Completing all the Windows 7 updates after a fresh SP1 install has become a bit of a nightmare. I’ve even seen some workstations sit for upwards of 6+ hours “checking for updates” before they finally begin downloading and installing the mass bulk of over 200 revisions…
Needless to say, things have gotten a bit out of hand.
This has been a particularly annoying problem for me since I frequently need to build Windows 7 SCCM OS images from scratch and must complete all Windows Updates before capturing them.
Luckily Microsoft is addressing this problem. It sounds like we’re still never going to get an SP2 like many of us have hoped for, but Microsoft has released the Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup. This is a large update package which contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution up through April 2016.
The Convenience Rollup is not being made available through Windows Updates so it must be downloaded and installed by hand, but it’s still much faster and more convenient than waiting for Windows Updates to install each update one-by-one.
The Convenience Rollup does require a few prerequisites…
…so I’ll lay out the order of things I do once Windows 7 has been installed:
- Ensure the computer has Windows 7 Service Pack 1. It can be downloaded from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=5842
- Install the April 2015 Servicing Stack Update from here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3020369
- Install the Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup. I was able to find direct links to the downloads:
- x64: http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/05/windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x64_2dafb1d203c8964239af3048b5dd4b1264cd93b9.msu
- x86: http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/05/windows6.1-kb3125574-v4-x86_ba1ff5537312561795cc04db0b02fbb0a74b2cbd.msu
If the direct downloads don’t work, you can download the Convenience Rollup from the Microsoft Update Catalog website: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574
After this finishes, Windows 7 will have all updates through April 2016. It should then be a much quicker process to let Windows Updates finish up the rest of the updates like normal.
Moving Forward With Monthly Rollups
Microsoft has announced that they will continue to release security updates as needed but will only be releasing one non-security rollup each month. These rollups are a single update containing all of the non-security fixes for that month and will be made available to users through Windows Updates.
No More Updates from Microsoft Download Center
Microsoft has also stated individual Windows Updates will soon no longer be available to download from the Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft will instead be monopolizing all manual update downloads to the Microsoft Update Catalog.
See the official TechNet announcement from Microsoft for more info on all of this: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/windowsitpro/2016/05/17/simplifying-updates-for-windows-7-and-8-1/
End of Support for Windows 7
Microsoft has announced that they continue to release security updates for Windows 7 under extended support until January of 2020. More info on Windows lifecycle can be found here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet