.


**As an additional note, if your Windows 7 system is a fresh-install and was recently upgraded to SP1, or has not done updates for a very very long time, there could possibly be hundreds of applicable updates. In this situation, it is advised to install the Windows 7 Rollup Package, which contains all updates between the launch of SP1 and April 2016.


TL;DR Steps

1. Install KB3172605 

2. Install Roll-up Prerequisite

3. Install Roll-up Package

4. Check for updates, which should run much faster now.


Download Links:



Windows 7 Roll-up Prerequisite (x86)

Windows 7 Roll-up Prerequisite (x64)

Windows 7 Roll-up Update (x86)

Windows 7 Roll-up Update (x64)

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Instead of extracting the update and installing it by command, unplugging from the internet and restarting the windows update service before trying to install the update will also make the update install quicker.


That being said the command would be useful for remote work.

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