Windows Update hangs and consumes 100% of CPU on Windows 7 SP1

Last weekend I’ve upgraded an old laptop, originally running Windows Vista, to Windows 7, in order to prepare it for the free upgrade to Windows 10, while it’s still available free of charge.

After installation, Windows 7 spent a good deal of time updating itself until reaching SP1. After SP1 installation, Windows Update seemingly stopped updating. A quick analysis revealed that in fact, svchost.exe host process which was doing the actual scan for updates, was using a whole core (50% in my case, because my CPU is dual-core) and about 1.2 gigabytes of RAM. Restarting the process didn’t help, it quickly used up a whole core again, and RAM usage was slowly climbing up.

I’ve searched Microsoft Knowledge Base and found out this is a known issue, which affects Windows 7 SP1:

There are two patches available, which fix the issue:

Once I’ve installed that update, Windows Update correctly discovered 207 remaining updates totalling 894MB and started installing them promptly.


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