Over the years, one of the biggest issues that I have run across is failure of Windows updates to install properly! I’ve gotten everything from “An update failed to install” to “Error code 0x8007F0EA” when trying to install Windows updates.
Before we do anything, there is a free tool out there created by some genius that could solve your problem without you having to do a thing! It’s called AU Check and it’s a tool created that implements the most common fixes to issues with the Automatic Updates client, the Windows Update Agent, and the Windows Update site.
It tests everything from making sure BITS is working fine to re-registering the required DLL files necessary for Automatic updates to work correctly. It does a whole bunch of other stuff too, so try this before reading on. If your problem was not fixed using AU Check, then continue.
Firstly, you have to determine whether only one or two updates or whether all updates are failing to install. If only one or two updates refuse to install or give you an error, then you can go to Windows Update online and troubleshoot the problem there.
Go to Windows Update and click on Review your update history in the sidebar.
You’ll now see a list of all of the updates that have been installed or that have failed to install on your PC. You can click on the Status column to sort by status and find only the ones with red X’s.
As you can see, the 2007 Microsoft Office Service Pack 1 update for Office 2007 failed to install on my machine. Click on the red X and a popup window will appear with the error code and a possible solution.
Now copy the error code into your clipboard and click on Find Solutions. This will bring you to the Windows Update Troubleshooter. Paste the error code into the keywords search box.
If you get some results back for the error code, you are in luck! Read those articles and it will probably solve your problem. If you get no results back, like I did for my error code, search the error code in the Microsoft KB articles. Type in the error code and click Search Site.
If you could not find a resolution to your problem by searching the Windows Update Troubleshooter or the Microsoft KB articles, there are a few more things you can try. Firstly, if you recently performed a repair installation of Windows XP, that could be causing your problem.
If you perform a repair installation of Windows, all of the Windows Update files get replaced by either older counterparts. However, there are several files that have been added to Windows Update that are not available in the release version.
You can also have this problem if you update to the latest Windows Update client and then install Windows XP Service Pack 3 without restarting the computer first. To fix these issues with SP 2 and SP 3 or repair installs, follow these steps:
Step 1: First stop the Automatic Updates service by going to the command prompt and typing in
net stop wuauserv
After that, type in the following commands to register the wups2.dll file:
Now restart the Automatic Updates service by typing in:
net start wuauserv
Now the correct Windows Update file should be registered and you should be able to install updates correctly. If not, you may have to completely update the Windows Update Agent.
To update the Update Agent itself, you first have to download the CAB file that contains the installation package for Windows Update Agent here.
Now you need to extract the wuredist.xml file from the archive using any file archive tools like WinRAR, 7-zip, etc. Open the file in a text editor and look for the following lines:
<architecture name=”x86″ clientVersion=”7.0.6000.381″ downloadUrl=”http://download.windowsupdate.com/WindowsUpdate/redist/standalone/7.0.6000.381/WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe”/>
You will see one for x86 (32-bit PC), x64 (64-bit), and ia64 (Itanium 64-bit). Copy the link that you see in the downloadURL parameter. This is the link to the actual Windows Update Agent. If you can’t get the links for some reason, you can download the latest version of the WUA here, but note that these are updated regularly, so downloading and installing these might not work later on. The best way is to open that XML file and find the links.
Now you can simple run the executable file to install the latest version on the Windows Update Agent. If for some reason it does not install correctly, go to the command prompt and navigate to the folder where the EXE file is located and type the following command:
This will force the update to occur in case there is something preventing it from updating correctly. Of course, replace the first part of the command with the exact name of the EXE file you downloaded.
If ALL else fails, you can try to delete all Windows Update and reinstall them from scratch. Note this is not the same thing as performing a repair installation, this will delete the folder that contains all of the Windows updates and will delete the update history.
Hopefully, if a Windows update failed to install, you have been able to fix the problem! If not or if you have received a different error from Windows Update, post it here and I’ll try to help! Enjoy!