Who knew building a new Windows 7 VM was so hard?

Recently I had to build a new Windows 7 VM on my Mac. I run Fusion 8.5.

This is a fairly standard and trivial activity.

  • Create new VM
  • Install OS (x64)
  • Install SP1.
  • Apply Windows Updates

Except for the fact that when it came to installing Windows Updates, the damn machine would NEVER display a list of available updates. The VM would sit there for hours and days with svchost.exe chewing ~50% of the CPU. The c:\windows\windowsupdate.log would not shed any light on what was going on.

Turns out this is a known problem that has been around for awhile now.

http://superuser.com/questions/951960/windows-7-sp1-windows-update-stuck-checking-for-updates

Windows 7 stuck on “Checking For Updates”

And many many more posts in answers.microsoft https://goo.gl/0uZmtV

More concerning was the discovery that the fix seems to vary on a case by case basis.

The method for success I eventually devised was:

  • Create new VM
  • Install OS (x64)
  • Install SP1
  • Power on
  • Set the Windows Update service to Manual start.
  • Configure the Windows Update client to not allow other uses to install updates.
  • Activate Windows.
  • Disconnect the virtual NIC from the network.
  • Reboot.
  • Install KB3020369. Reboot.
  • Install KB3125574. Reboot.
  • Install KB3172605. Reboot.
  • Reconnect the virtual NIC to the network.
  • Force a check for updates.

After a period of time a list of available updates will be displayed.

 

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