Windows Update Fails

3d human with big negative symbolThere are several situations which can cause Microsoft Windows Update to fail to properly download and update a computer. This could be either through the Automatic Updates mechanism, or via the Windows Update website. Windows Update commonly fails because of the following changes have been made:

  • The system is an image of another system;
  • The system is a restored backup;
  • Windows 2nd Restore Option was used;
  • Windows Rollback was used;

What is often observed is that:

  • Automatic updates do not occur as expected;
  • Windows SUS/WSUS reports errors in client receiving updates;
  • Windows Update website fails;

There are two recommended methods for working around this problem:

“Simple Fix”

I have found that the easiest way to fix a Microsoft Update problem is to switch back to Windows Update from the “Change Setting” option on the left-side menu. Click on “Disable Microsoft Update software and let me use Windows Update only” and then click on “Apply changes now.” It will then launch Windows update. Run it and then switch back to MS Update.

This process of switching from the newer method to the older one and then back again seems to fix a host of registry errors and other wastes of time. It is simple and fast and has almost always worked for me.

Repairing Microsoft Update the old way

WSUS has a good monitoring and reporting feature that allows me to see at a glance which machines are struggling with the stuff Microsoft is trying to send to it. So I do a Remote Desktop session to the machine in question and run the process manually. I know something is really messed up when I get a 0×8024001D error or some other hex number. Simply delete the c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder, run the update again and all is well but it takes a long time to go through that long download and update process.


This solution was copied, in part, from Tech Republic