Yet another agonizing Windows Update

Windows Updates can seemingly take endless amounts of time and badly need informational messages while the process is happening.

Windows Update recently popped up, saying I had a multitude of updates waiting to be installed, including IE8 and at least a dozen for Office. So, away I went, but it stalled at 31% done and didn’t budge for at least 30 minutes. While this was going on Firefox would periodically freeze up then unfreeze. Not good.

So, I decided to restart. Rather than shutting down, it said it was doing the updates – which took a very long time with no further information onscreen. Upon restarting it continued updating, but still with no useful messages.

Yeah, everything eventually installed fine. But these updates really need more informational messages as to what is happening. I’ve had PCs since the early 80’s and find these updates unnerving. Imagine what it must be like for a new user.

  • UJ

    That doesn’t sound like its a problem with Windows Update, it sounds like the issue might be something else. Do you have enough RAM? When was the last time you rebooted?

    Also, make sure you have the updates set to automatic, that way they can dribble down and install themselves. If you do it manually, most likely you’ll end up where you are: a massive chunk of updates that will choke your PC.

    Keep in mind every one of those updates is its own executable, so if you have 10 updates, you’re going to be running 10 separate install apps back to back. It’d be just as slow if you downloaded 10 different Instant Message apps and tried to install them all at once.

    (For what it’s worth, Macs AND Linux both have the same pain-in-the-ass update process, so there’s no shelter. I’m a PC 😉

    PS. Do you actually USE Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office? If not, skip the updates. If so, consider a lighter alternative, like OpenOffice or Google Docs for your office suite, or Opera or Chrome for your backup browser (since you use Firefox as your primary)

    • DJ

      I have avoided IE8 so far for one simple reason: several other programs depend on IE7. Until they upgrade, I won’t either. Quickbooks is one example that uses IE internally.
      (Plus I don’t trust MS anymore. Generally, every time they “upgrade” a program, it gets bulkier and slower.)

      • I bought a new laptop w/ Vista and was pleasantly surprised to find it better and faster than XP. And Windows 7 is from what I’m hearing from those who know, is even better.

        • UJ

          7 is fantastic. Jade and I have been running it on our laptops for a while now. It’s super stable and works with everything. Get it now while it’s free, if you install it over Vista, it’s just an upgrade, don’t even have to reinstall any apps or drivers. Even your Firefox tabs are preserved. It blows Vista out of the water, and I love my Vista.

        • DJ

          Wow, you found Vista to be FASTER? Maybe they’ve improved it since the installations I work on, which are downright pokey. Plus it doesn’t play well with others. We need a new computer (that will run Quickbooks, the source of our income), and I’m at a loss as to what to do with XP no longer available.

          • I bought the Vista laptop new, I didn’t install Vista on top of an existing XP system, thus everything was clean.

            What doesn’t Quickbooks do in the new version that you need?

          • DJ

            The Mac version of Quickbooks is useless for an accountant– it doesn’t support keyboarding. Hence I’m stuck in the Microsoft world.

            All our other computers have XP– and in the past when I’ve tried to network Vista computers with XP (or vice versa), the only way I could get it to work (with the support of a consultant) was to disable all the firewalls.

            I’m shocked that you find Vista fast– a desktop at one of my clients was purchased new with Vista and it’s no speed demon. My last year’s Toshiba with XP is much faster. And it’s stable– I like that.

    • I’ve got 4GB of RAM. The problem is, I think, it wouldn’t let me upgrade Office from the time-limited version. The upgrade didn’t work. All the current upgrades are for Office. What a pain. I just marked them Hide.

  • Ten Bears

    Don’t do updates with Firefox, use IE, the engine originally developed to deliver updates. Surfin’ was an afterthought. IE8 delivers what amounts to a background upgrade to Vista, so you’ll probably see significant slow downs at innumerable sites as yet cataloged as well as potential outright denials of service. Bummer dude, you might want to do a “go back”.

    On a related note, my three year old HP just like yours not unsurprisingly took a dump two days after going out of warranty. Next week I’ll be working off a Mac.

    Micro$$$oft is evil.

    • UJ


      I think we’re all impressed that you were clever enough to replace the “S” in Microsoft with a dollar sign, which is, believe me, super hilarious and definitely the first time it’s ever been done, but you should probably be aware that Microsoft’s money goes to fund the Gates Foundation, an NGO which dumps billion$ (look what I did! ROFLROFL!) every year into worldwide education, human rights, medical care, and hunger/nutrition…whereas that Apple money goes to uhhh……how many Porsche’s does Steve Jobs have again?

      Yeah, it’s gotta be Microsoft who’s evil. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick up some khakis at the Gap next to the Starbucks because…well…that’s just how cool and unique I am.

      • Ten Bears

        In that I have made a couple a half-million dollars over the past twenty or so years fixing MICR$$$OFT products, I speak from a boatload of experience. Fuck You.

        • Ten Bears. Play nice. Thank you.

          If Microsoft products were complete garbage though, they would have gone out of business long ago and you wouldn’t have made any money. Be happy they are products that need consultants to help fix them.

    • joe

      hey, i dont know wheather to go to staples or wall mart for new parts for this computore im using.

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