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Windows 7: Failed Windows Update, error code WindowsUpdate_FFFFFFFE

23 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Failed Windows Update, error code WindowsUpdate_FFFFFFFE

I'm trying to install update KB2639308 but it keeps saying that it fails and gives me the error code WindowsUpdate_FFFFFFFE. I looked it up online and it says that it can't update because of malware. However, when I run Norton and do a full system scan it doesn't find anything. I also tried to fix it with the Windows Update Troubleshooter and that doesn't help either. Is there anything else I can do without having to fully reinstall Windows 7 like the info on the site says? Please help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Mar 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hi,

A pre-requisite for this update is having Service Pack 1 installed. Can you confirm that this is the case?

Also, which version of Norton are you running? Is it the very latest? I have found posts where running Microsoft's own MSE doesn't find any malware, yet the error this occurs, so lets try something totally different:

Please perform an online virus scan using ESET
ESET Online Scanner

Can you also please run this tool to allow us to diagnose any other conditions that might prevent this update installing:

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52012

1. Click the Continue button.
2. Click Copy button (ignore any error messages if they appear)
3. Paste the results here in your next reply

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

After a bit of tinkering around I was able to target the problem as being a Trojan. I downloaded a program from kaspersky that got rid of the Trojan. With that done I was finally able to download the update. I'm just still baffled that Norton didn't catch the Trojan but the windows malicious software tool did. Weird, but can't complain since the problem is now solved. Thank for your response though Golden, I appreciate the help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Mar 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64 Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tri-Boot
 
 

Hi,

Thats good news. Unfortunately, you can't rely on a single anti-malware tool to protect you from everything, so its not surpising that Norton was defeated. You have to adopt a layered approach with 2 or 3 tools at your disposal.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)
 
 

Norton has historically been pretty bad with Trojans, so I'm not surprised by its failure here at all.
As Golden says, you should use at least two different products for malware protection
1) a traditional AV
2) an sepcialist malware scanner.

One of the problems with traditional AV's - particularly the big ones - is that malware can be, and is. designed to hide from the major players, or to function in ways that are outside the remit of such things.
Specialist malware scanners have a different take on their duties, and will flag things that AV's would not (such as adware), and use very different methods of detection. Because of this, they tend to catch a variety of things that may be ignored by AV's. Running a full Malware scan with such a beast also ensures that the AV gets a good look at all files as well - I've seen machines where an AV gives it a clean bill of health, but running a malware scan, the AV complains almost as much as the scanner as each file is opened and decompressed by the scanner, which may enable the AV to get abetter look at the true content of the file.

This is one reason why I do not ever purchase 'Suites' of such software - as I prefer to pick-and-choose. Currently all my machines use MSE as AV, and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as the scanner. I'm delightged to say that MBAM actually picks up very little that gets past MSE - and I've not found anything significant when I've used other scanners as a double-check.
I don't visit as many potentially nasty sites as I used to - but I still on occasion deliberately do so to test that things are properly functional, and this pairing hasn't let me down yet, and has the great advantage of being free
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Failed Windows Update, error code WindowsUpdate_FFFFFFFE





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