Friday, 19 April 2013

Windows Updates failing to install

It used to be reasonably common for some Windows Updates to fail to install on PCs, but not an issue we've come across for some time now. Until this week, that is, when we've suddenly seen quite a few PCs failing to install the required updates.

This can be very frustrating as you've waited for some time for the large amount of updates to be downloaded, then installed. You reboot the computer to see "
Failure configuring Windows updates. Reverting changes. Do not turn off your computer."

This can happen if you turn off the computer while it is updating, or it can happen quite randomly. Why it happens isn't so important to you as the way to get round the issue, as it is likely to keep happening every time you try the operation.

To get round the problem there are a couple of things to try before taking the PC to the repair man;

1. Use Internet Explorer to browse to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/949358 (You may not get the right results if you try using an Internet Browser other than Internet Explorer.). 

This will offer you a "Fix-It" where a Microsoft programme will try to resolve the issue automatically. Run through the wizard to see if this will work.

2. If Step 1 hasn't solved the issue then try these steps:

a. Open Command Prompt as Administrator (In Windows 7, click the Start Button, type cmd.exe into the Search Box immediately above the Start Button, wait for the programme to appear in the box above, right-click and choose "Run As Administrator")


b. In the Command Prompt black box type (without the quote marks)
"Net stop WuAuServ"

c. Wait until the service is reported to have stopped successfully.

d. Browse through My Computer to find C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution

e. Rename C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution-old
(If the system reports it is unable to rename the folder then try step b again.)

f. Back in the Command Prompt window type "Net Start WuAuServ"

g. Click the Start Button again and type "MSConfig.exe" in the search box, then double-click the programme that appears in the list.

h. In the General Tab, choose "Selective Startup", un-check "Load Startup Items"

i. In the Services Tab, check “Hide all Microsoft Services”, then click “Disable All”. 

j. Click OK and you'll be prompted to restart the PC. 

k. Once the PC has restarted try adding Windows Updates in small batches of 5 at a time, rebooting the computer between installations.

l. Assuming all has worked OK, open MSConfig again to ensure it is set to "Normal Startup" with all services set to run.


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The IT Dept offers computer support services in Lancashire, including Monthly On-Site or Remote Support Contracts; Secure Online Data Backup; Domain Hosting; Server and Desktop Sales; Software Supply & Installation. We cover all of Lancashire, including Chorley, Preston, Blackburn, Darwen, Bolton, Wigan, Blackpool, etc.
© Michael Donkin 2013

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