There’s really no doubt that Windows 7 updates have become a bit of a nightmare.  Microsoft have been aggressively pushing Windows 10.  Some of the stories that have been rolling around have clearly highlighted this to anyone watching.  Despite all the statements coming from Microsoft themselves they do seem to have employed a form of plausible deniability tactics to increase Windows 10 adoption.  It even drove Steve Gibson to write Never10.

Whilst I can understand getting as many people on the new Windows 10 OS has lots of advantages, for everyone.  It would make my development life easier so in some ways I have a vested interested but you can’t arbitrarily push a new OS on someone.  There are so many dependencies and potential issues in some scenarios it just isn’t smart to force this.  Someone with a fully working system that falls foul to these tactics and then has lots of issues is the worst thing you can do to a customer.

I can’t think of another situation where you can buy something from a company, use it successfully for years, then the company that you originally bought this thing from 5 years later comes to your house and breaks it.  Then, offers to give you the new all singing all dancing replacement “thing” vNext.  Can you imagine the builder who built your new dining room 5 years ago coming back and taking a wall down then offering you Wall V2?

Me neither …

It seems this happened more times that Microsoft would ever admit to.

Windows 7 Updates

With all the goings on Windows 7 Updates seem to be in a bit of a mess.  Installing Windows 7 updates has become a bit ridiculous and takes an incredibly long time.  To be fair we are dealing with 5 years (Windows 7 SP1 was released February 22, 2011) worth of OS updates on the most popular desktop OS on the planet.  In it’s defense Windows update is a complex piece of software doing lots of sophisticated dependency checking and wotnot.

Either way, it’s gotten to the point where applying Windows 7 updates has become really painful.  Urgh …

Good News! Update Roll-up

The Good news in that MS have done a Windows 7 SP1+ update roll-up.  They have taken all the updates applied to Windows 7 since SP1 in 2011 and packaged them up for easier deployment.  To make use of these packages you need to do a bit of manual stuff to a new install.

I was setting up a new VM in Virtual Box using my old Windows 7 license and got fed up with watching the indeterminate “progress bar” (that’s an Oxymoron if ever there was one) I decided to look for this update.

The New Windows 7 Updates Process

It’s actually really easy.  In my case, as I was going from fresh install to latest I did this:

  1. Created VM and installed Windows 7
  2. Applied updates normally to get Windows 7 to SP1
  3. Go and grab KB3020369 and install it
  4. Get the Windows 7 Updates roll-up here (requires IE) and update away!

Alas, even after going through this process the last check for updates process I ran took around 5 hours.

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