I have five or so Windows 10 installations—desktop, laptop, and multiple virtual machines running running on my Mac using Parallels 12. I say "or so" because some of my virtual machines have been broken by the Windows Update (WU) process.

I really like Windows 10, it is now almost as good as MacOS to use for my daily work. However, since Windows 10 was released, I have literally wasted months struggling to install Windows Updates. I am not alone:

23million Windows Update errors

There are over 40 million hits on Google for this problem. Surely this should raise a flag for Microsoft as an issue that must be fixed with the highest priority. Yet, nothing has been done about it.

The problem is most severe in my virtual machines, especially those on the Fast track for Windows updates.

Problem 1: It can take a long time to determine whether there are any Windows Updates

It can take many hours to decide if I have an update available. I have a 100 Mbps Internet connection.

Problem 2: Updates take forever to do their thing

Not only does WU take a long time to decide it has updates, it takes forever to download them, prepare to install them, and finally to install them. Often times, in the second or so reboot, WU decides (with no error message) that something is wrong and rolls back to the previous build. By forever, I mean up to a day! What is WU doing during this process? It is looking at my 32 TB of mounted hard disks?

Windows Update Snapshots
wu1239.png wu1900.png

Problem 3: The error message numbers do not tell you what to fix

Trying to get advice from the error message number leads you to a wide variety of suggestions:

  • Reboot
  • Run the WU troubleshooter in the Control Panel. Then reboot and try again.
  • Download the latest WU Troubleshooter and run it. Then reboot and try again.
  • Download a reset script and run it. Then reboot and try again.
  • Remove the files in the update directory. Then reboot and try again.
  • Uncheck the "Update other Microsoft software box."
  • Turn off the Windows Firewall. Then reboot and try again.
  • Uninstall any third party AV software. Indeed, updates were impossible with BitDefender installed, and the uninstall with "Add /remove programs" is insufficient. You need BitDefender's uninstaller to remove all traces.

Sometimes a combination of these things works. Sometimes they do not. It is black magic.

Problem 4: The continual downloads use up my ISP quota

So, Microsoft, why is the WU process so difficult and time consuming? Why can't we just download a file and install it? Why doesn't the trouble shooter work all the time? Why can't WU fix whatever problem there is and continue with the update?



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Windows 10 Updates do not work