The last half dozen Windows 7 clean installs I have done have had issues with updates. It appears to come about when automatic updates download and install an update to the Windows Update Agent. Following this update, updates no longer work, usually hanging for ever.
I found the solution a while ago, and promptly lost it for the next few jobs. Fortunately, I was doing free windows 10 updates immediately after, so I got round it. I finally found what I think is the definitive fix, so I am going to repeat it here so I never lose it again!
Volume Z posted the following on answers.microsoft.com”
It’s a general issue that’s going on. Updates requiring a new version of the update client have been released. Install KB3020369 and KB3172605.
Set automatic updates to “Never check for updates” and restart Windows prior to installing.
update 04/11/2016 – Apparently this is also a Windows 8 issue and this fix will fix it
Updates must be switched off and the pc restarted before starting the process. Additionally, make sure you have not attempted to search for updates before you run the fix, otherwise it will hang looking for updates.
There is a prerequisite which may or may not be already done, which has its own prerequisite that may or may not be done. Drill down, or use https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2919355.
Just done my first Windows 8 re-install in quite a while and was surprised to have the same problem I was having with Windows 7 (maybe I shouldn’t have been). Thanks to Skynetrising on this Toms HardWare thread