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Why are MSU Windows Updates so Slow to Install?

Many directors have most likely seen that the MSU (Windows replace) recordsdata downloaded manually from Microsoft Update catalog are put in a lot slower than the identical updates acquired from WU website or a (through the wuauserv). In one of many circumstances, which moved me ahead in learning the explanations of lengthy replace set up, guide set up of an enormous Convenience rollup (SP2) for Windows Server 2008 R2 from an MSU file took greater than 5 hours (!!!). At the identical time, the set up of the identical replace on the servers utilizing WSUS took solely 30-40 minutes.

The Windows Update service (wuauserv) downloads replace recordsdata within the CAB format (see the contents of C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload folder). If you need to obtain a particular replace manually, solely the *.msu replace recordsdata are out there on the Windows Update catalog obtain web page. To set up updates within the MSU format, an built-in software WUSA.exe is used (Windows Update Standalone Installer).

Slow set up of *.msu updates happens each when an replace file is put in manually (by easy double-click) or when operating the set up utilizing an SCCM activity or GPO logon script by calling wusa.exe.

The drawback of gradual replace set up is the commonest for Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7, nonetheless, in different Windows variations it’s also noticed (although, not so usually).

Let’s attempt to examine the set up time of KB4056892 replace (patch to defend towards Meltdown and Specter vulnerabilities) in Windows 10.

Run the replace set up utilizing this command:

wusa "C:Distrwindows10.Zero-kb4056892-x64.msu"

slow msu update installation in windows using wusa

Let’s wait until the replace set up is over. You can get the details about the time when the set up of Windows replace has been began and completed from the system Setup log within the GUI console Event Viewer -> Windows Logs -> Setup or utilizing this PowerShell command:

Get-WinEvent -FilterHashTable @| ?

As you possibly can see, the command has returned a number of occasions from totally different sources: Microsoft-Windows-Servicing and Microsoft-Windows-WUSA. So, the beginning time of the set up (Initiating modifications for package deal KB4056892) is 10:02, and the top time of the replace set up is 10:37 (Windows replace “Security Update for Windows (KB4056892)” was efficiently put in). So, the set up of the replace took about 35 minutes. Not essentially the most indicative case, however however it’s fairly lengthy. In Windows 7, MSU updates are put in even longer, generally evidently wusa.exe simply freezes for dozens of minutes.

check windows update install time

You can get detailed details about all actions that the system performs when putting in an replace from CBS.log (situated in c:windowslogscbs). If you look by the entries in regards to the occasions in it intently, you’ll find out that essentially the most time is spent to initialize the set up, to search dependencies (evidently some form of syncing with WU/WSUS server is occurring) and to create a system restoration level.

Let’s attempt to set up the identical replace in CAB format, after unpacking the MSU file following the directions from the article .

Unpack the MSU file:

broaden _f:* "C:Distrwindows10.Zero-kb4056892-x64.msu" C:Distrkb4056892

Apply the replace instantly to the Windows picture utilizing (with out utilizing wusa):

DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package /PackagePath:"C:Distrkb4056892Windows10.Zero-KB4056892-x64.cab"

Note. You can use DISM.exe /Online /Add-Package command to set up *.msu recordsdata instantly with out unpacking them upfront. However, on some causes DISM doesn’t work with MSU updates for IE 11, and possibly for another updates. So this methodology received’t be universally.

installing cab upddate using dism Add-Package

Check the replace set up time – now it took 17 minutes, i. e. it was twice shorter!

check windows update install time using Get-WinEvent in powershell

Also if prior to putting in an MSU replace utilizing wusa.exe, you disable Windows Update and Shadow Copying companies (used to create Windows restoration level), the set up of updates will go a lot quicker. Thus, for those who nonetheless need to set up updates within the msu format, use the next script to make the set up quicker.

internet cease wuauserv
sc config vss begin= disabled
internet cease vss
begin /wait wusa “C:Distrwindows10.Zero-kb4056892-x64.msu” /quiet /norestart
sc config vss begin= auto
internet begin vss
internet begin wuauserv

Of course, a particular replace could cause some system points, and you should have to uninstall the replace in case if there is no such thing as a up-to-date restoration level.

Or you should have to unpack the updates upfront and set up them in CAB format utilizing DISM as described above.

This methodology will enable you to to set up any Windows replace as shortly as potential and match into the upkeep window (which is particularly essential for productive servers).

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