Once the new Win32update is installed my manual Windows Updates always run "normally" (i.e., "." finishes in about 25 min and not several hours) and my remaining Patch Tuesday updates install successfully.
I don't think Vista users will see a permanent solution for these slow Windows Updates unless Microsoft either purges some of the outdated (superseded) updates in Vista's update catalog wsusscn2(see Dalai's background information at or they release an updated Windows Update Agent (WUA) that speeds up searches on computers with slower CPUs and limited amounts of RAM.
To disable automatic driver updates in Vista, select either the second or third option and click OK.
In some cases this appears not to work, and then there is another method to disable automatic driver updates in Vista and Windows 7.
To avoid this problem, I've permanently disabled automatic Windows Updates [Windows Update | Change settings | Important updates | ].