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(One reader also told me that Ed Bott had experienced this same issue a few months back, though that was before the CR was available.) So I installed those, rebooted, checked Windows Update and … There were 226 pending important updates to install, plus 10 optional updates. But when the PC finally rebooted into the desktop and I checked Windows Update again, it hung on that “Checking for updates…” window yet again.And though time just keeping plodding forward, Windows Update refused to do a thing.After about two more hours—about fours total—I had to leave the house for a family function. When I arrived home later last night, I woke up the PC and saw that Windows Update was now “installing update 1 of 101,” so I decided to nurse it to completion.

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A quick check of Windows Update revealed that there were just 7 optional installs left.

After another reboot and another check, there were 8 important updates and 1 optional updates. Looking over Microsoft’s announcement about this release, I discovered that you need to install a few prerequisites before you can install the CR: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1), which is already integrated into my Windows 7 install media, and something called the April 2015 servicing stack update.

Install, reboot, and it was 11 pm, and there was just 1 important update. Microsoft makes Convenience rollup update available via something called the Windows Update Catalog, but that site inexcusably requires Internet Explorer because it uses an Active X control. So you can fire up IE and get the CR, or just use these download links, helpfully supplied to me by Tero Alhonen via Twitter: My plan was to see how long it took to install these updates, and how much easier the process was. Then I checked Windows Update to see what was left.

This past week, Microsoft released the Windows 7 Convenience Rollup, providing its biggest user base with what is essentially a long-overdue second service pack. The Convenience Rollup, or CR as I’ll now call it, can be used in a variety of ways.

The promise of this rollup is that it will dramatically speed the process of clean installing and then updating a Windows 7 PC. Here, I’ll focus on what I believe to be the most common usage, where you simply clean install Windows 7 as you always would, apply the CR (and its two prerequisites) manually, and then use Windows Update to go the final mile and get the OS completely up-to-date.

But if you are supporting multiple PCs, or are regularly reinstalling Windows 7 for whatever reason, you can also slipstream—or, in Microsoft’s terminology, —the CR into your Windows 7 install media so that it is applied immediately at the time of initial setup.

Either way, the goal is simple: To dramatically speed and simplify the process of installing and then fully updating Windows 7.

Windows 7 users—and by the most accurate count available today, there are almost 750 million of them—know that clean installing this OS can be terribly time-consuming.

So for comparison’s sake, I pulled out an old Windows 7-based Ultrabook—a five-year-old ASUS Zenbook UX31E—and set about to clean install and then fully update the OS the old-fashioned way, using only Windows Update. After the initial install was over, there were a number of missing drivers, including any form of networking.

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