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Windows 7: Windows updates are failing to install

17 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64bit
Windows updates are failing to install

Hi folks. I need help trying to figure out why the Windows updates are all failing. The problem started around mid October last Fall. The updates are set for automatic. I have also tried doing manual updates and no luck.

On shut down each night the computer downloads the updates successfully, then the computer prepares to shut down and it says "configuring updates" and shows a percentage of completion. Every single time, it gets to 16% then says "installation failed - reverting changes". It then shuts down and reboots and everything seems ok, until the next time I shut down the computer and it tries to install more updates. Rinse, lather, repeat.

They were working fine until last October. Since then the odd one shows "successful", but 99% "fail".

Hopefully someone can help me figure this out. Thanks.

The computer is approx. 18 months old:

- Gateway DX4840
- Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 650 @ 3.20GHz 6GB RAM 1TB HD 64-bit OS
- Windows 7 Professional - Service Pack 1
- WiFi internet connection

- Firefox browser
- Viper Anti-virus
- Windows Defender is turned ON
- Windows Firewall is ON

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2012   #2

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Dear photogirl,
Here is an excellent and comprehensive article by Microsoft on trouble shooting your exact problem. Ten problems are listed and ten solutions are suggested. Unable to install updates in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2

First off (if you have not done so already) download and run the System Update Readiness Tool. Download : Description of the System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Vista, for Windows Server 2008, for Windows 7, and for Windows Server 2008 R2
That itself may set right the prob. at times.

Proceed to the next step if the prob. is unsolved, as suggested in the first link.

Best wishes,
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Hi sreedhav,
Apparently my short reply to you the other evening didn't go through.

I have been trying the solutions in your post and here is my update:

Review of problem: The updates appear to download and install but the next step of configuring them is where the problem seems to be happening. Gets to 16%, fails, reverts changes, reboots and everything works fine, just no updates.

From this link you provided: Unable to install updates in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 under the Symptoms listed, I have none of the 3 noted. I do not get error messages. No issues with SP1 as it was installed when I got the computer. I am working my way through the list anyway.

Method 1: Restart your computer, and then try to install the updates again
Results: Have done this countless times, always same results.
Method 2: Run the System Update Readiness tool (CheckSur.exe)
Initializing installation... done!
Installing Hotfix for Windows (KB947821) (update 1 of 1)...
The Hotfix update installed successfully.
Results: "Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. Details are included in the CBS.log windir\Logs\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows \Logs\CBS\CBS.log "
This is what comes up when I enter that path:
Checking System Update Readiness.
Binary Version 6.1.7601.21645
Package Version 14.0
2012-03-17 22:38

Checking Windows Servicing Packages

Checking Package Manifests and Catalogs

Checking Package Watchlist

Checking Component Watchlist

Checking Packages

Checking Component Store

Seconds executed: 686
No errors detected
Ran Updates, reboot, same results

Method 3: Run the System File Checker tool (SFC.exe)
Results: Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.
Ran Updates, reboot, same results

Method 4: Reset the content of the Catroot2 folder
Results: Not entirely sure I did this correctly as I had no idea what to delete or how.
Ran Updates, reboot, same results

Method 5: Remove any incorrect Registry values
Results: The values in steps 8, 9 & 10 did not exist. Proceeded as instructed.
Ran Updates, reboot, same results

What do I do with the file now sitting on my desktop????

Method 6: Register the Windows Update files
Results: Ran Updates, reboot, same results

Method 7: Make sure that your antivirus application does not scan certain files

I have no idea how to do this step. I have checked my Anti-virus (Viper) and cannot find any way to exclude specific files from being scanned. Can you help with this please??

I will continue on down the list of solutions once I figure out how to do the anti-virus steps......

Just thought I would keep you posted.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Mar 2012   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Continuing on...

I figured out the anti-virus stuff and went on with:

Method 7: Make sure that your antivirus application does not scan certain files.
Make sure that your antivirus application does not scan the files in the %windir% \SoftwareDistribution directory on any computer on which Windows Update Agent is installed.

I got this setup, then went to Windows Update again, installed 19 updates, then turned off Windows Defender, Windows Firewall and disabled the antivirus and restarted the computer.

Result: No luck, exactly the same problem.

moving on to #8...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #5

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Method 8: Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder

Method 9: Clear the BITS queue of any current jobs

Results: DONE. No change.

I am about ready to tear my hair out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

Have you considered a repair install as explained in this tutorial?

Repair Install

If you do decide to try it make sure you back up any important personal data first although it shouldn't affect your Windows setup.

If all else fails you may need to consider a clean install.

One piece of advice I would offer about updates is to just try a few at a time rather than a whole load of them. At least then, if one fails, you've got a reasonable chance of determining the culprit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #7

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Dear Susan,
You have really done a wonderful job of following the list! One last shot, before you go for a "clean install"!

Download and just run SAS portable scanner : - SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner

Download,install,update and run MBAM(Free): Malwarebytes : Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO removes malware including viruses, spyware, worms and trojans, plus it protects your computer

Download and run HouseCall(Online Virus scanner) : HouseCall - Free Online Virus Scan - Trend Micro USA

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #8

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Hi seavixen32,

I was beginning to think I might have to try that route. I am hesitant though. Years ago I had to do that on a computer and I remember the instructions made it sound like the perfect solution. Just run the repair disk and voila, problem solved. No mention that it would wipe out all programs other than Windows. I had an awful lot of "repair" work of my own to do after running the Repair disk. I was incredibly annoyed. Generally, in the 20+ years of owning a computer, that was the only serious issue I have had. I try to practice safe computer.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will read up on it. I do have everything backed up but I hope I don't have to try it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Mar 2012   #9

Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Thanks sreedhav. Wish I could say it's been fun.......

Thank you for the additional suggestions. I think I will try those and whatever else I can find before resorting to either a repair or clean install. Those two options give me the shudders.

Other than these updates failing, my computer runs beautifully. Nothing weird or wonky going on and the scans come up clean.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Aug 2012   #10

W7 64-bit


Hey I came across your post and my W7 Lenovo laptop is going thru the same thing...did u ever find another solution besides a 'clean install?' Don't want to try that last ditch effort either. Please let me know when you can.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

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