Monday, November 10, 2008

Broken Windows Updates

This post was inspired by a folder cleanup in which I found a note to myself from earlier in the year (May 27, 2008). I'm putting it here as a quick reference, as it's the sort of thing that happens once in a while, and filtering through all the google hits can be time consuming when you just need to fix something now. *

Symptom: Neither Windows Update or Microsoft Update would complete. The machine in question in this instance was a vanilla P4 somethingorother, running XP pro. Before finding this solution I tried a bunch of things, including an install of Service Pack 3.

You can read the full thread on the techarena forums. I found it via a google search, I'm not familiar with this forum in general. The bit that I needed is from post 3 in the thread:

Start regedit.exe and delete the following key (contains the WU
service configuration):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\wuauserv

Do a reboot now!

Then run this command line (from a command prompt of from Start/Run, it
installs the AutoUpdate service (line will wrap in the newsreader!):

%SystemRoot%\System32\rundll32.exe setupapi,InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall
132 %SystemRoot%\inf\au.inf

(it must be a space between DefaultInstall and 132)

If it asks for your OS CD-ROM to get some files, just point it to the
folder %windir%\System32 (%windir% is typically C:\Windows).

Then run the following commands:

regsvr32.exe wuaueng.dll
regsvr32.exe wuapi.dll
regsvr32.exe wups.dll
regsvr32.exe wucltui.dll

Do a reboot again.

Then check if you can start and stop the Automatic Updates service
successfully from services.msc

These steps repaired the problem.

* Caveat: This sort of stuff does change from time to time, but it should still serve as an indication of the sorts of problems you should look for if you have similar symptoms. At the very least, you might include some of the relevant terms in your search to speed things up.

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