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Updating Windows 7

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I did a fresh installation of Windows 7 SP1 on a Thinkpad T420 a while back. I would like to update it, but Windows Update returns an "Unknown Error" (see screenshot).

Does anyone have any ideas? Despite Windows 7's age, I am actually quite new to it. Until recently, the newest version of Windows I had any decent experience with was XP.

I did wonder if it may have something to do with SSL root certificates, as, out of the box, this Windows 7 system was unable to access quite a lot of HTTPS sites.


MS changed windows update back then. When you install a fresh WIn7 SP1 you have to disable automatic updates, install some updates manually and enable automatic updates again. I'm not sure if this still works, but the updates required are KB3020369, KB3125574, KB3138612 and KB3153199 (install in this order).

If you have not already done, make sure that the clock has the correct time.

I experienced this issue myself after a fresh installation of Win 7. As has been stated, there are problems with SSL certificates and accessing the Update Server. I had to download a load of Microsoft updates using another PC then manually installed them on the newly built PC to correct the issue.


You might want to use a tool like WSUSOffline and make an ISO of all the Windows 7 updates.  That way, you've got all the updates locally and don't have to worry about Microsoft messing around with or completely removing the updates.

Note that the current version (12.0) of WSUSOffline has removed support for Windows 7 so you'll need to use V11.9.1.


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