If you are running a Windows operating system, regular updates need to be installed. Although it is unfortunate that the operating system needs patches, it is good that this happens on a regular basis. By default Windows will be configured to automatically download and install updates.
But even the update process can have errors, in which case the whole computer update will fail. This potentially means security wholes are not patched, so nobody wants this to last too long. In many cases the solution is to turn off the automatic updates and manually update Windows. This means browsing to the Windows update website and scanning your computer for the necessary updates from there. If the manual update succeeeds, the automatic update function can be turned on again.
However, not all Windows update errors can be solved this way. Some are related to the svchost.exe process and others are related to the Windows installer, msiexec. In the case of Windows installer problems, it can help to re-register the installer program, msiexec.
Re-registering the Windows installer only requires a few steps:
- Click the Windows Start menu and select the Run option.
- In the Run box, type msiexec /unreg, and press Enter.
- Now click the Start menu again , and select the Run option.
- This time, type msiexec /regserver in the Run box, and press Enter.
There will not be any messages, maybe just a short hourglass cursor. But once these steps are complete, errors related to the Windows installer should be gone.
Automatic Update Not Working
If the automatic updates in Windows XP are not working, you might need to restart the Windows update service. Follow these steps to restart the update service:
- Start a command prompt window (type CMD in the Run command at the Start menu).
- In the command window, type: NET STOP WUASERV and press Enter.
- Next, type: REGSVR32 %WINDIR%\SYSTEM32\WUPS2.DLL and press Enter.
- Finally type: NET START WUASERV and press Enter.
With these steps, you stop the Windows update service, register the proper DLL file, and restart the Windows update service.
Specific Update Error Messages
If your update error includes error codes, you can mostly find direct solutions to them. Error 0x8DDD0018 or error 0x80246008 for example relate to the background intelligent transfer service (BITS) in Windows. This service in turn depends on the remote procedure call (RPS) service. Basically these services allow Windows update to download the updates for your PC in the background. This means that you can still use your internet connection while the updates are downloaded, BITS uses idle time on the internet connection.
The solution to these error codes is described in a knowledge base article by Microsoft.
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